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  • Alex Wok

Political Statements in Sports



FACTS:

  • Recently, there has been a slew of high profile events where political statements about smaller, national issues were made on the sporting stage.

  • ​In the US, NFL quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, sat and later kneeled during the singing of the national anthem at the start of games, doing so as an act of silent protest against police brutality and racial inequality. ​This act was met with harsh criticism from President Donald Trump who called for the owners of the NFL teams to fire the protesting players. Trump's comments spurred a further 200 players join this protest

  • Closer to home, pop icon and rapper, Macklemore, performed his song 'Same Love', a song supporting of same-sex marriage, at the NRL Grand Final. This act has been denounced by many high profile marriage equality 'No campaigners' such as Tony Abbott, who notably tweeted: "Footy fans shouldn't be subjected to a politicised grand final. Sport is sport!"

  • Given the high profile of both above events, as well as historic nature of politics in sports, this has spurred national discussion over the extent to which political expression should have in sports.

issue:

Do nationally divisive issues

have a place in sporting events/entertainment?



sources:

  1. Geelong Advertiser, ‘Ross Mueller: This exercise of public condemnation of a minority is an unreality example of the abuse of power

  2. SMH; 'If you really want politics out of sport, don't alienate anyone different from the conformist model'

  3. The Australian, ‘What did you do in the Macklemore War, Dad?

  4. SMH, 'Why the NRL is right and sports and politics should mix'; George Brandis in SBS, ‘Brandis hits out at Abbott for opposing Macklemore’s pro-same sex marriage song at NRL final

  5. Huffington Post, ‘Macklemore Performs 'Same Love' At NRL Grand Final, And It was Glorious, And The World Didn't End

  6. The Daily Telegraph, ‘Macklemore’s song is fine. The NRL’s arrogance isn’t

  7. Geelong Advertiser, ‘Ross Mueller: This exercise of public condemnation of a minority is an unreality example of the abuse of power

  8. The Daily Telegraph, ‘Macklemore’s song is fine. The NRL’s arrogance isn’t'


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