Not about Aussie sports but more so about where our beloved sports sit in the realm of politics. Recently Donald Trump has called for some interesting rules to be implemented in regards to the American sports industry (specifically the NFL and NBL) that has created a great divide among many sports fans and players alike. He began by stating that those who kneeled or demonstrated disrespect to the American anthem should be fired from their team and understandablu, this created a lot of controversy, especially in light of more recent events of the past few years. The kneeling had begun as protest against the police brutality experienced by African-Americans and has since turned into a sort of peaceful protest and remembrance for those who have lived through or died from the injustices in question.
Now the crowd is split into 3 clear groups with others on the fence and unsure of how to feel. Some have voiced their support of the President’s views, agreeing that players should respect their country’s anthem and in turn the country where they are able to make a career from the sport they love. Nascar owners Petty and Childress both voiced strong support stating that those who kneel should leave the country and that those who disrespect the anthem would be on the first bus out after it was over respectively. The opposing side supports the freedom of speech, following the belief that although the American military are fighting for their country’s freedom, they do so with the knowledge that this freedom may be used in a way they may not agree with. This is the essence of freedom, the foundation of America’s pride. Those in the middle are more so pushing that both sides not allow Trump to construct a wall within the sports industry, a place where people would temporarily leave their political ideas behind to support their team with fellow fans.
Even NFL owners who have financially backed Trump and brands such as Nike and Ford also voicing their support for freedom of speech and equality. Not to mention now even more players are kneeling in protest. Prior to Trump’s comments only about 10 players across 16 games kneeled. “We’re not going to play politics,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told CBS, “People shouldn’t have to choose. If a guy wants to go about his normal business and participate in the anthem, he shouldn’t be forced to choose sides. If a guy feels the need to do something, he shouldn’t be separated from his team-mate who chooses not to.”