Sports and the Election

Some people love sports. Some people love politics.

Some people hate sports, and some (or more than some…) hate politics.

Why can’t we all approach the election like we approach the weekend? Hear me out.

It’s acceptable to be a Browns fan. I grew up a Browns fan. If you know a thing about NFL rivalries, you know that I was most likely raised to hate the Steelers. It’s okay to hate the Steelers. What matters is how you or I express that hate. If you cheer against the Steelers no matter who they play, no lines are crossed. If you burn down someone’s house because they fly a Steelers flag, there’s obviously a big line you’ve crossed. If you hope for the Steelers QB to be injured, I guess there’s some gray area. It’s okay to share a few jabs about a rivalry, but it’s not okay to be racist or violent or disrespectful or just an asshole toward the opponents.

So how does this relate to Trump and Clinton? It comes down to their supporters and the breeding of hatred. The internet has facilitated the breeding of hatred over the past few years, and now it’s become so commonplace that people no longer hide behind the comfort of their keyboards to express their disdain.

Why do some supporters cross the line and become haters? To quote Taylor Swift, the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. Why can’t people be content with supporting their favorite candidate like they support their favorite sports teams? Cheer on the day they perform, follow their updates online, share when they do something good, etc. Why do people feel the need to hate anyone who disagrees? Arguing on social media, partaking in cruel name-calling and harsh language, and even committing acts of violence toward their proclaimed “enemies”.

I’d venture to say that a majority of people are still supporters as opposed to haters, but unfortunately the haters are the ones getting the attention.

Let’s go cheer on our favorites and offer a solid handshake when the outcome is announced. If you’re on the losing side tonight, you’ve earned the right to throw out the occasional “I told you so” when any policy in the next 4 years doesn’t go as planned, but respectful disagreement rather than hatred will make this world a little bit better.

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