ADSactly Sports - When Politics and Sports collide

in sports •  5 months ago

ADSactly Sports: When Politics and Sports collide.

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Recently there was a major statement made in professional sports. The NFL made it mandatory for all personnel (coaches, players referees or any other on-field staff) to stand during the playing of the National Anthem. This action came on the heels of a season where there was a great deal of controversy over players and teams kneeling during the playing of the song. The action was taken originally by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in protest against police brutality.

I use the term former because Kaepernick was not long after released by his team, the San Francisco 49’ers, and has yet to be able to find employment on any other NFL team even though he is a better player than many of the current back up QB’s in the league. What does this say? The league and its owners are making a clear statement by not having him back on a team. This is an issue that is now in court as Kaepernick is suing the league for collusion stating that they have worked together to ensure he doesn’t get a chance to return to any team.

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The debate became even more heated after President Donald Trump spoke out against the player's actions and calling on players who kneel during the anthem to be fired. This only fueled the fire and turned the issue into an anti-Trump movement. It became so big that entire teams were kneeling in solidarity against the words of the President. For the entire season, politics was at the forefront of the NFL. In many ways, it almost took center stage over the games as people who weren’t even football fans would tune in to see how big the protest would be before the games and then eagerly await the response from President Trump. Now, any player who kneels during the anthem will be fined for disrespect.

NFL owners have issued new guidelines that will see teams fined if their players or staff do not show appropriate “respect” for the national anthem. According to the new rules, “a club will be fined by the league if its personnel are on the field and do not stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem”.

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Donald Trump responded to the announcement with great approval but took his tweet to another level with comments that have led to more anger and frustration from the players. The comment about how these players should maybe not be in the country has added gas to an already fast burning fire.

During his Thursday interview on "Fox & Friends," Trump applauded the changes made by the league and took another jab at those who choose to protest.
"You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn't be playing, you shouldn't be there, maybe you shouldn't be in the country," Trump said. "The NFL owners did the right thing."

There is a loophole for players who want to protest, however. They can choose to remain in the locker room during the anthem if they don’t want to be forced to stand for the song. What started out as a movement to bring police brutality into the light has turned into a war of words and actions between a league of players and the President of the United States. Does anyone even know what they are fighting for anymore? It will be interesting to see how things shake out going into the new season. Will players find a way to show solidarity and stand up in the face of this action? All eyes will be on that first game of the season to see what will happen.

This issue really got me thinking about how politics has crept into sports over the years. How often have professional or even amateur athletes used their very public stage to make a political statement? Have any of these instances lead to a positive outcome or were they messy and dirty the way that this national anthem issue has been? How has politics tried to push its agenda on the sporting world? I know that this is certainly not the first time that there have been statements made by athletes against president Donald Trump. Each year the championship team from the major sports usually pays a visit to the White House and receives a tribute from the president. Last year several New England Patriot elected not to attend the ceremony because they disagree with Trump’s policies and this year many Philadelphia Eagles players are planning to do the same.

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A visit to the White House has been a tradition for teams fresh off a Super Bowl victory. But several Philadelphia Eagles players, basking in the glow of their history-making Super Bowl win, say they plan to skip the event.
Many players in the NFL have been critical of President Trump's comments on race relations and athletes taking a knee during the national anthem.

The national anthem was not always played at sporting events. The tradition didn't start until after world war I and truly stuck and became a consistent every event phenomena after World War II. It was a way to show solidarity as a nation and to stand and recognize those who were making the greatest sacrifice while away at war. Since then, the players and fans have stood for the national anthem at every major league, college, high school and even minor sporting events. It is an expectation now and most people wouldn’t even know that there was a time when the national anthem wasn’t observed.

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This is not the first time that the national anthem has become controversial during sports events. In fact, there have been several occasions in sports where the anthem has been protested. Many people opposed the war in Vietnam and at the time they chose to show their disapproval of the United States decision to participate by protesting the anthem at sporting events. Many people would sit during the song to show this frustration. In 1996, a Denver Nuggets basketball player who had converted to Islam spoke out about his non-belief in standing and respecting a national anthem he didn’t believe in. He was not allowed to sit for the anthem however and so he would hold his hands in his face as a sign of protest while the anthem played.

The national anthem issue has also reared its ugly head at the Olympics:

In 1968, U.S. Olympic athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos gave a raised-fist "black power" salute on the medal stand as the Star-Spangled Banner was being played. They were thrown out of the Olympics. Four years later, U.S. Olympians Vince Matthews and Wayne Collett, who were also African-American, were barred from further competition when they were considered to have shown insufficient respect from the medal stand.

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As you can see, protesting for your beliefs through sports doesn’t always work out for the athlete. One of the greatest examples of this was the late and great Muhammad Ali. Ali was very outspoken during his fighting career about his political beliefs and frustrations. His actions started with his conversion to Islam and changing his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali. He did this in protest of the treatment of blacks in America and called his birth name his “slave” name. Later in life, Ali stood against the war in Vietnam and refused to be drafted. He publicly stated that “I ain’t got no quarrel with those Vietcong.” He was later arrested and convicted of draft evasion, sentenced to prison time and temporarily banned from his sport.

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In 2010 the entire Phoenix Suns organization decided to take a stand against anti-immigration laws passed in their home state of Arizona. There had been a law recently passed that encouraged racial profiling of Hispanics and there was significant criticism about the move. The team decided to wear special uniforms during their game on “Cinco de Mayo” as a protest of the law and support for the large Latino community in Arizona.

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The Phoenix Suns will wear "Los Suns" on their jerseys in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals on Wednesday night, owner Robert Sarver said, "to honor our Latino community and the diversity of our league, the state of Arizona, and our nation."
The decision to wear the jerseys on the Cinco de Mayo holiday stems from a law passed by the Arizona Legislature and signed by Gov. Jan Brewer that has drawn widespread criticism from Latino organizations and civil rights groups that say it could lead to racial profiling of Hispanics. President Barack Obama has called the law "misguided."

In hockey, the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the Soviet Union (USSR) had some major political undertones. At the time the world was immersed in the “Cold War”. There was a clear divide between North America and the Soviet Union in terms of political beliefs and this evolved into a virtual standoff. There was a fear that at any moment war could erupt and both sides had access to nuclear weapons. The game of hockey and this series became bigger than the game as there was a huge amount of pride and nationalism being demonstrated on both sides. When the winning goal was scored in the final and deciding game it was celebrated as a huge victory, not only for Canadian hockey but also for the fight against communism.

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Politics and sports have been colliding for a very long time. There are many more examples of this over the course of history and I would encourage you to look them up and learn more. As long as sports are played on such a massive stage and with so many people watching, there will always be those who will bring their political views and beliefs into the ring or onto the field. Athletes have access to millions of eyes and their actions and statements can reach far and wide. Do these actions have any impact on the viewers? I know that people are very interested to see the next move in these political chess matches. What are your thoughts on politics and sports clashing? Do you think there is any place for politics in sports or should sports and politics be kept separate? I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Authored by: @broncofan99

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I think that politics should be kept out of sports, so let’s end the following for all NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, and other domestic sports:

  • No more flyovers by military planes during sports ceremonies.
  • No more games dedicated to veterans. Give them free tickets or free food /beer to show gratitude, but no more military visuals or drills or displays on the field.
  • No more national anthems to be sung/butchered before the games.
    Half the people they get to sing it can’t sing it anyway.
  • No more politicians or other political people throwing out the first pitch. Get movie stars or pop stars or ordinary citizens, but no political figures or pundits or anyone who is visible in the world of politics.
  • No more visits to the White House for sports teams simply because they won the World Series or the Superbowl or the NBA championship. Why does the President have to favor one set of Americans over the other? And what does this have to do with anything related to the President’s job duties and responsibilities?
  • ESPN should never broadcast any Presidential picks in the various sports pools. Who cares, anyway?
  • ESPN should refrain from having political figures as guests on their shows. I don’t care what Condi Rice thinks about the NFL. Let her write a column in the Washington Post about it.
  • When politicians attend the games, ignore them. Don’t announce to the crowd that “the former President/VP/Congressperson is present today. They are there to watch the game. Why should the cameras be fixated on them picking their noses or scratching their butts in between innings?

You can’t have all of the above, and then get all hinky and pissy when someone chooses to answer a political action (playing the national anthem) with a political reaction. If you want political neutrality, then all of it goes—not just the knee.


So true!! Getting rid of it all would be a great solution. This will never happen though because pushing the patriotic agenda is far too important and the reality is that these leagues need government support for a lot that they do.

Ugggghhhhh. It's complicated. Well, no, it's actually not. Politics have been involved in sport since at least the start of professional sports. Up until 2007 the National Anthem at NFL games was played 15 minutes before kickoff and both teams were in the locker room, with the 'field entry' ceremony AFTER the Anthem. What changed? The DOD signed a contract with the NFL for sponsorship and other considerations and part of that agreement was to have the teams on the field for the Anthem so they could have the monster flag and the soldiers holding it be part of the TV spectacle.

Baseball and Football were played during WWII 'to keep the home front engaged". The Cardinals only title in the over 80 years they have been in business was a gift from the NFL in WWII.

You want to read a nasty book? "Only the Ball was White" by Robert Paterson is one of the 'impact' books in my life. The Jim Crow stain that covered our entire country spread via baseball. It didn't start out that way.

Jim Thorpe. Google him if you don't know.

What a truly great post. I thank you for it.


Jim Thorpe is a name that any sports fan should know. It is amazing how government can intertwine their own agendas in the sports world. Keeps them relevant and in the public eye. For good or bad.


You're exactly right there. The Players in this case can choose to stay in the locker rooms. From there, they'll have the position to protest in more subtle, but attention grabbing ways. Also this policy is going to be challenged by the NFLPA. Also let's not that once the CBA comes up, the owners will get called out on this. There was no problem with the NBA since they simply sent a memo out to the teams and players on the established protocols. MLB also never had this problem...and for that matter MLS, or the NHL. It's just the NFL that is having this problem.

When it comes to Kaepernick, I think he is smart enough to know his actions will have at some point some kind of consequences. I do have a huge respect for him just because he is the guy who did the first step. He is the guy who had spoken first. For many people he is a hero. For some people he gained respect and for some he became a looser. At the end in my opinion every single team has the right not to hire Kaepernick whether they worked together or not. I personally don’t agree with President Trump to get involved, but knowing his love for an American flag 🇺🇸 I could understand it. I also think he misunderstood the players, just like many people did.

The comment about how these players should maybe not be in the country has added gas to an already fast burning fire.

He might have crossed the line, but we all know he wouldn’t actualy kick the players out of the country, he wasn’t serious, he just wanted to show his anger. If these players came to the White House, he would welcome them with an open arms. Only haters would deny it. Only people who say “he is not my president” would deny any of his action. He is an emotional guy and he mainly says what he thinks. We all got to know him and what we should expect from him before he became our president. On the other hand politics in sport is like a protest on steroids. In many cases, as you mentioned, it had a huge impact. Many times a huge positive impact. I guess every single case is different.
Great article though @broncofan99 & @adsactly!


Thanks for the comment. It will be interesting to see how Kaepernick's collusion hearing goes. If he wins this court fight it could send a huge message. As for Trump, He tends to speak without thinking but the masses don't seem to care.


Just for the record, last season when the Cardinals desperately needed a qb, any living qb I was glad we didn't go get Kap. Not because of his views, I support those. But I saw him play in the NFC West a lot. After two years when the Defense figured out what to do to keep Kap in the pocket he was not so great. His arm strength and accuracy from the pocket is not so good. He was replaced by Akili Smith for pete's sake.

This is why the American professional sports will never be as much exciting as the sports in Europe and other parts of the world. A sports team is not just about the brand, the owners, big stadiums and hundreds of millions of dollars in profits, transfers, tv-right, ect. The fact that the fans are considered nothing more than a client is ridiculous. That’s why I just can’t watch any American sports, except the MLS.
While for the political part, I think everywhere in the world the working class people are losing their voice in every single aspect of life. I don’t want to get into the issue if Kaepernicks actions were right or wrong, but stopping him expressing his views is nothing else then a violation of freedom of expression.


It is a complicated issue for sure. The debate lies between freedom of expression and being an employee in this situation. I don't think the business of sports profits is only a North American issue. This is happening all over the world from baseball in Asia to European Soccer. A world where Messi makes $40 million a year the fans are a very important client.


You are right @broncofan99. The sports all over the world is getting more and more 'americanized'. I wouldnt be surprised if in less than a decade we will see European Champions League being run something similar to the NFL and NBA.
The distinction between american sports and the rest of the world is almost inexistent nowadays.
While for the political part of the question i would argue thar only a decade ago sports players were not considered just employees (at least not in Europe).
Nevertheless, even employees have the right to have and express their opinions...

Fascinating isn't it....Something that is supposed to bring people together often divides us..And it's not because we root for different teams anymore it seems...

It's poli-tricks.

I believe that this is all planned. It's all divide and conquer and people a lot smarter than me, know that they can divide us through something that's supposed to be enjoyable...Such as sports.

Personally, I can't stand seeing politics enter the arena or the playing field...However sports stars are in a unique position where they can use their celebrity to bring awareness to a cause. Such as Kaepernick did.

And is now feeling the wrath of it all...

What's the solution?

I hope for a day without politics being force fed to us in sports...And get back to fighting with each other for the right reasons....And that's because they cheer for a horrible and miserable team! 😀


It is such a valid point that athletes are in a unique position to make public statements. I wonder if there could be a better way for them to do it other than during a game?


Very good point. And I think thats the issue...They have a grand stage to voice their opinion. But is it the right place. I just wanna see Von Miller tackle some guys, the politics can be handled after ;)


YES!!!! Miller and Chubb are gong to be a force to be reckoned with this year!!! With Miller as his mentor Chubbb might assend to greatness very fast!!! Leave the politics at home and let’s get down to some action!


Killer defence. Gonna be awesome to watch. I think Cleveland missed a huge chance to grab Chubb. Oh wait...This is supposed to be political...I'll stop LOL


Cleveland dropped the ball like they always do. They didn’t even get the best QB in the draft. SMH I do think they have made some decent moves this offseason but come on guys, get your shit together!! Lol This is sports my friend. Politics just crept in as it always does.


It's amusing to watch...Bills fan here so I always enjoy one franchise that is a bigger joke than my own lol

This is a painful read.

Injustice everywhere. The big shots victimizing athletes (blacks especially) with political power. Too bad and shameful.

Politics ruins everything. Politicians want to control and moderate everything. Including artists. Where does our freedom lie. Is freedom just an illusion? Too bad for our world.

Not having one of the best players into any team because he stood against injustice (police brutality) is a higher level of injustice. What exactly is humanity turning into.

This is absolute power intoxicating.

Introducing fines instead of addressing the issue is intimidation and injustice. Power at play against justice.

And the racist comment was uncalled for.

Black or White, we are all humans and should be treated equally or at least fairly.


That is an underlying question for sure. If celebrities like these pay the price for expressing themselves then how are the little people supposed to feel about standing up?


History just keeps repeating itself under our watchful eyes. Just imagine all the events; the 1968 event, the Muhammed Ali event, etc.

God Bless Barack Obama. He is a gift to humanity and I wish many politicians can learn from him.

If only politics was decentralized like the blockchain.

One last thing, I hope they don't come to shut down steemit because it's now been used globally to talk about and address issues like this. Hahahahahahahaha

interesting ..
It is no shame that you do not understand others' policies even if you are inside
But it is a shame to give up your principles and values as a reaction..

Sport-4-litics... Same happened during the Munich Olympics in 1970s where the pro-palestinian group attacked Israeli team. That was the black day in history of sports. After this incident politics took over the reign of incident and the chase began to hunt for the attackers by the mossad


Yup, Sports will always provide an avenue for political agenda as long as there is such a large fan base. The more eyes, the bigger the perceived impact.

I like sports. But I don't know about adsactly sports. Don't mind just fun. Your all post is very informative. Thanks @adsactly I resteemed this post.

When Politics And Sports Collide
Trump vs NFL and the involvement of politics in sports players and fan bases
Sports and pop culture have been trending more political in recent years, even before the beginning of the 2016 election cycle. This has been especially true in the world of sports, with the increase of activism amongst NBA players against police brutality and in favor of black lives matter, a trend that extended into the NFL last year with Colin Kaepernick taking a knee, and other players joining with him then and in the first weeks of this football season. Sports channels have even gotten more political in the recent years. ESPN has embraced the culture wars by taking a liberal side to their broadcast. There are very few shows on the network that don’t bring politics into it nearly every day, and their ratings have declined because of it.


It has been happening for a very long time and it only seems to be increasing. I don't see any changes coming anytime soon either.

I really love it sports and I like the idea of the amazing information for sharing this

very nice info

Sports and politic are two different things...sports is entertainment...i enjoy sports for entertaining the all different way is politics...i think sports and politics keep separate place..


It would be great if they could be kept separate but the audiences are so big that it becomes a great tool to share a message.

Sports always have been a tool used for politic tinkering and/or making a profit. Was the case back when gladiators were killing each other back in the Colosseum and remains true even today.


Exactly! The whole point of the games back then was to distract the masses from the severe political issues that were happening at the time.


Exactly. Basicly, nothing changed. Progress!


Nice post
I have upvoted and resteem it

It's good to read your article. Thanks for writing this article.

Interesting information, good documentation, thanks for sharing!

Welcome to Steem Community @broncnutz! As a gentle reminder, please keep your master password safe. The best practise is to use your private posting key to login to Steemit when posting; and the private active key for wallet related transactions.

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First and foremost politics shouldn't be in sports, we go to sports as an escape of the reality of our life and society, in a sports games, it's the last place I want politics to be discussed.

Second, the NFL is a business and I think that It is not that this was a political decision about wanting players to stand up, but this was a business decision since the NFL was losing viewership last year at the time of the protest and took this as a measured.

Having said this, I don't discard the fact that the owners have their own political agendas to attend to, most of them are associated with the Republican party and have made inflammatory declarations of some sort or another, like Houston Texans owner who one time referred to players as 'innmates'

Thank you for posting this, you make good remarks.

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There's a problem that I think people, who are false patriots and jingoists forget. The National Anthem does not even need to be played at any sporting event. Also Politics and sports are intertwined. Imagine if MLB tried to punish Jackie Robinson for taking a seat during the Anthem. These days, people like Trump are encouraging the false patriots and jingoists. If anything, look up what happened to the Dixie Chicks when they spoke out against George W. Bush and the Iraq war. The same thing is happening here with Trump at the helm.


And today he only added fuel to the fire by cancelling the Eagle visit to the White House. The war is real.

Beautiful clicks @adsactly and is this thing legal in your area..?? I mean I've never heard this before -_-


Freedom of speech means that people get to express themselves how they like.

I hate that politics got into the sport. I don't agree with kneeling but I believe stopping them will just fuel people in the wrong way. Of course the NFL tried its best to let people do what they want without forcing them to stand. You may not like it but money has spoken. They saw a drop in ratings and ultimately a business is a business.

Hopefully there is dicourse in the future but I can see this go on until the new CBA

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