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Sport can be a change for good – but we need to stay vigilant

Sports have for a long time been a massive part of human culture. Regardless of whether or not you’re a sports fan, one thing is certain: sport can bring people together like nothing else on planet earth. The football world cup final is regularly watched by more than half of the earth’s population. 

But this globalization and massive world wide interest in some of the biggest sports, teams, and tournaments in the world can become something far less appealing. In this text we’re going to talk about the positive change that sport can bring about, as well as the dangers looming ahead. Regardless of whether or not you follow sports religiously and watch Nfl predictions or you just have a mild and passing interest, this is something that affects massive parts of our societies and communities.  

Sport can be used to bring people together 

The possibility for sports to be used as a force for good is well documented. One of the clearest examples is how both the national rugby team and the national football team of South Africa where able to bring some joy to a country still trying to find their direction after the abolishment of apartheid. Iraq came together to lift the trophy of the Asian Championship while they were still picking up the rubble after both Saddam Hussein and the American invasion. But this doesn’t always have to be so grandiose to be meaningful. Looking at a bleacher you can find people of all colors and backgrounds who don’t have many things in common except one thing: their love of the game. People come together to discuss Nfl expert picks, and sports today is a more social event than ever before. 

Sportswashing and corruption  

The downside of this massive interest is that nefarious actors give themselves the opportunity to brush over some of their less appealing side to make way for global positive attention. The most pressing example of this is the world cup in Qatar, where the oppressive government is attempting to use the world cup as a way of shining a different light on Qatar. 

This too has been used by corrupt and ill advised politicians in conjunction with the world cup and the olympics. The South African world cup and Rio Olympics was a massive success, apart from the fact that the country now has massive amounts of infrastructure that serves no use. 

Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash

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