Indulge me if you will for just a moment, as this is supposed to be a sports column, one with no room for political satire, and certainly not a forum for me to ram my thoughts down the throats of those looking for sports content.
That being said, it’s hard for me to ignore the exploits of a man who needs no introduction in these parts, and one who continues to blur the line between his ultra conservative views and the real world that I live in every day.
Yes I’m talking about Vice President (That’s a hard title to swallow) Mike Pence and his latest stunt, in which he disrespected the combined athletes of both North and South Korea by sitting and watching, as every other dignitary attending the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics stood to honor the aforementioned as they marched in.
Granted, everyone knows the facts regarding North Korea and their unconscionable record in terms of human rights, and then there is the ongoing posturing between President (Even harder to say) Trump and that region, but this is sports and there’s no tie between the competition and the political angst that exists between the factions.
Pence views it as yet another opportunity to showcase his agenda, as he marches to the beat of the old guard G.O.P. and at the same time placates the base that allowed Trump to win the election. Those hard facts aside, it hasn’t been that long since Pence pulled a stunt during the past NFL season, when Mike The Great staged a walkout at Lucas Oil Stadium, after players from both teams peacefully protested the atrocities that African American citizens face everyday in regards to Police brutality. You know, the kind of misconduct that Pence could care less about and continues to ignore. Instead of concentrating on legitimate issues, this minion continues to use sporting events to convey his stale and pathetic message, all in the name of religion and the flag.
Before you say I’m too harsh on him, tell me the last time you saw him address issues facing minorities or sit down with those who carry the torch of concern for those without a voice in Washington?
You can’t, because he never has, and never will. He’ll continue to bang the drum of alleged family values, the one that doesn’t include people of color, or for that matter, anyone different than himself. Yes, this country is in a blood war for decent working wages and accessibility to healthcare, and Pence flies over seven thousand miles on your dime to protest athletes, in the name of his endless campaign for freedom and the American way.
It’s not the first time a politician has used sports as a forum to convey a lame message, but let’s hope it’s the last.
Tragically, with Pence it probably isn’t the last time he’ll do this, as he truly is the gift that just keeps on giving, but lets hope that he and the rest of his hapless brigade can figure out we all look to sports for enjoyment, as well as a release from the real world. There’s a reason people get together and enjoy sports with others, and it’s called enjoyment and in many cases, entertainment. We don’t need political figureheads crashing our party with their viewpoints as they strive to please those whose votes they need. Stay away, as you’re not invited to our tailgate bashes or viewing parties.
Learn that your political views don’t belong court side or even in the cheap seats. Again, just stay at home.
Chances are you won’t, but be prepared to be challenged by those who oppose your jaded perspective and who resent you stealing the spotlight from the competitors. It’s our event, and we don’t want your diatribe there.
Again, stay away and allow us to enjoy it without reminding us that you really don’t care about the athletes or those in attendance, as you’re just there to grandstand, and get attention. We need sports, but we certainly don’t need you.
Danny Bridges, who thoroughly enjoyed his experience in South Korea until Mike Pence arrived, can be reached at 317- 370-8447, or Bridgeshd@aol.com