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What place should Politics have in Professional Sports ?

Members+of+the+Indianapolis+Colts+stand+and+kneel+for+the+national+anthem+on+Sunday.+Photo%3A+Michael+Reaves%2FGetty+Images
Members of the Indianapolis Colts stand and kneel for the national anthem on Sunday. Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Members of the Indianapolis Colts stand and kneel for the national anthem on Sunday. Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Members of the Indianapolis Colts stand and kneel for the national anthem on Sunday. Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Luke Seaback, Brandon Torres, Michael Greene

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In the wake of President Trump’s controversial statements about the NFL, the following question should be asked: What place should politics have in professional sports?

While in Huntsville, Alabama, President Trump said, ‘Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘get that son-of-a-b**** off the field right now, out. He’s fired.”

In response, this past weekend the majority of NFL players took a knee during the national anthem, and the entire Pittsburgh Steelers team stayed in the tunnel, except for offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva. Villanueva served as a member of the Army Rangers, and was deployed to Afghanistan three times. He decided to honor his country’s flag during the anthem.

Since Sunday’s game, sales of the lineman’s jersey have skyrocketed, bumping it to the #1 spot on the NFL web store.

The following day, Villanueva said in a press conference stated that it was never intended to stand alone but that he had run too far out of the tunnel in the confusion.

“Unfortunately I threw my teammates under the bus, unintentionally,” Villanueva said. “Every single time I see that picture of me standing by myself I feel embarrassed.”

Politics and sports have always had some kind of special bond. Athletes such as Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King, and Jackie Robinson all stood up for what they believed in and although they were scolded initially, they were respected for their movements in the long run.

Jordan Vierra, a history teacher and baseball coach at Georgetown High School, had an interesting view on how sports should use their platform.” Sports has always been the great uniter when this country has been in times of turmoil or distress, but recently sports has done nothing but create more division in the United States,”  Vierra said.

There is something about kneeling during our national anthem, disrespecting our flag that American citizens can’t resist talking about. Former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant summed up his frustration with President Trump when he tweeted Saturday, “A #POTUS whose name alone creates division and anger. Whose words inspire dissension and hatred can’t possibly “Make America Great Again.”

I believe the NFL players didn’t knee for the national anthem because they don’t love the United States, but they will not stand for what President Trump said.

While President Trump may be doing a good job economically, these consistent out-of-line comments toward athletes are creating more division withing our country. Athletes have a large platform, and their displeasure with the leader of this country is fueling a negative perception of Donald Trump.

This issue on whether sports and politics should intertwine has raised many strong opinions throughout the country recently. Georgetown High School assistant baseball coach and Credit Recovery teacher Dustin Brinley  shared his viewpoint. “Athletes should be athletes, politicians should be politicians, just do your job,” Brinley said.

Whether you agree with the NFL players kneeling during our national anthem or not, America needs to come together and unite and that can start with sports.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What place should Politics have in Professional Sports ?