After a season of protests on racial injustice rocked the nation in 2020, many of the world’s greatest sports figures have shifted their focus to making progress.
One of those athletes is Portland Thorns goalkeeper, Bella Bixby, who joined the Talkin’ Beavers podcast to discuss how she and her teammates are using their platform to create meaningful change in the Portland community, not just during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think as athletes, not just me, my teammates and professional athletes, we have a unique platform to say what we want, and people are going to see it,” Bixby told Joslyn Tinkle on the Talkin’ Beavers podcast. “We have a unique platform and it’s kind of the bare minimum to use it, especially to educate others and get everyone on the same page about pressing issues that are important...
The Portland Thorns goalkeeper and former Oregon State standout has been at the forefront of watching the NWSL’s teams fight against police brutality and systemic racism against people of color.
Bixby stepped into the role as starting goalkeeper in place of injured star Adrianna Franch in Portland’s first NWSL Challenge Cup opener last July. Before the game vs. the North Carolina Courage kicked off, each team donned Black Lives Matter t-shirts and kneeled during the national anthem. The world was watching.
While Bixby took pride in being part of the teams’ demonstrations, she wants to be a part of a more impactful call for equality and justice in the future. Like many of the league’s players, Bixby is determined to take action and raise awareness about the matters closest to her heart.
“We obviously have Stand Together, which is our community outreach as a club, but as a team, the Thorns, we are really committed this year and made it a goal to connect more with our community,” Bixby said. “It’s not enough to be vocal on social media and try to educate people. It takes more than that, and we’re committed to taking the next step, which is action and we’re really excited about it.”
To hear more from Bixby on her journey from the Beavers to Thorns, overcoming injuries and her goals with the Thorns this season, listen to the full Talkin’ Beavers podcast with the Thorns goalkeeper here.