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Monday, June 11, 2018

OTP 2018 June 11: Sports, politics conflicted 50 years ago with mourning of RFK’s death

If you think the intersection – and conflict – of sports and politics is something new, well, you haven’t been paying close enough attention to either for a very long time.

Don’t think so? Check out President Trump’s pardon of the controversial African-American heavyweight champion Jack Johnson, who held the title more than 100 years ago. His reign was consumed by the politics of the day. So it is no surprise that the debate over NFL players and the national anthem remains a divisive topic.

Anything that is going to have the powerful symbolism of sports —and the ability to unite, as we have seen right here in Washington during the Capitals’ Stanley Cup playoffs run — is also going to generate enough passion to divide as well, in death as well as life.

That was the case 50 years ago, as Major League Baseball tried to cope with the proper way to mourn the death of New York Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy on June 6, 1968.

 


 

 

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