Athletes have a long history of advocating for social causes they believe in. From Jackie Robinson’s shattering of segregation in major league baseball to current controversies in the NFL, world-class athletes have a unique platform and visibility to promote change. Recently, Olympic swimmer Simone Manuel made history when she signed the first sponsorship deal that features an inclusion rider. Whether this will stand up to legal scrutiny, however, is yet to be seen.
Fads come and go in popular culture: fidget spinners, hula hoops, Segways and others. Most flare brightly for a year or two and then burn out, never to be seen again. However, others root themselves deeply in the public consciousness and become a permanent cultural fixture. In recent years, live video game tournaments -- commonly known as esports -- have made significant inroads as a sport and in mainstream news outlets. Is esports here to stay, or is it just another fad?
Being an elite athlete takes incredible dedication, discipline and hard work. This drive would not be possible without a deep emotional connection to a sport. However, while athletes’ emotions can help them achieve great success, they can also be a hindrance.
Colin Kaepernick is no stranger to controversy. Since 2016 when he kneeled during the National Anthem at an NFL game to protest racism and police brutality, Kaepernick has been one of the most controversial players in the league.
Last week, athletic apparel behemoth Nike launched an ad campaign. It was not the traditional “Just Do It” ad showing elite athletes sweating, working and performing on the field or court. Instead, it showed one unsigned athlete, unmoving.