Posts Tagged ‘athletes political views

07
Nov
08

Blog In-Depth: Athletes expressing political views?

Buzz Manager™ analyzed blog discussion surrounding opinions on athletes publicly expressing their political views.

The Buzz ranked 4 out of 10, a topic of a medium level of interest among sports bloggers.

–     Bloggers in the Positive category praised athletes expressing their political views, feeling athletes have as much a right to an opinion as every other voter and should feel free to express it. Many enjoyed hearing athletes’ take on the historical significance of Barack Obama being elected. Others said that athletes’ opinions can raise awareness among others and serve as a catalyst for conversation. Among athletes receiving praise were Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

–     Bloggers in the Negative category disliked athletes expressing their unhappiness with the proposed Obama tax plan that would raise their taxes. Many felt this reflected negatively on the athletes given that they are paid such high salaries to begin with. Some felt that athletes should not express their political views in general, seeing it as an abuse of their celebrity status. Others felt negatively about those athletes that supported political views different from their own, saying it made it harder for them to be a fan of that athlete.

–     Bloggers in the Neutral category tended to either post quotes or videos of athletes and their political reactions, without any commentary. Some noticed the conflicting feelings some athletes may have faced in this election, due to the relative quickness with which a professional athlete’s socioeconomic class changes. Many come from low or middle income families and may still identify with those feelings, as opposed to their feelings about protecting their high salaries.

blog-hound-pie-chart-11-7-08Celebrating Barack Obama’s victory is something that can be done on one’s own time, and probably shouldn’t be something that is planned on the company’s dime. I’m not sure why anyone would feel that it’s ok for athletes to make these sorts of political statements when they are “at work,” but I’m sure if anyone in a normal job were to celebrate election results at work in a way that could potentially damage the company, it would result in punitive action. Is there a reason that athletes feel the need to abuse the public stage to express political views? I’m certainly not suggesting they be censored, but I do believe a certain amount of discretion should be considered, and I’m not sure that I see that in sports today. It doesn’t matter who the athlete is supporting. Whether it’s Marshall celebrating Obama’s victory, or Brady Quinn stumping for John McCain, there’s no reason for it. It’s not only an abuse of their celebrity status, it’s also a testament to the ignorance of the American voter.” – Fan IQ

Here are my Top 10 Reasons as to why we need MORE political expression from athtletes and more politically charged questions from the media in Sports. Freedom of speech and political participation are kind of important concepts. … When is the last time you didn’t cheer when your least favorite player hit a home run or scored a touchdown for your favorite team? And when was the last time a winning team didn’t seem to develop wonderful team chemistry? Besides, expressing your political views is not inconsistent with basic civility. … There is also nothing wrong with an athlete simply saying they have no opinion or that they don’t wish to share their opinion. That’s their right too and nobody would dispute that. Thus, it is silly to suggest that athletes would be unfairly “exposed” or made to look bad if the issues of politics came up. Athletes, like all citizens, have complete control over their level of involvement. …  Athletes don’t need to be “experts”to express political views any more than you or I do. This is the United States of America. We all get to speak. Some of the most ignorant people in the country are political talk show hosts. What exactly is their “qualification”? What credential does an athlete need? The same one you or I need. None.” – The Daily Sports Herald Blog

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