Some say that we should keep politics out of sport, and keep politics out of all events of a public nature, except political meetings. Protests against apartheid should according to this dicta not have been made on the cricket or rugby field, the black power salute should not have been made at the Olympic Games and most recently five US NFL players should not have made the “hands up don’t shoot” gesture at a game in St Louis. I disagree.
It is impossible to keep politics out of sport because sport is now politics. The choice of a place for a major sporting event is determined by politics, the behaviour of players on the sporting arena is determined by politics and the big money machine of modern sport is oiled by politics. Politics is sport.
Apartheid, police behaviour, aboriginal rights, religious beliefs and human rights are matters which some consider as politics but they are wrong. These are not political matters but are fundamental and important rights and liberties.
Our rights are only valuable we we exercise them. If we are frightened to exercise our rights then they are valueless. There is no point in having freedom of expression if we are limited in the places where we can exercise our expression. It is perfectly natural to make our expressions in places where we can reach the most people with our communications, and the football field is a fit and proper place for making such expressions.