July 06, 2012
Photo Credit: NBA
(Editor's Note: Philadelphia area sports writer Ben Horrow contributes weekly to Authentically Speaking.)
By Ben Horrow
Rarely do sports and politics mix. Oftentimes, politicians will attend sporting events to promote their local team, or even mention their support through social media. Last week, following the Red Sox trade of Kevin Youkilis to the Chicago White Sox, President Obama, a staunch White Sox fan, remarked in front of a Boston audience, that he was thankful to the Bostonians for trading Youkilis to the White Sox.
In May, the Phoenix Suns wore jerseys with “Los Suns” written on them. They did so in celebration of Cinco de Mayo as well as a statement against recent immigration legislation in Arizona governing illegal immigrants.
Steve Krakauer at Mediaite, a news and opinion blog and aggregator for the media industry, said, "Political statements in sports are a rare occurrence. But with the Arizona immigration law already intersecting with sports (in baseball) we could see more players and teams, or entire leagues, taking stands against the bill deemed by some to be unfair toward a set of people who make up large portions of the American sports world."
In addition to Krakauer’s comments, Canadian Steve Nash remarked, "I'm against it. I think that this is a bill that really damages our civil liberties. I think it opens up the potential for racial profiling and racism. I think it's a bad precedent to set for our young people. I think it represents our state poorly in the eyes of the nation and the world... Hopefully it will change a lot in the coming weeks."
In addition to the Suns’ opposition to Arizona’s recent immigration policies, a dicier political situation has arisen. An anonymous donor gave a large sum of money to a Minor League Soccer team to wear jerseys with the phrase “Believe in America." "Believe in America” is republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign slogan. According to the secret donor, “I love futbol, I love America, I am a proud Latino-American who believes Mitt Romney needs to be our next president.”
FIFA, the governing body of F.C. New York, the Minor League club in question, has strict rules against slogans involving religion, politics, or personal statements on jerseys are strictly prohibited. The club will not wear the jerseys, in testament to the fact that the sporting world is, and should always be, above he realm of government and politics.
Authentic Store Buzz: Please join us on Thursday, July 19 from 11:30-12:30 as we welcome former Philadelphia Atoms soccer goalkeeper, and current Philadelphia Union broadcaster Bob Rigby to our Center City Philly store meeting with fans and signing autographs.
Rigby, a Philadelphia-area native, helped lead the Atoms to the 1973 North American Soccer league Championship in his and the team’s rookie season, appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated, as the Atoms were the first U.S. team in any sports to win a professional championship in its first season.
We’ll have a reprint of the SI cover
for Bob to sign. Hope to see you as
soccer will be in the Philadelphia air with the MLS All Star Game the following
Speaking Trivia Time: What year did the NFL begin allowing the designated home team in the Super Bowl to select its jersey color instead of the league maintaining an alternate year schedule for the AFC/NFC team to wear its colors or a white jersey? Answer on Monday.
Thursdays answer: Seven times, or each season between 1969 and 1975, the Indians changed their uniforms. Talk about inconsistency for the brand.