Sun. May 24th, 2020

SF Sports

We do sports, straightforward.

Athletes, Go to the White House

What’s more annoying than athletes complaining about real-world issues? Them avoiding significant opportunities to create positive dialogue while bashing our country’s leader. Am I pro-Trump? Not exactly, I am pro-America and I support every President in office. Do I love everything that each President does? Absolutely not. In fact, I barely trust politicians period. But I respect the position of the President of the best country in the world and if I were ever invited regardless of who is in office I would accept.

Recently, U.S. women’s national soccer star Megan Rapinoe said:

“I’m not going to the f****** White House… we are not going to be invited. I doubt it. [Trump] tries to avoid inviting a team that might decline, or, like he did when the (NBA’s Golden State) Warriors turned him down (in 2017), he’ll claim they hadn’t been invited in the first place.”

Megan Rapinoe Huff Post

The Issue

My main reason I dislike any athletes choice to skip out on attending the White House is simple, not everyone gets invited. I completely understand someone disagreeing with policies, ideas, and actions/words spoken by the President. I understand that each person gets upset by different things, and everyone goes through something unique to them. A lot of people openly dislike, disagree, and discredit our current President, Donald Trump. Why not take the invite to the White House and personally attempt to create change?

It is so popular to just bash people these days and avoid conversation. The culture to shut someone down and silence dialogue is concerning. Athletes are megastars and impact more people than politicians. They have a platform unlike any other on the planet. This missed opportunity to use her voice in a better way is sad. As Megan mentioned, many other teams and players have turned down a White House visit.

Imagine a world where every one of those athletes and teams went to the White House with a strategic communication plan and a well thought out message for conversation. I’m not even saying that anything would change, I’m just suggesting that the ripple effect would be greater than the rejected invite. The younger generations would see the benefit of discussing polarizing topics with people you disagree with to try and create a better world. It would make people more brave and courageous. THIS IS WHAT THE WE NEED, MEANINGFUL AND CONSTRUCTIVE CONVERSATION.

How powerful would it be for athletes that disagree with President Trump (or any President) to stand face-to-face with him and explain in detail why they are upset by him or his policies or this country?

That is way more influential than just having an outburst and saying something with little substance. Reacting this way to a question is empty and the easy way to look at things. Children react this way which is why it’s relatable but not the best outcome. Her reaction is exactly where we are now as a society. She can totally react this way with her friends and family, but to do so publically this way using that language is doing exactly what she dislikes about President Trump. He consistently says the wrong and inappropriate thing to the masses for all to see.

If Megan would have said, “You know, I’m excited about the opportunity to attend the White House. It’s such a historical building and an important part of our country. So many great teams and athletes have visited the White House since 1865 and it’s an honor to be invited. As many are aware, President Trump and I do not agree on issues that are close to my heart. When we win the World Cup I will gather my thoughts and prepare a perfectly tailored message to hopefully open his eyes to my life.” It doesn’t even have to be this exactly, but something like this.

The message that this sends to the public is way more positive and productive. It shows maturity, composure, vision, and hope. Megan could have sparked a movement of people to stand up for what they believe in by doing things the right way. Instead, her original response teaches others to avoid people or ideas that oppose you. Never overcome anything, never face your adversary, never do the hard thing, which is so the opposite of what an athlete does. I’m not implying that she hasn’t overcome anything or faced adversity personally, but her message does convey that.

Who knows, maybe she could gain some insight on President Trump or influence his life?

Joyner Lucas made a song called, “I’m Not Racist” in 2017. During the song, a stereotypical white man and black man are sitting down and having a conversation. Already, the video is above and beyond where our country is at, talking. People can’t discuss anything with opposing viewpoints. Instead, people lock themselves in their echo chambers for comfort and confirmation bias, rarely attempting to grow. People are so confident that they are right while failing to present consistent or sound logic. But anyways, during the conversation between the two men they each state their side of the argument which is embedded with undeniable truths. Joyner had a brilliant vision and execution of this song. PEOPLE DISAGREE. It’s natural for humans to disagree on many things.

Two almost identical lines in the song are really why efforts need to be made to seek opposing viewpoints, “but there’s two sides to every story, I wish that I knew yours.” This line comes from the white man ending his verse halfway through the song. The next line is, “but there’s two sides to every story and now you know mine.” This line comes from the black man ending the song. The subtle difference shows the progress that each of them has made together just by hearing one another. Spoiler alert, they end up embracing each other with a heartfelt hug. Progress was made.

If we don’t talk or listen to people of opposite sides we will never know their stances/story, therefore, we cannot grow, change, expand, and understand. I challenge all athletes to take their platform seriously. Do the hard things. Stop being cowards, that goes to every athlete and team that has turned down a visit to the White House or other opportunities like it where you have a massive chance to impact society. They all feel so passionately about something but often refuse this chance.

Maybe Megan’s words will spark change and make her point. Megan is an amazing athlete and beautiful person, I don’t want to take that away from her. But this is a situation where there is a better option. Choose the better option. Do the hard things. Seek positive change. Embrace discussion. Promote love. I hope the women’s team wins the World Cup and they all choose to visit the White House. And I hope this fuels a change for future teams and players to also visit the White House despite feelings and seek positive change through discussion. Show the world that we can overcome together and work through differences.

Featured Image – Megan Rapinoe. Photo Credit WGN TV 9.

7 thoughts on “Athletes, Go to the White House

  1. Wow this is incredible! I had never even considered this approach with this matter. Amazing perspective. Loved this post!!

  2. Wow this is kind of true. It’s just hard when you think others don’t care, but I guess that’s why you don’t know until you try.

  3. On Monday, the UFC announced that Tony Ferguson will fight Justin Gaethje for the interim lightweight title. This will undoubtedly be a fascinating fight, with the winner taking a shot at Khabib Nurmagomedov. UFC 249 HD

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.