THEY’RE not staying silent on this one.
A day after a momentous decision from the lower house that rejected the franchise application of media network ABS-CBN, 11 basketball and volleyball athletes banded together to voice out their opposition against what they feel is an attack on press freedom.
In an uncanny echo of the NBA’s decision to let players display social justice messages on the backs of their jerseys, these players posted images of their jerseys with different messages.
“Never again,” says Jia Morado and CJ Cansino.
“Hindi pa tapos ang laban,” goes Alyssa Valdez’s message.
“Hindi kami mananahimik,” say both Kobe Paras and Shaun Ildefonso.
Ayel Estrañero, Jack Animam, and Diego Dario have a simple call: “Malayang midya.”
Dzi Gervacio echoes the slogan of her alma mater, saying: “Our big fight.”
Thirdy Ravena says: “Defend press freedom.” Mela Tunay goes beyond, and says: “Defend Pilipinas.”
While some are already playing for professional leagues, these athletes first made their mark in the UAAP, which has been shown on the media network since 2000. Many of their fans and followers first got to know them through ABS-CBN’s broadcasts.
Previously, Ravena, Animam, Cansino, and Paras had used social media to speak out against the Anti-Terror Bill, before it was signed into law by President Duterte.
These latest protest messages were hosted by ABS-CBN Sports, and retweeted by the athletes on their personal pages.
ABS-CBN Sports then challenged its followers, displaying a blank jersey with the caption: “11 voices for press freedom. Now, it’s our turn. What will you stand for?”