Over the years, the sports world and the political world have found ways to cross each other’s path. In 1937, boxer Joe Louis united a nation that was divided by racism and World War II when he defeated German boxer Max Schmeling. During the time of the Cold War, Herb Brooks’ United States National hockey team brought warm spirits to the hearts of the American people when they defeated the Soviet Union in the Olympics.
Now jump to 2017 where the country is separated once again due to racism, riots and conflicts within the government. Professional athletes have decided to use their platform to express their views of society and push for change.
Last season, quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the National Anthem to protest his views on police brutality and racism in America.
Recently, NFL teams and NBA players have taken a stand on President Donald Trump not inviting the Golden State Warriors to the White House, and saying NFL players should get fired for protesting the national anthem.
Trump’s comments led to a wave of NFL teams and owners kneeling or locking arms during the national anthem.
“The players have a right to speak their minds, but on the other hand, it can make it difficult because there isn’t anyone in America who doesn’t want to honor America,” Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank told the New York Times. “You talk to other owners and the commissioner, they feel the same way, they support the players.”
Even NBA teams locked arms when the national anthem was played during preseason openers.
This movement by professional athletes have taken the nation by storm and received mixed reviews. Some believe that these athletes are doing the right and there are some, who think athletes should “stick to sports.”
The idea of athletes sticking to sports has become obsolete. They have the same concerns in politics just like everyone else, and they should be able to stand up for what they believe in. Being that sports is one of the biggest markets and has a worldwide fan base, athletes has chance to make a change.
So let’s not bash them for kneeling or using social media to express their views of the government and the state of America. Instead, give them credit for jumping out of their norms and attempting to make a difference.