Field Theory by Hadyn Green

11

The score is 43-1

Perhaps it was Barack Obama's, constantly mentioned, athletic ability but sport came up an awful lot this American election season. And now I think it's safe to call that this election proved once and for all, despite all prejudices and the fact that I can't stand either of them: basketball is more popular than hockey.

On ESPN's Pardon the Interruption last night Washington Post journalist Michael Wilbon had this to say on the election of Barack Obama:

For 100 years, going back to Jack Johnson, black sports figures have always been accepted when it comes to entertaining white Americans…[but not in politics]

Which is why it's hard to agree with stories that claim: Black athletes eased Obama's path to White House. It was also noted during the same PTI that "sports are the funhouse mirror where we check our reflection". A large number of black people earning money in sport do not mean you have a racially integrated society.

And are the athletes who eased Obama's path actually thinking of racial equality or are they thinking about the big money they're earning?

New York Jets nose tackle Kris Jenkins thought about his taxes, but, more importantly, his three young children and his half-brother serving in Iraq.

"I can't be selfish enough to think about keeping all of my money and just being in a better tax bracket because I have to be sure that I do my part for the world to be a better place for my kids," he said.

And if you do believe that sports helps acceptance then it doesn't bode well for the gay community, who were not only heavily discriminated against on election night but also don't have any mainstream athletes to help "ease" their path.

In fact, Tony Dungy (the first black coach to win the Superbowl) is quoted in that ESPN article, but has openly campaigned against gay rights. I guess equality isn't for everyone.

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