The Boston Globe – Sports and politics are both cutthroat competitive. They both revere history. They both inspire wall-to-wall coverage and hyperbolizing pundits. They both require energizing bases — fan and voter. In both, logic and viewpoint are often dictated by loyalty to a particular team.
Athletes have a right to express their political opinions and participate in the process. However, we shouldn’t assume their stances are more noble or informed.
Just because (LeBron) James is a franchise player that doesn’t mean he is qualified to tell people what to do with their franchise.
But the athlete who is willing to put himself or herself out there with a view that could alienate some of their fans and upset their brands has my respect. That includes athletes whose beliefs and opinions may not be ones I share.
While the above article was written in a world where Donald Trump was simply the Republican candidate for the Presidency, Chris Gasper of The Boston Globe perfectly explains why it is important for athletes to not shy away from their beliefs, and throughout the article Gasper draws parallels between sports and politics.
In a way, this is a continuation of my post regarding Tom Brady and his line stepping when it came to his inability to be public about how he supported his “good friend” Donald Trump.
It is understandable why an athlete that is on the edge of super-stardom might be less willing to be vocal about their opinions regarding real issues., especially on politics. While it might not be fair to discredit an athlete for remaining quiet, it is important to revere those who do not allow themselves to be simply another cog in the machine.
Gasper gives the example of Curt Schilling, who’s opinions are less than relatable for me. However, I agree with Gasper in the sense that while you can question his stance on certain issues, you can’t question his passion and willingness to risk his career in order for his voice to be heard. Silly, stupid, absurd. These are all words you can use to describe an athlete that you feel doesn’t see through the same lens as you. But the discussion they provide in the public sphere is more important than the actual hot takes.