Call for stories on resistance

It is often said that sport and politics don’t mix. Sport is meant to be a refuge for fans, a place we can go to hide away from the ills of this world. Politics should be shut out of the arena; everyone needs an opportunity to forget for a few blessed hours.

But why not sports? A game can draw millions of viewers. A player is often idolized and thus imitated. A club’s clever message will find, at the very least, a plethora of retweets. Fandom provides a ready-made community of individuals with at least one common interest. And supporters will lap up almost any bit of news about their sport.

Here’s the thing: we don’t have the luxury of escaping. Day after day, people around the world are seeing their freedoms drain away, and those who are already considered the most vulnerable are put at even greater risk. To advocate that sport should be kept in a hermetically-sealed bubble, protected from the filth of politics, is to reveal that you yourself are likely protected as well. Instead those in positions of power should use that position to speak out against society’s ills.

So we want to talk up the acts of resistance we see in soccer. We want to publish stories about clubs or players speaking out, in whatever form. Dip back into history and write about players who resisted in Nazi Germany. Give us a profile on the woman who plays in hijab, even if it’s against the rules. Or the woman who’s playing on the men’s team, despite being told she couldn’t. Introduce us to clubs welcoming refugees, or players speaking out about policies. We’ll even accept stories about other sports if you’d like to argue that a certain league, club, or player should follow a similar path.

Send pitches to inquiry@unusualefforts.com #resist