Politics and sports are two areas that have little to do with each other, but throughout American history have always gotten along. In the past, athletes, coaches, owners and even members of the sports media have offered praise to candidates when they won elections or for doing their job in general. In return, the president would always welcome the championship teams of the MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL to the White House. While both sides normally remain separate, the interactions between them have mostly been positive.
Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case at all since President Donald Trump came into office. In fact, one could argue it has been the exact opposite. When the New England Patriots made the visit to the White House to celebrate their unbelievable Super Bowl LI championship, only 34 showed up. Even longtime Trump supporter, Tom Brady, was a no-show.
The sports world’s dislike of Trump stems from much more than just politics. We all remember when the then-Republican nominee labeled his controversial comments about kissing and sexually touching women as “locker room talk.” This ignorant statement offended many athletes and rightfully so, as there is no legitimate evidence showing that this kind of inappropriate talk is a common occurrence in sports locker rooms.
However, the biggest and most controversial issue is of course the national anthem protests that started with Colin Kaepernick. When Kaepernick began kneeling for the anthem, Trump told him to try and find another country better for him. But more recently, Trump wanted NFL owners to fire any “son of a bitch” who would disrespect our flag and encouraged fans to not go to or watch games.
If Trump thinks he is helping the NFL with his comments, he is sadly mistaken. He is only going to continue to divide and force us to take sides; to support kneeling for the anthem or to be against the protest and to be for the NFL or against it. On one hand, regardless of what you might think of players protesting during the national anthem, Trump’s use of such explicit language against them is as disrespectful as it gets.
Furthermore, his words had the opposite effect on players’ decisions to protest or not, and the number of players protesting increased. The entire Pittsburgh Steelers team refused to even show up for the national anthem and instead stayed in the team’s locker room. The more Trump goes against sports, the stronger these protests are going to get, and that is only going to cause more division in our nation. Lastly, encouraging fans to not go to or watch football games is not the best way to help our economy, is it?
Trump said athletes should stay out of politics and stick to sports. So President Donald J. Trump, take your own advice and please stay out of sports. You have done nothing to make the MLB, NBA, NFL or NHL better. In fact, all you have done is divided our nation and insulted our players.