The power of sport is obviously very strong. In Zirin’s book Game Over he discusses the power sport can have in a community. The example he discusses was when the Green Bay Packers owners- the community stood up for the public workers who were being targeted. The community, the players and so many more spoke out against this injustice and it had a huge impact.
If it weren’t for sport perhaps this movement wouldn’t have been as effective. Sport offers a strong, large, global avenue for which issues can be addressed. It has been a platform for athletes such as Tommie Smith & John Carlos. Zirin talks about how their actions in 1968 werw much like the #occupy movements that were occurring in 2011, sport became a huge platform for these movements and Green Bay and Lambeau Field were just a part of these movements.
Athletes much like celebrities should be able to voice their opinions about political injustices, or even just simple issues that are close to their heart. I wish I had the ability to affect as many people as these people do when it came to addressing certain issues. I want to link this to the whole debate about the SOCHI 2014 Winter Olympic Games. I do not see why in 2013 athletes are trying to be silenced for voicing their opinion, I personally do not agree with this.
I also just read an article about how Mario Balotelli may be the main reason that the Italian team will have a social media ban for the next world cup after he made some remarks based off of an article written about the team. I do not feel what he said was so negative, and horrible that they need to place a ban on social media for the team.
I understand that sport organizations have images they would like to uphold, or that they believe that athletes should go, compete and that is it- however I think people still need to realize that they are human and will have opinions about things, and since they have a platform that is so globally available- I say why not use it!
Zirin, D. (2013). Game over: How politics has turned the sports world upside down. New York: The New Press.