KOBE Paras, the star of the University of the Philippines basketball team, was a revelation this week when he voiced out his support for his fellow UP students and other activists who were arrested after holding a rally against the newly passed anti-terrorism bill in Cebu City on June 5, 2020.
Kobe’s tweet and that of other celebrities in other industries have started the conversation of how sports and entertainment celebrities should stick to their day jobs and stay out of politics.
Well, I really don’t buy that line. Besides, what I have noticed in the past few years is that for the most part, it’s only a bad political statement if it’s critical of the government and it’s a “good job, you’re being patriotic” if otherwise. I mean, nobody raised a pip when Gilas Pilipinas posed with a certain senator with their closed fist salute, right?
While some act like it, sports stars don’t live in a bubble and are part of every day life. Let them have their say if they want to and if they really care they should be paying attention to what’s happening in Congress.
No, I’m not talking about the controversial bill, take the heated discussion on the nationality of Gabby Lopez. It seems these days, it’s a crime to be a dual citizen and for holding another passport.
And that’s really ironic considering a good percentage of our national athletes are of mixed heritage, growing up and learning their sport abroad only to get a Filipino passport after getting under the radar of various national sports association. Take our football team for example, almost all of the members are dual citizens who were raised abroad.
I mean, will these same congressmen scrutinize the heritage of our national athletes too before they get to wear the flag or is that scrutiny limited only to one particular dual citizen?
Sports and politics do mix and will mix in the next few months. The fate of the comeback of sports events will hinge on a political decision so, instead of telling these stars to stick to their sports and dribble, let them have their say. They have as much right as the rest of us.
Sports and politics have always mixed in the Philippines, though sometimes not in a good way. Take a look at the people leading some of the national sports agencies, some are congressmen or in the Senate or have family members who are.