I hate politics. I generally “stick to sports” by my own choice.
Don’t get me wrong, I respect the hard-working, honest people who strive to make the world a better place through our great country’s governmental system. I just recoil at the petty bickering both in the news cycle and on my newsfeed. The worst for me is watching people that I respect and admire turn instantly into mean-spirited bullies during political discussions because they believe they hold the higher moral ground.
I’ve specifically tried to avoid politics on this site as much as possible. Not because I don’t believe in free speech, but because logistically I’ve seen how quickly the comments can devolve into flame-wars at the mere accidental mention of something political. I don’t have the administrative manpower to keep things civil by policing the comments at that level.
Besides, I’ve largely felt like sports was a separate entity from politics. Many use it as a escape from “real life,” which sometimes means checking party propaganda at the door. This blog is about the Celtics, and as such you don’t expect to come here and get hit over the head with campaign slogans.
With all that said, politics is increasingly inserting itself into sports. Or perhaps sports is becoming more political. Or perhaps, more likely, the link between sports and politics is starting to become more clear to people like me.
Here’s where I get real vulnerable because I have to ask you to forgive my ignorance. I’m very aware of how little I understand about this subject. I suppose that another reason why I’ve tried to avoid the subject is because I’m not able to speak authoritatively. There are some issues where I side more with Democrats and some with Republicans. However, I’m not versed enough to know all the ways each issue intersects and impacts the other areas. To put this in basketball terms, I’m pro-rebounds in theory, but not at the cost of giving up transition baskets—never mind the impact of adding a rebounder who’s a net negative on offense or the salary cap implications of such a move. I’ve been covering this sport for over a decade, and I’m still scratching the surface. Politics is infinitely more intricate and equally more important.
Still, I’m an American who is proud of our democracy, and I understand that it is my privilege and honor to have a vote in my country’s policies. So the recent events this past weekend in the NFL (which sparked commentary from the NBA community) are a good reminder to me to pay attention and do more research beyond what shows up on my social media accounts. I’ll go a step further and admit that it is my moral duty to become more intelligent about the issues of the day and act according to my conscience.
One thing my conscience (and my staff) is urging me to do is to report on recent events that involve sports and politics. That certainly seems like the right thing to do, but here’s where I’m going to need your help. I’ve always maintained that the golden rule on this site is to show respect to everyone’s opinions. That’s relatively easy when the subject is a silly sport that we all enjoy watching. How hard is it going to be for everyone to express themselves in a respectful manner when politics is introduced?
So that’s where I have to trust you and you have to trust me. I’m going to trust you to voice your opinions in a respectful manner. You’ll have to trust me and my staff to moderate the comments in a fair, unbiased way (at least the best we can).
This is not going to become a soapbox blog by any means. But I do want to feel free to report on the news as it impacts the Boston Celtics and the NBA at large. As uncomfortable as this is for me personally, I’m also grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow as a person. I’m excited to see this small corner of the universe grow as a community. Thank you.