The intersection of sports and politics has proven problematic for some. For some reason.
“The second you play the National Anthem before a game, it becomes political.”
– Dave Lozo, “Puck Soup” podcast
Now that we’ve settled that, I could not be prouder to call Michael Bradley the captain of the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team.
He provided the strongest rebuke of Donald Trump’s executive order banning travel of certain Muslim immigrants this side of Kyle Lowry last week.
Equal parts nuanced and forceful, his words were even stronger than his initial interview with soccer journalist Grant Wahl.
There’s a pragmatic argument to be made here as much there is a moral one. The USMNT is probably the most visible American sports team, full stop. It represents all of America to the world.
This is in stark contrast to his fellow National Team members. Unfortunately there’s a growing element of intolerance among men’s and women’s national team members. Abby Wambach came under fire last year for her feelings about immigrants and dual-nationals joining the national team.
Even more bizarre is USMNTer Geoff Cameron.
I watched Geoff Cameron bloom from gawky understudy to MLS lifers like Craig Waibel and Eddie Robinson into an EPL-level defender.
I watched Geoff Cameron come back for a halftime salute to his former club, where he gave a touching statement saying he would always be a member of the Houston Dynamo.
Now I get to watch Geoff Cameron couch his positive feelings toward a terrible piece of legislation in his “respect” for the office.
A man who will always be welcome in the most diverse city in America endorsing legislation that’s sure to cut at the heart of that diversity. I’m sure the immigrants in the hinchada will love that.