When Sports and Politics Collide

People on sports sites, or the sports sections of newspapers, often complain when politics is injected into the discussion—whether by the author or one of the commenters—as if it’s somehow inappropriate to taint an otherwise diversionary topic with real-world ugliness.  I have to disagree.  I think it’s fun.  It livens things up a bit.  And besides, what’s the difference, really, between talking about sports and politics (especially of the electoral variety)?  Both involve spectators rooting for their favorite teams while on some level indulging in the fantasy that they have an actual stake in the outcome.

In this case, the topic is actually worth discussing—whether the police used excessive force while removing an unruly fan from a baseball game and whether this is part of a larger trend.  Well, some commenter going by the name “frankvzappa” dropped this flaming bag of shit on the front porch and rang the doorbell: “How dare anyone suggest that the militarized jackbooted police use too much force?”  Even better, he embedded an hour-long video of anti-cop agitprop beneath his comment.  Of course, as this kind of thing never fails to do, it brought out the apologists in full force who proceeded to accuse him of being a paranoid and, my favorite, someone who obviously thinks the U.S. is a “horrible” country and yet for some reason hasn’t left.

It’s funny, accusing someone of paranoia for pointing out something that happens all the time (and, yes, it still counts even if it’s not reported on the evening “news”).  It’s also a bit ironic to accuse somebody of hatin’ on The Land of the Free for noting the gestapo-like behavior of its cops.  If the habitual mistreatment of minorities and other fringe types by our supposed protectors isn’t enough to convince good Americans that we’re excessively policed, maybe it won’t seem like such an outlandish idea when there are drones buzzing around overhead.

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