Tuesday night was historic in US political history as it affects every facet of society and that includes sports with the democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama becoming the first African-American elected as President of the United States of America.
Sports have always played a unifying role in society and as of Tuesday night, President Elect Obama now commands that same power with his win over the Republican Senator John McCain.
Athletes were part of the drive to elect either President Elect Obama or his opponent Senator McCain. From NFL’s Joey Porter and Brandon Marshall, to NBA’s Tracy McGrady, Kevin Garnett, and Steve Francis donning an Obama jacket, there was a flood of support for the first black president.
And rightfully so.
The Illinois Senator will play a unifying role in a diverse nation with unique backgrounds, different races and languages, varying ideology and different people who follow different sports.
In this country and for most parts of the world, nothing seems to unite society more than sports.
A sporting event in any part of the world - even in Kenya where President Elect Obama’s father was born - brings people together to celebrate a goal which to most is victory or their agony in defeat.
Watching national television, one could sense the change in direction, ideology and vision of the nation. Right before our very eyes, the fabric of society demonstrated its diversity, abilities to accept others and unite just like we always do when we support our favorite sports team.
President Obama was not voted into office by the African-American voters only, or Native-Americans, or Hispanics, he was voted for by the people of the United States of America, a diverse group across all ages and status of our society.
These are the same types of people we witness at our favorite NFL game, or an NBA, MLB or College sports events; the American fans.
Before election night was over, everyone including athletes anticipated a historic event. Even if the Democratic ticket didn’t win, the Republican ticket had a potential first, with Governor Sarah Palin as the first female vice president of the United States.
The pictures at Bryant Park in Chicago with over 200,000 people, was a testament to the diversity of Obama’s voters and the diversity of America.
Obama did mention on Monday Night Football during an interview that he would like to see College Football institute a playoff system. “I think it is about time that we have a playoff system in College Football. I am fed up with the computer rankings,” he said.
Maybe that drew him some more votes, we can never tell. There is a section of society that craves for the BCS to incorporate a playoff system where the top eight teams slug it out to decide on College Football's National Champion.
To say that Senator McCain is not a sports fan, or does not play would be untrue, but president-elect Obama actually was involved in 3-on-3 basketball game with some high school students Maple Crest Middle School in Indiana, (see Athlete's Corner for video) in April this year. So the next president, just like the current and past enjoys sports, but his ability and power to take everyone to the same place is commonly found in sports.
That’s always a good thing.
Sulaiman Folarin is the editor of JOCKlife.com, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org