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The Jaguar Journal

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Can Athletes of all ages Speak their minds?

Big time athletes always have reporters by them asking questions possibly after a big win or after a tough loss, being posted on social media constantly for voicing an opinion after a game or the end of a season, although some stay quiet to not cause tension to themselves or with their team. Do student athletes do the same, do they stay quiet about their opinions or do they speak out? Is there a right time to say stuff and what can or can’t they say without it being controversial? Athletes of all ages have the struggle on what and what not to say.

After an unfortunate loss against the Texas Rangers the Seattle Mariners were eliminated from making the postseason. The press went to interview some players after the game and one player only spoke for less than a minute and then left after he was done speaking.

 “We have to commit to going and getting those players. You see other teams going out, going for it, getting big time pitchers, getting big time hitters.” Controversy spread for the next day after the Seattle Mariners star catcher Cal Raleigh told the press about his thoughts after the Mariners were eliminated from postseason contention.

 The next morning Cal apologized to his teammates and coaches for the comments he had made. Although he did anything wrong, he never targeted his teammates or any of his coaches, he was just sharing what he thought had to be done to get better. 

So was Cal forced to apologize for speaking his mind? Probably, but not enough evidence to support. I don’t think it was necessary for him to apologize. Everything he said that day was absolutely true and it wasn’t directed at anyone he didn’t do anything wrong. I feel that athletes most of the time will always listen to people who hold power over them just in case they do something that affects that player’s game. 

Student Athletes at North Creek High School probably have opinions that never get shared or if they do get shared it could lead to them being benched etc. I spoke with anonymous student athletes at North Creek High and one said “ He could make me not be able to play because I tried to take the leadership position”. They were referring to their coach and spoke on how if they took a leadership role and shared an opinion they’re could be consequences. They don’t want to speak out ever because their coach has authority over them and can make any decisions they want. 

Follow up questions were asked on if they thought it was necessary to share opinions on a team they said “yes because it is important for the growth of the team and the well being of people on the team”.  It is important to take leadership roles and athletes shouldn’t be scared to share an opinion as a result of not being able to play a game. 

Another athlete said “depending on the topic no”. They were talking about if they felt they could share opinions on the team. Later on they said “ I could get benched”. Athletes shouldn’t have to fear that if they say something they could get benched for a game they should be able to share their voice if it’s not causing harm to others. 

There is a line on what athletes can say. DK Metcalf, Seahawks star wide receiver was interviewed about all the penalties he’s been getting this season. “I don’t feel like I was a problem or I needed to make progress in a certain area. Football is a violent sport, and it’s my one opportunity to be violent, on game day. So I’m just going to continue to do that.”

There’s a difference between voicing an opinion for the team compared to saying something selfish and doesnt do anything good for the team. DK isn’t doing any good for the team. He was just thinking about himself in the situation and not the team, he should have said nothing or not say that he isn’t a problem and made it seem like nothings wrong. 

Depending on what the opinion is, it’s good to share opinions and they should have the option too without them being scared. It’s mainly an issue if the opinion is directed at someone or if they are just saying completely outrageous stuff and if it doesn’t benefit the team at all. All athletes deserve to be heard.

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