Sunday, June 18, 2017

What We're Losing

Just visit the Obamas again
Don't worry, this one's actually about sports. Kind of.

There was an item in the news earlier this week, before the news got all shooty, where the Warriors had supposedly been unanimous in their refusal to consider a White House visit after the NBA Finals. It was also noted that the Cavaliers had previously mentioned that they wouldn't be going if they won as well, and then the story was refuted by the team saying that no decision had been made (yet). And then shootings, and parade, and life, and so, forgotten down the very fast memory hole that is American political life right now.

A colleague at the new gig opined that this sort of thing coarsens the culture, and that the team should go anyway and respect the office. He was also of the opinion that since this line had been crossed, we were never going to have White House visits for championship teams again. This inspired cross talk among several people about it. How a team from the Bay Area could never be expected to visit such a divisive figure, how what we were missing out on really wasn't something we were going to miss, and how, since the Obamas live in DC still, they should just go visit them instead.

There is, of course, a tit for tat / score keeping thing going on here, and as petty as that may seem in the days after what appears to be a crazy person making a politically motivated shooting, the simple fact of the matter is that the people who tell you not to keep score are usually the ones who benefit from the score being forgotten. Neither side has a monopoly on violence, but one side tends to intimidate with far more intimidating people, mostly because one side really, really loves guns. More than people. Maybe not more than animals, but definitely more than people. But I'll make the tactical mistake of setting this all aside to get back to the Warriors.

Let's cut this to a place where we can all relate. You have your job, and the field in which you work, which in this world and time means that your network is very important. If you were to take a photograph with a highly divisive political figure, one that could seriously impact your future earning potential, you'd probably think long and hard about it before you just, well, did it. Especially if you were *very* sure that said photograph was never going to *help* your career.

It's, well, kind of the reason why KKK members wear hoods.

For NBA players, the earning potential is actually right here and right now, thanks to commercial endorsements. They also have the added point of having some respected people in management (Gregg Popovich, Steve Kerr) who have made their opinions on the current President known. How much NBA players make, or how they should just choose to make less because of someone's opinion, isn't really material to the case. You are there to make money, and taking a picture with this guy -- who, let's be very clear about this, you could disagree with on your own political consciousness, seeing how something like we're closing in on 3 out of 5 people in the country currently doing that -- can only cost you.

So on the individual level, why on earth would you do that?

And on the macro level, where people of good conscience can argue and wonder about whether the country is still governable...

Well, the last I checked, basketball players aren't elected, have no powers outside of the court where they play, and do not sway public opinion.

So why would anyone expect them to act as if they do?

No comments:

Ads In This Size Rule