Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 will be remembered as the day that ended any notion of sports and politics existing separately.
“Stick to sports” is one of the most ignorantly simple minded and disrespectful phrases in the English language. It roughly (or maybe even precisely) translates to “I care about you as an athlete [read: your physical labor for my entertainment], but do not care about your perspectives on social issues that you have experienced. In fact, I command you to not talk about politics at all.” The past few days have highlighted not only why athletes should not stick to sports, but rather should be encouraged to express themselves.
Sports dominant the minds of many Americans. White Americans especially watch sports as a safe space from a politically charged environment. However, for Americans of color, there is no escaping the effects that American political history has had, and continues to have, on their lives.
You want to boycott the NFL, NBA and ESPN because some individuals within sports world disproportionately black community are bringing issues you have never experienced to light? Go for it, you willfully ignorant snowflake. Creep back into your abyss of racial misunderstanding, you empathy-lacking coward. Try and find entertainment outside of the black community. Go listen to Ted Nugent, watch hockey and croquet, and continue having no idea what your fellow Americans experience on a day to day basis.
Keep believing that the American flag stands for freedom, and hypocritically advocate for those “sons of bitches” who expresses experiences to the contrary to be “fired,” you pathetic dipshits. Cry that the free speech of white supremacists, pedophiles (Milo Yiannapoulos,) and Nazis is being infringed upon when they are publicly shamed for their reprehensible actions, yet cower in silence when the most powerful man in the country calls for some of his (many) criticizers to be fired, you complicit, simple minded lunatics.
Side note — a quick disclaimer for some of the confused imbeciles: the first amendment grants free expression without the government censoring it. It does not mean that your fellow citizens must silently listen while you spew racist bullshit.
Colin Kaepernick, Jemele Hill, Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Steve Kerr, Adam Jones, Marcus Peters, Michael Bennett, Richard Sherman, Chris Long, the UNC Men’s Basketball team and the uncountable others within the sports world are exercising their right to free expression. They are true Americans. They represent the essence of freedom in this country. The President should not, and cannot call for them to be fired. You don’t have to agree with them; you can boycott their leagues if you choose to. However, the problems they are addressing will not go away, just because you are actively choosing to ignore them.
At the time of this being written on the evening of Saturday, September 23, 2017, we do not know for certain what the response to Trump’s asinine comments will be on NFL Sunday tomorrow. We do know that A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first MLB player to kneel for the anthem earlier today. All signs indicate that the tide is turning forcefully, and I fully expect and hope, for an overwhelming symbolic response tomorrow. A sea of knees on the ground and fists in the air.
As Shea Serrano put so eloquently: “Fuck Trump and everyone that stands with him.”