Do Politics and Sports match?

First, let’s eliminate any inventive wall between us and acknowledge racism as existing and alive as it has ever has been. Why do we need to be better than someone else to feel good about ourselves; we should want to feel the same. Secondly, I think sports and politics absolutely do mix. Sports has been a catalyst for many great social changes. Above all and whether we like it or not though sports is a business and at the end of the day people don’t want that affected.

Carolina Panther’s coach Ron Rivera may have a point saying “As far as I’m concerned sports is sports and politics is politics…if you want to make change, vote.” Frankly, there are those who don’t want their sports and politics mixed and there will be a market for those people to escape to sooner or later.

The San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has garnered a lot of attention for his actions protesting social injustice by kneeling during the national anthems. Time Magazine has featured an image of him on the cover of the October 3rd issue.

On August 29th during a conservative Seattle radio talk show called The Dori Monson Show, republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Colin’s kneeling was “a terrible thing.” “Maybe he should find a country that works better for him, let him try, it won’t happen,” Trump said. When CNN’s Dan Simon asked about those comments, Kaepernick said they are “ignorant,” and called out Trump’s campaign slogan.

 

There is an overwhelming amount of pressure on athletes to be more than just athletes these days. Society expects them to be model citizens because we admire them, the money they earn, and the money generated through sports, especially in this day and age, is significant. We have compelled them to be more than just athletes.

If nobody bothered the athlete about anything other than playing and going home then there wouldn’t be a problem. But if you want to bother them about other things, you can’t then turn around and try to say that this doesn’t belong in sports; because there is a lot of other things the athlete would prefer they didn’t have to deal with, but they’re compelled to by the virtue of the fact that the money they are making they are considered role models, etc. You can’t have it both ways. Let them in or not.

Here’s JR Smith’s bizarre interview in a sky mask after he was asked to explain what happened on a defensive play he failed to be there for.

 

We as a society have spent far too much time intermingling the two by putting an added amount of pressure on the athletes to be more than just athletes when it serves other folks purpose, but then we want them to shut up when it serves theirs.

Perhaps it wasn’t wise for Colin Kaepernick to sit down during the national anthem, but since we live in a country where everyone only wants to hear people agree with them or look the other way, at least Colin took a stance. And at least JR made it fun for the media.

Think about society and how we have evolved. think about gay rights, think about the immigration issue. We’ve used sports to basically ingratiate those issues into the fabric of american culture. It may have not been successful had we not pulled those off.

When we think about all the issues that have permeated our society through the prism of sports; we have to understand it’s not about sports. It’s about life in our society.

If sports is insistent on being overtly politically active we are just going to be reminded at some point that you are a business.

 

 

 

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Say What’s Good with Sports & Hip/Hop?

Image result for hip hop artists and sports teamsImage result for hip hop artists and sports teamsImage result for hip hop artists and sports teams

Hip/hop and professional sports, in particular the NBA, are more similar than you might think. Both fields are competitive, breathtaking, and allow for great debates. Rappers are often seen interacting with world class athletes, such as Lil Wayne hanging out with Cristiano Ronaldo, 50 Cent breaking bread with Floyd “Money” Mayweather, or Drake air balling shots with University of Kentucky basketball team. Either way, sports and hip/hop have emerged as one, and it’s not shocking that ESPN is continuing to incorporate hip/hop artists and their songs to expand its audience.

Drake officially became the Global Ambassador for the Toronto Raptors in 2013. On November 16 the Raptors held their annual Drake night hosting the Western Conference Champion Golden State Warriors. Despite the Toronto native and self-proclaimed “6 God” (the numeral refers to the city’s area code) being known as the NBA’s most enthusiastic bandwagon fan he played antagonist, taunting Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and more of the GSW.

It didn’t seem like a coincidence when Drake bumped into KD during a post-game interview judging by the scowl he shot at Drake shading him into the stratosphere.

Two major polarizing figures in their respective professions showing some playful disrespect to one another is prime entertainment. You have got to love it.

ESPN is recognized as the “worldwide leader in sports” due to its innovative methods on how the fans perceive the images and hear the sounds of the game, regardless of what that game may be.

Hip/hop is about dance, art and expression. The characteristics that hip/hop embodies has broken through its humble roots and continued its influence on magazine publishing, television, sexuality and social issues showing that it has grown into the sport world’s favorite genre.

What was once a world counterculture, is now shaping to be the soundtrack to a lot of marketing and advertising projects for businesses around the world.

ESPN is keying in on the trend by becoming a major sports brand bringing this to the forefront, prospering off the relationship these two worlds have shared for decades now.

In one of Drakes songs titled “Thank Me Now” he tries to explain why so many NBA players (Allen Iverson, Chris Webber, and Shaquille O’Neal) have all put out rap songs. while several emcees- The Game, Master P, Cam’ron etc. aspired to be ballers.

He raps, “Damn, I swear sports and music are so synonymous / ’cause we wanna be them and they wanna be us.”

At any rate, whether sportscasting a live show or promoting an activity on twitter, getting the audience involved and excited is pivotal.  When ESPN’s SportsCenter anchors break trending news with clever hip/hop references or begin their show with popular hip/hop instrumentals it’s always responsive to the audience.

The genre is truly in a new golden era, penetrating even more artistic, social and political hemispheres than before.

WHO’S SHAQTIN’ A FOOL?

Image result for shaqtin a fool cover photosJust like that, went down just like Shaq!

Shaquille O’Neal, the “Big Aristotle” and every other nickname his giant, 22 inch sized shoe reaches went crashing down on the TNT set during the halftime of the Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Clippers game. He struck the floor like a screen door in a hurricane. Three hundred and twenty five pounds echoed around the studio loud like a lion.

Shaq Daddy is not only a four time NBA champion, he is an epitome of entertainment off the court and has even earned a doctoral degree in education since retiring from the NBA in 2011. Perhaps, it may be fitting to call him Dr. O’Neil now. Image result for shaq doctor

Wait. It’s a joy to witness basketball stars making a straight fool of themselves, right?

Considering his capstone topic was “The Duality of Humor and Aggression in Leadership Styles,” it’s not surprising his segment within NBA on TNT and NBA TV is all about having a good time highlighting outrageous moments from players, fans, mascots, and coaches during the NBA season, as well as humorous bloopers from prior seasons and his own career.

This isn’t a highlight reel you want to be a part of. Shaq is about to make fun of people traveling the world.

NBA stars making a straight-up FOOL out of themselves! For those individuals that are not basketball fans, or even a sports aficionado, the commentary alone is enjoyable and worth watching.

The “Big Shaqtus” regularly highlights outrageous moments from players, fans, mascots, referees, and coaches during the NBA season, as well as humorous bloopers from prior seasons and his own career.