The NBA may have started its “bubble league,” but the league and its players are showing they don’t live in a bubble, kicking off their games with players taking the knee during the national anthem. The US is currently in one of its worst political turmoils, no thanks to a president who has a talent for dividing a nation.
In the US, athletes have long used their fame to join protests, though the NBA and some of the players were late to join the party. Who hasn’t seen the famous raised fist salute of US Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos during the 1968 Olympics?
In the Philippines, there’s no such history of protests. The only protests we hear about in sports are of course when boxers get robbed in hometown decisions.
But some are starting to lend their voices and platforms to the movement.
Is that good or bad?
I think it all depends on where you stand in the political spectrum. Those who worship the government think that athletes have no right to speak about politics and should limit their tweets or what-have-you to their sports, while those who criticize the government think more of the athletes should voice out. Oh wait, let me clarify that, it’s more of a battle between those who worship the president on one side and those who criticize him on the other; the president being not the government.
Anyway, I digress.
Who’s right among the two? I don’t know. I happen to belong to the crowd who thinks that anyone has the right to speak out their mind on matters that concern the country. If the athletes want to speak their mind because of the things they witness on their way to the court, let them. If some continue to be silent and continue to live the good life because they are not affected, well, let them too.
Whether the pro or anti wins, what is important is that we learn to live with each other’s different stances and for a while, sports showed us how. Fans who’d go at each other’s throats figuratively for 48 minutes can be civil with each other as they go to the venue to watch the game and leave after a victor is declared, right? Imagine a venue full of pro- and anti-DDS. Do you think the same degree of civility will be observed?
It looks like we are a long way away from getting free of this pandemic. Will more athletes break their own bubbles and speak out? I guess, with nothing much else left to do, all we can do is wait and see.