Locker-room talk. Two words that sent the world into a frenzy. When the Access Hollywood video surfaced I’ll be honest I was stunned to see such a wide spectrum of reactions to what Donald Trump said.
From people rushing to defend what he said (mostly twitter trolls) to people condemning and denouncing what Trump referred to as locker-room talk.
But more importantly like most of the things that come out of Trumps mouth, it sparked a conversation. This time one among athletes.
First up; Lebron James. Coming off an improbable NBA Finals victory over the Golden State Warriors, James took time out of preparing for the upcoming season to address these comments.
Why? Because the denigration of this talk as just “boys being boys” and locker room talk is one that inherently begins to generalize athletes regardless of the sport. A notion James wanted to quickly dispel.
James condemned what Trump said citing that there is no way what what he said was acceptable and appropriate behavior in a locker room.
“That’s not locker room talk.” said James. “That’s trash talk.”
James then went onto to delve into what he thought characterized the term which included family life, strategies and etc. but the point remained the same.
What Trump said in no way should be deemed as locker room talk.
Tom Brady the Quarterback of the New England Patriots took a more familiar approach when asked about what Trump said.
I will add, Brady is a self-proclaimed Trump supporter but when asked the question at a press conference Brady simply walked way.
So why does all the matter? With the election climate as volatile as ever, we have seen athletes come out of their shell and voice their own opinions.
Breaking the mold if you will on what they should and should not comment on and I think that’s an encouraging sign.
The NFL of all places where players anonymously and publicly condemn commissioner Roger Goodell as a dictator, had a player in Colin Kaepernick, make a national anthem protest that took that not only took the nation by storm but it sparked a conversation on the racial tension and divide in this country.
As a sports fan the worst thing I see is when people tell athletes to “Stick to sports.”
At the end of the day, these athletes go home to read and watch the news like everybody else. So why can’t they voice their opinions on political issues or social unrest in the country just like everybody else?
Or are they not supposed to?
This election cycle has been turbulent and at time loathsome but I will say the one of the positives has been athletes becoming more and more comfortable using their platforms to voice their own opinions.
Here’s to hoping that this trend we have seen continues to prosper.
After all, the worst thing you can do is to remain silent.
So please, athletes; don’t stick to sports.