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Turtle Man

In my opinion any famous person should be able to express political positions without being reprimanded. They know that they may lose fans, or be scrutinized for not "sticking to sports", but they have obviously made a calculated decision and personally decided it was worth it for them. Personally I respect that decision.

Alex P

Turtle Man, I also respect the decision to speak what you feel. Anyone on any given day should be allowed to state their political view. I support Trump because he is our president, but he should not have made such a comment like that.

David W.

Turtle man I agree with you. They have the right to express their views on something that they either agree or disagree on. They know that they may lose some fans because their view points do not agree with their fans. Everybody has the right to say anything they want about something and just because they are famous does not make it wrong for them to express their opinions.

Amelia D

Turtle Man, I respect and agree with your opinion, that professional athletes have the right to speak their beliefs. Everyone has a freedom to speech. Whether your famous or an ordinary person, when you speak your opinions, someone else will always have an opinion on your opinions. I think the comment, "stick to sports" was uncalled for. Regardless if you agree or disagree with Trump's actions, he is our President and everyone should respect that.

The Real Brandon Ashley

Turtle man I completely agree with your post. I feel that athletes have the the same amount of rights as any human living in the United States and they should be able to express their feelings however they want, its freedom of speech. By telling them to stick to sports I think that we are degrading their intelligence and using them just for entertainment. Overall I feel that they have the same rights and should be able to express their thoughts and feelings on any topic they choose.


Turtle Man I agree with what you said. It shouldnt matter if someone is the most famous person in the world or someone on the streets everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I agree with what you said about how the person taking a stand might lose some fans but it is still their option to say what they want to say.

Reese Fitzpatrick

I agree with athletes having the freedom of speech regarding political issues. Vardon claims, "Why should James stick to sports? He should have the same opportunity to move the country as Trump. That opportunity is what makes America great." Yet some readers may challenge my view by insisting that athletes should stick to sports because they have no business waging in on politics. But I believe that everyone is entitled to speak their political views whether I agree with them or not.

I believe this because I think the world is a better place when people are able to speak their mind. We as a country do not get anything done if we don't let people speak their opinion. Although many may not agree with a certain opinion it is beneficial to see numerous view points and is crucial to really "Make America Great".


Personally, I don't think one's freedom of speech is hindered by their career. Vardon claims, "Athletes are, or should be, as welcome to our discussion as plumbers and governors and comedy hosts and real estate agents." Although athletes are like everyone else with a bigger celebrity status, the question still remains why they should no longer be allowed to speak out because of that? I believe that athletes should have every right to express their opinion, maybe more so on certain topics that pertain more to themselves.

LeBron James said, "'goofy votes' elected the president." I believe this needs to be done within reason, because some arguments made by professional athletes are very uneducated. I say, where is your evidence to provide backing to that claim? All in all, just because they are professional athletes, that doesn't mean they aren't entitled to the fundamental right of free speech.

Soren Jensen

In recent discussions of politics, a controversial issue has been whether athletes should stick to sports and stay away from politics. On the one hand, some argue that, “because a man or woman is a famous athlete, or he or she writes news stories about sports stars, their voice has no place in the American body politik” (1). From this perspective, it seems that some wish to have famous people stay in their specific profession and not get involved with politics because they have not dabbled into any themselves. On the other hand, however, others argue that Donald Trump had absolutely no knowledge of politics at all prior to his running for presidency. In the words of Joe Vardon, one of this view’s main proponents, “Before Trump was elected our 45th president, and prior to his candidacy for office, he starred on a reality TV show and was a business mogul. He had no political or governing experience” (1). In sum, then, the issue whether you actually need experience to be able to be placed in a career in politics and do you have to have knowledge of politics to talk about them.

My own view is that athletes should be able to express their own political views just as any other person. Though I concede that with these athletes having such a large fan base they have the ability to persuade more than any other person, I still maintain these beliefs. For example, movie stars and famous singers aren’t limited on expressing their views. Although some might object that athletes could persuade an entire city compared to other famous people can only be in contact with their fan base, I would reply that people who are ultimately voting should be intelligent enough to understand whose name they are casting their vote for. The issue is important because with the attention athletes demand, it is obvious to point fingers and say they don’t know have any reason saying anything, because they are just athletes.

Zack Martin

Kyle, Although Lebron James or Trevor Bauer speaking to the press on their political values may seem trivial, it is in fact crucial as thousands of people idolize these two people. Admittedly, it is unfortunate that those of celebrity status must be limited to keeping their views private, but the amount of influence they wield could damage the person they speak out against irreparably. For example what would happen if Lebron James said that a up and coming comedian who was just about to land first huge gig stunk, his next show wouldn’t have a chance of doing well. I am not saying that these people are not entitled to their own opinion or that they can not speak about important topics, but they should keep their own personal believes to family or their close friends. Furthermore, these people are not experts in these fields, as most of us aren’t, and may have no idea the consequences of acting on their ideas are. To explain it differently, if I need to replace my roof I’d call a roofing technician, or if I needed my car fixed an auto shop. We expect these people to be experts that will get the job done, these people are just athletes who may not have ever stepped foot in an area affected by the the problems they are speaking on.

Kylie K

While I agree with Turtle Man’s reasoning for why famous people should not be reprimanded for their political positions, I must disagree with that they should fully express them. I understand that famous people and athletes have the freedom of speech just like any other person, but I believe that they should take caution before expressing their opinions. People all over the world look up to them and idolize them, therefore they should somewhat keep their opinions to themselves. Expressing their full position could influence others or cause them to lose fans. While I believe they should not be punished for expressing their opinion if they choose to do so, I also believe that they should ultimately take caution. Before speaking out their opinion, they should think of who this might affect and how it might affect them. Athletes should not have to just “stick to sports,” but their political opinions should not be made in order to influence others.

Zachary Owens

Although I agree with Turtle Man about how famous people should be able to express their political positions whenever they feel like it, I cannot accept his idea that famous people should fully express everything they believe. Famous people are held to a higher standard than others because they are idolized by people all over the world. I am not saying it is right for famous people to be held at a higher standard, I am just saying that is the reality our world is facing today. Famous people have a huge influence over many people’s beliefs and opinions. Therefore, famous people should use caution before they express their full opinion because they do not understand the full effects that their views can cause around the world. The opinions of famous people could make or break someone else’s career. I believe famous people should not be punished for expressing their opinions, but they should think about all the possible affects that could happen because of their comment.

Jordan F.

Yet some readers may challenge the view that athlete's shouldn't be bashed for expressing their political views; however, many believe that they should not have the 'right' to do so. I fully agree with Turtle Man and his view on this topic because regardless of their decision on a political issue it was their decision in the end to express how they felt. These athlete's shouldn't just 'stick to their sport' because it shows that they are not just involved in their sport but are also involved within the world that's around them. To me, that's impressive. It may not be the most intellectual or elaborate response but it shows that they intrigue themselves in the real world problems and not just the problems that are involved in their sport.

Jackson Myers

This article refers to a major problem in American society and sports culture today regarding big name athletes and their ability to express the first amendment. Furthermore, the article goes on to provide examples of numerous professional athletes which have recently expressed their opinions of Trump and his presidential debut. Joe Vargon, the author of this article, argues that these athletes should be allowed to express their opinions freely, just as every other American has the right to do. He exaggerates that just because these professional athletes have a large fan base and political opinions does not mean that they cannot express these opinions and influence people.

I agree that professional athletes should be able to voice their political opinions freely without any constrictions or criticizing, a point that still needs emphasizing since so many people still believe that these athletes opinions weigh too heavily on society. I agree with Vardon that professional athletes should not be influenced to “stick to their sports”, but instead should be free to be politically vocal. This freedom of speech should not be something that is given up when these professional athletes sign their contracts. Every individual in America has the right to express themselves in all facets of society, regardless of their standing in society.


Freedom of speech should be embrrassed by all. I support what they are doing

Sahar Rizvi

he article “Why LeBron James, Trevor Bauer shouldn't 'stick to sports' in Trump era: Commentary” is about the discussion on whether athletes should stick to sports and not focus on politics. I agree with that athletes should have freedom of speech regarding political issues, they are Americans just like any of us and should practice their amendment freely without receiving backlash. I think what many of these athletes are doing is very important especially in the era of politics we are in. Sometimes our favorite athletes and icons and our voice for the voiceless because they are more well-known and can bring awareness. The should be able to freely practice their freedom of speech on political issues and do what they love most, play sports. They may lose fans or be scrutinized but the athlete needs to follow his set of morals and decide whether it is the right thing to do. I appreciate athletes who have a voice on political issues I think it takes courage to speak out and they would not be doing it if they knew it was not important. As country, we can only move forward if people voice their opinions and concerns because it is important. I do not think that one’s freedom of speech should affect their career this is unfair. I think when something important is occurring in society then athletes should be urged to speak out because they have large followings that can help persuade other people or bring attention to a cause. This is a major problem in society today that we need to lean to accept, athletes are human too they are bound to have opinions and have every right to voice it whenever they would like with no constrictions or criticizing. Every individual in America has the right to express themselves in society, regardless of their social status in society.

Sean Conroy

One of the most significant and important parts of this entire essay is the very end. When Vardon concludes his essay by saying that the fact that Lebron James should have the same opportunity to move this country as Donald Trump, he really emphasizes just how wrong of a statement president Trump made. Vardon is showing that what makes America great is the idea where every person in this country should have just as much opportunity to succeed as anyone else, regardless of what field it is in. I very much agree with this. I believe that no one should ever be told to "stick to" whatever they are currently doing, if someone has a desire to pursue knowledge in another field, or even state their opinion for that matter, they have every right to do so. Donald Trump, the man telling professional athletes to "stick to sports", used to be a reality TV show host. Not only was he wrong to say what he did, but he is in no place to say it anyways.

Brandon Wehner

Athletes today are in a great position to help those who cannot help themselves. Their platform can bring about a very important message to the public attention. Colin Kaepernick did this but it sadly cost him his career as NFL owners care more about their profit than social issues. LeBron James continues to not back down from the President and actually acts more presidential than our current Commander in Chief. While I respect the office of the President, our current President does not earn the respect that should be given to that office. It is more important now than ever to not back down from the President just because of his office but to stand up for justice for all people in this nation. Change has always been slow but it will only come slower if people give in to the demands of any man. Anyone can become President in our country and that is what makes our country great. However, when that man is a supporter of injustices then it is our duty as citizens to stand up for what we believe in.

Noah Stampo

Personally, I agree with Vardon's stance that famous athletes such as LeBron James and Trevor Bauer (mentioned in the article) should not be reprimanded for making specific political statements and comments just because of their popularity and fame. They should have the same right as any other person to express their feelings and speak out about what they feel is right or wrong in the world, specifically in this instance politics. Yes, these individuals tend to have a very large following and in some cases can sway people just due to their presence and popularity but they are entitled to have their own feelings and to say what they want. People may or may not agree with what they have to say and sometimes they may lose the support of some people but ultimately I do not think they are concerned as much with that as they are with trying to get their point across and be heard.

Double A

At the beginning of the article, Vardon makes a great point when he says, "Free speech doesn't stop at the baseline. Athletes are, or should be, as welcome to our discussion as plumbers and governors and comedy hosts and real estate moguls." Every single person has the right as an American citizen to state their views about various political topics. However, I do not think that their views should be platformed above anyone else's views because they are a famous athlete or celebrity. If we are to ask, "Is the financial wholesaler on the Stairmaster next to you at the gym any more qualified to bloviate about dismantling Obamacare than athlete is to take a stance on immigration or guns?" No, they are not. However, is the athlete more qualified then the financial wholesaler, and deserves to have his or her views nationally televised? This is what I don't understand. I think that all should be given freedom of speech, but not all should be given a media platform to share their opinions which they have come to believe are facts.

Drew Lovin

In the article Joe Vardon gives his opinion on the controversial topic of athletes "sticking to sports" and I have to say I whole heartedly agree with his stance on this issue. Just because Lebron James or Trevor Bauer have a much bigger platform than your average person does not exempt them from voicing whatever their political opinion may be and that's what makes America great. In this country we aren't required to stick to one thing, we are allowed to experiment and broaden our horizons by having an input into what goes on in this nation. How could we preach equality but then try to close the mouth of someone wanting to voice their concerns just because they have a platform that will reach people. No matter if you support whoever the president may be or not, freedom of speech is for all people and that right should never be taken away.

John D

I agree with what Vardon wrote. Athletes deserve to have their opinions heard like the rest of us. Just because someone has fame does not mean they should be ridiculed for speaking their mind. Many people only visualize athletes as people who just play sports. They do not take into consideration they have opinions of their own. Vardon mentioning “Free speech doesn’t stop at the baseline,” depicts the concept athletes should have an equal voice when it comes to topics that are affecting all of us. I believe the athlete that voices what is on their mind are the most courageous. They are aware that they are taking a stand, and even though they might lose fame and gain negative publicity for their action, they still want their voices to be heard. When one person speaks up, the rest follow. Freedom of speech is something we are all promised. It should not matter what your social status is. Athletes who have voiced their opinions may have received negative publicity for it, but they brought light to issues that have been hiding in neglect.

Riley Schwartz

I agree with Vardon that athletes should not be told to shut up about their political beliefs. I believe that athletes should be encouraged to talk about politics and fight for what they believe in. Throughout history athletes have spoken up for what they believe in and it has led to major change in America because of the place they hold in American culture. When athletes speak normal Americans and people around the world listen to what they have to say because they have a very big platform that should be taken advantage of. The first amendment allows people on the internet every right to tell these athletes that they should just stick to sports, but it is the same thing that gives Athletes like LeBron James and Steph Curry to speak out against things they think are wrong with American politics.


I believe that everyone in America should be able to voice their own opinions no matter if they’re a middle class individual in society or a famous figure. Even if they want to do that publicly, especially on social media, people go ballistic over their comments. They know that they might lose fans, but on the contrary they have chosen to voice their opinion. They can speak what they feel without needing to think too deep into it. Especially if their opinion clashes with politics. For example, Lebron James spoke poorly about Donald Trump around the 2016 election, but he has the right to voice his opinion. Just like the Indians pitcher, Trevor Baur is allowed to defend Trump on social media.There is no need to go and attack a famous figure or even an everyday person in society about their beliefs on any topic. It’s a hard time in this generation to voice your opinion, because people take things very personally. People love to take everything to a greater extent to get a rise out of the person who voiced their opinion.


I agree with Vardon; I think athletes should be able to voice their opinions. I believe it is pretty silly that some people feel others shouldn't express their opinion. At the same time, I agree with commenter Zachary Owens that famous people, more specifically athletes, have a large following, and a vast majority of them look up to and idolize them. Athletes should voice their opinion but should be aware that most of their fan base includes children and should be mindful of what they are doing or, more importantly, how they are phrasing it. In other words, athletes should voice their opinion and not be affected by them but be aware of the children following them.

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