In this poisonous political climate in America, and in the aftermath of a hateful Democrat's shooting of Republican congressmen, Washington Post sports columnist Sally Jenkins is urging the NBA champion Golden State Warriors to attend a White House celebration and set a civil tone for the nation. She recommends the Warriors show the nation that when we disagree with someone, we shake rather than shoot.
Many in the NBA, coaches and players alike, have vocally opposed President Donald Trump and many left-wing media hacks see a Warriors' boycott as a way of spiting the president.
Pointing to "where we are" as a nation, Jenkins wrote, "It's only with hesitation that I suggest the time is wrong for such a boycott. Instead, the Warriors can make a declarative statement about the bright-line difference between dissent and contempt." For according to Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, "the real problem in American politics today is not anger; it's contempt. Contempt is the conviction of the worthlessness of another human being." Jenkins recommends another course of action:
If the Golden State Warriors want to make a truly radical statement for the times, they could show up at the White House and civilly disagree with the man who inhabits it. They should consider their answer in light of the fact that it's becoming a revolutionary act to shake hands with someone you politically oppose.
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Though many NBA luminaries supported Hillary Clinton's candidacy for president last year, Jenkins asserts the question before the Warriors "is whether a team boycott would be a useful act of conscience or just a gratifying snipe that adds to the current toxicity."
The athlete boycott has historically been an anti-contempt device, a consciousness-raising device for pointing out the contempt inherent in racism or sexism. The unfortunate irony is that in this instance, a boycott would not raise anything but only further lower the contemptuous discourse. It would occur in the poisonous context of Crooked Hillary and Traitor Trump, of a Caesar-president assassinated in a Shakespeare play.
Jenkins doesn't believe athletes should just keep them mouths shut and play ball. She said, "There is real peril in telling prominent athletes to stand down from public activism because it risks telling them that social issues aren't their concern. She quoted Georgia Tech history professor John Smith, who said: "When people suggest some separation between politics and sports, what they are really asking for is them to put their citizenship aside."
Jenkins says she is not asking for the Warriors to set aside politics or citizenship. What she proposes is an example of a growing trend: media urging athletes to engage in political activism. They "have a unique ability to cut through all the shouting and perform an act of critical social activism: They can be exemplars of political civility at a time when it's most needed."
They can gracefully agree to meet with someone they may oppose with their whole souls and stand in a room with him and grip his hand and then turn around and tell the world, this is what Americans do; even when we disagree, we shake. We don’t shoot.
Jenkins, her media colleagues and the Warriors may also discover that a White House visit will reveal Republicans aren't mean, evil people and the bias of Democrats and left-stream media ideologues isn't justified. The Clemson Tigers' football team -- representing a liberal, secular university -- just proved that a championship team can leave political differences at home and actually enjoy a memorable White House victory celebration.