America runs on its athletes.
Whether you agree or disagree, you can’t deny the influence that athletes have over the general public.
These men and women are deified. We are so entranced and enraptured in to their God given talents and abilities, and marvel at their feats to the point where whether they win or not, it affects our moods. Their results, successes, and failures become personal to us, and at times teeter on insanity.
Just because of who they are, we hang on to every word that they say.
That is until these same athletes that we revere so much say or do something that doesn’t align with our beliefs or whatever it is that we don’t like, then it’s:
“Shut up and dribble”
“Shut up and run”
“Shut up and pass”
“Shut up. You’re just a ball player. Lucky enough to make millions playing a childhood game”
In the 5011th example of this line of thinking, we have Soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic telling LeBron James to basically shut up and dribble.
“Do what you’re good at. Do the category that you do,” Ibrahimovic said “I play football because I’m the best at playing football, I’m no politician. If I’d been a politician, I would be doing politics. This is the first mistake famous people do when they become famous and come into a certain status. For me, it’s better to avoid certain topics and do what you’re best at doing, because otherwise it doesn’t look good.”
While these comments and thoughts are what they are on the surface, they are not what makes them ridiculous to me. Pointing that out is easy work and easy money. What’s fascinating to me, however, is the hypocrisy in the thoughts of these people regardless if they are media pundits, other athletes or fans. They want athletes to be quiet and play, yet want them to speak up in convenience. It’ s cool and fine for these athletes to donate their voices, time and resources that are deemed to be “acceptable”, but the causes that the athletes champion themselves are unacceptable and problematic.
The problem with that is that you can’t pick and choose when you want the athletes to speak out or how. You can’t dictate that and have it both ways. If you want these players, whoever they are to just say and do nothing and play, you don’t get to ever bump your gums about athletes being egocentric and selfish ever again. Remember, they are to just play and not get involved with issues beyond the hardwood and field right? Also, if these players are to just shut up and dribble, pass, run, or whatever, don’t ask them for money. Don’t ask them to speak on your causes. Don’t ask for them to donate resources. Don’t ask them for anything at all.
But you know, y’all won’t do that right. Y’all won’t keep the same energy to that degree. Knowing this, and since you -and I’m talking about those who retort that whole “shut up and____” diatribe and spout that mentality, won’t double down on it entirely, you’ll just have to live with these athletes speaking out and championing the causes that are important to them. You can continue to sound like a broken record and say ‘shut up and___” until you are a tv test pattern in the face. But just know that you can’t dictate what these athletes do with their platforms. It’s not how it works. It’s never worked that way, and it never will.