Домой United States USA — Sport Whicker: As good as the games are, they can’t heal what ails...

Whicker: As good as the games are, they can’t heal what ails us now


A pandemic and another example of police misconduct have made sports seem irrelevant and bizarre.
At times like this we hear about the “healing power of sports.”
They do not bring a cure. They bring a tourniquet. They can relieve pain. They do not mend fractures that stretch 3,000 miles and damage every star and stripe.
When George W. Bush brazenly walked into Yankee Stadium and threw the first pitch of World Series Game 3 in 2001, a month and a half after the planes hit, he made people jump and cheer and cry. But all he could do was inspire. After the balls and bats were put away, New York went back to burying its cops and firemen.
When Cathy Freeman made the final turn at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, her fans found an eerie new octave. Their noise sounded like souls that had been freed from bodies, a strange new language of sound. Freeman won the gold medal in the 400 as an indigenous Aussie. Whatever hope she sowed is a wilted memory. Her people live 10 fewer years than the average Australian, and only 48 percent of those of working age have jobs.
As 2020 plunges past the River Styx, a disabled nation must heal itself.
Some of us cry for spectator sports, which have been removed by COVID-19. Our games have been replaced by pandemic information and, lately, dispatches from paved, downtown battlefields.
Wouldn’t we prefer the ibuprofen of a 4-for-4 from the bat of Mike Trout? Sure. But numbing isn’t healing.
In fact, sports have rarely seemed as extraneous and bizarre as they do now, after three-and-a-half months in exile.
That was before a plague removed 100,000 American lives, and counting, and yet another policeman’s panic and fear cost yet another African American man his life.

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