Politics in Sports Silent Activism Among Athletics
Activism has been a source of hope for many victimized people around world including athletes. As a result of activism, many people have learned about various issues affecting them and helped to build the justice systems around the world. Human beings continue to advance and develop new ways of conducting activism. Silent/quiet activism has become substantial in the current society in almost all its aspects especially due to the potential controversy that could arise as a result of other forms of activism. People choose to stay silent or carry out some small activities that mean a lot in influencing the political, economic, and social landscape in a particular area. Despite the fact that the athletes were fiercely ostracized by the US Olympic Committee (USOC) and banned from participating in other games, the two became a stepping stone in silent activism especially for political injustices against the black people in the US (Gus, 2017).
They were later recognized and awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award as a tribute to their protest (Gajanan, 2016). NBA player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf staged a silent activism by refusing to stand during the national anthem before the start of the games. Carlos Delgado, former Blue Jays and Mets baseman decided to sit out during the national anthem in the 1990s due to political issues. Recently, Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James and his fellow players in the Heat have joined protests against police violence and killings. It has been established that silent activism is not a new subject but has been given little attention. Thus, the subject has limited data that could help in understanding and addressing any challenges experienced in the sports especially the political and social issues.
This research will be useful in identifying particular gaps for further research. In this case, will be useful to other researchers interested in the same subject. This research will also serve activists and other researchers especially in decision making processes which require sufficient information. Most of the athletes have joined the movements and efforts to ensure that racism ends once and for all. As noted by various researchers, people have engaged in activism activities to get rid of racism and sportsmen have been of great use in the entire exercise. US athletes, especially the black Americans, have been very instrumental in silent activism (Edwards, 2016). Muhamad Ali, John Carlos, and Tommie Smith are some of the athletes involved in silent activism in America between 1950 and 2000.
These athletes are known to have formed the foundation for silent activism in sports. It is one of the issues that trigger activism among Americans and other people from around the world. There has been reported a number of cases of police violence and killings in America including cases of murder of Trayvon Martin, Alton Sterling, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, and Philando Castile by police officers in various part of the country (Gus, 2017). These killings are connected to racism since most of the victims are black Americans (Blum, 2017). There have been so many questions regarding the circumstances surrounding the killing of these people and thus triggering some silent activism among athletes especially in baseball and basketball. Recently, LeBron James and his team mates have been seen donned in particular attires especially hoodies as a way of protesting the killing of a black man by the police.
The players are part of the fight against injustices meddled against the black people. Political Climate Politics play a major part in triggering activism within any social setting. Political activities in America have contributed largely in silent activism. Recently, President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, has been quoted urging managers of various teams and leagues to do away with players who are silent activists such as those who fail to stand in honor of the national flag and anthem (Gus, 2017). The President was also quoted insulting the players who refused to stand during the national anthem. The Effects of Silent Activism Silent activism has tremendous effects in various aspects of life of the perpetrators. This section discusses some of the effects.
Awareness Creation on Matters of National Interest Activism, regardless of its form, contributes largely in creating awareness among different individuals and groups of people in a country or the entire world. People will always want to know about the issues surrounding their lives. People can easily learn from the athletes since they are prominent. In the 1967 Olympic games, John Carlos and Tommie Smith did what the government termed as disobedience to the country’s national anthem and flag (Hatzisavvidou, 2015). The actions of the two athletes put pressure on the government despite the fact that they were finally banned from participating in any games. The fact that the two were recently awarded as champions in the fight against racism gives the impression that the government yielding to pressure from silent activism peddled by athletes.
It would be difficult for the government to allow such activities to go on if they never considered the pressure from the activists (Fitz-Henry, 2016). The government is aware of the extent to which such activism can affect the national well-being. In this case, there are number of white athletes who joined the fellow athletes in the fight for justice for the black people in America and other parts of the world (Hatzisavvidou, 2015). The effort manifested through silent activism seems to bring the world together for what is valuable to them. Athletes Banned from Sports Many athletes have been banned from participating in games as result of engaging in silent activism especially in the US. John Carlos, Tommie Smith, and Muhammad Ali are some of the athletes who were banned from participating in athletics (Gus, 2017).
However, Muhammad Ali got away with it through the court of appeal who acquitted him of the conviction. Conclusion In conclusion, silent/quiet activism among athletes is one of the advancing subjects. Many athletes in America have been in the forefront in the supporting and participating in silent activism. Majorly, silent activism in the US is fueled by racism and racial discrimination, police brutality and killings, injustices against the people of color, and political climate in the country. These issues have been happening for a very long time in America. As people are becoming more aware of human rights, silent activism and other types activism have become rampant among athletes as a way of creating awareness among the people, pressurizing the government to take the necessary actions, fighting against racism.
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