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Do athletes get a pass when expressing their political views?


35 replies to this topic

#1
Metropolis

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Over the last few years we have seen an increase in athletes voicing their political views. Some unsolicited, but most have been merely answering a question asked of them. Regardless these opinions have become somewhat of a lightning rod for people who just want these guys to shut up and play.

As for myself I could care less what any of their opinions are. I might agree, I might disagree. What I've noticed though over the last few years or so are guys not so much giving an opinion as they are just having a take. While there is nothing inherently wrong with that, I don't see the reporters who ask these questions wanting athletes to elaborate on why they feel what they do. If I disagree with what's said I'd at least like to know why someone has the opinion they do. ESPN and the like, ask these questions and let their anchors or their opeds to do the interpretations.

Most recently has been the talk that the Golden State Warriors are likely to not go to the White House because Donald Trump is the president. Steph Curry has been referenced to a comment he made a while back about the head of Under Armor calling Trump an asset to businesses. Curry retorted that he agreed if you removed the "et". Andre Iguodala said he didn't think they should go because of Trump. When he was asked to elaborate he said that he was concerned about the rise in Police violence against minorities. Hey AI, Colin Kaepernick wants his MO back. And also how about talking about an issue with Trump that wasn't public years before he took office.

Now I do realize that in these instances I could be missing the full context. That ESPN and the bunch are just airing juicy quotes while the local stories give more detail. If that's the case then shame on ESPN for airing something nationally and expecting us to dig locally for context. When Sports Broadcasters talk to this issue particular issue though and say that any a NBA team is unlikely to go to the White House because the league is majority black, I balk at the irony that that isn't an issue worth talking about further. Very few people bristled at Patriot players saying they didn't think they were welcome at the WH for obvious reasons.

#2
monkeygirl

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The way I feel about it is; if you're in a free country and somebody sticks a mic in your face,
you get to say what you want-doesn't matter who you are or what your job is.

#3
Marc DuQuesne

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I have no problem at all with an athlete, or any other celebrity, speaking their mind. I do get irritated when they try to distract from the spectacle though. They have a plenty big enough voice to get their message out without forcing it down our throats during relaxation time. I would respect Colin "Crazy Legs" Kaepernick a lot more if he stood up, put on a show, then talked later. It's the people without celebrity status that have to make themselves the spectacle to get their message heard.



#4
Darth Krawlie

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Kaepernick knelt quietly during the anthem and didn't say a word about it until asked, and everyone acted like he ate a puppy while masturbating on live tv.
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#5
Carrie Mathison

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I don't really give a sh-t if athletes express political views, or any other views for that matter.  Unless they said something that could be considered illegal, like defamation.  And I certainly would never fire someone for expressing political views (one point that differentiates me quite a bit from liberals).  The only time I would ever care is if they said something that caused me to be financially liable to lawsuits or something like that.

 

That being said, I thought the whole Warriors not going to the White House thing was kinda petty and silly.  If Clinton had won the election and invited me to the WH for whatever reason, you're damn right I would go.  I did not support her and am opposed to pretty much every single position she has.. actually, it's more than that, I think her particular faction of the party is actively accelerating the decline of our country.  But so what?  It's not every day you get a photo with the president and get to check out the White House.

 

Just another example of how far the Left keeps moving.  Every god damn little thing has to be politicized now.  Liberals can't take just 30 seconds in the day to ever mellow out and relax.  It's 24/7 outrage, all the time, at everything possible.  Even something as stupid as just a f-cking photo op with the president after winning the NBA Finals. 


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#6
Tex

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People don't want to see sports and politics mixed together. It's as simple as that. You don't watch ESPN for a leftist guilt lecture, you watch it for an escape. I find it hilarious that the backlash has gotten so bad that they've laid off a hundred employees and actually hired Hank Williams Jr back.

The Colin Kaepernick thing is also great. If had half a brain he would've known that his cute little protest would polarize people, most importantly his employers. Those guys don't want any distractions. In the offseason, when he needed a job, he said he would no longer protest. The NFL politely told him to **** off and now he's butthurt over the whole thing. Now he can be an activist. Good for him.

Nobody wants to hear millionaire athletes complain. They are not victims, and they're not going to change the world by voicing their opinions about anything other than sports.

At the root of this are journalists trying to find a good story, particularly those that are politically aligned with vociferous athletes. These are mostly pathetic people who are trying to justify crazy salaries. They want to do more than cover sports, but they can't get a job at CNN. It's not enough to make tons of money covering grown men playing a child's game. It's liberal guilt right in your face.

#7
Brando

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Anyone should be able to share their views in any manner, but they also should expect that people will disagree and it may cost them.
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#8
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Totally agree, but that is not the world we live in

#9
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Athletes are in the same position as famous actors, they recognize they have the ability to reach a very wide audience for their message. I think it is admirable that want to use their celebrity for something worthwhile.

That said, disrupting events (sportsball games, award shows, etc) for a platform for your own agenda is kind of a dick move. Even when I agreed with Meryl Streep I thought it was awkward.

If you're that level famous, people will still listen to you when you're not in the playoffs or promoting your movie.

#10
Brando

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To a degree, yes. But you have a much wider audience when you are engaged in what you're famous for.

Like if there was a sex tape where Kim Kardashian supporting Kanye for president, it would spread a lot faster than issuing a press release.

#11
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Link plz

#12
Metropolis

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Kaepernick knelt quietly during the anthem and didn't say a word about it until asked, and everyone acted like he ate a puppy while masturbating on live tv.

This is kinda what I'm talking about. Kaepernick was called out when he tried to explain why he was sitting during the anthem. The reason he was roasted wasn't because he was sitting/kneeling during the anthem, but because people thought his explanation was bull****. He claimed he was standing up for something, by not standing up. There were holes in his argument biggest of all being that he was quiet until one of the 49er media asked after the THIRD pre season game what he was doing.

His reasoning aside at least someone asked why.

#13
Darth Ender

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I agree with everyone here.  I would amend CM's post to say both the left and the right are becoming increasingly pissed off by every little thing.  I agree the left is winning now...but I predict a strong rally from the right led by the author's of The Guide to Being Offended--the religious right.  Regarding Kaepernick, remember it was these ****ing rednecks with their "All Lives Matter" bs that were all butthurt.  Agree or disagree, Kaepernick was calling attention to social inequality.  It's not like he killed his girlfriend and then fed her to his dogs.    Everyone would think of Kaepernick as some flash-in-the-pan back-up QB if these rednecks didn't get so offended and cause a big ruckus.  


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#14
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Athletes are in the same position as famous actors, they recognize they have the ability to reach a very wide audience for their message. I think it is admirable that want to use their celebrity for something worthwhile.

That said, disrupting events (sportsball games, award shows, etc) for a platform for your own agenda is kind of a dick move. Even when I agreed with Meryl Streep I thought it was awkward.

If you're that level famous, people will still listen to you when you're not in the playoffs or promoting your movie.

Agreed.  I have no problem with athletes or celebrities expressing their own opinions, even when I disagree with what they are saying.  In fact, I support that 100%.  Just because one attains notoriety, doesn't mean one loses the right to speak one's mind...especially if that person is genuinely doing it because they believe they are attempting to do some good (even if I disagree). That said, there is a time and place for doing that, and I think sports events are not the venue for that.   Sports games should generally be apolitical.  

 

Here's an example: a few years back the Phoenix Suns, in protest of Joe Arpaio's immigration sweeps (which we now know were unconstitutional), wore "Los Suns"  jerseys.  Fundamentally, I agreed with their message, and that wasn't really an overt message (commentators had to actually explain what it meant), but I felt it was a little too political, and probably shouldn't have been done.  

 

Had the same team or team members wore those jerseys in a photo op, press conference, advertisement, or some other venue besides the actual game, I wouldn't have had a problem.  But that is all about my personal preference, rather than what I think is "right" or "wrong."

 

 

That all said, if their employers include something in their contracts stating they should be apolitical, especially at sports venues or public forums, and the athlete agrees to the contract but speaks their political mind anyway, then I think that is where they may cross a line.  But not my problem; that's between the athlete and employer. 



#15
Carrie Mathison

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I agree with everyone here.  I would amend CM's post to say both the left and the right are becoming increasingly pissed off by every little thing.  I agree the left is winning now...but I predict a strong rally from the right led by the author's of The Guide to Being Offended--the religious right.  Regarding Kaepernick, remember it was these ****ing rednecks with their "All Lives Matter" bs that were all butthurt.  Agree or disagree, Kaepernick was calling attention to social inequality.  It's not like he killed his girlfriend and then fed her to his dogs.    Everyone would think of Kaepernick as some flash-in-the-pan back-up QB if these rednecks didn't get so offended and cause a big ruckus.


And the right? Oh come on Ender, why are you trying to split the baby here?  There is no giant right-wing movement that is driving popular culture and national discourse in the same way that SJWs are.  These "rednecks," whoever they are, certainly don't have a movement like BLM beneath their wings.  There was a big ruckus about Kaepernick because pretty much everyone took notice of what happened and the national media reported on it, not just the "rednecks."

 

But hey, prove me wrong.  I can't think of a single instance of some big show of conservative politics in sports, at least recently.  I guess there was some of Tim Tebow's antics a few years back, which were met almost universally by mocking and rolling of the eyes, even by conservatives.  And this is just sports.  Please point me to the right-wing version of BLM.  Or take antifa and the whole circus around Milo and Coulter at Berkeley... I mean, last time I checked, conservatives weren't causing riots and beating people because left-wing speakers wanted to speak at colleges.  I can't think of a time right-wingers went on witch-hunts to find people who supported an issue 15 years ago and got them fired, like what happened with the mozilla CEO and gay marriage.  I can't think of any conservatives that would've needed safe spaces, coloring books, and a day off work to cry and "process things" had Clinton won the election.  Most of us were planning on doing what we do every day, just wake up, go to work, whatever.

 

Maybe there will be a 'strong rally' and backlash as you say, but if so, it certainly won't be led by the religious right, of all people.  It will probably look a lot more like the alt-right, which is anything but religious.  Or take Trump as an example, which in some ways, is very much a product of conservative backlash.  He's certainly not a product of the religious right, in fact, he might be the least religious president in US history.

 

As far as Kaepernick goes, only he knows precisely what his motivations were.  Maybe it was calling attention to social inequality.  Or maybe there's a much simpler explanation- that his turn to the political happened to coincidentally occur right after he started dating an activist radio personality.  I got an idea what's motivating his new views, and social inequality ain't it... but hey, believe what you want Ender.


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#16
monkeygirl

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I have no problem at all with an athlete, or any other celebrity, speaking their mind. I do get irritated when they try to distract from the spectacle though. They have a plenty big enough voice to get their message out without forcing it down our throats during relaxation time. I would respect Colin "Crazy Legs" Kaepernick a lot more if he stood up, put on a show, then talked later. It's the people without celebrity status that have to make themselves the spectacle to get their message heard.

'forcing it down' your throat during 'relaxation time'? That's not at all how I'd describe watching a game on TV and seeing something I didn't like.

 

I'm not understanding what you wish Kaepernick would do-"if he stood up, put on a show then talked later"...do you mean if he played well, you'd afford him more on his opinion?



#17
monkeygirl

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People don't want to see sports and politics mixed together. It's as simple as that.

 

 

 

 

SEZ WHO?



#18
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When I'm watching an actual game, I'm watching for a reason; to enjoy myself. Politics is not fun. During the game broadcasts everything should stick to the game and that's it.

 

If that athlete wants to speak out on political matters, that's fine. Just do it some other time.



#19
Darth Ender

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I agree with everyone here.  I would amend CM's post to say both the left and the right are becoming increasingly pissed off by every little thing.  I agree the left is winning now...but I predict a strong rally from the right led by the author's of The Guide to Being Offended--the religious right.  Regarding Kaepernick, remember it was these ****ing rednecks with their "All Lives Matter" bs that were all butthurt.  Agree or disagree, Kaepernick was calling attention to social inequality.  It's not like he killed his girlfriend and then fed her to his dogs.    Everyone would think of Kaepernick as some flash-in-the-pan back-up QB if these rednecks didn't get so offended and cause a big ruckus.


And the right? Oh come on Ender, why are you trying to split the baby here?  There is no giant right-wing movement that is driving popular culture and national discourse in the same way that SJWs are.  These "rednecks," whoever they are, certainly don't have a movement like BLM beneath their wings.  There was a big ruckus about Kaepernick because pretty much everyone took notice of what happened and the national media reported on it, not just the "rednecks."

 

But hey, prove me wrong.  I can't think of a single instance of some big show of conservative politics in sports, at least recently.  I guess there was some of Tim Tebow's antics a few years back, which were met almost universally by mocking and rolling of the eyes, even by conservatives.  And this is just sports.  Please point me to the right-wing version of BLM.  Or take antifa and the whole circus around Milo and Coulter at Berkeley... I mean, last time I checked, conservatives weren't causing riots and beating people because left-wing speakers wanted to speak at colleges.  I can't think of a time right-wingers went on witch-hunts to find people who supported an issue 15 years ago and got them fired, like what happened with the mozilla CEO and gay marriage.  I can't think of any conservatives that would've needed safe spaces, coloring books, and a day off work to cry and "process things" had Clinton won the election.  Most of us were planning on doing what we do every day, just wake up, go to work, whatever.

 

Maybe there will be a 'strong rally' and backlash as you say, but if so, it certainly won't be led by the religious right, of all people.  It will probably look a lot more like the alt-right, which is anything but religious.  Or take Trump as an example, which in some ways, is very much a product of conservative backlash.  He's certainly not a product of the religious right, in fact, he might be the least religious president in US history.

 

As far as Kaepernick goes, only he knows precisely what his motivations were.  Maybe it was calling attention to social inequality.  Or maybe there's a much simpler explanation- that his turn to the political happened to coincidentally occur right after he started dating an activist radio personality.  I got an idea what's motivating his new views, and social inequality ain't it... but hey, believe what you want Ender.

 

I wasn't referring to only sports or some big political movement like BLM (can you call BLM a political movement without central leadership or an action plan?).  Rather, I said " I would amend CM's post to say both the left and the right are becoming increasingly pissed off by every little thing".  To clarify, I was referring to a political group to take offense/ feel persecuted/ get butthurt/ pissy...whatever you want to call it.   I wasn't thinking that they would actual have pull, but I can see how that might be inferred.  My bags.  

 

Anyways, don't get me wrong, I cannot stand the far left.  People like this (NSFW language)

 

 

But the only thing I hate more than the far left is the religious right...so I might be biased.  

 

Historically, the religious right owns being offended.  They trademarked that ****.  I think the far left being so crazy will be gone in a generation or two. and it will definitely get worse before actual discourse will occur.  But the religious right will always be there...lurking in the corners...chomping at the bit to get hysterical at whatever the **** Starbucks decides to put on their cups come Christmas.

 

I don't want to pull this off topic, so I will start a new thread on this over the next few days.

 

 

I don't want to pull this off topic, so I will start a new thread on this over the next few days.



#20
Carrie Mathison

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In light of your clarification, I don't think we're really that far apart Ender, my long-winded post notwithstanding.

 

I do, however, still have a bone to pick with your religious right obsession.  Don't get me wrong dude, I get riled up by some crazy bible thumper probably the same as you do.  But I just don't see them as having nearly as much influence, either politically or culturally.  Whining about the religious right just seems very 1999 to me.  About 20 years out of date brotha.

 

And when they do get hysterical, my point stands- it's met by most people with a shrug of the shoulders.  Your Starbucks example is actually on point in that sense- pretty much no one cared about that.  Even most conservatives were like "lol, wtf is the big deal?"  Now compare that how SJWs are actually getting people fired, putting speech codes into place, determining what political views are allowed on college campuses, and so on.

 

I'm fully willing to admit that some of this might be a bit of skewed perspective- I've lived most of my life in "blue" areas, even the bluest of the blue like NYC, so maybe I'm not subjected to the same amount of red-state-crazy.  But dude- I've lived in red states too, and the old stereotypes just don't hold true IMO.  I could hang out with friends of mine in Charleston and announce that I'm a big ol' atheist and pretty much no one will care, as long as I'm not preaching about it.  Whereas I felt I couldn't even go out with people in NY to watch the Giants game without being subjected to some rant about the patriarchy or whatever, and it's just like.. man, can you just STFU and let us watch the game for christ's sakes?



#21
Brando

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The Starbucks thing was primarily a line YouTuber out to get views, and the media ran with it as an "OMG CHRISTIANS ARE STUPID" thing. Sure, there were a few people who bought it, but pretty much everyone, including Christian media, said it was stupid.

I also think that we're seeing a more militant left because they thought they had won always and forever. In 2009 there were even posters here (Mercury was maybe the chief one?) saying that the Republicans would never hold any branch of government again. Then just a short time later, they took Congress. Then the presidency, and now the Court. They celebrated too soon, and have, in their eyes, had the political world stolen from them. So now the oppression obsession is moving from academia to the mainstream as they find the only possible reasons they could ever lose.

Now they're striking out. Most of it is just childish behavior, but you also get riots over Milo and shootings at softball practices.

I also called it a few years ago to a friend who was decrying the violence inherent in the right, that the left had abandoned those most likely to engage in political violence, but if you had an actual economic liberal or socialist have a real run at the presidency, you would see it from the left as well.

#22
Marc DuQuesne

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I have no problem at all with an athlete, or any other celebrity, speaking their mind. I do get irritated when they try to distract from the spectacle though. They have a plenty big enough voice to get their message out without forcing it down our throats during relaxation time. I would respect Colin "Crazy Legs" Kaepernick a lot more if he stood up, put on a show, then talked later. It's the people without celebrity status that have to make themselves the spectacle to get their message heard.

'forcing it down' your throat during 'relaxation time'? That's not at all how I'd describe watching a game on TV and seeing something I didn't like.

 

I'm not understanding what you wish Kaepernick would do-"if he stood up, put on a show then talked later"...do you mean if he played well, you'd afford him more on his opinion?

 

I am an atheist. When somebody wants to bless the food I take my hat off and bow my head (though my eyes stay open to watch all the superstitious ****s). You show respect whether you agree with their beliefs or not. Then you argue around the fire pit or whatever. They tend to show more respect to your arguments if you show the same respect to theirs.

 

I have been a Kaepernick fan since he started for the injured Nevada starting quarterback against Boise State in 2007. It was a stunning game with 136 total points and 4 OTs. Crazy Legs indeed. I don't watch pro ball, I shouldn't have commented on the Kaepernick incident since I only saw the overblown media coverage of the incident. I just was disappointed because here you have a guy that should be able to break apart the stereotypes. He was adopted by a loving family that cared for him regardless of what color he was. He was in the perfect position to learn a different lesson than the one he ended up teaching. Ah well, I still like him.



#23
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http://www.espn.com/...pe-donald-trump
So when I heard LeBron made a comment about Charlottesville I thought this might be interesting. I heard Steven A Smith applaud him as the only athlete up until that point to express his feelings on the subject. After watching the video I couldn't help but think I must have missed the rest of the speech. LeBron used his voice to basically quote the Beatles.?. All we need is love. Not knocking his sentiment I just thought that I was in for something a little deeper. Bravo Steven A.

http://www.espn.com/...nt-donald-trump
And then this. I give KD credit for going a little deeper than LeBron did about his feelings, but this is the definition of giving athletes a pass if no calls him out for his recollection of the social timeline. If he truly feels that tensions in the country started when Trump decided to run for office. Hate the guy for whatever reason you want, he gives people a lot to choose from, but don't make him the excuse for things that have been going on long before he ran for office. What happened in Charlottesville and what Trump said are different issues, and you're taking the easy way out (or the path that takes less knowledge) to argue the semantics of what Trump said.

#24
monkeygirl

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Sez Me
 
When I'm watching an actual game, I'm watching for a reason; to enjoy myself. Politics is not fun. During the game broadcasts everything should stick to the game and that's it.
 
If that athlete wants to speak out on political matters, that's fine. Just do it some other time.


so, then say "I" don't want to see sports and politics mixed together. Not "people" don't. You make it sound as if this is common knowledge.

I'm also taking exception to this thread title:do athletes get a pass when expressing their political views. It supposes that athletes are not
normally permitted to speak their minds and asking if we should give them a 'pass' when they dare to-and I feel-as opposed to WHAT? Silencing
them? Jailing them? Killing them? When did athletes become the lower caste?

#25
Brando

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Or is there some class of people that somehow does not get to express their views?



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