Opinion: Sports and politics are linked

Adam Tumino, Columnist

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We live in a world where many people treat sports as a means to escape the everyday world. They use sports as a way to avoid the political problems that seem to dominate everyday conversation. 

The upcoming Super Bowl should serve as the ultimate escape in the minds of these people, but this year’s big game will serve as a prescient reminder that sports and politics are inextricably linked. 

Politics are present in every event and every institution in the world, and the Super Bowl is certainly no exception. 

This year, it was announced that Fox News host Sean Hannity would interview President Trump during the Super Bowl pregame show Sunday afternoon. 

This is nothing new, however. Trump did a pre-Super Bowl interview in 2017 and 2019. Obama did such an interview every year he was in office. 

Of course, this year’s interview, coming in the midst of a historic impeachment trial, will likely be an unbelievable nightmare to behold. 

But as politics consistently seep into the world of sports, there seems to be more backlash when the opposite takes place.

Whenever an athlete or member of the sports media comments on politics, there is a large number of people who respond negatively with the now-cliché refrain “stick to sports.”

Why should sports figures be told to stay in their lane when, every year, politicians use sports are tools? 

The simple answer is that sports figures should not be told to ignore politics. After all, what is more important than politics?

Politics literally affect us all, in nearly everything we do. And unfortunately for some people, there is no escaping them. 

But this is not a bad thing. We should not want to escape from politics, or pretend that they are not ever-present in the world of sports. 

We stand for the national anthem before every sporting event. That is politics. We applaud soldiers in attendance. That is politics. Presidents throw out ceremonial first pitches at baseball games. That is, obviously, politics.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to watch a game for a few hours and forget about the troubles of the world. The world is a terrible place that provides terrible news on a minute-to-minute basis. 

And when the action on the field is actually taking place, that is the closest we come to a true escape. 

Before and after the games, politics inevitably present themselves. This has been, and always will be the case. Enjoy the game, everyone.

Adam Tumino is a junior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]