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Legendary Baseball Announcer: Athletes Should 'Keep Their Nose Out of Politics and Just Play'

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There are very few real announcers left in sports. I’ll admit that Chicago White Sox announcer Ken “Hawk” Harrelson is one of those real announcers, even though he takes every chance he gets to bash my beloved Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field.

The White Sox held “Hawk Day” on Sunday to commemorate the long-standing contributions Harrelson, who is in his final season as the team’s broadcaster, made as an announcer. Harrelson is known for his fiery opinions during White Sox broadcasts, so it came as no surprise to this sports fan when he took it upon himself to talk about current athletes need to publicly talk about politics.

He even went so far as to call NBA star LeBron James by name.

“Well I used to watch LeBron [James] but no more,” Harrelson said during the White Sox game against the visiting Boston Red Sox, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “I wish these guys would keep their nose out of politics and just play because people didn’t come to hear their opinions on politicians.”

I agree and disagree with Harrelson on this one.

The disagreement comes in when you look at athletes talking about politics from a free speech perspective. Any American can technically say whatever they want politically, as long as their comments are not a direct threat or call to violence.

However, I agree with Harrelson more than I disagree.

Have you seen what it costs a family of four to go to a ballgame these days? You have to take out a second mortgage and lease your children’s names to the highest bidder, all in an effort not to sit in the upper deck of a stadium.

No one’s paying these exorbitant fees to hear a power forward talk about “income inequality.” No one’s paying these exorbitant fees to see a quarterback disrespect the country that provided everything they take for granted.

You are entitled to your political opinion as an American. But, there are other ways you can get your point across. Acting as divisive agents for change that these athletes ignorantly protest for does no one any good, especially when nothing ever changes as a result of their actions.

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