In the wake of Charlottesville, protests against the president and his administration will only get louder and the sporting world is no exception

Of all the reasons for resigning from Donald Trumps American Manufacturing Council in the wake of the presidents reaction to the Nazi rally in Charlottesville, the one offered on Tuesdayby Under Armour chief executive Kevin Plank felt the most wilfully naive. According to the boss of the sportswear firm, he was stepping down because Under Armour engages in invention and sports , not politics.

Oh dear. Im not quite sure what Plank imagined he was get Under Armour into when he took his seat on Trumps American Manufacturing Council, but I cant believe he really is so dim that he thought it was just an American manufacturing council. Furthermore, I cant believe he doesnt realise that big-time athletic and politics are indivisible. Never mind most of the last century has he been watching the last few years on tape delay?

Sometimes the style sport and politics intertwine is glaringly obvious sporting boycotts, state-sponsored doping, countries buying World Cups or Olympic Game to launder their reputations or to act as a showpiece for the next stage in their plan for global domination.

Sometimes its a question of the route a athletics rulers choose to run it. Football clubs being penalty more for kit violations than racist chanting by fans, banning women from playing all these things are political. Sometimes its more insidious NFL fans are so used to the excessive militarisation of games that for many it doesnt seem bizarre or jarring , no matter how many military salutes, Chinook flypasts, or flashy Pentagon-funded army recruitment drives are deemed a necessary backdrop to a football game. Sometimes its who has decided to use sport for their own objectives. In February, white supremacist/ punched Nazi Richard Spencer marked the Patriots Super Bowl victory by tweeting approvingly( if inaccurately) that the Patriots were the NFLs whitest team.

Other times a political fight is personified by an individual or individuals, and these are usually the only periods it gets stamped down on. Corporate or nationalist politics in athletic pas largely with impunity; individual politics incurs huge personal risk. Olympics organisers would have far instead lambasted canadian athletes for making a gay rights protest on the rostrum at the Sochi Games than they would have had a gentle word with Vladimir Putin for using the entire event as a curtain-raiser for invading the Crimea. Theres politics and politics. You pick your battles.

Helicopters
Helicopters fly over Nashvilles Nissan Stadium during the Salute to Service pre-game activities before the NFL game between the Tennessee Titans and the Green Bay Packers on 13 November 2016. Photograph: James Kenney/ AP

Under Armours Kevin Plank has picked his combats, and made a commercial decision. The highest profile athlete to wear Under Armour is NBA legend Steph Curry, who( along with The Rock) had already voiced serious disquiet when Plank pledged allegiance to Trump earlier this year, and after Charlottesville is reasonable have been expected to walk from Under Armour if its chief executive didnt walk from the American Manufacturing Council.( Plank belated decision to end involvement with a toxic White House has now depicted menaces of a boycott by Trump supporters .)

Even so, there are far nobler stands being taken out there. Last year, San Francisco 49 ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began a protest, opting to kneel during the national anthem to highlight police cases of violence against minorities. He is now unemployed, and has spent much of the year being written off by irate pundits, politicians and even players as unemployable. Last weekend, with Charlottesville still unfolding, two other NFL players followed suit. Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett sat, and says he plans to all season; Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat without explanation.

Athletes across the board took to social media to condemn what happened in Charlottesville and the official reaction to it the question now is whether they will show further political solidarity with those taking the highest profile stands. The sportswriter Dave Zirin noted that two white athletes with a link with Charlottesville Philadelphia defensive end Chris Long and Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle had come out and condemned the Nazi march, and the reaction to it. Zirin hoped this marked a watershed moment, where white athletes would feel compelled to show solidarity with the protests of black athletes. Michael Bennett had told him: If we want to get anything done, we need white athletes to stand alongside us. It cant only be our voices, our burden.

Well quite. Business uber alles can be just as much a political position as any other, and clearly one deeply felt by many chief executive. But lets forget the congratulatory messages to the likes of Plank for belatedly deciding to act the idealistic ingenue, and instead reserve support for those athletes now taking personal risk because they know they always know that athletic is political.

The Premier League at 25 whos taking the credit now?

Adorable scenes from what appears to be the Doha airport Caviar House stand( again ), as Richard Keys and Andy Gray celebrate a very special landmark in their relationship. Namely, the time they created the Premier League.

As Keysy puts it in a tweet accompanying a shot of them cuddled up: 25 years ago we helped trigger a football revolution. Happy Anniversary us !! And now were doing it all again.

Well. Theres a lot to unpack there.

Primarily, youll note that Richard and Andy are just some of 368 people basically connoting they invented the Premier League back in the day, as the latter celebrates 25 years this week. Indeed, you could have expended much of the past month wading though faux self-deprecating interviews with various chaps who had something to do with it all, but mostly belong in different categories with that Dr Evil speech in Austin Power. My father would womanise; he would drink. He would make outrageous asserts like he devised the question mark

Still , not all of them are forced to live in exile. All revolutions devour their children, which builds it extra heroic that Richard claims to be doing it all again in Qatar. Arguably one of many countries in that region in need of a revolution, and “were supposed to” wish the Wat Tyler of hanging-out-the-back-of-it all the luck in the world.

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