David Nabhan
Tectonic Shifts

Radical Athletes Taught Nothing by Munich Massacre

Munich Memorial for 1972 Olympic Massacre, Wikimedia Commons. Credit: Dr. Avishi Teicher

Half of the US, along with plenty of others worldwide, have had it with entitled, shrill, leftist athletes shrieking their off-putting opinions in sporting event attendees’ faces, when no one comes to athletic contests to be subjected to political diatribes. A few days ago that reality was made crystal clear when the US women’s soccer team was eliminated from the World Cup by Sweden—with tens of millions of Americans shrugging their shoulders with complete indifference.

In fact, quite a few in the US and abroad were expressing their delight at the result, since with the loss the chance for the athletes-cum-activists to shanghai the anthems or awards ceremony for yet another embarrassing display of overt disdain for their own country was now averted. What is stunning in all this is that just a few years ago Americans were enthralled with the team. It’s one of the great reversals of fortune in sporting history.

The descent of the US women’s soccer team, from only a few years ago in 2015 as the focus of the vast majority of Americans’ breathless adulation, to now being shunned and truly disliked by an astounding swath of the public, is proof positive of something biblical having occurred. Not even a swarm of locusts though could have destroyed the greatness, hard work and future of this sports team faster than the “hate America!” radical chic managed.

What was required was a complete and utter acid wash of recent history, unfortunately something at which the far-Left seems quite adept at achieving. The world watched and learned in Munich in 1972 about the horrific results of mixing political fanaticism with sports tournaments. The Olympic massacre wasn’t sufficiently off-putting for the lunatic fringe though; instead it served as a template for how to sidetrack media attention away from something of the best of humanity—sports—to indulge in its worst: hatred, strife and murder.

There is nothing gallant, however, in athletes refusing to take the field when Israeli contenders are on the other side. There is nothing sublime in sneering, turning one’s back, kneeling, or raising a fist, when one’s national hymn is being played in public, and Americans, Israelis and everyone else have finally had enough of this overt treason. And not just treason, but a truly flagrant and aggressive sedition, the kind that seeks out a nation’s symbols, banners, anthems or religious faiths and publicly demeans them.

A nation of a third of a billion should be able to find eleven young women to field a soccer team to send abroad to take part in international competitions in which all countries’ national hymns are played before games and upon awarding medals as a crucial part of the whole endeavor, and comport themselves respectfully during those ceremonies. If it somehow bizarrely can’t it should bow out and stay away from the process and keep its internal dysfunction from disgracing the world community’s sporting get-togethers.

That ought to be the bare minimum of basic expectations. The US women’s soccer team—sadly, astoundingly—doesn’t meet that very low bar.

About the Author
David Nabhan is a science and science fiction writer. He is the author of "Earthquake Prediction: Dawn of the New Seismology" (2017) and three other books on seismic forecasting.
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