One of the greatest seasons for Americans is the transition from August to September. This year, the high of being the clear victor of the 2021 Olympics is still fresh and we’re channeling it straight into the start of football season.
As the chaos in Afghanistan unfolded in recent weeks, there was a rush to prioritize the escape of athletes stuck in the country. This impulse is understandable but telling.
More than 4,200 people agreed with Alex Morgan when she tweeted a picture of an Afghan flag with the words “Save Afghan Athletes.” But she didn’t stop there. Morgan and the captain of the U.S. women’s national soccer team Becky Sauerbrunn then wrote to the State Department urging it to give humanitarian parole to members of the Afghanistan women’s soccer team.
— Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13) August 24, 2021
They didn’t say “Save Afghan Women” or “Save Afghan Children.” They certainly didn’t say anything about saving Americans.
That same day, while thousands of other Afghans and Americans fended for their lives, more than 50 Afghan athletes were evacuated out of Kabul. While all lives saved are a victory, this exemplifies America’s culture of athlete supremacy.
Sports are entertaining and undoubtedly a great addition to life, but do athletes really deserve to be glamorized and prioritized because they throw a ball better than someone else who helped our troops or an innocent child?
Although Australia led the effort to remove these athletes by granting them visas, Morgan is an American and her tweet reveals a worldview all too common in the United States, where athlete privilege reigns king.
The NCAA and Division I sports have turned young athletes into celebrities. College athletes are just kids when they are thrown in front of a crowd of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands, and told to impress. They are just kids when they are bet on, and apparel with their name is printed on thousands of jerseys and sold for a profit.
Now college athletes can have sponsorships and make money from their name and image just for their athletic ability. The simplicity
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