Politics in Sports

We as fans tend to get caught up in the fact that sports is entertainment; forgetting that the entertainers are real people as well with beliefs. Most players go unspoken until provoked about their political beliefs. A player that is being poked at constantly is LeBron James. As the greatest basketball player, he is expected to uphold a certain image to different demographics. LeBron is the guy people go to, to see what celebs think. People fail to realize he is also one of us, the difference is he is in a different bracket of finance than us.

When fans disagree with these big names, they tend to go too far and try to make it personal. One instance is with Kyrie Irving and the vaccine. The NBA implemented a new rule that if you didn’t have the vaccine you couldn’t play and you took a pay cut. And he wasn’t/is still not sure if he wants to get it. He doesn’t know what he’s putting in his body, which is reasonable. The NBA world didn’t take that too kindly. NBA hall of famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had this to say: “Let’s not pretend Irving is just an innocent martyr asserting his rights”. Charles Barkley commented, “You don’t get vaccinated just for yourself.” Some people defended Irving for his stance, notable names consist of Chris Brown, Kevin Durant, Lebron James, and Hall of Famer, Kenny Smith.

I believe that we should separate entertainers from their entertainment when it comes to politics. Which indirectly means we need to remember these dudes and dudettes have voices and beliefs as well as we do, so they shouldn’t be seen as the difference makers. Personally, if I was a pro athlete I’d do what LeBron does, keep myself “lowkey” until I need to speak out. Bringing politics into a work place/ a place for entertainment is a recipe for disaster.