The United States is in an unusual post-election state of turmoil, and it only seems to get worse the more President Donald Trump tweets or addresses the nation. We’ve seen women’s marches across the entire nation and even in Antarctica, and we’ve seen plenty of celebrities bash both sides of the political spectrum and their candidates. However, despite this undoubtable black cloud that has seemed to hover over the country, there is one thing that can save us all: Sports culture.
The Undefeated published an article on Tuesday Jan. 17 written by Mike Wise about the basketball court on the White House grounds that President Obama put in where the tennis courts used to be. In the article Wise explained that for Obama, the basketball court was a sanctuary of sorts for himself and his staff members, and he used the game as a means of bringing his office together with friendly competition. But for the “Baller-in-Chief,” as Wise calls him, the game and sports alike, represented the fundamental value of unity that the president believed this nation needed the most. On that court, Obama did more than just pick up with his staff members to bond and blow off steam. He also invited young kids from his My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, which is designed to promote civic leadership in young men of color in the inner cities with the help of civic leaders to promote racial justice, to shoot hoops and talk about life. Wise featured a quote from a young man named Noah McQueen who said the president, “Had a much nicer game than I thought. When we were out there it didn’t feel like we were playing with the president, he felt like one of us.” Obama is the superstar on a good team whose selflessness and love for Americans made the United States a great team.
Unfortunately, there is a strong possibility that the next president will either take the court out, or completely neglect it. Reggie Love, Obama’s former body man and 2001 National Champion at Duke, told Wise he believes the court has a bleak future.
The entire point of basketball, or any team sport for that matter, is to bring together a team of players that are all shapes and sizes, colors and creeds and play for one common goal. I grew up playing basketball, so I’m rather partial to the hardwood and its team atmosphere. Growing up my coaches in youth leagues and high school alike all preached the same thing, “pass up a good shot for a great shot,” or “teamwork makes the dream work.” These are ideals we need in the U.S. now more than ever as we are seeing a divide growing between citizens deeper than any other election or event has caused in recent years. Regardless of what side you fall on, the problem is that we see sides in the first place. We see each other as red team or blue team, and if you aren’t for us you’re against us. There is only one team and it’s a combination of both teams, The United States of America, a purple team if you will.
Every sports team has to overcome the problem of individual wants holding back the team’s goals. Every team has a superstar but the point of sports is to set aside your selfish desires and do what is best for the team. Right now, our team is in a rebuilding process and suffers from an identity crisis. We’ve lost some veteran players to retirement and we’ve drafted some new young talent, now we need to figure out if our strengths lie on offense or defense.
Bad sports jokes aside, we are still a team in this nation and we need to start acting like one. Trump may be the GM of a franchise that is spiraling out of control, but we, the people, are still the players who above all else need to band together for us to turn it around. No matter what we look like, pray like or love like, we are wearing the same star-spangled jersey and we need to start playing like the team the “Baller-in-Chief” would want, so we go out there and get the win. For all of us.