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High time Indian sportspersons take a leaf out of Marcus Rashford's book

High time Indian sportspersons take a leaf out of Marcus Rashfords book
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By

Sagnik

Updated: 23 April 2021 7:21 AM GMT

Tell me again how you insist sport and politics shouldn't mix. Tell me quick, for I am forgetting. Don't you see what's going on in the world? Look, there's Manchester United star Marcus Rashford doing everything a guy can to make his country a better place to live in. Well, he is 22 and the reason desperate families will now continue to receive free school meal vouchers during the holidays.

On Tuesday, when British journalist Paul Waugh announced on Twitter that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made a u-turn on summer free school meals for England, Rashford must have smiled a little inside. He has been fighting for the cause for a few days now and after an initial stutter, things seem to have fallen in place. As he described in his piece for The Times, this was a trophy which stood for something far greater than football. The way he forced the government to make a U-turn through his powerful plea is certainly commendable to say the least. Is this the first time a sportsperson has openly spoken about something political? Not exactly.

San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid (35) and quarterback Colin

Kaepernick (7) kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Colin Kaepernick and Megan Rapinoe are two of the most polarizing athletes in recent memory. Hell, the introduction of the modern Olympic games was political, it was meant to bring countries together. In Indian sports, however, the scenario is a little different. Despite several issues, social and political, the sporting heroes of the country, the supposed idols, rarely speak up.

The spinelessness of India's sports stars when it came to standing up for anyone against authority has come to the fore many times. You might say Rashford only raised the issue because he benefited from school meal system himself when he was younger, he had a personal connect with it. But don't Indian athletes have anything in common with the ongoing issues in the country?Remember the time during the Anti CAA-NRC protests? When innocent students fought and bled to protect India from losing its core values?

Mary Kom (Source: The Week) Mary Kom (Source: The Week)

Remember how Mary Kom, a member of the Rajya Sabha, went on record to say that she gave her vote to the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) even though she was against it and then, went on to justify it by saying that her views in the Upper House would not change the government's decision? It's 2020. Ten years back, I used to think that by now we would have figured out teleportation at the very least; to tell the truth, I had my hopes pinned on time travel as well. But here we are, cowered in the shelter of our homes as one of the deadliest of pandemics has hit the world.

Here we are living in this day and age where people have to go through racial abuse everyday; women have it worse.There is no dearth of everyday issues, let alone more severe ones in this country. You can just pick and choose and Twitter is always at your behest… you've got a million followers, doesn't that count for something? You are in a position of power, one that many of us crave to be in. One tweet from you can definitely bring a change, if you don't believe it, just head over to Rashford's twitter account.

Also read: 15 years of Sunil Chhetri — My Captain, India's Captain

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