Sporting events and politics | Columnists

Many considered sporting events almost sacred. The roar of the masses, the level of sportsmanship that only a few can express, the excursions of the athletes and their teams, the loyalty of ardent fans, and the myriad traditions practiced add to a unique section of society.

There is an old saying that sports and politics should not mix. Although sport has been a way to escape the harsh realities we face, these events inevitably intersect.

Fans generally want to experience a sports show, not political theater, although there are exceptions. There are even provisions in sporting events such as the Olympics No form of advertising or demonstration is accepted throughout the event. However, this is not as simple as it seems.

Athletes and their teams have sided with a certain side throughout history, particularly in nonviolent resistance to human rights abuses. Muhammad Ali He was a champion of world peace and civil rights, Colin Kaepernick Kneeling during the national anthem in protest of police violence, a history of athletes making political statements or gestures at the Olympics alone Stretching from 1906When Ireland’s gold medalist Peter O’Connor hoisted the Irish flag in protest of his being considered a British athlete – to date, nations and peoples contemplate a boycott of the upcoming Beijing Olympics in protest of the many controversies over human rights in China.

Some say the “fans” reject the politics embedded in the sport.

However, for example, when British fans conducted a survey in support of a soccer team with a knee injury, we see clear cases of sports that are not in the vaccuum cleaner. The athletes we see and admire, despite their ability to play sports that most people might not be able to achieve, are still human beings with their own views and desires.

This includes using sporting events as a messaging platform of individual choice. Looking back in history, one can see a long list of examples where sports and politics are intertwine.

Black athletes demonstrated at the University of Missouri Example In 2015, the trajectory of past icons turned into a serious dent when they all hit and pushed the university system’s president and chancellor to resign over racial issues. And when beloved Hall of Fame player Hank Aaron said in 2018 he would decline any invitation to the Trump White House because “there’s no one out there that I want to see,” he seemed to be speaking on behalf of many athletes and fans alike.

With this in mind, it becomes quite clear that sport and politics are not mutually exclusive but in fact deeply intertwined. But where does that leave us?

So, yes, let us respect the purity of sport, the amazing sporting achievements of highly skilled and disciplined people, but let us also respect their rights to express their solid opinions about the milestones they have achieved.

Sebastian Santos, funded by the sound of peaceHe is a graduate of Portland State University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree at Lewis and Clark College.


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