Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sports and Politics

I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day about the role sports teams play in politics after the Phoenix Suns wore "Los Suns" jerseys to protest Arizona's new immigration law. My friend contended that sports teams should stay out of politics, not taking stands on one side or another of political issues, while I countered that they are private citizens, entitled to their own speech rights.

The last time I checked, sports teams are private companies and as such are allowed to take a stand against a law.  It's no different than taking a public stance against drug testing in sports or certain business related taxes.  Sports teams such as the Phoenix Suns have a certain fan base and as such are driven to represent them.  You may not agree with the Suns, but the contention that they should stay out of politics is foolish and limits free speech.

What criteria should we use for allowing corporate entitities to enter the political arena? Major League Baseball is a private company and as such is allowed to question laws.  That doesn't mean MLB is allowed to break the law, but it should mean that it has the right to question a law's legitimacy.

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