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The U.S. Women’s Soccer team came home with the trophy, but, of course, that isn’t the end of it. Winning, it seems, is not enough. The contemporary script called for some politics and protests over injustice and unequal treatment, without...
Three snips. One from mid-article, one toward the end, the last from the closing:
One of the seductions of sports is their larger irrelevance. Sure, there is some tall money involved, but still, when the game is over, it’s over. If the American women had lost, what would be different today? Would the killing in, say, Afghanistan suddenly cease?
There is a story, perhaps apocryphal, of a coach (perhaps John McKay) giving a speech to his team before a big game: “Men, just remember, no matter what happens out there today, there are going to be about a billion people in China who won’t give a damn.”
It’s a game.
It might not be a bad thing if the next president erected a metaphorical wall between the worlds of sports and politics. No White House visits for the winners of the Super Bowl, the World Series, or the Daytona 500. No golf with the winner of the Masters.
Better to watch a game where you didn’t know which team the president had picked. And the game might be better if the players weren’t distracted by thoughts of politics.
Not sure who started the "sports team visits" thing. Honestly, don't really care.The women from the American soccer team should absolutely decline an invitation to the White House. And the White House should absolutely not offer one. Politics has infected too much of American life. The games need to be immunized, and the politics need to be quarantined. Neither does the other any good.
I do know, though, that for some time I haven't liked them as neither party (team/sports figure or politician/President, that is) seems to be able to resist the temptation to turn the visit into a political event. In other words, no longer a unifying event.
Sports are supposed to be a break from "real life" and these visits (among other things like bringing politics onto the field of play) have poisoned/ruined sports. As such, I agree, in the main, with the author. FWIW
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