As much as some fans would like athletes to keep politics out of sports, that’s not exactly possible. Even if athletes do not make political statements before, during, or after games, they still converse with teammates in the locker room about current events.
After all, they’re human beings.
Some events, such as Charlottesville, transcend politics or ideology.
“I think it’s a very sensitive situation that I think shouldn’t be,” Lions defensive back Glover Quin said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “I think this is wrong on all accounts. I feel like it’s a situation where you’re either for it or you’re against it. If you can’t have these conversations or you don’t want to talk about it, then I feel like you’re for it and you like what’s happening and you probably want to be a part of it. If you can have these conversations, understand that things need to be done, conversations need to be had, change needs to happen, then I feel like you’re against it. I don’t feel like there’s any gray area. You’re either for it or you’re against it. If you can’t stand up, if you can’t say that wrong is wrong, then I feel like you’re with it.
“We’re having conversations, we’re talking about things, and all that stuff is just hate,” Quin continued. “Like Martin Luther King said, hate can’t drive out hate. You got to have love. You got to unite. We got to figure out a way to do that on all fronts – black, white, whatever you want to call it. So, yes, tough conversations, but they have to be had.”
But even if teammates disagree on certain issues, Quin, who is entering his ninth season in the NFL, does not believe that politics divide teams on the field.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “I think for the most part guys who are at this level have had to deal with people of different color, regardless of who you are. You may not have dealt with it in high school. You may not have dealt with it in college. But in the NFL, you’ve dealt with it. And so, I think in the NFL, you learn how to play and perform with whoever’s next to you, regardless of skin color. You go out and you do your job. A lot of times people try to keep religion and politics and all those things away from them because so many people believe different things. But I do feel like in this situation right here, like I said, you’re either for it or against it. No, it shouldn’t come between your team and the job that you’re trying to get done, but you may have some guys who feel a certain way about it and those conversations have to be had.”