Whether you’re a casual sports fan or a die-hard fanatic, there’s no denying the popularity of sports. From football and basketball to baseball and hockey, millions of people tune in to watch their favorite athletes compete. And with the rise of fantasy sports leagues, even more people are getting involved in the action.
But what is it about sports that makes them so captivating? Why do we enjoy watching other people compete?
There are a number of theories that attempt to explain our love of sports. One popular theory is that sports satisfy our need for competition. Throughout our lives, we’re constantly striving to be the best at what we do. We want to be the top salesperson at our company, the valedictorian of our class, or the MVP of our sports team.
In a way, sports give us a way to live out our competitive desires. When we watch our favorite team or player compete, we can vicariously experience the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat. We can feel the excitement of a last-second shot or the disappointment of a close loss.
In addition to satisfying our need for competition, sports also provide us with a sense of community. For many people, being a fan of a particular team is a way to connect with others who share their same interest. It’s a way to bond with friends and family members over a common love.
And in an increasingly fragmented world, that sense of community is more important than ever.
Whether you’re a casual fan or a die-hard fanatic, there’s no denying the appeal of sports. They satisfy our need for competition and provide us with a sense of community. That’s why we love to watch them.Athletes Who Give Back: 10 Sports Stars Who Use Their Platforms to Make a Difference
In a world where professional athletes are often typecast as self-centered egomaniacs, it’s refreshing to know that there are plenty of sports stars who use their platform and their fame to make a difference in the world. From advocating for social justice to working to end childhood obesity, these 10 athletes are using their influence to make a positive impact.
1. Colin Kaepernick
Few athletes have been as polarizing as Colin Kaepernick over the last few years, but there’s no denying that the former NFL quarterback is using his platform to fight for social justice. After kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality in 2016, Kaepernick became a free agent and has been unable to find a team willing to sign him since. He has since filed a grievance against the NFL, alleging that team owners have colluded to keep him out of the league because of his political beliefs.
Despite not being able to play the sport he loves, Kaepernick has continued to use his platform to fight for social justice, donating over $1 million to various organizations that work to empower communities of color. He was also the recipient of the 2018 Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award, which is given to athletes who use their platform to promote social change.
2. LeBron James
LeBron James is one of the most famous athletes in the world, and he’s using his platform to fight for social justice and equality. In July of 2016, James and fellow NBA stars Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, and Carmelo Anthony opened the ESPY Awards with a powerful call to action for athletes to use their platform to fight racial injustice.
“We all feel helpless and frustrated by the violence that we keep seeing in our country,” James said. “The shootings that have taken place in Dallas, in Baton Rouge, in St. Paul, in Minneapolis, in Falcon Heights. It’s time to look in the mirror and ask ourselves, what are we doing to create change?”
James has also been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, calling him a “bum” on Twitter after he rescinded an invitation for the Golden State Warriors to visit the White House. James has also been a vocal supporter of Colin Kaepernick, and he has said that he would never stay at a Trump-branded hotel.
3. Serena Williams
Serena Williams is one of the most successful athletes in history, but she’s also using her platform to fight for social justice. In 2015, Williams wrote an essay for Porter magazine about the double standard that women face in the workplace, and she has been an outspoken advocate for equal pay for women in tennis.
“I have been treated unfairly, I’ve been disrespected by my male colleagues and — in the most painful times — I’ve been the subject of racist comments on the court,” Williams wrote. “I have been fighting for equality for a long time, and I am happy that at last it seems to be happening.”
Williams has also been a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement, and she has spoken out about the sexual harassment and assault she has experienced throughout her career. In 2018, Williams made headlines when she wore a catsuit at the French Open to support other mothers who have experienced difficult pregnancies.
4. Megan Rapinoe
Megan Rapinoe is a professional soccer player and a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team, and she’s using her platform to fight for social justice and equality. In 2016, Rapinoe became the first white professional athlete to kneel during the national anthem in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, and she has continued to be an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump.
“Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties,” Rapinoe said in an interview with ESPN. “It was something small that I could do and something that I plan to keep doing in the future and hopefully spark some meaningful conversation around it. It’s important to have white people stand in support of people of color on this. We don’t need to be the leading voice, of course, but standing in support is something that’s really powerful.”
Rapinoe has also been an outspoken advocate for equal pay for women, and she was one of the main plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation that alleged gender discrimination. In 2019, Rapinoe was the recipient of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Golden Ball, and she used her acceptance speech to call for gender equality.