The Current State Of American Sports
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The Current State Of American Sports

No pride, no morals

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The Current State Of American Sports
Jonathan Ferrey

It's no secret that American pride is at an all-time low. The last time citizens held so little pride in our nation was during the 1960's when we were dug deep into the hole of the Vietnam War. Now as we approach a presidential election with two of the most polarizing figures American politics has ever seen, the name calling and accusing can only get worse from here.

What has always brought Americans and for that matter all human beings together is sports. If you've ever seen the movie "Invictus" starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon you know what I'm talking about. A nation that had just broken from the shackles of an apartheid government is brought together by the game of rugby. Rather than be divided by the racial tensions and a new government led by Nelson Mandela the citizens set aside their differences and enjoyed the game

The same can be said for American sports such as baseball, football and our participation in the Olympics. Every other year athletes from around the world travel around the world to participate in either winter or summer sports. These sports are aired prime time on the big networks around the world for everyone to see. As Americans we always root for those that represent our country because they're there for us. They want to bring home the gold for America.

I've been watching the Olympics for as long as I can remember and for once I will say if a certain American athlete ever competes in the Olympics again I will not root for him. His name is Ryan Lochte. Lochte is an American swimmer who had and still has much controversy surrounding him regarding his actions during his time in Rio. Mr. Lochte, along with a few other swimmers thought they could get away with public urination outside of a gas station and vandalism. They also claimed that the armed security guards had robbed them at gun point. This led to Lochte being charged by Brazilian authorities for "falsely reporting a crime. He also lost some of his sponsorships.

What truly annoys me about this whole scandal is that it took the focus of the Olympics which is supposed to be pride in one's nation and rooting for the respective athletes and made it all about a scandal so utterly stupid not even Richard Nixon or Hillary Clinton could get away with it. Really? You thought you could get away with? You are an utter embarssement.

This is where morality comes into play and why I chose to put "...no morals" in the subheader. I am in no way trying to justify lying but I could maybe see why he did it if he was trying to cover for another one of his fellow swimmers, but he just flat out did it for the sake of doing it. It wouldn't have been a big deal if he was just there as a tourist and this happened but the fact that he chose to do it on a national stage is the really disappointing part. This was probably just a stunt by him to gain attention because he lost to Michael Phelps.

If you're reading this you're probably wondering why I am writing about this now as this scandal was over a month ago. Well the controversy surrounding Lochte was once again ignited during his appearance on Dancing With the Stars (from here DWTS), an American dance television program that has been on ABC for a little over 10 years. I am not a fan of the show and in fact my only knowledge of it comes through family members who watch it. While Lochte was getting judged by Carrie Ann Inaba, two protesters wearing shirts that said Lochte with the "no symbol" surrounding it, rushed at Lochte with the intentions of possibly beating him to a bloody mess on live TV. Fortunately stage crew members and security guards swiftly took care of the situation while viewers at home were wondering what the heck is going on. The TV crew did a good job of not showing the incident in order to not alarm viewers. All they showed was Carrie Ann Inaba yelling at the protesters from her judge's chair. All the viewer could hear was the noise of a scuffle.

When the debacle was cleared the cameras cut back to Lochte and his partner. Lochte was fixing his hair so it was clear that he was involved in the scuffle. Host Tom Bergeron sent it off to a commercial break and viewers were still left in the dark as to what exactly had happened. Even when they came back Bergeron said they were out of time and the show ended. It wasn't until later that night that photos of the 2 attackers were surfaced as well as a video from a different angle that shows them getting on stage and attempting to attack Lochte before being put down.

Shame on DWTS for allowing a man still surrounded with much scandal on their show. I am not a fan of dance but I know it is an art and I respect that. Having Lochte on the show is as almost an imbecilic move as having Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on the show. Though it was surely a publicity stunt it brings bad light on DWTS. It also takes the focus off of the art of dance and mires in it controversy. I am not saying I side with the protesters, what I am saying is that it was a poor judgement call on DWTS to allow someone on their show who is a bad example for kids and causes much tension due to his actions.

As if the world of sports wasn't already embezzled in controversy along came Colin Kaepernick. This is where the "No pride..." part of the subheader comes in. Mr. Kaepernick thought it would be all fine and dandy to sit down during the National Anthem in a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers on August 26th 2016. And you know what, it is alright. The Constitution of the United States guarantees Freedom of Speech and Expression under the 1st Amendment. This was added to the Bill of Rights as a provision to prevent a monarchy like the one in Great Britain from arising. Back then, if you spoke out against the king or the government you were put in jail or executed. My problem is the way Kaepernick did it. In football, or any sport for that matter, unity plays a huge part in the team's success. The team must be unified on the field and off the field, no one player is better than another. Sure, some of the more notable players will be subject to more media attention but nonetheless they're still a team.

Kaepernick, the former starting quarterback now back-up decided to get attention by pulling off a stunt like this. Similar to Lochte, he lost something, and rather than work harder he chose to sit back and whine his way to attention. The controversy continued into a press conference in which Kaepernick wore a shirt that had former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro on it and anti-cop socks that depicted cops as pigs. Kapernick said: "I am not going to stand up... for a country that oppresses black people or people of color." This is where the lack of pride comes in. While I agree the United States does have a racist past, it is still the greatest country on earth. He is showing no sense of American Exceptionalism and just wants to sit around and complain. Instead of doing that he could be putting some of his $19 million salary towards youth programs and youth education or maybe donating to the NAACP. No, he choses to sit around and whine his way to education and at the same time fracture team unity.

I have an idea for Mr. Kaepernick. He could also put some of his $19 million towards income inequality, but he won't do that. There is an attitude currently in America that you need to be "privileged" to get anything or anywhere. So, rather than try or at least make the attempt some people choose to sit at home and have everything handed to them. It's not only regular citizens that are part of the problem but Hollywood athletes and Athletes that contribute to this. The way they act they set the example to kids that all you have to do to get attention is take no pride in your country and cause controversy surrounding your team or lie.

I personally do not agree with those who sit or kneel during the National Anthem. I believe they are allowed to but if they choose to they are implying that they don't like America and therefore should just leave. if you are going to sit for the Anthem do it because you actually believe in that cause, don't do it to get attention.

In times filled with such turmoil both Kaeprnick and Lochte were on the national stage they could've used that to promote patriotism, honesty, and truth. But rather they used their platform to try to get their respective agendas across. That's my problem with both Kaepernick and Lochte.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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