Sports and politics ...
It seems like a long time ago since the “Miracle on Ice” — the 1980 United States Olympic hockey team’s improbable 4-3 win over the Soviet Union in Lake Placid, N.Y. The shocking victory — the big hurdle that was cleared before the team won the gold medal — brought a smile to most Americans’ faces at a time when the Cold War continued between the two countries.
Nowadays, international competition doesn’t seem to have the same unifying impact. Politics is the main reason, which is regrettable. The World Cup championship won by the U.S. women’s soccer team Sunday is an example.
The happy news is that the team won its second straight World Cup title. Sadly, however, one of the team’s prominent members — Megan Rapinoe — has vowed not to visit the White House, if asked in the tradition of recognizing sports achievements like this. Other team members apparently wouldn’t come either. Rapinoe has been an outspoken critic of what she considers “gender inequality”while another member has been a harsh critic of President Trump as well. To his credit, Trump congratulated the team on its championship.
The political maneuvering of Rapinoe and others is regrettable, as are a lot of misrepresented political positions from the left that seem to ignore the great progress our country has made over the years. But it’s really no great mystery why our country is becoming more divided when we can’t even celebrate a world sports championship as one nation without politicizing it.