People like sports. Whether you play them yourself, or watch your favorite team or athlete, there is probably some sports in your life.
Certainly, there is no denying the popularity. The Super Bowl is consistently one of the highest rated television moments each year. Professional sports are billion dollar enterprises. You may have a jersey or a cap in your closet.
However, other than simple popularity, where do they fit in our society? Is it simple entertainment? Is the identity of a city or a community defined by professional athletes playing a game?
In addition, what sort of responsibility do athletes have to a community? Should they get involved in political issues, or should they simply play the game they are paid for?
Some communities believe that a professional sports franchise is an economic engine, producing jobs and bringing fans with disposable income to a downtown area. Others might describe a team as a financial burden, often extracting tax breaks from a city or county and keeping the majority of income generated for itself. Can both be true?
Sports are important to fans around the world. Some of the most powerful multi-national organizations are sports teams or leagues, and individual athletes are are some of the most recognizable people on the planet.
Ultimately, what is it that these teams provide to us? What role do sports play in our society?