Politics in Sports

  • by:
  • Source: UncoverDC
  • 09/19/2023

The United States of America has done more for professional sports than any other country in the world. Name another country where you can go to college for a few years, not graduate, and instantly become a multimillionaire overnight. Not everyone can do this, and not everyone is blessed to have the ability that LeBron James, Patrick Mahomes, and Mike Trout have. It takes hours of hard work and dedication to get to the level of success these gentlemen have achieved. Fans watch games, purchase tickets and merchandise and drive demand for the over-priced sneakers—which, in turn, give these athletes their inflated salaries.

For the most part, Americans used to view sports as an escape from the hustle and bustle of their day-to-day lives. In the past, sports served as a rallying cry for Americans to show their patriotism during difficult times. “The Miracle on Ice” immediately comes to mind during the cold war or when baseball returned to The Bronx following the tragic events of 9/11. Sports is no longer that escape that it once was. Instead, sports have become saturated with the social justice warrior (SJW) and political correctness that so many Americans want to desperately escape. From players boycotting invitations to the White House from President Trump, or the death of George Floyd, the millionaire athletes and the billionaire owners who employ them cannot help themselves in sharing their opinion of how awful our society and country has become, seemingly overnight.

Feb 24, 1980, U.S. Olympic Hockey Team celebrates after winning gold at Lake Placid, NY/AP Photo.

On April 20, 2021, Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. He will, most likely, spend the rest of his life in prison. Some professional sports teams took the opportunity to remind us that we still have a long way to go to heal as a nation and to rid it of systemic racism.

The Las Vegas Raiders posted an image with the words “I Can Breathe 4-20-21,” celebrating the verdict against Derek Chauvin. The controversial post by the Raider’s took a lot of heat, but the owner of the Raiders, Mark Davis, defended the post in a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Davis said, “It’s rare I make statements about anything, and if I thought it offended the (Floyd) family, I would feel very badly and apologize. Other than that, I’m not apologizing. I believe after listening to Philonise (George Floyd’s brother), this is a day we all can breathe.” The comments made by his fans under this post seem to disagree.

The Raiders were not the only organization to post messages related to the death of Mr. Floyd and the guilty verdict of Derek Chauvin. The Cleveland Indians, who are in the process of canceling the team name that has been in place for 100 years, were also quick to remind their fans with a statement on Twitter that this just the beginning, and we have a long way to go. The statement read in part, “George Floyd’s tragic murder was a defining moment in our society. While we hope today's verdict creates an opportunity for our community and our nation to begin to heal, we recognize there is still much work that needs to be done to bring about sustained change on issues of systemic racism and inequality.

The Cleveland Indians have a history of speaking out on social justice issues. The owner of the Indians, Paul Dolan, said that it was an “awakening or epiphany” following the death of George Floyd that was part of the reason that he has decided to cancel the Indians team name. Clevelanders have been outraged by this announcement. It has been part of the baseball history for the team for generations. Dolan “empathizes” with these fans who do not want to see the name changed. “I fully understand it. I consider myself a fifth-generation Clevelander. It’s in our blood and baseball, and the Indians are synonymous, which goes to the whole intent versus impact thing. Nobody intended anything negative by our attachment to the name Indians, but the impact has been tough,” Dolan said in a statement. The Indians lost to Detroit (8-5), who did not issue a statement regarding the death of George Floyd at the time of publication.

Brett Favre, Former NFL Quarterback and host of the podcast “Bolling with Favre,” with Eric Bolling, was interviewed by Daily Wire host Andrew Klavan and his recent statement seems to resonate with fans:

"I think both sides, for the most part, want to see it just remain about the sport, not about politics,” Favre said. “At least that’s my interpretation. I know when I turn on a game, I want to watch the game. I want to watch the players play, and teams win and lose and come from behind. I want to watch all the important parts of the game, not what’s going on outside the game. I think the general fan feels the same way."

Favre added, "Something’s got to unite us. And the games or sport in the past has been some kind of unification,” Favre said. “Now, it’s almost like a division. I can’t tell you how many people, including yourself, have said to me, ‘I don’t watch anymore. It’s not about the game anymore.’ I tend to agree.


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