I follow @AntiProSports on Twitter and it’s, well, special.
It tweets things like:
“Watching sports is entirely stupid; citizens should be actively nourishing their bodies and their minds.” or “Professional sports represent the desire of the old, capitalist, billionaire to weaken (and own) the athletic body of the working class.” and “Professional sports writers are magicians, their job is to turn something as boring as bouncing balls into spectacles.”
Although I’m sympathetic towards the anti-institutional sentiment, I must say that @AntiProSports is missing a great point made by the Marxist revolutionary, Ernesto “Che” Guevara: “Football is a tool of the revolution.”
Professional football is the most popular sports in the world and it’s a great educational tool.
In many ways, sports was an extremely important tool in the fight against racism (one can argue that Jesse Owens Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, Michael Jordan and other black athletes helped educate millions against bigotry) and it could be an extremely important tool in the fight against exploitative economy.
- AntiProSports writes that “Professional sports provide a fake vicarious intensity that’s designed to physically and politically diffuse the viewer”. But through professional sports, a lot of fans (especially Manchester United fans) learned about the dangers of leveraged buyouts and developed a clearer social conscience.
- AntiProSports tweets that “Professional sports are instrument of inactivity, pacification, turning the populace away from action and towards spectacle”. However, football also teaches us about the many distortions of profit based economy and as fans we are educated to demand a better product (team).
- AntiProSports says: “Professional sports are used by the capitalist class to glamorize and legitimize mindless productivity”. Akthough through sports we learn how to be more efficient with our resources and there is a constant search for the right formula to move the team forward.
- AntiProSports writes “Professional sports encourage citizens to value competition, when they should be cooperating and planning revolt”. But through professional sports, we learn that limiting wealth is legitimate. Financial Fair Play, salary caps, luxury tax and revenue sharing are legitimate ideas in sports-economics because they protect the competition and help the fight against monopolies.
- AntiProSports writes ”International sporting events are used to reinforce the poisonous national identities of global citizens”. But we all know that the greatest moments in sporting events are those in-which fans from two different countries are enjoying a cold beer together.
- AntiProSports tweets that “the upper class uses professional sports to render the revolutionary drive of the people weak and broken”. However, through sports, we realize the importance of community and get exposed to the cooperative model. Great sporting institutions are owned by the supporters. They are considered stable yet innovative, profitable yet social. It is impossible for one individual to buy them. The cooperative model is a great model for sports as it has been well proven in the Bundesliga. In “real world economics” this model is considered un-capitalistic, un-realistic and “old fashioned”, just because it’s not giving the power to a financial dictator.
- “Professional sports could represent the incessant dream of the capitalist class: to own and control working-class bodies” – but it could also be seen, in places such as Green Bay, as the place where the working class is taking matters into its own hands and stand up against teams owned by billionaires.
- AntiProSports writes that professional sports “negate the intellectual drive of the people; nothing could be more mind-numbing than watching pro-sports” – but we know it’s not true. Some of the smartest men in the world are watching sports because it stimulates the brain and makes you think a lot about things as tactics, feelings and more.
- AntiProSports writes “Professional athletes are politically numb; they are well kept house slaves, paid to remain passive and to pacify”. But that’s not true. Many athletes are turning to politics when their careers end and some of them are extremely influential.
It’s true that sports is an industry produces entertainment, but more importantly – it produces communities, an essential element of human evolution, which is missing from our modern way of life. An element “the revolution” can use against the current system, which weakens communities. Pro sports could be seen as a tool of the capitalist class to kill off the revolutionary desires of the populace, but it could also be used as an educational tool, a tool of the revolution.
More about how football is a tool of the revolution in these articles: