Politics Should Get the Heck Out of Sports!: Over the past few years politics has become more present in sports.

Whether it was Colin Kaepernick or The Washington Redskins, political ideas have more and more begun to slip into sports. You can’t watch a game without noticing a colored flag or a small slogan representing a political cause or ideology. Sports teams have chosen to change their names, and many players have begun to speak freely about their political views. But should politics even play a role in sports? I do not have a simple answer to this because it does not seem like a simple question. Politics, whether we like it or not, enter all areas of life. I think it is every human’s right to state what he believes and this extends into the realm of politics. So I most certainly want athletes to express their views, and if they deem it necessary, to share with their fans what they believe. 

This being stated, I don’t know anyone who thinks sports have become more enjoyable since leagues have become so accepting of political causes. In fact, I haven’t heard more ridiculing and complaining about sports in my life. I don’t know what others watch sports for, but I certainly don’t watch just for the cute little slogans on the player’s uniforms, or because a particular player voted for the candidate I voted for. Recently, I have begun to wonder why people really do watch sports? I always watched for the beauty of the sport; athletics at the highest level is beautiful to watch. I also watch them for the more basic and perhaps simplistic reason that they are a form of entertainment; a way to escape from some of the problems life presents, in a sense a form of relaxation. But as time goes on, sports become more like the politics and divisions I want to escape. When I turn on a sports game I am faced with the same arguments and debates I might have with my neighbor or hear on a news station. 

My dislike for the politics in sports is not because I disagree with the particular political views, sometimes I agree with the promoted cause and sometimes I don’t. Even if every political idea promoted by a league were something I agreed with, I would still be against leagues promoting politics, simply because it limits people’s ability to enjoy the sport for what it is. 

Sports have often been praised for their uniting power. While I disagree on how far certain people take this idea, it is most definitely true that sports have this effect. It allows people to come together around a common purpose, and it allows bitter enemies to remember that at the end of a day, they both like to watch the same sport, and even cheer on the same team. 

During World War One, there are accounts of trench warfare briefly stopping for games of soccer to be played. Imagine if our divided society could do this, but no, we have to fill our sports with the things that divide us. It is because of this that sports have lost their uniting power, and it is because of this that I am leery of endorsing politics in sports. 

Source: ESPN

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