It is one of the more vocal arguments being waged across the American landscape this summer due in large part to COVID-19, and showing no signs of diminishing. Professional and amateur athletes exercising their First Amendment rights, and showing support for social causes, in large part the rising tide of violence against African-Americans. It has caused people in droves to swear they will never again watch a sport, support a University’s athletic effort, or spend another nickel in tickets. It has also boiled up plenty of hate toward the athletes, much of it racially based. For those complaining about sports becoming “too political”, better wake up. Sports has always carried an element of politics, and often becomes the flashpoint for positive change. Disagree? My guest is prolific author and expert commentator on the permanent interconnection between sports, race and politics, Dave Zirin. Is this anger driven out of boredom and frustration over having lives altered so drastically because of COVID-19, or is there something more sinister in the reveal? We open the Pandora’s Box and seek to uncover why the American sports fan is so angry over something seemingly so banal. It’s a very special edition of “The Man in the Arena”, where absolutely nothing is ever out of bounds.
Is it arrogance, ignorance, or racism when people complain about athletes having a social conscience?