Politics Is Hurting Sports This Season
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Sports

Politics Is Hurting Sports This Season

Why politics does not belong in sports.

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Politics Is Hurting Sports This Season

Throughout quarantine, the main thing that has been on people's minds is the return of sports and how each sport will handle the Coronavirus pandemic. If this year hasn't been crazy enough, it seems that everything has been politicized, even if it doesn't need to be. With everyone taking a stand and expressing their opinions, athletes are no different, and neither are the owners or Commissioners. For some sports, these actions are not getting the best fan reaction.

The NBA

While the NBA has been in the "return to play" portion of their season for about a month, basketball players have been very vocal about social injustices. With players such as Lebron James and Chris Paul being very vocal on and off the courts, social injustice has played a major role in the NBA, players will also wear "Black Lives Matter" or "I can't breathe" shirts during pregame. It is very hard to watch an NBA game without seeing something about the BLM movement, between the shirts, players having sayings on their jerseys, and the words "BLACK LIVES MATTER" literally written on the court.

Players are also allowed to not have their names on the backs of their jerseys instead, they have names or sayings of social justice reforms. While most have chosen "Equality" or "Black Lives Matter", some such as Solomon Hill (Miami Heat) and Gordon Hayward (Boston Celtics) have "Education Reform". Others such as Lance Thomas (Brooklyn Nets), Duncan Robinson (Miami Heat), and Josh Richardson (Philadelphia 76ers) have "Say Her/Their Name(s)", which refers to the death of Breonna Taylor or others wrongfully murdered by law enforcement.

Since the pandemic, NBA ratings have decreased about 4% and are getting worse as the season progresses.

The NFL

It is no secret that the NFL has been on a decline in their ratings, especially with the topic of "social inequality". The NFL hit a bump in the road after Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the National Anthem to speak out against "police brutality". With the issues America is facing today, it is no surprise that the NFL has their own opinions.

Since the infamous "taking of a knee" happened a little over 4 years ago, it has dropped by about a million viewers, on average. Now, with talk of there being 2 National Anthems being played; The American National Anthem and "Lift Every Voice and Sing" by James Weldon Johnson, which is now known as the "Black National Anthem".

After the Saints quarterback, Drew Brees was harassed into taking back his statement about kneeling for the National Anthem, a lot of people lost respect for teams and players. Though he did not completely take back his words, he did have to apologize for what he said, which was in his right as an American to have his own opinion.

Even though there have been higher ratings for the NFL in these past 2 seasons, compared to 2016 and 2017, there is still a high concern of what will happen. There are many people who do not agree with taking a knee, and especially the idea of having 2 National Anthems, which some believe will divide the country more, and will not watch any games this season. The NFL's hope is to gather fans who also support the "Black Lives Matter" Movement.


In a time of such uncertainty, many people turn to sports to get away from the craziness of the world. Instead, people turn on a game and all they hear or see is politics, and people shouldn't have to turn away from sports because of it. Especially now, everyone needs to respect the difference of opinions, which includes the athletes. With that said, people turn on the game to watch the game, not be reminded of all the issues in the world.

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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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