Sports+Politics = Oil+Water
Admittedly, I’m not the most knowledgable person when it comes to sports. No, really, I’m not. What I do know is most people attend games, races or matches to escape a the world if only for a few hours.
Granted, throughout the years politics and sports have somehow intertwined with neither side the worse for wear. Sports figures have long thrown themselves into political races from local seats all the way up to the nationals. But the shift lately has gone from not just individual players but to entire teams and leagues pushing an agenda.
Case in point. The “Los Suns”, which is to say The Phoenix Suns. Seems the basketball team has made a decision to wear jerseys today which proclaim they are Los Suns. Its their way of protesting against Arizona’s recently enacted immigration law. Surely they must know not everyone agrees with their stance, but apparently they don’t care.
Were I to own tickets to today’s Suns-Spurs matchup, I’d dump them. And cancel any hold I had on future season tix. But that’s just me and it’s doubtful there will be serious backlash from their fans over this move. And the NBA as a league isn’t opposed to it, in fact it’s cheering them on.
But wait…remember last year when Rush Limbaugh wanted to buy the NFL’s Rams. The outcry was deafening. And it wasn’t just from some fans, but from a majority of league owners as well as the player’s union, and on and on. There are those who attributed the outcry to a comment Rush made back in ’03 during which he was a commentator. he made mention of heavy media coverage on quarterback Donovan McNabb. I won’t go into the back story but it seems getting paid to offer comments is a lot different than being part owner of a team.
Then there’s baseball. Keith Olbermman of MSNBC fame/shame who moonlights as a blogger on Major League Baseball website. Now we all know what Olbermman spouts on a daily basis, yet where is the outrage? There is a movement afoot to remove Olbermann from those blogging duties . If you want to know more go to http://www.respectthegreatgame.com.
The point is there’s a shift here. Not exactly subtle is it? Not an individual player running for city council or governor or state rep. This is whole teams and leagues taking political stances. Stay away. Let us get back to the games so we can escape for a few hours. Sometimes, the thing we want to escape from is the politics.