Sports used to be relegated to strictly points, wins, losses and the cheerleaders. But now, whether it be the Golden State Warriors’ visit to the White House or the advocation to boycott the NFL, all of a sudden professional sports just got a lot more political.
It is usually tradition for the defending NBA champions to go visit the President, but the Golden State Warriors have declined that offer.
This led to a small war of words between Donald Trump, Stephen Curry and also LeBron James.
But it is actually professional football that sparked all this political commentary in sports.
More and more teams and football players have decided to take a knee during the course of the national anthem. And prominent sports magazine, Sports Illustrated, seems to have taken advantage of this particularly heated political climate.
The front page of the magazine was adorned by many famous athletes with the title saying ‘A Nation Divided.’ However, there was one particular athlete that was unjustly left out.
It may have been Colin Kaepernick who sparked all this commentary. He was the first person to oppose standing to the national anthem, and since then many teams and differing sports have taken a similar approach.
Colin’s reasoning was not to disrespect or discredit those who fought for their country, rather it was a symbol that he would not stand for a nation that would kill and harm its own people.
In an interview, he said: ‘I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.’
‘To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.’
And it might be precisely these political sentiments of his that cost him a high-paying job in the NFL. So when fans noticed that Colin was absent from the front page cover, many fans took to social media to express their displeasure.
David Zavac went on Twitter to say: ‘this is really bad guys. Colin Kaepernick needs to be there.’ Squirrely007 agreed with that sentiment by tweeting: ‘where is Colin Kaepernick? He should be front and center.’
And fans were further angered when Roger Goodell, the Commissioner of the NFL, appeared on the front page instead of Colin.
Josh Eberley wrote: ‘how much did Goodell pay to be on this cover?’ while ShizChiz tweeted: ‘how you put Roger Goodell on the cover over Kaepernick?’
Colin has maintained his love for his country and has regularly stated that he is not ‘anti-American.’ He has since pledged a million dollars to communities battling racial inequality. Sports Illustrated has not yet issued an official response to all the social media comments in regards to the absence of Colin Kaepernick.