Politicians should stay out of sports

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 14, 2008

During the last election, voters were told there would be a change if they elected Democrats.

Well the Democrats took over control of Congress and there was a change. Gasoline went from $3 at the pump to $3.45. Food prices have grown faster than the corn the farmers have planted.

Whether it is Democrats or Republicans, the only thing the politicians agree upon is giving themselves a raise, making it OK to have homosexual encounters in airport restrooms, and putting together one helluva retirement package.

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Of course, all of this upsets the public. So in order to correct what they’ve done wrong, politicians do the responsible thing and start meddling in sports.

First, they decided to waste time and money while they talked to Major League Baseball about its steroids problem. Now they’re upset — and rightly so — with China, host of this summer’s Olympic Games, because of the unfair crackdown on the citizens in Tibet.

I remember as a kid when President Jimmy Carter made the USA team boycott the Olympics because they were being held in Russia, the world’s top communist country at that time.

Athletes that trained all their lives for just a chance to perform on the Olympic stage, let alone win a medal, were crushed. There would be no second chance for most of them.

Four years later, the Olympics were in Los Angeles and Russia returned the favor and boycotted its trip to the United States.

Let me spell it out for the politicians. If we need your help, which is doubtful, we’ll ask. You’re not doing very well taking care of your business, so leave everyone else do to their job.

Last week MLB adopted a plan that is being accepted by the union to deal with testing players eligible for the draft. Players who test positive can still be drafted, but the red flag will wave among all the teams since the information will be shared.

The Olympics are supposed to be void of politics. They are supposed to bring nations together in peace.

President Bush gets it. He said “I don’t view the Olympics as a political event.” Bush prefers “quiet diplomacy” tactics to send a message rather than “frontal confrontation.”

Political problems should be dealt with on a political scale. Sports are not part of the equation.

If politicians really want to help, I need some gas and food money to take my kids to a Reds game this summer.

-- Sinatra --

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.