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Littlefield: Athletes Should Be Free To Speak03:05

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Some fans believe athletes should stick to playing their games and commentators should stick to talking about them. (Tim Warner/Getty Images)closemore
Some fans believe athletes should stick to playing their games and commentators should stick to talking about them. (Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Bill Littlefield sometimes hears from listeners who feel that athletes should stick to playing their games and that commentators and hosts should stick to talking about those games. This week, he has those listeners in mind.

“Let games be games and nothing more.” Some feel that way, I guess.
Let in the issues of the day, and, goodness, what a mess!

Our heroes run and throw and catch. We needn’t ask for more.
Their purpose is to entertain, nor should they burden our,
Excited fans with what they think, assuming that they do…
For theirs is but to do their jobs. If you think that is true,
Are you inclined to also think that plumbers should shut up?
And only fix our leaking sinks? And where you like to sup,
Should waiters only wait in silence? What about the cook?
Is she entitled to a word? Or should she only look
As if it’s plenty to prepare a meal that you’ll enjoy?
And what about the roofer and the doctor and the boy
Who throws the paper on your lawn, assuming you’re the one
Who still receives a paper as so many once had done?

Should folks who sell insurance have opinions that transcend
The numbers that they calculate? Or should they just pretend
That since their game’s insurance, they are not supposed to think
About outrages likely now to lead us to the brink
Of outcomes most deplorable, if that’s the way they feel?
A touchdown is a touchdown. Should a player, like a seal
Trained merely to be entertaining, merely to delight,
Refrain from ‘ere expressing an opinion that just might
Put off a fan or fans or sponsors? Yikes! Perhaps they should…
At least if they regard the bottom line as all that’s good.

But if the players and the plumbers and the cooks as well…
The chiropractors and the vets and all the folks who sell
The shoes and shirts and skirts and coats and carrots that we buy...
And those who drive the taxis and the planes in which we fly…
The window washers, actors, and photographers and such,
The teachers – not the crabby ones, the ones we like so much…
I don’t think you’d be telling all of them they should be quiet…
And if you are, then I, for one, am not about to buy it.

No wall divides what people think from what they do for work.
To argue otherwise would be exceedingly berserk.
If some are wise and some are not, that’s not exactly news…
Agree or vocally oppose. You’re free, pal. You can choose…
So athletes, like the others, should be free to speak. It’s true…
And so should writers, commentators, hosts…and so should you.

Related:

Bill Littlefield Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield has been the host of Only A Game since the program began in 1993.

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