The student news site of Oxford College of Emory University

The Oxford Spokesman

Filed under Sports

Impact of the Presidential Election On the Sports World

Republican+presidential+candidate%2C+businessman+Donald+Trump+speaks+during+the+Fox+Business+Network+Republican+presidential+debate+at+the+North+Charleston+Coliseum%2C+Thursday%2C+Jan.+14%2C+2016%2C+in+North+Charleston%2C+S.C.+%28AP+Photo%2FChuck+Burton%29
Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump speaks during the Fox Business Network Republican presidential debate at the North Charleston Coliseum, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in North Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump speaks during the Fox Business Network Republican presidential debate at the North Charleston Coliseum, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in North Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

AP/ Chuck Burton

AP/ Chuck Burton

Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump speaks during the Fox Business Network Republican presidential debate at the North Charleston Coliseum, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in North Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Historically speaking, athletes don’t like to associate with politics. With so many fans, reporters, and various media outlets dissecting their every word and their every action, they can’t afford to publicize their opinions without accepting some inevitable consequences. In the media age that we live in, it’s impossible to predict what words will be taken out of context and turned into a national scandal. So for the sake of their images, athletes simply refrain from potential controversy.

The 2016 Presidential Election was different. Never in the history of this country has there been a more divisive election, and it carried over into the sports world. Mike Freeman, an acclaimed NFL writer and analyst for Bleacher Report, conducted a survey in October of 43 professional football players regarding their preferred candidate in the election. 23 said they would vote for Trump; 20 would vote for Hillary. Of the 23 Trump supporters, 21 were white, and all twenty of the Hillary supporters were black. The sample size may be relatively small, but this stark racial contrast between political lines is striking.

This shouldn’t surprise us though. Trump has had a long history of making racist remarks and publicizing his prejudiced opinions. And much like the majority of the African-American population in the nation, black athletes took notice.

On the other hand, white athletes presented to us the other end of the spectrum. Most professional football players get paid upwards of two million dollars per year, and white players, who were not as offended and marginalized as their black peers by Trump’s racist rhetoric, wanted to protect their financial assets by investing in a candidate that would allow them to save on tax dollars.

Freeman also shared a chilling story about two unnamed teammates, one of whom was white and the other black. Prior to the election race heating up, they had been the best of friends. Their families were close outside of the football field; their children had grown up together. But when the black player found out that his friend was a Trump supporter, everything changed. He refused to send his children over for play dates any longer. When the white friend asked him about it, the black player responded – “I can’t be friends with someone who would vote for Trump.”

The backlash from the results of the election translated to the basketball sphere as well. Prominent NBA analyst and former player Jalen Rose went as far as to say that many players will decline championship invitations to the White House because Trump is president. One of the most time-honored traditions in sports is for the championship-winning team to make a trip to the White House that same year to receive congratulations from the commander-in-chief in person. The 2016 NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers made their visit on the same day President Obama was set to meet Trump. It would be a major event in the course of sports history should a team decline an invitation.

Rose’s words may carry bite along with bark though. Members of the Golden State Warriors, Cavaliers, and San Antonio Spurs, all of which are championship contenders, have voiced their extreme displeasure with the election outcome.

Warriors’ head coach, Steve Kerr, who is known for his calm and level-headedness, told the media that he and his team discussed the results, and went on to say that “the whole process has left all of us I think feeling disgusted and disappointed.”

LeBron James, leader of the defending champion Cavaliers and arguably the best basketball player in the world, had been vocal in his support for Hillary Clinton and in his distaste of Donald Trump. In fact, he made an appearance at Clinton’s final campaign rally in the battleground state of Ohio to implore the citizens of his home state to see reason. After the release of Trump’s infamous “Pussygate” video and his subsequent defense of his words as “locker room talk”, LeBron was quick to call his bluff: “those conversations just don’t go on in our locker room.”

Greg Popovich, head coach of the San Antonio Spurs and one of the all-time winningest head coaches in history, had perhaps the most ominous words of all: “We are Rome.”

It is a shame that a presidential election, a tradition that has stood as the backbone of our country’s democracy since its inception, has divided us to this extent. But it is important for us to respect what these prominent sports figures have said and done in response. As said earlier, it would have been easy for them to avoid controversy. Instead, they understood the gravity of the situation and used their positions of influence to ensure that the issues that have divided us are put in the forefront of discussion.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 Comment

One Response to “Impact of the Presidential Election On the Sports World”

  1. Todd Elliott Koger on November 22nd, 2016 5:17 pm

    Michigan 300,000 votes less than Obama in 2012 (75,00 Black voters accepted the boycott challenge); North Carolina 2 million votes decided to stay home; Wisconsin 230,000 fewer votes; and Pennsylvania 130,000 blacks said no this year to the Democratic Party. This is how black America (Todd Elliott Koger) helped make Donald Trump our 45th President.

    The Democrats had always thrown shade in our direction. Black Lives Matter’s founders put in writing their “rejection” of us because their stated agenda “LGBTQ” issues. In June 2016, Donald Trump was the only one willing to listen to us. We explained to Mr. Trump that we had been voting almost 50 years “straight” Democrat and our situation remained the same or worst.

    First, Mr. Trump issued an online video that addressed our plight. Next he went to Michigan and then took the message to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Thereafter, we packaged the visual optics and shared his fight against the “status quo” with black America. And, in late August 2016, we outlined the grassroots plan that defined demographics, targeted groups, and the available tools to grow an arsenal of black Trump supporters. We had to work night and day to control the message and Mr. Trump’s “Plan for Black America” as a campaign strategy to change the conversation when Mr. Trump slumped in the polls.

    When “sh*t hit the fan” in October 2016 and everyone started to run from Mr. Trump we suggested a “writing,” a “NEW DEAL” proposal for black America to put things back on track. Donald Trump owes his victory to “predominately black Democratic strongholds of Pennsylvania” who were convinced to give Mr. Trump 31 percent more votes than the previous Republican Party presidential candidate. African Americans like Todd Elliott Koger convinced hundreds of thousands blacks in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and various other states to boycott the traditional “straight” Democratic Party vote in 2016.

    Mr. Trump’s “margin of victory” is realized when you combine this with an increase of “Obama white voters” in Wisconsin and Michigan voting Trump in 2016. Trump won Pennsylvania by 1.1 percentage points (68,236 votes), Wisconsin by 0.9 points (27,257 votes), and Michigan by 0.2 points (11,837 votes). If Clinton had won all three states, she would have won the Electoral College 278 to 260. She fell short in all three.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dieNd5h_qpw

    [Reply]

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




*

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Impact of the Presidential Election On the Sports World

    Showcase

    Conventionality Does Not Equal Excellence: On My Unusual Major

  • Impact of the Presidential Election On the Sports World

    Student Life

    Oxford Club Culture: Too Much Too Soon?

  • Impact of the Presidential Election On the Sports World

    Sports

    A New Era – the Breaking of Precedents

  • Impact of the Presidential Election On the Sports World

    Entertainment

    The Return of Taylor Swift

  • Impact of the Presidential Election On the Sports World

    Editorials

    On Reinvention

  • Impact of the Presidential Election On the Sports World

    Editorials

    Make Some Noise: A Revolution in the Making

  • Impact of the Presidential Election On the Sports World

    Sports

    Previewing the 2017 NBA Playoffs

  • Impact of the Presidential Election On the Sports World

    Entertainment

    Terrific Tarheel State – More that NC has to Offer

  • Impact of the Presidential Election On the Sports World

    Sports

    Filling out a March Madness Bracket – A Delicate Science or Just Dumb Luck?

  • Impact of the Presidential Election On the Sports World

    Student Life

    Television Crew Films on Oxford’s Campus

The student news site of Oxford College of Emory University
Impact of the Presidential Election On the Sports World