Don’t let politics keep you from enjoying sports, entertainment

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 13, 2018

I don’t care about the politics of the players on professional sports teams that I follow. I just don’t care. The same goes for the musicians I listen to.

They can be against apple pie, and it still wouldn’t matter.

Heck, I’m an Atlanta Braves baseball fan. It includes players from quite a few different countries. Some of them may not think like me, and like I said, I don’t care. There are even a couple from Venezuela. Great guys. Great players. But the politics in their country? Let’s not go there. They may not even be able to go back home without body guards.

Our disdain for anything different than us or who thinks any differently than us started before the NFL players started kneeling. Should they kneel? I don’t think so. By kneeling during the National Anthem and before the flag, it appears they are protesting a symbol of what gives them the right to protest in the first place. It just doesn’t make any sense to me, especially now. While they had their reasons in the beginning, it has turned into a fight over whether the NFL should allow it. People have shut off the NFL because of it. Online, they post photo after photo of wounded vets with their hatred for the “privileged” players kneeling. Even though some of the kneeling may be misguided, I’ve never heard a player say something bad about veterans, or our military.

Some of that online complaining goes too far. If their teams and the league allows it, there’s no reason a player shouldn’t be allowed to kneel. And if they do, there’s no reason millions of fans can’t tell the NFL to stick it where the sun don’t shine. And there’s no reason that fans like me, a marginal fan at best, can’t continue to enjoy watching the games — whether for or against the kneeling.

Like I said, it just doesn’t matter.

I’d bet that if we knew the politics — or even lifestyle habits — of people we admire, whether it be in sports or politics, in entertainment or just in the community — there would be a cringe or two. They do what? They really believe that? None of us are perfect. None of us have all the answers. None of us think the same.

Republicans don’t have to hate Democrats, and vice versa. After all, we pretty much want the same thing — an efficient government that allows us to be free and happy. After the abortion debate, there’s really not that much to divide us.

In the NHL professional hockey league, there are teams in Canada and the United States. When a U.S. team plays in Canada, and vice versa, both national anthems are played. And it’s rare (I’ve never seen it) for a fan or player to show anything but respect for the opposing country’s anthem. Many of the players come from other countries — including the Soviet Union, and they’re grateful for the opportunities that teams in the United States provide.

For quite a few years now, we’ve heard a lot about those liberal Hollywood elites who want to change the country to their liking. Some people put the whole group in Hollywood into the same pile. Do they know about Charlton Heston, Clint Eastwood and Ronald Reagan? Liberal Hollywood? They’re not all the same, people. Don’t put everyone into the same pile just because a few of the more vocal ones think differently than you.

In music, it’s somewhat easier to tell a star’s politics because they often sing it out loud. I still love Todd Snider’s “Conservative Christian, Right Wing Republican, Straight White American Male,” and at the same time, can enjoy Hank Williams Jr.’s “Keep the Change.”

Why? Because it just doesn’t matter.