Throughout history, the relationship between sports and politics has been a strong one. As part of the social process, the political process is closely linked to other social activities, including sport activity. And, sports activities and political processes are influenced by other social processes such as economic and cultural processes, as well as by each other. In the case of the Olympic Games, the world’s oldest sporting collection of major events, the games themselves were established so that all the independent city-states of ancient Greece could come together to discuss the political situation and form alliances, celebrate military victories, and entertain themselves with races and games of strength during the leisure time of the meetings.
One thing we cannot deny is, the Olympic Games, in any perspective, is an event with strong political implications. Although with the passage of time, modern sports have largely shed most of their political overtones and have become independent athletics. However, there is still a strong connection between sportsmen and political issues, and political figures. In modern times, the sports world and the political world have always influenced each other over major political issues, and in the process of influencing each other, arguments have occurred that have allowed the sports world to influence the development of political issues, or politics to influence the thoughts of sportsmen. In this article, we will briefly discuss the relationship between sports and politics.
Connections between politics and the sports
Sports are sometimes a tool for rulers to maintain their status: the first uses of sports were activities and tools used by rulers to entertain themselves. The gladiatorial games of ancient Rome are a case in point. Even in modern times, sporting activities and achievements are sometimes used by politicians as capital to maintain their position. For example, at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Hitler tried to use the Olympics as a major propaganda occasion to show off his fascist regime and its extreme ideology to the world.
The impact of political trends on sports: Large-scale political trends in the world will also affect the conduct of sports events. In the case of the Olympic Games, for example, the Berlin Olympics held in 1936 were rejected by many countries around the world because of Hitler’s aggressive foreign policy, which drew opposition from European countries. The Cold War between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. also affected the Games at the time of the 1980 Moscow Games and the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. As the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the United States decided to boycott the Soviet invasion, and many European and American countries, including the United States, Canada and others, refused to participate in the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Later, to counter the U.S., in 1984, the Soviet Union also boycotted participation in the Los Angeles Olympics.
Sportsmen’s expression of political positions: Sportsmen, although their main job is to play sports in swimming pools, indoor basketball courts filled with sports lighter courts and so on. But outside of their athletic work, they are each citizens of their respective countries, representatives of their respective races and cultures, and therefore necessarily have their own political stances and expressions. And, because of their global popularity as sports stars, this political expression is bound to have a greater impact.
In fact, many political events have contributed to the vocalization of sports players and have had a huge impact on public opinion. This phenomenon is particularly evident and frequent in the United States. For example, during the black civil rights movement in the United States, many black American athletes began to be given the opportunity to appear on the sports field instead of being boycotted as they had been in the past due to the tremendous impact of the black civil rights movement. And, because of their extraordinary athletic talent, they became athletic stars and expressed their political positions in a large number of ways, making their political beliefs more accessible to a wider audience.
In modern times, such interactions between the political world and the sports world still occur frequently. Whether it is the BLM (Black Lives Matter) movement that followed after the George Flyord incident, with a large number of sports stars including Stephen Curry and Lebron James speaking out, or the emergence of more and more female athletes in the context of the flourishing of women’s rights, it is a kind of political and sports influence on society. The interaction between the political world and the sports world has brought about changes in society.
In today’s age, sports are often considered a leisure activity, unrelated to serious politics. But in fact, sports and politics have always influenced each other throughout society. For the country, sports are an effective means of demonstrating the country’s strength and its foreign cultural image. For sports, changes in the political environment will certainly affect many athletes and facilitate their expression of their political positions.
Despite what many people think, sports should not be associated with sports. They argue that sports athletes’ expression of their own political positions will be a huge influence on public opinion. This public opinion influence will affect the public’s perceptions and may be misled by the athletes’ own perceptions, which could lead to misunderstandings about policy or cause drastic changes in the political ecology. Therefore, these people believe that sports athletes should try to stay away from politics as much as possible, keep their mouths shut about politics, and concentrate only on sports. But, outside of being athletes, these sportsmen are also individual citizens, fathers, mothers, and representatives of their race, and it is impossible to expect them to stop expressing political positions and stop speaking out for their race.
In addition, in many cases, policies can affect the rights of athletes. For example, a country’s boycott of another country can often affect whether or not an athlete can compete in the Olympics. In addition, bad behavior by athletes in competition can many times have an impact on the image of the country. This will remain unchanged for years, decades, and into the next century.