Politics And Sports Don't Mix
Sports |  Source: L. Smith, Orlando Sentinel

Politics And Sports Don't Mix

Why would an athlete's political views affect our perception of their talent?

If there are two common subjects that go together like oil and water, yet are mixed together by tons of people all the time, they are politics and sports. People tend to make a big deal out of political "issues" just because they relate to athletes and their opinions. But just how much of a big deal do the people who worry about them even think these "issues" actually are? In other words, do they even believe themselves when they are making a fuss about this type of stuff?

So you're telling me if you're a diehard New England Patriots fan up in liberal Massachusetts, you'd turn your back on your beloved two-time MVP and five-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady just because he is friends with Donald Trump? Does that have anything to do with the game Brady actually plays? Will that affect the number of rings he wins for your team?

No, no and no. But we still made a big deal about.

Conversely, if you're a diehard Miami Dolphins fan in conservative Florida, would you start rooting for the rival Patriots just because one of their players voted for the same guy you did?

No.

If you're a diehard Chicago Cubs fan in liberal Illinois, you'd turn your back on former Cy Young award winner Jake Arrieta just because of this pro-Trump Tweet?

You guessed it. No. But a big deal about it was still made. Sigh.

Conversely, if you're a diehard St. Louis Cardinals fan in conservative Missouri, would you start rooting for the rival Cubs just because one of their pitchers supports the guy you voted for?

Nope.

How about Colin Kaepernick? Would a diehard San Francisco 49ers' fan turn their back on the player who made the team relevant for pretty much the first time this millennium just because he chose to kneel for the National Anthem?

While Kaepernick was actually playing for the 49ers, that answer was also no. But while it's no, you can bet that there were millions of heated social media posts about it.

Conversely, would a diehard Seattle Seahawks' fan become a 49ers' fan just because they support the issues that Kaepernick is bringing to the forefront?

Are you kidding me?

And lastly, how about LeBron James? Would a diehard Cleveland Cavaliers' fan in conservative Ohio turn their back on the player that delivered the city its first major sports championship just because he endorsed Hillary Clinton?

Need I even answer that question? People still made a big deal about it, though.

Conversely, would a diehard Golden State Warriors' fan in liberal California bandwagon to the Cavaliers just because they like LeBron's political stances?

NO!

Based on peoples' reactions to some of these "issues", you'd think that they were actually letting the opinions and free speech of these athletes affect how they root for them. You'll see threats of boycotts and protests, but you won't see anything that actually affects how the NFL or MLB or anything is run as a business. They're not going bankrupt anytime soon.

People want to mix politics and sports and have these heated debates that go on and on about athletes having opinions that fans do or don't agree with. But for what purpose? Nothing political is going to drastically change anyone's true opinion about a player or a team they have admired or despised for years.

Need extra proof? The next time you see a Dolphins fan wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat, go ask him/her if he/she started rooting for Brady and the Patriots since last November. Let me be the first to tell you what that answer will unsurprisingly be.

No.

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Sports |  Source: L. Smith, WTOP

The MLB All-Star Game Voting System Is Broken

Make the all-star game worth watching again.

It's no secret that the Seattle Mariners are one of the most mediocre teams in baseball this year. Starting off the season 2-8 was not what the team with the longest playoff drought in the MLB was hoping for.

Despite this, the Mariners have two players that should be playing in this year's all-star game. Only one has the opportunity. Nelson Cruz, batting .286 with 17 doubles, 14 homers and sitting fourth in the American league with 59 RBI earned second place in voting at the designated hitter position.

These are impressive numbers, even if they are somewhat down from his previous few years with the Mariners. The other star on the Mariners that deserves a spot?

Robinson Cano, who's second in the American league with 60 RBI's and is a phenomenal second baseman. As a diehard Mariner fan used to disappointment, I'm not so much angry as I am, well, disappointed.

As a diehard millennial used to success, I'm not so much at fault as everyone else around me.

The Robinson Cano snub is not the first and won't be the last of its kind.

A result of the MLB's all-star voting system that gives the power to the fans, gives the team with the most fans the most players in the all-star game. Usually the teams doing the best have the most fans, but that doesn't make it fair.

A few years ago, entering July, during Kansas City's best year in decades, the Royals fan base voted in record numbers, and seven of their nine players were leading their various positions in voting. As well as the team was doing, they absolutely did not have that caliber players at every position.

The MLB wants to let the fans have a say in the game, but that doesn't work.

There's no doubt in my mind that if Cano was putting up the same numbers in New York, he'd have an all-star bid. The fault falls on a few group's shoulders, first of which are Mariner fans.

The problem is, there just aren't enough of them. Sure, nobody likes fair weather fans, but nobody likes rooting for a team that loses all the time either, losing defeats the purpose of following sports for most people.

This rocky fan base is the result of upper management mishandling the ball club. Every year since 2001, maybe 2002, has been deemed a "rebuilding year" in Seattle, where the Mariners are touted as the team of the future, just you wait.

Fifteen years have gone by and I'm tired of waiting, as are the few Mariner fans left in Seattle. There is no excitement for this team anymore, just a wary fan base that knows the season could easily collapse into a flaming pile of a Lou Piniella tirade at any moment.

But this might be part of a larger issue, baseball as a past time is going down the tubes. Baseball is losing fans left and right, people argue the games take too long, that they're boring and nothing ever happens; and often these people are right.

Baseball is broken, and the all-star game's voting system embodies this phenomenon. Only the people that care enough show up, so regardless of how well players play, they're not going to get the recognition they deserve because fewer and fewer people care.

Fans don't need to be able to pick who plays in the all-star game, they already get to pay too much for hot dogs and fight over foul balls, they don't need any more than that.

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Sports |  Source: viralshack.com

If Liberals and Conservatives Existed in Game of Thrones

A convo play-by-play of what would happen

Major Spoilers Ahead

Last Sunday's "Battle of the Bastards" was arguably the best episode in Game of Thrones history. We got to see Daenarys Stormborn take on the slave masters and their fleet, Tyrion chide Theon Grejoy, Jon Snow punching Ramsay in the face, and the latter receiving retribution in the most poetically just way.

Ramsay Bolton is dead, and I don't think Thoros of Myr or Melisandre will be able to bring him back.

But, his death prompted me to ask the question: "What if the world of Ice and Fire were real, and my liberal and conservative friends lived in Westeros? How would they react to such a menace?

Since I have friends who sway on both ends of the political spectrum, always letting me know their stances on issues via Facebook, I conjured up a conversation between a liberal and a conservative who live in the Game of Thrones universe.

Liberal: None of us are arguing over the fact that Ramsay Bolton was one evil son of a bitch.

Conservative: Wow, something we can agree on. Okay, but what were the conditions that made him such a disgusting human being?

Liberal: It's obvious, Ramsay Bolton was a product of his environment. He lived in the harshest conditions of the North, and is only responding violently because Jon Snow is invading his homeland!

Conservative: Gimme a break! Let's be honest with ourselves. Ramsay Bolton was a product of the fanatic religion of the Old Gods, worshipped solely in the North. He's been indoctrinated to believe that he is living a just life. I'm not saying ALL of the worshippers of the Old Gods flay people alive, but all men who flay people alive worship the Old Gods. Plus, Ramsay initially stole Winterfell from the Starks!

Liberal: Don't even get me started on the Starks, NONE of this would have happened had Ned Stark just stayed home and minded his own business, instead of worry about what was going on in King's Landing.

Conservative: Oh, what, you don't think the North had a moral obligation to help out the Realm?

Liberal: Was that why he was there, or did he have ulterior motives? He accused Jon Arryn's murder on the Lannisters, that was a deliberate lie and you know it!

Conservative: So, he was wrong about the Lannisters, but they were still an evil family. Let's get back to the point, what could we have done differently about Ramsay Bolton? I'm glad Jon Snow and his men went into Winterfell. Ground troops all the way!

Liberal: Granted, Jon Snow was successful, but think of how many lives could have been saved if he had simply funded the houses around him to overthrow Ramsay? Plus, I think this has greater implications. The Mother of Dragons is standing on our doorstep. We might not be affected by her Dragons, but our children will!

Conservative: Oh, here we go with the "Mother of Dragons" hoax. It's never even been proven that she will come to Westeros! I want to hear facts, not rumors and myths about some "Dragon Queen" invading Westeros!

And it goes on like that until both of them unfriend each other on the Game of Thrones version of Facebook, because if anything makes or breaks a friendship, it's politics and Game of Thrones.

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Sports |  Source: N. Leeper, static.gamespot.com

"Resident Evil 2" Voice Actors Won't Be Returning For Remake

No more zombie killing.

If you were excited for the Resident Evil 2 remake and hearing the nostalgic voices of Claire Redfield, Leon Kennedy and Ada Wong, I have some bad news.

The original voice actors aren't returning.

Or, rather, they were not chosen to. Claire's voice actress, Alyson Court, explained that Capcom decided to go with non-union actors for the roles instead of the original voice actors, despite a fan push for their return. She explained that the decision was made prior to the voice actor union strike, which is demanding royalties for game sales, and that using non-union actors was unrelated to the strike.

I personally would be unsurprised if Campcom went with non-union actors in an effort to not have to pay them royalties. Voice acting work is just as legitimate as acting work, so the whole thing is just very messy to me.

This could also potentially be detrimental to Resident Evil 2's success as a remake. People are likely buying that game out of nostalgia and a desire to see it rendered in current console format, and taking away the voices who made the game memorable for people could hurt Capcom's sales.

Sure, a diehard fan might overlook it and buy it anyways, but this decision will definitely have an impact on the reception of the game. Finding a voice actor that can reprise the role and sound true to the original is tough, and while there's plenty of aspiring actors out there, this is such a huge franchise that getting it just right is super important.

It has not been announced who is taking over the roles at this point in time.

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Sports |  Source: politico.com

Is Left Wing the New Black?

There's been a total shift on college campuses.


I would like to start by mentioning that this piece is in no way meant to reflect my personal political views.

You have to be paying absolutely zero attention to the world around you if you're missing the huge shift that our millennial generation is making towards the left wing side of politics. Bernie stickers flood college campuses and just about every issue has to be turned into a political movement.

Identifying as a republican in college was once a common thing.

I'm perfectly willing to admit that a lot of those republicans tend to be kids who are lucky enough to have their college education paid for and stereotypically come from upper middle class families. However, more and more of those kids are shifting away from conservative views, both social and financial, and supporting far-left democratic ideas and policies.

But why? What's the attraction? What is pulling even the most republican bred millennials to the liberal side?

Now I'm by no means stating or even suggesting that anything is wrong with being a democrat. To each their own. What I'm trying to get at is that there seems to be an underlying factor to why everyone all of the sudden wants to be a democrat and I'm not 100% sure is has to do with genuine political views.

More than ever being a democrat seems like it's the "cool" thing to do. Politics aren't supposed to be cool, that's not the point. Politics are supposed to be based off informed opinion. Maybe that's just where millennials are falling into the trap of siding with parties because it's what their friends are doing.

Are we convincing ourselves we agree with political parties just because it's what we see our friends flooding your Facebook feeds with?

I'd argue that which political party you side with has become less of a personal opinion and more of a characteristic used by millennials to judge each other. We're starting to wear our political views as an accessory and being a democrat seems to be the hottest one.

Unless you can have an intelligent conversation on why you consider yourself to belong to a certain political party--you aren't a part of said party. Politics aren't meant to be a trend.

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Sports |  Source: L. Smith, The Undefeated

The NFL Destroyed Colin Kaepernick

Why we shouldn't forget that there are consequences for social activism

Colin Kaepernick has finally decided to end his NFL career, unable to find a new team willing to bring his baggage into their clubhouse.

The moment he decided to expand his influence outside of the game of football, he was criticized for trying to be a social activist instead of an athlete. Other players have taken personal, political stands, such as New England Patriot's tight end Martellus Bennett refusing to go to the White House because of President Trump's inflammatory rhetoric.

However, no player took their crusade as far as Kaepernick.

SOURCE: SI.COM

The former 49ers quarterback started his stand against racial injustice by sitting during the national anthem, an act that garnered an opinion from nearly everyone. The sitting eventually evolved into kneeling, an act that other athletes took up as well. Some applauded him for his bravery while others demanded he show respect for our men and women who fight and die overseas to protect our rights as Americans.

Ironically, it's the protection of those rights Kaepernick wanted to bring attention to. Specifically, he wanted to highlight the mistreatment of people of color in the United States. This is where focus should be, but NFL chose to bring attention only to the kneeling itself. For an organization that comprised predominantly of players of color, the NFL have kept shockingly silent about issues pertaining to race.

In contrast, the NBA supported its athletes during the period where many of them warmed up in "I can't breathe" shirts, a touching tribute to the late Eric Garner. Unanimously, every team in the NFL blacklisted and exiled Kaepernick, a former Super Bowl starter.

The ramifications of his activism have reportedly even leaked into this year's combine questions, with teams asking more political questions to see if they might have a "Kaepernick" situation on their hands. Ridiculous? Thirty-two coaching staffs and the commissioner don't think so.

SOURCE: CHICAGOTRIBUNE.COM

Colin Kaepernick took a stand for something he believed in and the NFL crucified him for it. As a society, we must remember him as more of a martyr than a anarchist. Kaepernick risked his career to give others voice and lost his career because of it. The NFL showed him and us that they believe it's better to keep silent than to speak up.