I get it. I really do.
I used to flip the channel as soon as one of the ESPN talking heads started to take a stance on a political hot-button. I muted any athlete that went a little too long with his Twitter rant on some social injustice. I even went as far as muzzling myself to adhere to #sticktosports.
That all changed, however, when I thought long and hard about not only which causes these sports figures were fighting for, but also who they were championing.
What the Kaepernicks and Bennetts of the world are fighting for is bigger than you or I’s entertainment preferences.
We All Can’t Live a Non-Political Existence
What if I told you that your ability to stay out of politics is a privilege? We all have our problems, but some (see: A LOT OF) people worry about their safety and livelihood each and every day. You may not deal with bigotry, oppression, deportation, genocide, you name it, but there are more than a few that do.
These people live the struggle, so is you being annoyed by your favorite journalist posting three tweets about how they hate people losing their healthcare really a big deal in the grand scheme of things?
Q: What do Billie Jean King, Muhammad Ali and Jackie Robinson all have in common?
A: They all totally didn’t #sticktosports, but are near-universally revered by the sports community.
Wait, why are we cool with their stands but not others? I’ll let Jay Caspian Kang explain:
“The settled politics of the past, where details can be kept few and the tone nostalgic, are fine. We know, for example, that Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color line, stole home and wore 42 on his back. Muhammad Ali championed equality and said some funny stuff to Howard Cosell. Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs. Their lionization reassures us that the stands they took were good — and can now be consigned to bygone eras.”
Hindsight is 20/20, I guess, but what I’m getting at here is that if you know deep down something is right, don’t be afraid to fight for it. A co-sign isn’t necessary.
Sports Doesn’t Even #sticktosports
Have you ever thought about why the anthem is played before sporting events? I mean, if we really stuck to sports, we wouldn’t play that song before games and Super Villain Colin Kaepernick wouldn’t even have an opportunity to Bane the place with his vicious kneeling ability.
NFL players wear pink for what seems like half the season to support the fight against breast cancer. A great cause, but what exactly does that have to do with sports? Why is that cause more important than others?
Even when sports journalists try to stay out of politics, fans bring it back to politics.
Getting emails now that I'm Fake News/CNN…from an apolitical article about college football realignment…
— Tyler Duffy (@tyduffy) July 5, 2017
We don’t even stick to sports when we try to stick to sports, so chaddup.
We all need our escapes, I get it, but unless you start running Civic Leader Fantasy Leagues and rocking jerseys of your favorite congressman, the sports platform is the only way you’ll notice problems other than your own.