In our current era, athlete connections to social issues in America are more prevalent than we’ve ever seen in recent history.
As a result, athletes who go the extra mile outside of blanket statements for equality and social media posts are refreshing in a time when our timelines show plenty of empty gestures.
Maya Moore is an athlete that always goes the extra mile, and the story told in her ESPN 30 for 30 documentary “Breakaway” highlights how special of an athlete and person she is.
Featured image of Maya Moore and Jonathan Irons courtesy of @minnesotalynx on instagram.
“Breakaway” follows the life and career of Maya Moore along with the life of her husband Jonathan Irons and his fight for freedom after a wrongful conviction and 50-year sentencing in the state of Missouri.
The biggest takeaway from this documentary is the army of people that it took for a wrongfully convicted man to be freed from prison.
It took Moore’s family, teams of lawyers, resources, notoriety from Moore’s incredible basketball career, along with her stepping away from the game she loves to put enough pressure on the state to overturn Irons’ wrongful conviction.
It is important to note that the Missouri attorney general unsuccessfully appealed the judge’s decision to overturn Irons’ conviction, adding another obstacle to a long-drawn-out fight for freedom.
An Example of Commitment
In her pursuit of justice, Moore showed a high level of commitment to social change through action.
Moore—a two-time NCAA and four-time WNBA champion—left basketball at the peak of the profession to pursue and bring awareness to not just the wrongful conviction of Jonathan Irons but the many issues that plague the criminal justice system in America.
Moore’s actions separate her from many athletes and individuals in America’s recent increase in social justice awareness.
While the blanket statements, black squares, and other gestures can come from a genuine place in the hearts of many, turning ideology into action is the only way to solve problems with our world.
Turning ideology into action is why seeing an athlete like Moore means so much because her success in the public eye could potentially be a blueprint for what it will take for athletes in the future to create meaningful change in their communities.
Where to Watch
“Breakaway” is available for steaming through ESPN watch or ESPN+.
“Breakaway” will also air again on Sunday, July 25th on ESPN2.