2018

Political Athleticism: Examining the Role of Sports and Influential Athletes in Trump’s America

Presenter:

Research Category:

Problem Statement: My project will examine why the Trump Administration has brought about a renaissance of professional athletes using sports and their celebrity status as a platform to promote social change.  My project will also dive into the history of politics in sports, the reception of such actions today by Americans, and the demographic and political patterns of these Americans.

Motivation: This is an issue that is dividing America.  Therefore, the importance of understanding the complicated history, along with why and how people react to it in such polarizing ways, could potentially alleviate tensions going forward.

Approach: I will lay the historic backbone for this issue, transitioning into specific details about today's political climate and the events that have increased the need for athletes to speak out.  I will then break down how people in today's world perceive these stats, bringing in outside metrics to develop ideas as to what factors influence who places where on the tolerance spectrum.

Results/Conclusion: My results will not only show the past and the present but give insight into the future; what can we do to bring different views together?  What is the future of the relationship between politics and sports?  How can we protect freedom of speech but still enjoy a sporting event?  My project will praise certain aspects of the relationship, while highlighting the flaws of it and how people view it.  Overall, my project will ultimately spark dialogue: dialogue that, when carried out correctly, will continue long after opening kickoff.