There is nothing more profound in life than when a single event captures the attention of the entire world. What happened in France over the weekend and the protests at the University of Missouri made time stand still, forcing the world to hopelessly stand by and watch while acts of terror and racism took place against helpless citizens and students.
But there is an impressive response from a place many would not expect.
The situation at Mizzou would not have gained national attention it did if it were not for the university’s football team. Before the entire football program threatened to boycott the game with Mississippi State University, Mizzou’s president still held office. When the team said they would not play while he was in office, the administration acted, prompting coverage and progress on anti-racism movements on the campus that were highlighted by national media outlets. It was the football team’s action that unified a campus and got the story out to the world. If it were not for sports, the story would not of been on the national headlines.
After France experienced one of the worst terrorist attacks in the country’s history, the world’s athletes responded. The Sunday after the attacks, French flags flew with the American flag. Many of the NFL teams, including the Army college football squad, carried the flag onto the field in respect to a country that is in need of support. Teams carried the flag of a country that was in turmoil, fans offered a moment of silence and America supported France through the weekly ritual of Sunday football.
Sports have a powerful ability to bring people together. Sports allow people the opportunity to take a break from the violence, the hate and all that is wrong in the world for a few hours, and enjoy something that rallies entire countries together for once.
Personally, a summer afternoon at the ballpark is the best escape from the world. The fresh grass, groomed infield, hotdogs, baseball and friends take me away from the hectic world around me. It gives me the opportunity for a few short hours to escape the struggles of life and appreciate the simple things while celebrating the friendships that are forged like bleachers of Wrigley Field.
This past week, sports did just that. Sports took the world’s attention off the struggles that face us. It took people away from politics and violence and gave fans an opportunity to come together with friends and family for just a few hours. Sports gave fans a time to realize what is important in the world and in their lives. Sports gave people a chance to remove themselves from the world while also showing respect and reverence to the people that need it most.
Sports make time stand still and captures the attention of entire communities, cities, countries and the world. There is nothing more profound that a single event that makes the world stands still, but sports does just that every week.