What if I told you that you have been conditioned to feel how you feeling about the 2016 election?
The emotions of pride, nationalism, helplessness, elation, despair and hate that America is currently expressing seems scary, ridiculous and…kind of silly. If you’re like me and you’ve seen a lot of sports, seeing these emotions are nothing new. Especially this year.
In 2016, American sports was a veil that covered a country with some serious tensions. Racial, sexual, domestic, international, we as Americans just dealt with a great deal in 2016 and we coped with it like we normally do, by turning on the television and zoning out.
This year however was different for the 60 percent of Americans that enjoy sports because the real world they ran away from began to spill onto the field, court, and ice.
Political issues began to become normal conversation for sports pundits and players began to speak out about issues in ways that fans weren’t used to hearing.
But this writer believes that the games themselves have conditioned its viewers for an election result that MAY have started a war, if the people of America weren’t prepared for it.
February 7, 2016 – Super Bowl 50 Panthers vs. Broncos
In February of 2016 we watched the Carolina Panthers, a boastful, PRIDEFUL team lose while wearing Black jerseys to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in one of the ugliest games football fans have seen.
Super Bowl 50 was played in Santa Clara, CA in the San Francisco 49ers’ new Levi Stadium. San Francisco is basically the gay mecca, so the “rainbow” motif was present in the game’s most popular moments, the halftime show.
The Bay Area doesn’t only have a vivid LGBT History. In Oakland on October 15, 1966, the Black Panther Party was founded. And Beyonce put her ladies in formation and reminded the world.
Super Bowl 50 had the third largest audience in television history. Now my question to you…how many of those 111.9 million people actually enjoyed what they were seeing?
Sure, if you’re LGBTQI’, or reside in the beehive you loved it. Your reaction was probably along the lines of the photo below.
But the rest of America…middle America. The heterosexual people who like Taylor Swift more, saw this.
While empowering Blacks and Gays, the half time show alienated its white, conservative viewers, who they depend on. So what did they do? They made sure Peyton Manning would win. Check out this video and just see how officials ensured the Denver Broncos would win the game.
Youtube videos rarely convince people so check out these legit sources.
Here’s something else to note. The Broncos were the home team in Super Bowl 50. Why were they wearing their white jerseys? Teams in the AFC, the Broncos’ conference, usually alternate home and away jerseys each year in the Super Bowl. The previous year, the Patriots also wore white when they defeated Richard Sherman, Marshawn Lynch and the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl 49. Why wear white jerseys again?
Nine months later and MVP Cam Newton has a fashion deal that has emasculated him, at least while he is when in front of the media.
The same kids that looked up to him are either laughing at him, dressing like him, or waiting for him to return to his old self. After losing the Super Bowl, America spent months chastising a quarterback that only lost two games in the 2015-16 season. They did this while completely ignoring Peyton Manning getting caught taking HGH in Week 10 of the NFL Season.
Trump was giving a speech in New Hampshire on February 7, 2016. He took points from that state.
June 10, 2016 – NBA FINALS GAME 4 Golden State at Cleveland
Five months later, we watched the Cleveland Cavaliers face elimination three times and come back to beat the Warriors in a series WE THOUGHT WAS OVER at Game 4.
This series, and the one the Golden State Warriors won before it over Oklahoma City, teaches us that is never over until it’s over, and not to gloat until you’re holding the trophy.
But in game 4 of the NBA Finals something else happened. A man ran onto the court in Cleveland with the words, “TRUMP SUCKS” on his stomach.
Once again now that we know the results of this election we have to ask if this stunt hurt or perhaps helped Trump’s cause. But lets go deeper, who is this man?
The stunt is actually the work of Russian comedian and famous (or infamous) YouTube prankster Vitaly Zdorovetskiy, who has done stunts like this in the past, and who enjoys a huge YouTube followingfor his Natural Born Pranksters viral video collection. Here’s an example of their non-law-enforcement-involved fare:
Two games later the Cavs forced game 7 and Steph Curry’s wife, Ayesha tweeted this.
I wonder how many people felt like this on Tuesday?????
By the way Trump won LeBron’s state.
November 2, 2016 – GAME 7 of the WORLD SERIES – Chicago at Cleveland
Then we watch the World Series and we watch something nobody alive has ever seen. We watch the Chicago Cubs win the World Series.
Chicago falls behind early and Cubs fans faced a week of ridicule and still REMAINED LOYAL TO THEIR CORE BELIEFS.
For their faith, they were rewarded with the most amazing baseball game the world has seen, one that will be remembered in history and something they were a part of.
Now Chicago won the World Series, but remember the game was played in Cleveland. Their mascot name? The Indians.At the same time of the World Series, during the most intense part of the 2016 election, there were actual Indians (well, Native Americans) being ignored by both of America’s top presidential candidates.
In 1948 when the Indians last won the World Series, there was only one Black player on the Cleveland Indians, Larry Doby (He’s the first Black man to hit a home run in the World Series, btw). It was only one year after Jackie Robinson broke the color line. At the time, baseball was still very much a white man’s game. Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said that it still is in 2016.
We already have two strikes against us already,’’ Baltimore Orioles All-Star center fielder Adam Jones told USA TODAY Sports, “so you might as well not kick yourself out of the game. In football, you can’t kick them out. You need those players. In baseball, they don’t need us.
Imagine if the front page of every newspaper in America read, “INDIANS WIN” while actual Native Americans are being forced off of their land? Could you imagine the backlash? Perhaps Hillary would have actually made a statement. So as it turned out the Indians lost to the Cubs in an amazingly dramatic spectacle. One that will go on for history and one Cubs fans will recall from their deathbeds. Chicago fans will never forget the night their team beat the Indians on their home turf.
If you’re a sports fan, it’s likely you had some kind of emotional reaction to the election, as well as one or more of these championship games. Ask yourself, how similar are your feelings between this election and a tight game in your favorite sport?