As I write this editor’s letter the world is looking to the US. On Sunday February 5 the Patriots will play the Falcons in Super Bowl 51, by the time this magazine is released the world will know the score, but the eyes of the world will remain firmly fixed on the US for other reasons.
That is, of course, the controversial administration change over the past 3 months that has seen the US and the world become as divided along political lines as at any time in living memory. There has been shouting matches online, across bars and even at family dinner tables that seem difficult to overcome.
However, we have seen in the past that sport is one of the most powerful forces in the world when bringing people together and with the biggest sporting event in the world taking place during this time of unprecedented change in the US, perhaps we can look to it to help calm the huge tensions we are seeing.
This isn’t simply a wish though, there have been numerous studies, books and articles surrounding the ability for sport to replace direct conflict. For instance, think about the national pride that surrounds an international competition like the World Cup football or Olympics and how it can bind everyone together. Even the losing teams all pull together even if it is to criticize their team’s performances and athletes. It can create euphoria for everyone associated with the team involved, fuelling patriotism and togetherness.
A single sporting event is unlikely to cure all of the issues that the US and the world are currently facing, but we have seen its power in the past and with the biggest event only days away, hopefully it can help.
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