Can An Athlete Not Have A Voice

How is it that we allow every musician/actor/director/producer/comedian/author to voice their political opinion but then stop short when an athlete wants to do so? I can name countless numbers of movies that have been produced in just the last year that have had political undertones and motives embedded in hopes to present ideas to scores of audience members. This weekend Serbian swimmer Milorad Cavic was suspended for wearing a t-shirt proclaiming “Kosovo is Serbia” during a medal presentation. The European swimming league argued that the shirt “constituted a clear political action” that violates the rules. The US and many European countries (the most powerful and influential ones) have supported Kosovos claim of independence. Serbia’s obvious outrage and actions have allowed Western media to mark them as unlawful, violent and by enlarge terrorist against a Western supported state. So then Cavic’s actions could have been seen as more than just offensive to Kosovo Albanians it was also seen offensively by the West. It is easy to say that athletics is no place for politics but how can that be true? Why then in 1980 did the US boycott the summer Olympics in Moscow? If athletics is just for the games sake then the location should not have mattered….oh but then again i guess it does. To add to it Cavic did not wear a speedo proclaiming “Kosovo is Serbia” he wear a t-shirt at a medal ceremony. Is he still not allowed any identity at a medal ceremony? What if he had chosen to wear a yellow ribbon would anyone have made a fuss? In a world where most of us are use to athletes having little or no opinion about the world around him besides the basketball court or soccer field shouldn’t it be refreshing to know that some do care? More importantly we shouldn’t deny their words just because they do not reflect the ideas of those making the decisions. Cavic…I do believe you should have been entitled to swim and to wear your shirt…that state of Kosovo has a great effect on your country and you should be allow to speak on it.


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