Sports are intertwined with the fabric of our society, yet we treat them in the same way as we do the first and final seasons of Game of Thrones. Damn do we love our teams, but damn do we say some awful shit about other teams, or even our own players, when they’re not doing well. We’re elated when our teams win and spew vitriol when they don’t. Whether it be in stadium, some thread on Twitter, or the depths of reddit.
My main question here is: Why?
As consumers in today’s world, we’re wired to take in what we want when we want it. This on-demand aspect that technology has afforded us has also created a whirlpool that we get caught up in and cannot escape. It has conditioned us to demand things be monolithic to our own personal views.
And because of this we have started to look past the human aspect of our consumption. You’ll hear people talking about slashing budgets for the arts and talk about their lack of importance, yet those same people will happily binge their 100th Netflix show since the start of quarantine. You’re attempting to slash someone’s livelihood. It’s the same with sports.
We’ve seen a seismic shift in the way our favorite leagues operate. Many are struggling to understand why, and are furious about the ways it affects them. But the very fact that sports have returned has put thousands of people at risk. The dominos start with the players and fall past the coaches and team staff and stadium workers and their families and so on.
We’re over here snapping our fingers, demanding these players dance for us and pretend that things are the way they’ve always been.
And that notion, “that’s the way things have always been” is the most cancerous in our society.
Because if we go further beyond the fact that these women and men are doing our favorite dance, we’re forgetting the importance of who they are as people and the causes in which they believe.
Boycotts of games disrupted every major sport following yet another senseless shooting of a black man by police. People are, to put it simply, livid. “How dare these athletes not play when they’re getting paid X amount of dollars to do just that?” “They should shut up and keep their own beliefs out of the game.” “Who do they think they are?”
And to those people, I ask: Who do you think you are? How dare you call out players who are attempting to use their platform to create necessary, positive change? The divide in this country is because of people like you not accepting that you have to get out of your comfort zone and think about someone other than yourself.
If you invest in a company, you’re making a bet that they are going to walk into an industry and disrupt it by changing things for the better. Your bet is that you’ll profit from it.
That is exactly what these athletes are doing. They’re disrupting the American paradigm, and I sure as hell want to invest in that. Because I directly profit from that investment. How, you ask? By breaking the foundation and rebuilding, we humanize the women and men who play a game they love for a living. And we’re betting on their ability to affect positive change.
It’s way past time for that. We must change now. I’m all in. Are you?
- / 1 year ago
To me, Rachel Nichols is the personification of posting a black square on Instagram.