Sports in society and culture

John Morris Staff writer

Column by John Morris

Sports are year-round, not just one season.

There is a lot of involvement with them that includes different cultural and social aspects.

For example, most everyone loves spending the holidays with family and there is a common family connection, especially when we were young. We loved preparing for whatever festivity was associated with the holiday we celebrate.

These festivities then become our tradition whether it’s with family or not.

Sports have been going on around the holidays for a while. As we get older some of us look forward to sports as part of the holiday celebration.

The games are usually the big games in the sport or highly-favored teams that play purposefully scheduled around the holidays.

These sports not only bring a sense of tradition but also helps bring awareness for special causes and brings the spirit of the holidays close to home.

Not just the major holidays, but also the different days of the year have meaning and help spread awareness. Most of the commonly watched sports do something to help represent.

Our major sports do a great job connecting and helping with social issues like reaching out to kids. The NBA has NBA Cares and the NFL has NFL Play 60 to get kids active and keeping them out of trouble with after school programs.

For example, around Veterans Day the NFL and NBA do a salute the troops campaigns. Players wear camouflage uniforms and team websites show appreciation to those who serve by changing the theme or promoting awareness for the organization on their site.

Also breast cancer awareness, which is the month of October plays a big part in sports. Players and teams wear the color pink to show support for breast cancer research and awareness.

During Halloween some of the kids prepare for the games and will wear their favorite teams jerseys even the athletes do too. Some of the biggest events are those during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday.

We see athletes from every sport donating food to families for Thanksgiving and Christmas donating.

This year Cam Newton, quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, gave out Thanksgiving meals in North Carolina for a whole day. A lot of teams do the turkey giveaway for their service.

Even though these athletes are our source of entertainment during these holiday seasons, they stay connected and humble. They make themselves examples of what the seasons are about, and we build traditions based on these actions. Every big season and holiday’s sports are incorporated and play a big part in families.

Internationally, sports even have their own holiday. In Japan, they have a day of exercise and health to commemorate the opening of the 1964 Summer Olympics. It’s held on the second Monday of October and they have a field day that resembles some of the Olympic Games. This shows sports have a global connection they’re not just important to the US.

College football always holds the championship bowl games on New Year’s Day.

The NBA has a Black History month campaign for the month of February where they highlight black basketball players and coaches. Some of the big time players get their uniforms and shoes customized for representation. ESPN has segments during February recognizing a lot of the accomplishments of black athletes and coaches in the sports world.

Sports are year-round and I believe this helps them connect with the different holidays and trends.

Whether it’s just participating in a holiday or supporting an important movement, we see the connection year in and year out.