Games are returning to normal in the United States. So you have a role in political struggles – sports

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The end of terrible New Coronovirus Epidemic It seems, finally, within reach. director Donald Trump Left and The us Has ended a disastrous year of death and protest. At such times, sport can be a cultural reference point that is expected to relax and heal.

But when we dream of returning to normalcy, what can we expect from the sports we love? Without taking a stand on current critical issues, is the mythological notion that the game should work in isolation?

Or the understanding that sports provide more than a platform for entertainment and for the exploitation of human potential?

For guidance, I called Harry Edwards last week. No one is better at providing perspective. Edwards said that sociologists have been at the forefront of athletes’ protests since the 1960s. He began with a broad stroke: “Sport doesn’t reflect society so much – it’s an integral part of how society works,” Edwards said.

pure truth.

So they focused on a single goal. We both did. We agree that sports have become the main cultural battlefield of society for all controversial social and political issues. No matter the subject, race, religion, sexuality, patriotism, the role of the police – the world of sports is more powerful than ever as it often leads to tough discussions about opposing views.

Consider the recent drive by conservatives to open a new side of the region in our wars for social progress. The Republican governor of Mississippi has just signed a law that would ban transgender athletes, who identify themselves as women participating in women’s sports teams. The havoc of similar bills, backed by Republicans, is passing through at least 20 state government headquarters under the pretext of guaranteeing the rights of all athletes who have biologically given birth to women.

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It does not matter that such a law is unnecessary. If it animates a basis for fear of the extension of rights to LGBTQI +, this objective will be served. The discovery of restrictive laws also shows how the game will continue to be used as an ordeal for conservatives and progressivists.

In this new world, with its worn-out social ties and lack of historical memory, nothing has the power of the game as a platform for a fight for change. Not even pop music. Nor does the influence that comes from our universities. Nor hollywood. “No matter how big the hero is in a film,” Edwards said.

Trump provided a powerful catalyst. He sparked flames among his ardent supporters, who see the game as the last bastion of the good old days and their obscure myths. The epidemic forced us to stay home and limit our lives – and it helped to give active athletes and their supporters more time to think and organize. (Led the strikes thereafter NBA and for Wnba Last summer.) At the same time, the ubiquitous and exaggerated power of the Internet and social media continued to grow at a breakneck pace.

Take the case of Greg McDermott, the men’s basketball coach at Craigton, who posted an apology on Twitter to forecast the effects of this news when talking to his players after the recent defeat to Xavier. “I need everyone to stay on the plantation,” he admitted to telling his team. “I can’t let anyone leave the plantation.” Needless to say, these words were patted on the stomach for their black players, who publicly shared the video to express their pain.

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The incident quickly became a title and the subject of widespread discussion about the power of words and the responsibility of white leaders to understand the black experience.

While all this was going on, a viral video of Miami Heat reserve player Meyers Leonard was eliciting anti-Semitic notoriety while playing a video game on a public live broadcast. Criticism intensified and intensified. The NBA suspended Leonard and fined him $ 50,000. Heat coaches and players expressed disappointment. “We can’t bear here, the team’s veteran striker has sent a clear signal to the league full of active players about elimination of speech patterns and abusive language,” said team veteran striker Udonis Haslem. “Right is right and wrong is wrong”.

We love the game not only for drama but also for accuracy and certainty. The games always end with clear winners and losers. We can measure the speed of a sprinter in milliseconds. We know the exact hitting average of the best baseball hitter and, currently, the swing speed and angle with which the hitting hits the outside area.

But when mixed with the pursuit of change and the demand for the protection of new rights, our games get messed up. The power struggle is always like this. So what does the future hold?

“The fight will continue,” Edwards said. “And the games will be where everything unfolds.” He listed the names of today’s well-known activist athletes — LeBron James, Maya Moore and Colin Kaepernick — and said that he and people with a similar character are more amazing than players of old, “dreaming with their eyes , Working for justice “Cultivate the means to make those dreams come true”.

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Then the wise teacher paused for a moment, before reminding me that the fight was not fought only by the progressivists.

“Remember,” Edwards said, “for every action, there is a reaction. Expect the other side to act in direct opposition to these athletes.”

Conflict is inevitable. Change too. Transfer of Romina Cassia

Will Smith

About the author: Will Smith

Will covers public and private tech markets from New York. He was previously a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University, and prior to that was a reporter at the Los Angeles Business Journal. He has received a Journalist of the Year award from the L.A. Press Club and an investigative reporting award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

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