When Sports Meets Politics

This week, leading up to the Super Bowl, there is a cavalcade of media that has descended on Houston, Texas.

The media days for the Super Bowl, earlier in the week, are usually a festive occasion. There are all sorts of entertainment going on, fans dress up in wacky outfits, and players get asked fun questions by the media, taking a break from the emotional questions that are usually asked after a game. The players and coaches have more fun with it as well, showing their excitement for just being there for the Super Bowl.

So far these questions have ranged from a seven-year-old asking Tom Brady who his idol is, to a reporter asking Bill Belichick if he is aware of an underwear brand out there that bears his name. But, somewhere along the line these guys have also been asked about politics, which I don’t believe holds a place in this venue.

Brady, who in the past has said he has a friendly relationship with Donald Trump, was asked about their relationship and declined to comment, with good reason. He said he is there to focus on football, and the positive nature of why both teams are there.

While this is probably just a reporter thinking he can get a good quote from Brady, it is an inappropriate question to be asking in this situation. Brady is right, this is no place to discuss politics and political affiliation.

A sporting event has always been a place to escape these outside thoughts and ideas. The players just want to go play their game to the best of their abilities and win for their team.

Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, a Muslim, was also asked about Trump’s recent travel ban, multiple times and it clearly irked him. This is a guy who is in the position he is in because of the skills he possesses in the game of football. Reporters at these events should know that there is a time and place for these questions. These players are focused on the big game ahead.

If they want to set up an interview after the Super Bowl, they can go for it and then make it clear that they want to talk about it, but it feels like a cheap shot to the players who worked hard to get where they are at to put them on the spot and ask them controversial questions just because they don’t know the next time they will be able to speak to them.

Overall, sports reporters should know the reason they are at these events, to ask about the upcoming game and maybe some other fun questions. It should be a place for fun and to get away from what is going on in the world. Leave politics out of sports.

Willy Goldstein, Sports & Opinion Editor