Should pro athletes share their political opinions?


Pro athletes have always shared their political opinion, whether it be through kneeling during the pledge or posting opinions online. The question must be raised: is this appropriate?

Renna Popli, Staff Writer

From Black Lives Matter t-shirts to kneeling during the national anthem, different sports leagues have approached politics differently. The varying reactions to outspoken athletes beg the question: should professional athletes share their political opinions?  

Many people think that pro athletes should not only be allowed to, but have an obligation to get involved in social justice issues. Topics such as Black Lives Matter and trans rights directly affect the viewers and fans of many sports players, and not showing support can hurt these communities. 

“I definitely think that professional athletes should be allowed to share their political opinions because they have one of the biggest platforms in the world to create change…In my opinion it’s a waste of their platform if they don’t stay true to their values,” said AV basketball player Isabella Mauricio (‘21). 

Another reason that professional athletes should be allowed to be politically active is because many of them are a part of minority communities. As of 2020, over 74% of NBA players were black, as are 70% of NFL players

“I think pro athletes should share political opinions. We live in a place where we should be able to voice our own opinions without fear of being judged by anyone,” says Amador football player Gavin Talbot (‘22). 

Even though many professional sports administrators worry that athletes showing support for things like BLM might decrease viewership or support from fans, 70% of sports fans support BLM, so athletes sharing support for Black Lives Matter is a good thing to viewers. 

“I think professional athletes should share their political opinions because their positions give them a platform of influence…we have moved so far past a world of ‘shut up and dribble’ such that athletes are finally capable of using their voice to create change,” said AV golfer Kush Arora (‘23). 

Even if some athletes have more conservative/right-leaning opinions, it is their right to share them. Athletes should be allowed to share their opinions no matter what they are, and they should be allowed to take advantage of the vast influence they have on viewers and fans. 

“I think professional athletes should be able to share their political opinions because it’s their right and their freedom of speech, and they know when they say this people might disagree with them,” said an anonymous member of the AV swim team. 

But, there will always be the argument that sports players should stay sports players and not become activists. Athletes are often told that they should focus on their sport and not distract their audiences with other issues. 

“I think professional athletes should not share their political opinions because their career is based off [of] their sport and their dedication, not their views on society. I think if professional athletes share their political views it will cause their supporters to stop rooting for them, when in reality political view has nothing to do with how good you are at a sport,” said Amador water polo player Amy Heath (‘22).