Posts Tagged ‘sports’

Keep Politics Out of Sports

September 9, 2016

Those attending or watching sports events such as football or baseball games do so in order to be entertained by the athleticism and competition as well as to escape from the pressures of everyday life. Politics ruin everything and should be kept out of sporting events.

San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the National Anthem has become a controversial political protest that has spurred others in the NFL to follow suit and it needs to stop. There is a time and place for such displays but a professional sports event is not the appropriate venue.

Professional athletes are paid an enormous amount of money (often an obscene amount) for their athletic skills and it is coming from the pockets of fans who only want to enjoy the games. Athletes’ political opinions can be expressed in personal appearances and interviews but they should be kept off the field. Their job is to play the games and it is a common practice for all to keep political views out of the workplace.

Employers have the right to define workplace etiquette and team owners and coaches should put political correctness aside and stop inappropriate behavior. Many fans find Kaepernick’s behavior offensive and that is reason enough to put an end to such displays. Coddling players by allowing personal protests on the field only encourages (enables) more inappropriate behavior.

Professional athletes need to be held to a higher standard because of the influence they have on our youth. Wearing pink to help fight breast cancer and bring awareness to that issue is helpful and universally accepted, causing no controversy or offense. Protesting the National Anthem, regardless of the reason, is certainly controversial and it only exacerbates the continuing fragmentation of our society.

David J. Hentosh

Poisoning Football with Politics

December 4, 2012

In a recent article in the Washington Post, writer Erik Wemple not only lauded Bob Costas’ editorializing about gun control during a Sunday Night Football halftime show, he advocated more editorializing during games. He called NFL commentators “cowards” for sticking to analyzing the games (their job) rather than “addressing things that actually matter”.

This asinine idea of forcing politics into every nook and cranny of society and turning every issue into a political football is exactly why the country is paralyzed and unable to find common ground on many important issues. Politics poisons common sense, damaging everything it touches, and Wemple is advocating the poisoning of sports.

One need only look at abortion and gun control to see how politics, which always ends up highly partisan, destroyed common sense and rationality on two important and complex issues. The left refuses to entertain discussions about any limits on abortion while the right will not give an inch on any restrictions of the sale or ownership of guns. Consequently, having an abortion or owning a gun actually begins to become advocated rather than just allowed.

Common sense or common ground has been eliminated because these issues have become tenets defining a political stance. Taking the middle ground on either issue makes you a political heretic. There is to be no bending at all lest one’s political agenda appear weak, therefore, there can be no rational discussion.

If sports are, as Wemple readily admits, an escape, why wreck it? Politics has seeped into everything, poisoning the enjoyment of many things. Cable TV is saturated with political editorializing, networks inject it into weekly shows, radio shows are dedicated to it, and our kids bring it home from school. Escaping politics and the pressures of the world for a few hours is therapeutic.

Toss the coin, pass the chips, and let the games begin. We can all use a break from political opinions. Now, about those Eagles….

 

David J. Hentosh