America will soon decide who will be the next president: Donald Trump or Joe Biden. Over the past four years, Trump has politicized sport more than any other president before him. He appears to have lost a lot of credibility in the sports world mainly due to strong reactions on social media and his polarizing positions. The question will this have an impact on the election results?
Birds are white, old, rich, retired or exotic
Flashback to November 2016. The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. The list of athletes who supported him at that time can be described as follows: white, old, rich, retired or a few exotic birds. Mike Tyson, Dennis Rodman, Tito Ortiz and a few other wealthy sports club owners to name a few.
But as Trump has always tried to boost his popularity through sport, he now appears to be campaigning against it. The way the current president is using social media, especially Twitter, to express an intense obsession with him, has sparked a wave of discontent and protest in the sports world.
Tito Ortiz (UFC), Mike Tyson, Dennis Rodman, Robert Kraft (New England Patriots owner)
Athletes protest against the current climate
In a USA Today survey, outstanding athletes say they have three reasons
Why are they voting for the first time this year. The first and second are clear: some are only allowed to vote because of their age and others consider it their moral imperative as US citizens.
But the main reason behind inviting athletes and women
The vote is linked to the events of recent years and subsequent movements that challenge racial, social and economic inequality.
Just think about the reactions to Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling in NFL, the controversy surrounding the name change of some American teams like the Redskins and the Indians, NBA players’ support for the Black Lives Matter movement and the NASCAR Championship (motorsport) case with the alleged noose in Bubba’s garage. Wallace and remove the Confederate state flag.
Athletes are calling to vote
Many sports stars, especially black athletes, are outraged by their president’s statements and not only vote for themselves, but are also inviting their followers to vote in large numbers through their vast social networks.
Shaquille O’Neal, the great basketball player, is one of the sports icons who recently admitted to voting for the first time ever this year and calling everyone to do the same.
In an interview with American media, he said, “How can I get others to vote if I don’t do it myself? America needs a president who connects all Americans.”
America needs a president who will connect all Americans.
LeBron James calls everyone to vote
High demand among NBA and NFL players
In the NBA, NBA, more than 96% of players allowed to vote are registered. In 2016 this was still 25%. We see this trend also in American football. The NFL announced that more than 900 players would vote, that is, nearly 90% of all players.
Finally, the NCAA, the top division of college sports, announced that there would be no games and practices on Election Day to give more people the opportunity to vote.
But when there is a protest movement, there is often a countermovement, albeit less pronounced in Europe because it comes from the more traditional American sports that are not followed here and about which top American athletes around the world are not known.
Trump still finds supporters in the United States’ most popular motorsports (NASCAR), baseball, and mixed martial arts (MMA, UFC). Brett Favre, the NFL icon, publicly gave his support to the president this week and the super-rich are still good with him.
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