Star ath­letes shouldn’t mix sports and pol­i­tics

Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND VOICES - Larry Scheinin, Bal­ti­more

Star ath­letes of ev­ery sport, in­clud­ing foot­ball, have a unique op­por­tu­nity to show the world how in­di­vid­u­als of dif­fer­ent races, re­li­gions and na­tion­al­i­ties can com­pete re­spect­fully in their field. They should be ex­am­ples for the world of how to re­spect each other in­stead of how to protest for var­i­ous causes (“As protests dur­ing na­tional an­them spread across NFL, Ravens don’t get in­volved,” Sept 12).

Chil­dren look up to sports fig­ures for not only their per­for­mance, but as ex­am­ples of sports­man­ship and lead­er­ship. The be­come role mod­els. But those who choose to protest not only pro­vide a poor ex­am­ple for their cause but also a lack of lead­er­ship. They lose a great op­por­tu­nity to help keep their sports the en­joy­ment that they are meant to be.

That’s why sports fig­ures who choose to en­gage in protest should re­con­sider how to ex­press their views through im­prov­ing mu­tual re­spect be­tween all peo­ple, not only in our coun­try but through­out the world. They should be mod­els of what it means to treat their fans and each other with re­spect.

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