Monday, August 31, 2020

About more than playing ballgames

     Sports is the same thing happening over and over.
     Teams meet, agitate a ball, which is thrown and caught. Tossed through a hoop or hit with a bat. Sometimes kicked. There’s also hockey.
     I am not insulting sports fans, mind you. I understand that for them, sports is the hub on which the universe spins. It just isn’t my table. The night the Cubs won the World Series in 2016, I attended a lecture at the Field Museum on tattooing in Polynesia. I was not alone.
     Sports is the same thing happening over and over.
     To me. Generally. But not always. Occasionally, something noteworthy happens. Something will transpire in the world of sports so seismic that even I perceive it, like a deaf person sensing the orchestra by vibrations through the floor.
     Last Wednesday, the Milwaukee Bucks announced they wouldn’t play their first round playoff game against the Magic. Not with Kenosha roiled nightly with unrest over the shooting of Jacob Blake.
     The NBA didn’t count the game as a forfeit but picked up the series three days later. The rest of the NBA, even some baseball teams joined in. Now they’re talking about using basketball arenas as polling places.
     That seems significant.

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  1. Michael Jordan got a lot of heat for that "Republicans buy sneakers too" comment (which may in fact have been apocryphal). But the people who harp on that forget, if they even knew in the first place, that Jordan was one of the first prominent athletes to refuse to come to the White House for the traditional post-championship photo op with the president, because of his antipathy for George W. Bush and the war in Iraq. He got a fair amount of blowback for that.

  2. Great column, thanks. Glad to the Chicago boxing connections highlighted.


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