The thing I love most about sports is that everyone can have an opinion about something pertaining to it.
Oftentimes, there is no universal correct answer that solves each individual situation. Sports debates are great because they are open-ended.
Sports bring people together. Two people who are completely different can be united by their bond over a team. Sports can spark conversations that otherwise would not have happened. It is the ultimate unifier.
Of course, there are experts that have more knowledge about a particular sport than others, but even the experts don’t have all the solutions.
No matter their gender, race, or intelligence, every person is entitled to have their own sports opinion and should not be criticized when they express them.
President Donald Trump is subjected to a lot of scrutiny for his tweets. Ever since he ran for office, Trump’s use of Twitter constantly made headlines for the controversy it sparked. Just this Saturday, Trump sparked outrage again for a tweet about the World Series.
“Watching the Dodgers/Red Sox final innings. It is amazing how a manager takes out a pitcher who is loose & dominating through almost 7 innings, Rich Hill of Dodgers, and brings in nervous reliever(s) who get shellacked. 4 run lead gone. Managers do it all the time, big mistake!” Trump tweeted.
In recent years, Twitter has been the best social media outlet for people to express their sports viewpoints. My Twitter, for instance, is typically filled with opinions about my favorite soccer team, Liverpool F.C., and its performances. It is understood that any sports-related tweet is subject to other fans commenting their opinion. The sports Twitter world is harsh and often contains rude or nasty responses when someone tweets about a particular topic.
While I do not advocate for cruelty toward others over their respective opinions, I understand that it is part of the world of sports in which debates can often-times get heated. The line, however, is crossed when a person tells another they should not have an opinion in the first place. Everyone should be able to speak their mind freely when it comes to sports.
Trump’s tweet on Saturday night was met with a backlash from people who argued that he shouldn’t be tweeting about the game. Many people were adamant that they could care less about his opinion and that he shouldn’t even have one in the first place.
The tweet followed a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue earlier in the day where 11 people died. Many said that his focus should be on the victims of the attack and not on the baseball game.
“There was a mass shooting yesterday,” Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill explained to reporters when asked about Trump’s tweet. “The focus, in my opinion, of the president is to be on the country and not on moves that are made in a World Series game.”
As a Jewish person, I agree that Trump needed to focus his attention on the shooting space. However, after a long day of work, everyone should be entitled to sit back and unwind. For many people, sports is the best outlet of doing so. At 11:46 p.m., anyone is entitled to take a break from his or her stressful work life, and enjoy watching a game of baseball if they choose to do so.
This also begs the question of whether or not politics and sports should be separate from one another. Should the president be allowed to talk about sports?
I think yes — but it’s more complicated. Many athletes have spoken out against Trump, so it is a double standard for them to speak out against politics.
However, it is also expected that athletes take a more socially conscious stance and speak their minds about politics. LeBron James has been widely applauded for his outspoken rhetoric against Trump. This praise is justified.
There should not be a double standard between politicians and athletes and whether they should be able to speak about one another.
If the general expectation is that athletes speak up about political injustices, it would be unfair to say that presidents cannot speak about sports.
As a kid, I loved watching former president Barack Obama make his March Madness bracket during the NCAA season. I would always use his bracket as a reference and try to compete against him. I like it when politicians are humanized through their love for sports.
While I may not agree with Trump on many aspects, I know that he and I have a bond over our love for sports. While I may not agree with all of his sports opinions, I won’t neglect his right to have one.
Robby Aronson is a sophomore majoring in journalism. His column, “The Bottom Line,” runs every other Wednesday.