Sports and Politics

The primary goal of this site is to provide mature, meaningful discussion about the Vancouver Canucks. However, we all need a break some time so this forum is basically for anything off-topic, off the wall, or to just get something off your chest! This forum is named after poster Creeper, who passed away in July of 2011 and was a long time member of the Canucks message board community.

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Cornuck
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Sports and Politics

Post by Cornuck »

I guess it's come to this - politics and social issues have been around sports for a long time, but now they're intersecting with the Cup playoffs.

Yea or Nay - they're here.

The cynic in me says cancelling a couple of games is a moot point, and a hollow effort to appease part of the population. More messaging throughout the game would have been more informative and possibly been able to enlighten a few minds along the way. Why cancel something that has no direct bearing on the events or the much broader social issues at hand? What will cancelling the games achieve? What is the goal?

The optimist in me thinks that at some point, the huge social problem of racial injustice across society needs to be addressed and things are coming to a head. Having the league postpone a couple of games in solidarity with an ongoing movement shows society that people are listening and that some action, however insignificant is seems is still action. Is western civilization ready to take some big steps forward like it did in the 60s? Is change going to come fast? Will we look back at these postponed games as a moment like the raised fists at the olympics?

It's really an interesting time to watch this unfold and have no idea how it will play out. There are bad actors on each side, so the issues have to rise above those individuals and be heard.

I really don't know what's going to happen, or even which way I'm leaning tonight. It's getting ugly down here, and there are no easy solutions. Politicians will only bend to the will of the masses, and slowly. Things need to change, and if postponing 2 hockey games helps achieve those changes, then fine. My cynical side says this will be going on for a long time still, and tonight's postponements won't be an echo in the long story.

But if we have more time to get Myers back and healthy - then sure, it's all good. ;)
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Re: Sports and Politics

Post by Meds »

While this is player driven. The league absolutely had to go this way. With ticket sales an uncertain thing now, advertising, merchandise, and marketing, are paramount.

Social media is the new court of the day. The NHL would be the only big league not getting on board with social issues. They would take a pounding. Might mean reduced advertising revenue.

And btw, the NHL is the biggest statement of them all. A league that is at least 90% white standing firm condemning racism? Makes the biggest visual splash.
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Re: Sports and Politics

Post by Per »

Cornuck wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:26 pm
But if we have more time to get Myers back and healthy - then sure, it's all good. ;)
This! :wink:
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Re: Sports and Politics

Post by Per »

Pretty sure this was a no-brainer for Petey.

He has stated before that he doesn't want to be remembered just for hockey, that there are more things to life.

And we know how he genuinely cares for people, mentioning Botchford in his Calder acceptance speech, speaking out on Swedish TV as an 11-yo when his best friend was deported to Armenia.

https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/eli ... -big-read/
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Re: Sports and Politics

Post by Strangelove »

.
With all the nutjobs out smashing, looting, pillaging, torching, and murdering as a form of protest...

Don't you think it would be best for major league sports that wish to "influence positive change in society"

... to include within their statement something like:

"However, we completely condemn all the looting, pillaging, torching occurring in US cities."

I mean as long as they're sincerely trying to influence positive change in society and all. :scowl:
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Re: Sports and Politics

Post by Per »

Strangelove wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 6:25 pm .
With all the nutjobs out smashing, looting, pillaging, torching, and murdering as a form of protest...

Don't you think it would be best for major league sports that wish to "influence positive change in society"

... to include within their statement something like:

"However, we completely condemn all the looting, pillaging, torching occurring in US cities."

I mean as long as they're sincerely trying to influence positive change in society and all. :scowl:
Sure. Can’t argue with that.
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Re: Sports and Politics

Post by UWSaint »

You did such a good job framing this topic, Corn, I thought I'd bump it with a response.

I think that one of the worst trends in American society (and I think its true in Canada as well) is the growing expectation that non-political entities should be engaged in political things. There are a lot of reasons why, but I want to concentrate on one. One of the beauties of apolitical things is that partisans appreciate them together. When partisans come together in appreciation of or support for a common thing, they also experience shared bond that shows there is more to life than politics. Sport is the perfect example of that. Like politics, it splits us into tribes. I'm a Canucks fan, not a Flames fan. I celebrate with my brother and sister Canucks fans, whether they are commies or socialists or liberals or conservatives. We celebrate, we mourn, we bond, we have this common experience, share this level of humanity that brings joy (and sorrow!) to our lives regardless of who's in the White House or who is the Canadian PM.

Too much of life becomes political. People boycott Netflix because the owners gives money to progressive liberal causes (not because they don't like the product for the value). They boycott Chick Fil A (do you have that in Canada?) because the owners opposed same sex marriage (if I recall that correctly), not because they don't like the chicken. Extend that logic and we will start asking who designed or funded a bridge before we drive over it -- the reds or the blues? Its even worse than that these days, as now there's a puritanical taint philosophy, so a good progressive must not only not go to Chick Fil A, picket Chick Fil A, organize boycotts of Chick Fil A, but organize boycotts of entities that allow Chick Fil A to advertise with them. (Same idea of second degree boycotting is on the right, though a bit less so). The result of everything becoming political is that we stop having apolitical interactions with our fellow citizens, interactions that lower the temperature from the divisions of politics. We can chat on a god damn hockey message board about politics without getting all that riled up because we share this apolitical thing in common -- hockey, specifically Canuck hockey. Should we boycott the board because it allows RD and Strangelove to post? No. Anyway, when we stop sharing things in common, it is so much easier to see political opponents as a different category than human -- the lack of positive shared common experiences among people of differing partisan views makes it easier to demonize the other.

So when the NHL as a corporation becomes political, it stops being this fun thing that can be universally shared. Stops is to strong a word -- it diminishes the ability for the NHL to be this forum where the currency is the game, not something else. It diminishes the opportunity to enjoy sharing this common great thing with my commie pinko Canuck lovers -- I guess they'd call themselves my comrades....

The one place where I think sport can have positive political impact without these complications is when the political impact is cause by simply being the sport. Jackie Robinson is the best example (though there are others). Robinson transformed baseball *and society* when he was signed by the Dodgers. It wasn't because the Dodgers were hell bent on social reform (they might have been, I don't know), it was because Jackie Robinson was a hall of fame caliber player not playing in major league baseball. The Dodgers saw signing him as a way to make their team better. And by being a better baseball player -- a game that itself can't see the world through race -- fans saw a black ballplayer who was among the best at the craft. Because being a fan is a tribal sort of experience, it is a powerful experience. And I would hazard a guess that it was powerful enough to eliminate or minimize the racial instincts of many of the Dodgers' white fans during that era, and broader still, baseball fans. Because baseball was enjoyed without regard to politics, republican and democrat racists were transformed alike. But this happened because sport was just being sport, and whatever social change it may have wanted, it did it through the thing it is expert at (sport) and not the thing it is inexpert at (general questions of justice). It fielded players who were exceptionally gifted athletes playing well on a level field. Racist mythologies were disproven for all to see.

What I am not going to write about here is the other main reason sport shouldn't get involved in politics -- its not very good at it. To say why would take quite an essay....

Last bit -- corporate sport involvement in politics is different to me that individual athletes. As far as those athletes are concerned, if they want to participate in politics, fine. Now I don't know that "celebrity" is much of a reason to change one's views on things (I prefer dialogue or data or appeals to higher values or principles), but go ahead. It is a free country. Unless that radical bunch of neo-marxist intersectionalists who the NHL gave a free ad to the other day (Black Lives Matter) actually succeeds. (And no, Black Lives Matter is not just about ending racism: https://blacklivesmatter.com/what-we-believe/)
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