Sport as the great leveller

Sport – the great leveler

This morning in Australia we watched the restart to the NBA season. It was one of the most moving sights I have seen in months. I was awestruck. Watching these amazing athletes, on one knee, wearing Black Lives Matters shirts, support staff and coaches all wearing masks. The national anthem played, and no matter which side of any current arguments you are on, we were all united for a few minutes. I think Shaquille O’Neal cried behind his glasses. Charles Barkley made a strong point. If you don’t want to kneel, it’s your choice; nobody should be vilified for their choice. Wow. That’s powerful.

Let’s not let our preferences divide us. Why aren’t we saying that more often? Instead we are allowing tough times to divide us, and not just for an hour during a sporting match but ongoing. People yelling at each other for not wearing masks, for liking certain political candidates and the list goes on.

Regardless of which team you support today, we were all united for a few minutes.
I find this fascinating in the world of sport; of pure competition. A world that seemingly divides. A 500 billion dollar industry.

Sport has taken on new meaning in 2020. A spine chilling, goose bump feeling.

Now it stands for something more. It stands for love, unity and spirit, not a division of black and white or this team and that team.

I have felt this with sport before, perhaps during the Olympic Games when we get a rush of patriotism, as our athlete achieves great things. But this is different. This is global, not nation verses nation or state verses state.

Sport has become the great leveler. Human achievement. Love. By all means, choose your side, choose your team, but let’s not let it divide us.

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