Brady’s Banter: Athletes and Politics not a good mix

Brady McGee, Reporter

LeBron James is the one athlete I have an extreme amount of respect for and not just for his unbelievable abilities on the court. Of course he can run fast, jump high, and shoot a basketball but the way he’s composed himself and handled his life off the court since entering the league as an 18 year old in 2003 is commendable. He’s obviously an extremely intelligent man, even without going to college.

All that being said, if LeBron told me to vote Hillary Clinton in this past election (that is, if I could’ve voted), I wouldn’t have done it. The simple fact is, I’m a registered Republican and a professional athlete isn’t going to change that. This isn’t about Hilary vs Trump either and I’d prefer to not receive any hate. It’s about athletes who feel they have much more sway in the political world then they really do.

What’s the old adage? If you want to get along with everyone, don’t talk about politics, sports, religion, or money. The conversation can become extremely toxic when these topics mix.

Everyone has their sports team and everyone has their political ideology. People are inherently stubborn and it’s extremely difficult to change their opinions on topics that can be so controversial.

Look at it like this, if President Trump unleashed a barrage of tweets telling his supporters to root for the Pittsburgh Steelers (I know random but it’s a hypothetical), it wouldn’t change my hate for them and my love for the Ravens. Political views shouldn’t effect sports and vice versa.

The political discussion has now spilled into the Instagram scene. Pages like @herefordconservatives and @herefordprogressives have promoted their agendas to the masses through politically charged social media posts.

Professional athletes are guilty of attempting to use social media to influence their followers on the political spectrum as well. Chicago Bulls guard Dwayne Wade posted an “I’m with Her” image in support of Hilary Clinton prior to the election. Numerous athletes tweeted their feelings after the election such as Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert, Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta, and former New York Giants defensive end and Super Bowl Champion Justin Tuck. The overall view was a mixed bag of support, opposition, and some just hoping the best for America.

Former Indianapolis Colts punter, and now professional comedian, Pat McAfee hilariously called out the celebrities who claimed they’d leave the country if Donald Trump won (looking at you Amy Schumer).

Athletes who are lucky enough to win a championship are invited to the White House to meet the president. With Trump now in office, many athletes such as New England Patriots Devin McCourty and Martellus Bennett have stated they will not be coming to the White House because they “don’t feel welcomed.”

I’d love for them to explain their rational behind not feeling welcomed because Trump is in office. They won’t say it outright but it’s not hard to figure out. Donald Trump is perceived as a white, racist, fascist compared to Obama who these athletes see as the savior. News flash: Obama is not the president anymore.

Athletes should see coming to the White House as one of the highest honors in sports and by not coming they are disrespecting their teammates who helped get them there. If Tom Brady (who will be attending) hadn’t saved them and his team, Devin McCourty and Martellus Bennett would be watching the Atlanta Falcons at the White House on TV.

Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry recently stepped into the political world with some remarks that should have gotten him fired. After Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank called Trump “a real asset” in regard to his pro-business agenda, Curry took it upon himself to comment on Plank’s statement.

“I agree with that statement, if you remove the ‘et,” Curry said. That’s a bold statement coming from a guy who Kevin Plank is paying almost $25 billion shoes per year. Advice for Curry: Stay in your lane and play basketball, making backhanded comments going against your boss isn’t the best idea.