Can Sports be Used as a Political Statement

In 2018, more and more sports players are actively vocalising their view relating to the current American political standing – especially within the NFL, which has not gone unnoticed by the press or the president who was subtweeting the players who were planning on taking a knee during the season and the highly anticipated Super Bowl.

For decades, the NFL was known for the big guys who loved football – but now it adds in social awareness, political stances, and even such as famous patriotism. Due to many players personal dislike of the current president, his policies, or the rising number violence towards people of colour, more players are taking a stance in one of the most notable ways – by taking a knee or not being on the field during the national anthem. One player, Telvin Smith, linebacker of the Jacksonville Jaguars, stated that as a man he must stand for something – that something being the injustices he believes is going on in the country. Though Smith and two of his other players took it a step further by staying in the locker room during the Star-Spangled Banner.

This movement is nothing new and was not started by the current president, Donald Trump. Instead, two years ago, the iconic 49ers player, Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the anthem to protest against the injustices of people of colour and police brutality. Since then, however, many other players have taken the torch and led the movement to use it as a way to peacefully protest the issues they see going on in the country, which can be easily seen with teams, such as the Jaguars, who are refusing to let the movement die.

Not everyone is on board with the protests. One of the major people the current president, Trump. In a series of tweets, he has displayed his disdain towards the movement and his desire for players who are protesting to be suspended from playing (most likely in the Super Bowl). Although before then, the president’s tweets were a bit more on the outspoken side, which is nothing out of the ordinary.

How Are Player’s Protesting?

There are two ways that players are protesting, one way – which was started by Kaepernick, was simply by taking a knee during the anthem. Although, since then, the NFL had adopted a policy in May which allowed players to stand in the locker room while the anthem was going on without issue. While both options are simple, quiet, and statement creating. Many people are divided on how they feel towards the methods. One of the main arguments is how the teams will look – just imagine having one team standing for the anthem while half of the other is in the locker room waiting it out.

Nevertheless, the right to protest is one that Americans value. The question is, should it be allowed on the playing field.

How to Put the Joy Back into Sports, Adults Took Out of It

While youngsters should focus on the game, they have parents shouting the sideline what their next move should be. Instead of enjoying team sports they faced with the decision to ignore the parent or the couch, the one leads to the possibility of losing a place in the team, the other a telling off all the way home.

Is really any wonder kids play tentatively, are confused, or even too afraid to make mistakes, or battle to learn anything? Most of all are parents the reason they stop enjoying the fun and excitement of sports? Understandably we love our children, we want them to do well in everything they do as well as enjoying victory and be successful. But its sometimes this race to nowhere, this pushing in youth sports, our actions, our words that are not helpful, even when its parents’ best intentions, their words hurt more than it motivates, and sports become an even of disappointment and not enjoyment.

Is it a wonder that once adults removed the enjoyment, that so many kids quit sports? The three key components of sports are enjoyment, long-term participation and achievement. Adults for some reason more believe that sports can be either fun or competitive, but not a mix of both and in this, they simply could not be more wrong. It happens due to the fact that people don’t understand the happiness of pursuing your passion and potential.

Sports is always about striving to improve, it is about doing what you love most and most of all pleasure is short lived and not the same as enjoyment. It’s the same with running a marathon, the distance is not pleasurable, yet completing it brings a feeling of achievement and great joy. The Golden State Warriors of 2016 is known as one of the greatest basketball teams of all times, one of their four core values is joy. Once coaches and parents start pouching too much, youngsters question the sports experience and once it feels like the positives are outweighed by the negatives they quit.

Basically, there are six different way in which adults manage to take enjoyment out of sports:

1. Side-line coaching by parents
2. Yelling out instructions to a player trying to make decisions under pressure
3. Parents shouting from side-line disrespect the officials, while children are thought to respect authority figures
4. Coaches being questioned by parents in their decisions regarding tactics and player positions
5. Sports are team events, your teammates your friends and parents commenting on their play is uncomfortable
6. For most youngsters, the least memorable moment is the ride home made into a teachable moment by parents

The fix to all this, ask children what they want, allow them to take ownership of their sporting experience and then respect their decision and that of the coaches. Pretty soon the team will consist of fearless, motivated, hardworking athletes who enjoy sports the way it’s meant to be.

Stroman Impresses Over Several Innings at Blue Jays Game

Marcus Stroman showed his confidence and glee during Saturday’s game as nothing could bring him down, not even the light jab from one of the opposing team members, Adam Jones. Stroman plays the position as the pitcher, and during one badly calculated throw, Jones decided to mock the player by trying to mimic that success shimmy that Stroman casually does.

Though despite the mocking, Stroman didn’t seem to even give it a second laugh. Especially considering how by the end of the game, he was able to get the last laugh and a chance to celebrate. By the end of Saturday’s game, Stroman pitched a total of seven innings along with three additional runs, which helped the Toronto team beat Baltimore with a 4-1 score.

The rivalry between Stroman and Jones is far from malicious. The Blue Jays player reminisce on the friendship that he and Jones have, stating that he was one of the few that constantly reached out to him after getting into the league. He continued by stating that Jones has always been there for him, and he was one of the main factors that made playing against Baltimore even more enjoyable – despite the playful mocking on the field.

While Stroman did have an impressive performance during the entirety of the game, a lack of concentration did allow for one run to go past him. Though that run was earned by Stroman’s friendly rival, Adam Jones. While the point towards Baltimore did cause a few fans to worry, the damaged was easily managed as the left fielder of the game, Teoscar Hernandez, tossed a sharp laser which managed to tag out another opposing player.

Stroman not happy with play

After the game, Stroman admitted that he personally does not feel as if playing his best, despite the win the team received. He reflected on how he seemingly left pitches and how the defence strong playing helped him in the long run. He finished his sentiment by stating that he plans on pushing himself to play harder and do better to ensure that he can start making better pitches in the next game.

While Stroman is being humble, the Toronto player did manage to strike out seven times as well hitting a batter. Which follows a lapse of missing play time for six weeks due to an injury that he has fully recovered from. The manager of the Blue Jays, John Gibbons, believes that after coming back from DL, where a player is temporarily removed due to an injury, Stroman still played a fair and goof game however his pitching didn’t seem off in the least. Stroman received even more support from fellow teammate, Devon Travis, as he stated that Stroman has fully got his fire back.

Though the playoffs are coming quickly, and teams are giving it there all to get a spot in the final games. Stroman stated that no matter what, the goal for the Blue Jays is to complete to their fullest ability and show up at each game in a good mindset.

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