Because what everyone *really* needs right now is another thread from some self-important asshole on what "stick to sports" means to them, here's a thread on what "stick to sports" means to me.
I cover a sport that exists today because a sitting US president met with early leaders in the White House & threatened them into legalizing the forward pass.

It is played by taxpayer-subsidized franchises in taxpayer-funded stadiums built on land seized through eminent domain.
The league's first commissioner was introduced to football at a government-run boarding school founded in 1879 to get bright Native American children off of reservations and "assimilate" them into western culture. This school's location now holds the US Army War College.
He was considered the greatest athlete in the world after winning two gold medals and setting Olympic records in the Pentathlon and Decathlon at the 1912 Olympics.

Someone stole his shoes before competition; he did this in a pair of mismatched shoes he found in the trash.
Those gold medals and records were stripped from him because he had played two seasons of semi-pro baseball, violating amateurism rules that were first designed so that wealthy English aristocrats wouldn't be forced to compete in athletic endeavors against poor laborers.
(His medals were restored 30 years after his death; his records are still not recognized.)
This first commissioner decried racial discrimination and the league started off integrated, but eventually owners colluded to purge black players and create a segregated league.

It was reintegrated in 1946 as a condition to play games in a publicly-owned stadium.
The last team to integrated played in our nation's capital, a city that had just recently become majority-minority.

The team integrated after threats from President John F. Kennedy's Interior Secretary to kick them out of their own publicly-funded stadium if they did not.
This league's championship trophy is named after the son of an immigrant who, inspired by the prejudice he experienced as a child and the treatment of his gay brother, campaigned tirelessly to end discriminating against his players based on their race or sexual orientation.
The system by which players are distributed in this league was established by a mixture of collective bargaining with a strong union, US Court cases reaching as high as the Supreme Court, and federal antitrust suits.
(This represents just a small fraction of the league's operating procedures that owe themselves to court rulings by public-staffed juries and publically-elected or politically-appointed judges. Not least a suit brought by the sitting president on behalf of a rival league.)
Athletes in the league I cover have drawn national attention in recent years for protesting patriotic displays.

These displays only date back to 2009, when the league I cover began accepting millions of dollars from the US military to stage them as a recruitment tool.
I'm just scratching the surface. I'm only looking at the NFL. The Supreme Court once heard a case on the fundamental nature of golf. The USWNT is in court suing for equal pay. State legislatures are considering laws on whether and when NCAA athletes may profit from their skills.
(This is Twitter, so I'm being brief. I'm delving into the ADA, or the FDA, or OSHA, or Title IX, or the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, or any number of other "political" institutions without which context it becomes impossible to understand sports.)
And domestic sports especially pale in comparison to the machinations of the IOC and FIFA and various other international sporting bodies.

I get that people want to keep politics out of sports. But this idea presupposes that there exists a sport free of politics.

There doesn't.
I cover a sport created by, played by, and endorsed by, and shaped by presidents. A sport paid for by the public and maintained by the courts. Its history is the history of racial and social justice writ large. I can't cover the sport without speaking that truth.
This sport is just one in a constellation of sports, each with their own histories and legacies that are every bit as complicated and compelling.

Sports are not an escape from society. They are a microcosm of society and a proxy for society.
And any mandate to "stick to sports" that doesn't allow for the recognition of these facts is actually a mandate to not cover sports at all.
You can follow @AdamHarstad.
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