Athletes have special interests in what’s going on in the world today and have gotten involved by making bold statements.
But should athletes be more vocal in politics to take a stand, or should they hold their tongues for their fan retention?
Last year Michael Jordan threw a $3 million fundraiser for Obama, but, ironically, he was famously quoted in 1990 saying, “Republicans buy shoes, too.”
In the 2004 major league season, Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Carlos Delgado did not stand for “God Bless America” during the 7th inning stretch for any of the games.
While he did not approve of what happened on 9/11, he also did not approve of the war.
Delgado was even quoted saying, “I feel so sad for the families that lost relatives and loved ones in the war. But I think it’s the stupidest war ever.”
He later explained how he felt “God Bless America” represented a war he didn’t believe in.
When the Blue Jays came to New York later in the season, he was booed and mocked by Yankee fans, but he never stopped protesting that year.
Delgado was mocked so much that season and lost fans because he made it seem like he didn’t support his country.
In 1958 China withdrew from the 1960 Rome Olympics because they wanted Taiwan to be banned from participating.
The U.S. had not yet recognized the communist government in China, and they saw the leaders and the citizens of Taiwan as the rightful rulers of China.
Taiwan used to be named, “The Republic of China,” but they were asked to have the name removed by the Soviet Union in response to the International Olympic Committee.
Taiwan debated boycotting the Olympic games, but, instead, when they marched into the stadium in Rome, their leading athlete held a sign reading, “Under Protest.”
IOC President Avery Brundage was talked out of banning the Taiwanese from the games.
Taiwan could have easily been thrown out of the Olympics, costing them medals and even peace talks, seeing as the main point of the Olympics is to help with international relations.
In all honesty, I would personally rather see athletes play their games on their respective fields rather than worrying about whether Tim Tebow is for same sex marriage.
But at the end of the day, athletes are just people entitled to their opinions, as is everyone else who turns on the television to watch them play.