Diversity in Professional Sports
Diversity within professional sports has been very controversial throughout the past week. There have been many black and white athletes within professional sports who have expressed their frustration towards the United States justice system. It started last year when a professional football player named Colin Kaepernick began expressing his frustration by kneeling for the National Anthem before NFL games. He was frustrated because of the senseless killings of unarmed black men, women, and children. This created a lot of tension in our country and divided a lot of people. Some believe it is our right to stand or sit during the National Anthem, while others believe it is disrespectful to kneel during the anthem because of the troops who risk their lives to protect us. This has been a recent topic for debate because now several professional athletes are beginning to start kneeling during the National Anthem as well. It is becoming such a debate that even the President of The United States has begun adding his own comments on the issue. He has recently referred to all of the players who are kneeling as a derogatory term. Now obviously this has offended a lot of athletes and other supporters of these athletes.
In my opinion, I think these athletes have a great point in kneeling for the National Anthem. I believe there is a race issue in our country and this issue will likely never go away, but I believe it is important to bring attention to this issue. I also believe it is everyone’s right to stand or kneel during the National Anthem. Don’t get me wrong, I do see people’s argument to this. People believe that disrespecting the National Anthem is like disrespecting the people fight for our country. I understand this, but I do not think the athletes are doing to as a sign of disrespect instead they are doing it to bring attention to the race issue in this country. There have been several unarmed black individuals who have been killed by police lately without any conviction. I think it is great that these athletes are standing up for what they believe in. They are also using their big platform to bring this issue to everyone’s attention throughout the world. This clearly deals with racially diversity, because these athletes are fighting for equality for everyone no matter your skin color. It isn’t about the flag or the military. It is about racial issues in this country and I personally support these athletes, but have respect for the counterargument.
As someone who grew up participating in various sports, and who continued their athletic career at the collegiate level, I have often noticed the lack of diversity in terms of gender in sports. In softball, the referee was always a man. In volleyball, the main referee was always a man. Soccer was the only sport that had some diversity in refereeing. On the other hand, a vast majority of my coaches were men, and the few women who coached were usually assistant coaches.
A few days ago, I found an article about the FIRST full-time female coach in the NFL, and I was very surprised. Growing up, I hated football, and I’m still not a huge fan on the sport. I’ve dislike it since elementary school when all the boys would play football at recess and no girls were allowed. Well, now there is finally a woman in the industry, and it is amazing.
Kathryn Smith is now the head coach of the Buffalo Bills after Rex Ryan. This is also an amazing feat considering the domestic violence issues within the league in the last couple of years, as well as the general representation of women in authoritative roles. I am very interested to see what changes she will bring to the industry and how she can change people’s minds.
Throughout my childhood, there was a girl who was two years younger than me that participated in football, wrestling, and almost any sport a boy could play. I always secretly admired her, because while she was ridiculed by her male teammates, she continued playing the sports simply for her love of the game. I often wish this was something we could instill in young girls today.
Sport and diversity go together. There is always a sport for almost every age and level of skills. Also, sport is a way to make friends and have a social life. Sport is not only limited to social life, it is also can be used for a healthy lifestyle as well. Individuals can make a healthy life out of sport. Therefore, sport seems to be a great definition of what an ideal lifestyle should look like. However, life is not perfect and so is sport. There is a negative side of sport that might lack diversity in it.
Aside from sport being a way to make a social and a healthier life for individuals, it can be a tool of bullying and discrimination. In schools for example, not all children are able to play sport that they desire to play. Behind that are many reasons that might separate children from their favorite sport. One of those reasons is the attitudes that some children have, which make other children feel as if they were not included within the sport community in school. For example, when playing soccer, some children might not have the chance to play just because that they do not belong to the same social class as the other players. This goes against the idea of sport and diversity. Individuals should be judged based on their skills and not their social class or background. Discrimination and bullying are tools that can make sport and diversity separated.
Overall, sport can have a positive and negative side of it. It can be a way to get people together, or a tool for discrimination and bullying. Making sport to be only a positive side is not an easy approach. However, identifying these problems, whether they are small or big, can make sport a way for diversity to spread. That is how sport should be and that is one of the reasons why it was created. The hope is that sport can make the world a place that is more diverse and more peaceful in all levels.
Spyder Wallpapers (2017, February 12). Sports. Retrieved from http://hd-wall-papers.com/single/1474515-sports.htm