Politics and sports – despite our best attempts at telling ourselves otherwise – are inherently chained to one another. One need only look to Eminem ‘taking a knee’ as an act of solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and the Black Lives Matter movement this past weekend at the Superbowl halftime show to see how the field, the pitch and the arena are hardly apolitical. The world of sports is political, and politics will always be subject to the eyes of athletic activism – this is an unalienable truth going back to the days when Muhammad Ali protested the American government by refusing the draft to fight in Vietnam, or the iconic moment when Tommie Smith and John Carlos made the salute to “Black Power” at the podium of the Olympics, on a warm night in Mexico City back in 1968. In more recent years, anti-racist activism has become embraced by athletes from across leagues, perhaps reaching its height during the 2020 season when athletes from the NBA and WNBA, Major League Baseball and even the ever-militant NFL placed the fight against racism and police brutality to the forefront of the game.
But now, two years removed from that season of revolution, the ways in which politics has manifested on the field, the pitch and the arena has taken on a very different tone, with many athletes no longer reflecting the call for racial justice, but rather the chorus of anti-politics and conspiracy that has become endemic of right-wing politics in the pandemic era. How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted athletic activism across leagues? How have anti-vax figures like Aaron Rogers and Kyrie Irving impacted the broader political environment? And what are the political implications to be drawn from the Winter Olympics currently taking place in Beijing? On this special episode of the Carleton University Political Science podcast, we will tackle these questions and more as we present our third annual episode charting The Politics of the Game with Professor Aaron Ettinger. Dr. Ettinger is an assistant professor with Carleton University’s Department of Political Science specializing in international relations, American and Canadian foreign policy and international political economy.
Follow us on social media:
Thanks so much for listening, and an extra thanks to Sappheiros for use of his music for our theme.
Lights by Sappheiros @sappheirosmusic
Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0
Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/LightsSappheiros
Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/-lbbHQbZNKg
🎵 Track Info:
Title: Lights by Sappheiros
Genre and Mood: Dance & Electronic + Inspirational
🎧 Available on:
😊 Contact the Artist: