Topic: The positive influence of sports on society.
Purpose: To show people that sports can do lots of good for societies worldwide.
Thesis: Sports is not simply a leisure activity, but has the power to promote peace and impact societies for the better in the past, present, and future.
Whether we know it or not, we are all sports fans deep down inside. While not all of us are at the edge of our couch screaming at the tv every Sunday, we are all affected by the influence of sports on our society. It has grown to such a popularity that it has affected almost all aspects of life. Sports are no longer a simple form of entertainment, but have evolved into what the United Nations calls “human rights that must be respected and enforced worldwide.”
Sports have been and still are one of the most influential aspects of popular culture. It has laid the groundwork for social change such as desegregation and women’s rights and can continue to be used as a tool to better not only our society but places worldwide. Sports is not simply a leisure activity but has the power to promote peace and impact societies past, present, and future.
This use of sports as a way to promote social change isn’t anything new, as it began in the mid-1940s.
*Slide 1 Picture of Jackie Robinson
- Most prominent early use of this was Jackie Robinson- first African American to play major league baseball (1947).
- His bravery and that of the management of the Dodgers converted many people’s thoughts on segregation
- He received very cruel treatment at first (even death threats)
- People began to realize this was wrong and that he was actually better than most white players at the time.
- Led to desegregation of other sports teams and institutions and to the beginning of the civil rights movement.
- (Team That Forever Changed Baseball and America: The 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers)
*Slide 2 picture of Billie Gene King
- Billie Gene King vs. Bobby Riggs “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match, 1973.
- King (female) beat Riggs (male) in a singles tennis match
- Not only started the women’s sports movement (Title IX), but also thoughts on gender equality. (Greenspan)
*Slide 3 picture of Larry Fitzgerald or other athlete helping community
The influence sports wasn’t just a wave that came and went through in the 20th century, but rather it continues to build, furthering its reach and impact.
- Major league players often use their stardom and money to contribute to charities and promote healthy living etc.
- Larry Fitzgerald- Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund (charitable organization)
- Also traveled to Ethiopia to plant trees, irrigation work, other projects
- Just one example of an athlete who gives back
*Slide 4 picture of kids in play60
- NFL play 60
- NFL program that encourages kids to be active and healthy
- Donates millions to youth fitness programs and uses pro athletes to encourage kids to be active and healthy
- (About Play60)
- Talk about NFL kneeling during anthem maybe?
*Slide 5 picture of kids in underdeveloped country playing sports
Looking at what sports have done in the past and present, doesn’t it make sense to use sports to promote further social change? (and possibly development in countries, go beyond the reaches being active)
- Sport for development and peace in action
- Professional Athletes as ambassadors or spokespersons
- David Beckham works as ambassador for UNICEF to help Unite Against Aids campaign (Scherer)
- Sports used by the UN in SPD campaign to promote economic development and peace
- Use sport as a way to promote peace; bringing opposing sides together in a place where they respect the opponent and rules and aggression is regulated and transformed
- (Office on Sport for Development and Peace)
Sports has grown from a simple leisure activity into a right that should be enjoyed by all. It has a unique power to attract and mobilize people to achieve a goal. It inspires participation, teamwork, and citizenship and has the power to reach a vast number of people. Sport has been used in the past and present to promote social change and better the community. We should take this lesson and learn that sports can be used worldwide to promote unity and peace.
“About Play60.” NFL.com. NFL Enterprises, 2017. Web. Oct. 25 2017. http://www.nfl.com/play60
Greenspan, Jesse. “When Billie Beat Bobby.” History.com. A+E Networks, 2013. Web. Oct. 25 2017. http://www.history.com/news/billie-jean-king-wins-the-battle-of-the-sexes-40 years-ago
“Office on Sport for Development and Peace.” United Nations. United Nations, 2014. Web. Oct. 25 2017. https://www.un.org/sport/content/why-sport/overview
Scherer, Jasper. “Top 10 Most Charitable Athletes in Sports Today.” Bleacher Report. Turner Broadcasting System, Dec. 23 2013. Web. Oct. 25 2017. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1901440-top-10-most-charitable-athletes-in-sports today
Team That Forever Changed Baseball and America: The 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers, edited by Lyle Spatz, and Maurice Bouchard, UNP – Bison, 2012. ProQuest Ebook Central. Web. Oct. 25 2017. https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/pensu/detail.action?docID=946901.