In the wake of such devastation in our country, with hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Jose all making waves, it’s hard to see how sports is something that could still be considered important at a time like this. But that’s just it: sports are vital, especially at a time like this.
When tragedy strikes and cities fall, what do we want, more than anything else? Unity, aid and to know that someone cares. In times like these, sports provide these exact things.
People unite over their favorite teams, celebrating the accomplishments of these athletes they so admire. Buddies are called over on Sundays to sit on the couch, eat chips and dip, and scream at football referees who can’t hear them, just for the joy that comes from doing something together.
One of the best experiences to be had is to argue with someone over your opposing teams. It doesn’t matter that the athletes you argue about are people you will likely never meet. It doesn’t matter that your teams probably aren’t even that good, and will be out of the running for any championship in just a few short weeks. And it especially doesn’t matter that you’re going to be having that same exact argument over and over again as long as you can stand it. Why? Because it’s something that we do together. Even in our division, sports find a way to draw us back together.
In times of trouble, people need aid. Homes are devastated. Streets are flooded. What are people supposed to do? Sports come to the rescue once again.
Many athletes have come out in support of the hurricane victims, but they have also done so much more than that. A notable example is J.J. Watt, a defensive player for the Houston Texans football team. After hearing of the devastation in Houston after Harvey, Watt started a campaign to raise money for the people affected. What started as a goal to reach a few hundred thousand dollars ended in raising over $30 million for the victims of Harvey.
Watt isn’t the only athlete though to support the victims. The NBA and players’ association donated $1 million, Houston Astros owner Jim Crane donated $4 million, and the PGA donated $250,000. These are just a few of the many sports athletes and associations that have supported people in these trying times.
While watching a bunch of sweaty guys throwing and hitting a ball around may not make sense in times like these, sports haven’t been waiting on standby until things get better. Athletes and teams are going out and making a difference. They are the ones bringing unity, aid and care to the people in need.
These men and women have given their time, money and voices to help those in trouble. They have not used their platforms as excuses, but have rather capitalized on them to help make a real difference. They are the ones on the front lines, trying to rebuild and lead others to do the same alongside them. Sports are not just a pastime. They are filled with real people making a real change.
So go ahead and watch football with the guys this Sunday. Don’t forget that people are in need and do what you can to support them, but know that your heroes on the field are right there with you.