By Richard Lee
When sports and politics collide, the debate that follows usually revolves around the question of whether politics should kept out of sports.
But let’s flip the question and explore what might happen if we injected a bit of the sports world into politics. The results could have a positive impact on public policy.
In sports, winners and losers are clear-cut. The team with the most points or runs wins. In politics, both sides claim victory after debates, and they spin polling results, legislative votes and other developments to argue that they have won the day.
Because teamwork is essential to success in sports, every team member works toward a common goal. In politics, backstabbing — even within one’s own party — is common, and politicians sometimes put self interests above the common good.
Sports also can be a great equalizer. When a baseball is hit out of the park, it is a home run regardless of whether the batter is Caucasian, African American, Asian, Latino or Muslim.
Lastly, at the end of a sports season, it is the best team that wins the championship title – something that does not always happen when candidates compete for public office.
Richard Lee is an associate professor in the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University.