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Monday, July 23, 2018

OTP 2018 July 23: How sports and American politics made each other

In January 1942, as the United States committed itself fully to World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt decided that baseball, then the national pastime, should sustain civilian morale during the lengthy struggle ahead. He implored its commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, to make sure the games went on, despite worldwide armed conflict. And so they did. Professional baseball players, Roosevelt argued, “are a definite recreational asset.”

Roosevelt did not extend that consideration to professional football players, whose sport did not register politically. As a result, the National Football League nearly shut its doors during World War II. So many players were called to serve that several franchises had to merge. In fact, the league didn’t take off until it closely associated itself with national politics. For the past half century, the intertwining of American football and politics has sustained both pastimes.

 

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: July 23, 2018 at 08:42 AM | 1431 comment(s)
  Beats: football, off topic, politics

 

 

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