What are everyone's thoughts about politics in professional sports?

Some are strongly for it, some are strongly against it. Lebron James brings politics in as long as it doesn’t hurt his paycheck. So, what does everyone here think of it?

When I watch basketball, I want to see basketball, not be preached to by some multi-millionaire super-athlete who is entirely disconnected from the struggles of the common man.


If the commentators start talking about political issues then I would immediately change the channel. If a player tries to make a political statement during a game then I would also change the channel.

I watch professional sports for entertainment value, not to hear someone’s opinion on a hot button issue, or any issue at all for that matter.

There’s almost nothing more aggravating than hearing a clueless rich person go on about the latest flavor of the month while I’m trying to relax. The last few years have been terrible, especially in the NFL, regarding this social justice stuff, and I haven’t been watching games for several years because of it.


I’m not inherently against it, but I do find it slightly amusing. To borrow from a post I saw on reddit: When the players are taking a popular stance (say, against Trump or something) it’s “don’t tell us to shut up an play basketball”. But when it’s about a harder stance, like Chinese censorship or Hong Kong, suddenly its “let us shut up and play basketball!”


When I watch sports, I want it to be about the game; not some athlete’s political opinions. I keep my political opinions out of the workplace, and I think they should too.


I didn’t like it when countries boycotted the 1980 Olympics due to politics. I also don’t like it when they give these large sports competitions to countries like China. As for the sportspeople they should just do their sport and that’s it, if they want to talk politics then do it on twitter.


I think athletes are entitled to their opinion, just like everyone else.
But they must understand that some may not share their opinion on an issue of the day.


There are volume controls on a television remote control and on the television itself. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Imagine having a plumber or electrician over to fix a problem in your home. When he arrives he says, “I’m going to fix this problem but first let me tell you about my views on such and such”.

People aren’t tuning in to hear their political opinions.


I am a sports agnostic. I know sports exist, and that some people find great comfort in them, however, I do not know which is the correct sport nor how it applies to my every day life.

Those who are professional athletes have just as much a right to political views as I. If their contractual language does not prohibit political speech, then, they are free to speak it.

From what I read, it seems that some folks consider a person taking up any cause as “politics”, there is a difference between a moral or social point of view and partisan politics.

I don’t pay these athletes to virtue signal to me, I pay them to entertain me with their sportsball skills. If they want to preach they can preach when they are off the clock.

Think about it this way. If I was a cashier at Wendy’s and I used my position to preach or make a political statement, I run the risk of offending my boss’ customers and cost him money. I would be swiftly fired. As should these celebrity athletes.


Guessing you do not live in a deep red state. Around here, politics ARE the #1 topic of conversation, a repair person is more likely to bring up politics than they are the weather!

Very interesting. I know that would make me uncomfortable even if I agreed with the person’s political views.

I don’t follow any sports, so I don’t really know much about the trend for politicizing sports other than seeing threads here about Tim Tebow and Colin Kapernick and all that stuff.

That’s funny although they would be telling me that a quick job would take them two days and lots of expensive parts coming from the other side of the world via Concorde.

I don’t go to a plumber for medical advice

I don’t go to a dentist for plumbing advice

I don’t go to an athlete for political advice, yet they insist on giving it to me.


In 1968, while attending the class which I excelled in (study hall), an English expatriate teacher opined that there was far too much emphasis on sports in the US.

52 years ago.

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I turned most of the pros off and if I watch something it is usually college.

don’t kid yourself it is all about marketing themselves. just notice how they change their tune when they face social backlash.


LeBron James and everybody else can do and say what they want politically when not at the game. It’s a free country and they have freedom of speech.
I don’t want to see any politics at the games themselves though. I watch a game to see athletes playing ball. If I wanted to watch politics, I’d go to a rally or a demonstration or turn on C-Span rather than sports channel. Check your politics at the door, salute the flag at the beginning and get on with playing ball.

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They and all the other celebrities also are under the mistaken impression I care what they think about stuff other than their field of work.


I’d like to go somewhere that’s politics-free. A football game is one of such places. I feel stalked by politics and need an escape from them.

It’s borderline narcissistic for celebrities - and frankly, all of us who use social media - to think that brandishing our personal politics will influence others and change minds. We all need to curb our self importance.

Also, did you catch Ricky Gervais’ scathing monologue at the Golden Globes? What he says about Hollywood celebrities could apply to professional athletes:

Well, you say you’re woke but the companies you work for in China — unbelievable. Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started a streaming service you’d call your agent, wouldn’t you?

So if you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech. You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg.

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