Will sports leagues and owners make their voices heard?

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For many of us, today’s events represent the realization of vague fears and concerns that have rattled around in our brains, our beings, and our souls for the last four years. The violent insurrection against our Capitol during the certification of our most recent presidential election may not be the end, but simply the beginning of the end.

The images have created shock. The response by the uniformed authorities has created confusion. As many have argued, if the insurrectionists were Black or Brown, they would have cuffs on their wrists at best, tags on their toes at worst.

So where does the sports world fit into this? At a time when players and (some) reporters have moved beyond the “stick to sports” mantra used by those who don’t want to hear opinions that differ from theirs, players and (some) reporters have been willing to use their platforms.

The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat have issued a compelling statement in advance of their Wednesday night game, pointing out the “drastic difference between the way protestors this past spring and summer were treated and the encouragement given to today’s protestors who acted illegally just shows how much work we have to do.”

Similarly, the league’s official website has posted an article with reactions to today’s events from various NFL players.

It is proper. It is appropriate. It is necessary. But it is hollow without the voices of the men and women who own sports teams. Not just NFL owners, plenty of whom have supported Donald J. Trump with voices, votes, and financial devotion, but all sports owners, in all leagues.

Where are they? What do they have to say?

Now is not the time for silence, because silence in this context is complicity. So we call on all NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL owners to issue statements or to speak on camera against these treasonous events and Donald J. Trump’s role in inciting them.

That’s precisely what he did. Our 45th President, Donald J. Trump, has incited insurrection in a last-ditch effort to remain in office and, in turn, immune from arrest and prosecution from past alleged crimes.

We also call on all Commissioners of all sports leagues to condemn today’s insurrection and Donald J. Trump’s role in inciting it.

This is the moment for people of good will who have tolerated Donald J. Trump’s gradual, persistent, and calculated gaslighting of our nation to stand up and say, “Enough.” This is the moment for the millionaires and billionaires who have enabled the persistent misconduct of Donald J. Trump to stand up and say, “Enough.” Although it is far too late to undo the damage done by their past failures to stand up to a man who slowly but inevitably was becoming a clear and present danger to national security, this is the last and final chance to get on the right side of history. Because history will look back on these times with wonder and dismay regarding the persistent adherence to self-interest and/or fear of a mean tweet as the justification to treat a grown man with his hands on the levers of ultimate power as a two-year-old who eventually will get it out of his system.

He clearly hasn’t. He clearly won’t. It’s far past time for the rich and powerful to stand up and say, “We were wrong. We never should have supported him. He should go away for good, now.”

Please, sports owners and Commissioners, make your voices heard. Make your positions known. Make your employees and fans aware of where you stand on the question of whether a violent insurrection incited by the Commander-in-Chief should be treated with chilling nonchalance or strenuous objection.

67 responses to “Will sports leagues and owners make their voices heard?

  1. We all need to speak out against the treasonous events today, the criminal insurrectionists who took part, and Trump and other co-conspirators role in inciting them. We must also demand that they be arrested, prosecuted, and imprisoned. No less is acceptable.

  2. Pence needs to get some stones and get the Cabinet to invoke the 25th amendment. Time for 45 to go…….now.

  3. This article is pouring gasoline on the fire. You can not inject sports into this. The connections you draw between the sports world and today’s events do nothing to calm the storm.

  4. Sports in general is no place for politics. It where people go to get away from it. If it continues being involved you will see a lot of sports fans stop watching.

  5. It’s all on our minds but sports is where we go to get away for a while.

    I don’t like where we are headed as a nation.

  6. i like to see the NFL and NBA players refuse to practice and play indefinitely…in protest

  7. Sports and politics have always been intertwined to an extent, all those saying otherwise are being disingenuous.

    Franky, at this point anyone who continues to support Donald Trump are complicit in today’s actions.

  8. Arnold said it best in Predator: “We make a stand now, or there will be noone left to go the chopper.”

  9. This should have been squashed right out of the gate. These people should be arrested and interrogated. I’d like to know who they are and what they felt they were going to accomplish. I also realize that they may not all be who we think they are. Crazy times

  10. I understand that professional sports offers an escape from reality’s issues, but what if our problems are becoming too big to hide from? For now, I’d like to see people speaking out. One day, I hope we can return to keeping political differences separate from our hobbies, interests, and everyday lives.

  11. Or maybe if our government knew how to take care of people during a pandemic people wouldn’t be desperate enough to back a narcissist.

  12. Anyone who thinks a terrorist attack on our Capitol is “politics” is a fool. This is Americans vs terrorists. There should be clear bipartisan condemnation of this violent terrorist attack.

  13. Well stated. I agree on all points. As fans we also have an obligation to voice these concerns to the respective teams we root for and support financially. If we can tweet to denounce off season acquisitions or ill advised coaching hires, then we can certainly call on them speak up and take action to save our republic.

  14. I know for a fact that my heroes, Kim and Terry Pegula, would never do or say anything that might be construed as controversial so I’m sure you’ll hear nothing from them.

  15. I say start with Norseman

    January 6, 2021 at 8:28 pm
    We all need to speak out against the treasonous events today, the criminal insurrectionists who took part, and Trump and other co-conspirators role in inciting them. We must also demand that they be arrested, prosecuted, and imprisoned. No less is acceptable.

  16. This country is full of idiots. The same type of people that wave Trump flags and storm the Capital are the same people who get into brawls at games because their team is losing.

  17. Thank you for this article after the horrifying terrorist attack on our nation’s capital. Trump’s call for a coup — the sytming of the peaceful transition of power — is something that every American who claims to respect the Constitution must do.

  18. I’m once again reminded of Jim Jones and The People’s Temple in Guyana, and the death cult that followed Jim Jones to their deaths, along with their kids. These charismatic leaders feed the psychological needs and spiritual deficiencies of seemingly normal people, and these people would die for their cult leader. That’s what we’re seeing right now.

  19. Lindsey Graham and Mitt Romney: true Patriots, American heroes!
    Hawley, Lankford, Cruz: crooks
    Trump: terrorist

  20. People who say “stick to sports” do not do so because they don’t want to hear opinions different than theirs. They do so because we all need a place to escape the constant arguing between factions who aren’t interested in hearing any opinion but their own. Stop being part of the problem.

  21. If they postpone the playoffs by a week or if the NBA refuses to stand for the national anthem it’ll make me a better person. It’ll make ALL of us better…….

  22. Make no mistake, what happened today was wrong, and nothing I am going to say is an excuse or in any way a call to let these guys off the hook.
    That being said, if the left had joined the right in condemning the looting and burning of cities. Said no to the violence tearing through all or cities and states……and calling them “peaceful protests”, and explaining them away. Ponting fingers (both ways, BTW) In fact if one major sports star or Hollywood Celebrity had stood up and said “Stop it, this is not right”. If there hadn’t been a four year war on everything and everyone Conservative….. Maybe these people would not have been emboldened to act so irresponsibly. I am sure most of you are unlikely to see it, but you do reap what you sow. Has any of you, for one second tried to turn down the temperature?…..or are you ramming the thermostat up on high? Not saying it’s your fault alone, please don’t misunderstand, it’s ALL our faults. Think about it……please. Now is not the time to turn the temperature up any further, especially not in a football blog, yet here we are, SMH. Disgusted by everyone tonight.

  23. The violence didn’t start today – it is an extension of last summer’s violence.

    Until both sides condemn ALL acts of violence – regardless of one’s political agenda, there can be no peace or “justice” for anyone.

  24. Thank you Mike.

    If these were POC or “Antifa”, they would be counting the dead “terrorists ” bodies,

  25. What Happened At The Capital Today Was A Crime. Does Not Matter What Side You Are On, It Was An Attack On Democracy Itself. It’s Wrong, It’s Not American. Plain & Simple.

    Defending What Occurred Today Is Incomprehensible. I Have Heartfelt Sorrow For Anyone Claiming To Be A Proud American That Sees This As Anything Else.

    Billionaires Paying Millionaires Should Be Speaking Out…They All Make Their $ From Americans With Very Biased Opinions….

  26. I respect every man woman and child’s right to have his or her own opinion regarding politics.

    I take a different stand than you on this one here, Florio. Though we all have our own opinions- as we’re entitled and have the right to hold – politics is too divisive. Politics, like religion is something that divides far too many. Frankly, I don’t want to hear from people that share my opinion with regards to politics in sports. I don’t want someone that wants to try to argue with me either. Neither of our minds are going to be changed! Just like with religion. We’re not converting or guilting someone into siding with us. No matter how hard we try. And that’s ok.

    I’d rather we shut politics off for as long as we can and just enjoy the game together. Sane republicans and sane democrats again for a short time. If we can shut down the 24/7 365 political talk and just get back to being Americans again, this intense era of American politics can finally pass.

    By ALL means, I want everyone to exercise their voting rights at the ballot box. But let’s just watch football again. As fans of the same teams. Rooting for the same teams. Or rooting against the New England Patriots all TOGETHER again.

  27. So kneeling at a football game is anti American, but ransacking the capital makes you a patriot? Got it.

  28. But, but Kaepernick took a knee during the anthem. We’ve come a long way from those good ole days.

  29. I’m really glad frontline hospital workers are doing their jobs and sticking to medicine instead of protesting or this country would be in serious trouble

  30. If The NFL, NBA or any other major sports league want to survive, they will keep their opinions restricted to sports. Fans can make it much worse (monetarily) for them, and they know it!..

  31. Sorry, but sports is not insulated from world events. Heard of covid-19? Kennedy assassination? 9-11? This event transcends all parts of life too, including ball games. Citizens broke into our Capitol and tried to prevent a lawful election! Who gives a care about football when these trump supporters tried to interrupt our way of life? Without our democracy, there would be no football! Trump 2020? 2020 is over, and so is trump. Go browns! Good job florio! Have the courage to use your platform when it matters!!!

  32. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for making clear that racism and violence has no place in sports, in politics, or in the comments section of your superb site.

  33. What the real problem is we have too many people needing for their voices to be heard and all we got is noise pollution. We need more people that LISTEN and can compromise and can respect the opinions and rights of others and not assume that your side is 100% right. Because this is a systemic effect of one upmanship by both the Democrats and Republicans. And we really need to do away with both parties and unite as Americans.

  34. What today showed the world is that there are a lot of people that are hurting in the United States. And while the cult of personality surrounds Trump, he tapped into something that’s been brewing for 40 years. There weren’t millionaires and billionaires in that crowd. These people barely have a dime to their name.

  35. flashneoh says:
    January 6, 2021 at 9:57 pm
    People who say “stick to sports” do not do so because they don’t want to hear opinions different than theirs

    ————————————————-

    People who say “stick to sports” want to see sports as an escape from politics, as entertainment and INSPIRATION from the teamwork, discipline and continued achievement serve as a motivator for our sons that still carry on this grand tradition. It was never about opinions, it was about the game. Let politics do politics.

  36. Sad day for America. Never thought I’d see a mob literally storm the halls of our nation’s congress. Absolute insanity.

  37. One thing about sports is that it teaches you how to win humbly and lose graciously . Watching events in DC and the people in charge who urged them on, it is obvious some people never learned that lesson….and can’t accept losing… since 1797 we have always had a peaceful transition of power. The rioting is what we expect in tin form dictatorships, not in th greatest democracy in the world.

  38. Those saying this article is pouring gasoline on the fire, should maybe focus more on the current president who again and again since the people spoke and voted him out of office has done nothing but pouring gasoline on the fire with claims that he is absolutely unable to back up with any kind of real evidence that the election was stolen. As a non-american I do not have a horse in the race but I love America from the times I have visited your great country and all the great culture, sports, political ideas etc. I find it sad beyond belief, that your current president cannot handle the most basic premise of democracy better than this.

  39. Why are people liking comments that support an attack on their own Capitol? No one seems to understand this is the worst attack on our Country since 911 and people are still picking a party over their Country? We are Americans not effing Democrats or Republicans. Wake up please people!!

  40. None of these people had weapons. I dont see the real threat. In fact, I believe this will be a great lesson for Capital Police and local law enforcement. There is much work to be done to make the Capital a secure building.

  41. I love when people say sports shouldn’t be political. First of all, politics is all around us. When the national anthem is played at the beginning of all sporting events, but we all need to keep quiet after seeing a president tell his followers to attack the Nation’s capital. Or when NFL is a tax-exempt entity or when new sports stadiums are built on tax dollars. People might want to escape with sports, but that doesn’t change the reality that politics is intertwined with all we do.

  42. People always will watch and follow sports until, one day, they don’t. Taking things for granted is a dangerous game..

  43. Interesting to see the number of people doing thumbs down on some of these comments. Kind of scary actually to see how brainwashed our nation has become. 😢

  44. Thanks, Mike, for speaking out on this. As a Miami Heat fan, I was heartened by the joint action at the Celtics/Heat game. I am not heartened by the reaction of many “patriots” in the comments section to keep “politics” out of sports. The minute the National Anthem is played before ANY sporting event, politics is already involved, I am intelligent enough to get that. What we saw yesterday on January 6th (another date of infamy that should be remembered) was nothing less than a coup attempt on our government and way of life. And for those that will “leave” sports because of this, don’t let the door hit you in the a.., SNOWFLAKES!

  45. Bravo Mike, bravo. Early on in this current administration there were serious conversations about using the 25th amendment to remove the occupant of our White House. The reasons for considering it’s usage were then, and are now obvious. They declined to move forward with it because of a fear of destabilizing our democracy. By their inaction for the past 4 years, they have tragically allowed to happen the very thing they feared. We can’t escape our politics. Our politicians are involved in our daily lives, to try and hide from it will create worse happenings than yesterdays attempted coup. If we are ever to heal our nation, there must be a full legal accounting for all that has happened these past 4 years, and let the chips fall where they may. And let us not forget the Greatest Generation Ever, and all those who fought, were wounding, and died giving us the right to set on our fat asses on any given Sunday and watch sports.

  46. Interesting to see the number of people doing thumbs down on some of these comments. Kind of scary actually to see how brainwashed our nation has become.
    ——————–
    Amen

  47. Totally agree Mike; the far right and the far left need to be held accountable and stripped of any and all ability to do more damage to this great country. Even Trump realizes this now and is probably trying to find a way to get the Genie back in the bottle. Too late.

  48. On the same date that another police officer was cleared of yet another shooting of an unarmed Black man, hundreds of people storm the Capital building due to rage over unconfirmed allegations of election fraud.

    Point is, Colin Kaepernick became the anti-Christ for quietly kneeling to bring awareness to the injustices STILL happening to people of color in America, after 400 years. Four hundred years.

    And these people are upset their idol lost a lawful election after four years, so they literally invaded a government building during a process that is paramount to our democracy.

  49. The people who committed this disgraceful attack on the Capitol are the same ones who railed against kneeling for the National Anthem. How ridiculous is that? Kneeling gets the point across while remaining peaceful. A riot is just that. A riot…and Biden was STILL certified. They only delayed the process for five hours.

  50. villa41 says:
    January 6, 2021 at 8:31 pm
    Pence needs to get some stones and get the Cabinet to invoke the 25th amendment. Time for 45 to go…….now.
    —————————————————
    I agree, he has to go, but invoking the 25th would set a very dangerous precedent.

  51. LOL, Mr Florio. You had to know the reaction you’d get given the average demographics of this sub: middle aged white conservative. They’ve been complicit for years, excusing every single one of his impeachable and in-presidential transgressions. He called for violence and his traitors attacked the US government. They’re STILL excusing that

  52. Wake up…Yeah, the protesters were mostly Trump supporters but the people who broke into the Capital building were mostly Antifa. Go online and see the pictures of known Antifa members inside the building. This will be deleted by Florio I am sure.

  53. Hey Mike, I’m against what occurred at the capital yesterday but where was your voice this past summer? when all the murders, arson and theft occurred? As a retired Leo, I’m applaud by your one sided view on the violence that occurred this past summer on innocent people lives and business or didn’t it occur? How many people lost there businesses or lives yesterday? You’re false narrative only hurts this country and continues the hatred towards Law Enforcement Officer’s. Please stop and keep to sports.

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