Rob Long: Let’s Keep The Politics Out Of Sports

So I’m going through my usual routine of watching and listening to sports talk. I don’t just do it for work purposes, I do it because I LOVE sports. I love, not just the games, but I love the debate and the banter that goes on with hosts and callers. Sports brings us together like nothing else does.

However, recently political topics have invaded sports. Athletes have used their celebrity to voice their political agendas. They’ve used the sports forum to speak out against political and social issues as well as race. This is a growing trend that isn’t losing momentum. The networks are looking for content and as long as athletes provide them with it, they will use it. It’s the gift and the curse.

Fans have complimented pro athletes for not keeping quiet when it comes to them taking a stance on what they consider to be social injustice and politics. In many cases, some fans have asked for more. Be careful of what you ask for. With the demand for athletes to “take a stance” some may take a stance that’s opposite of yours. The response is not as positive then. That’s when athletes are told to “just stick to playing ball.”

Now, there are actual reports on how many members of the New England Patriots showed up Wednesday for the annual visit to the White House for the NFL’s Champion. Why do I really care? Yes, if I’m a member of that team I’m going for the honor of being recognized but in the grand scheme of things, why do I care? What makes this news worthy?

This isn’t news. It seems it began when players refused to go to the White House for President Barack Obama.

Players went from using this as a way of meeting the President to a political platform. Makes me wonder if social peer pressure is involved in this. “What will people think if I showed up to meet such a polarizing President?”

In the 80’s we said “I want my MTV.” Here, in 2017, I’m screaming “I want my sports TV.” We know, everyone has an opinion on politics. That’s what social media is for. Post until your heart is content. I just don’t want to hear it all of the time.

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