Contributor Perspectives

When Stadiums Become Venues for Dissent

Austin Duckworth
Board of Contributors
Jan 28, 2019 | 09:30 GMT
President Omar al Bashir has held the reins of power in Sudan since a coup in 1989. Persistent protests over economic conditions in the country are putting his government under pressure.

Sudanese President Omar al Bashir speaks during a meeting with police officials at the headquarters of the "police house" in the capital Khartoum on Dec. 30, 2018. Al Bashir urged the police to abstain from using excessive force against protesters while the United Nations called for an investigation into deaths during violent anti-government demonstrations in the country.

(ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images)

When it comes to the question of mixing sports and politics, people seem to fall into two distinct camps. One side believes that politics have absolutely no place in sports and that political topics should not be mentioned in any sporting context. The other camp, meanwhile, believes that, like any other facet of life, politics are an intrinsic component of sports and that the understanding of one provides a lens with which to analyze and further understand the other. Regardless of which side you might fall on, several of the most famous instances of politics intertwining with sport come in the form of protest. Examples range from Tommie Smith and John Carlos' black power salute at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games to the more recent instances of NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the American national anthem and Lebron James sporting an "I Can't Breathe" shirt referencing a controversial case...

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