Watching sports used to be a place for people to cheer on their favorite team and get away from all the politics or craziness in the world; however, the same cannot be said today. As sporting events have started again, there has been a rising number of athletes expressing their political views or taking political stances within their public platforms. While athletes are individuals with their own beliefs, their political views need to stay off the field and the court in order to prioritize their performances and maintain their team’s support. 

At the end of the day, professional athletes are at their respective games to do one thing: play. Athletes are getting paid millions of dollars to play their game and aid in the teams success, not taking political stances on the field. Athletes expressing their opinions or taking political stances have become increasingly prevalent in the media. This is due to the divisive political sphere of the nation and growing movements, such as the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, which has led to actions like players boycotting games and kneeling during the national anthem. Players have also been wearing BLM movement symbols and words on their jerseys during the games, sometimes instead of their last name. Athletes need to focus on playing their game and use their time outside of the field to help those in need or fundraise for a good cause. People look up to players, and when players turn games in politics, it can turn viewers away. Viewers of games want to watch the game and hear about how the team did, not about someone who died recently. This can lead to fans not watching the games because of the increased politics, which directly leads to loss of team money. 

Players could negatively affect their careers by exercising their political beliefs, as there have been many past incidents of people’s futures being ruined over a post. Social media companies keep everything that you post, tweet or send on their apps, and it can very easily be brought back into light. Based on this, athletes should not talk about their political beliefs because fans or team owners may not want a player who gives the team a negative reputation. The actions of one player could also hurt the team as a whole, as fans could stop buying team merchandise or supporting a team in general based on things the players say. Nobody wants this to happen to these athletes’ careers or teams’  legacies. 

Athletes expressing their political beliefs can also be seen as disrespectful such as when they kneel during the playing of the national anthem. American troops are out there overseas fighting, giving these athletes the ability to play their games. To kneel for the symbol that represents these athletes and all Americans is extremely disrespectful. One example of this is Colin Kapernick kneeling during the national anthem. He was suspended from the NFL as a result of this and has never played again. This protest ruined his career because it was disrespectful, and if players continue this route of increased politics, it could possibly ruin other players’ careers too. 

Some feel that a positive of politics in sports is that the players can use their big platforms to expose the rest of the world. This can be seen as good but in fact is not good because many athletes are misinformed, yet they try to influence people to agree with them. This is not good for America and should not be happening. 

Overall, politics and sports should be two things that do not intertwine. Many viewers do not want politics in sports, and the actions of the athletes are truly ruining the experience of the games. Sports should be a place where people come together to support their favorite teams and escape the harsh realities of the world around them, instead of focusing on politics. 

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