Using Sports to Explain Trump’s Election Victory

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What do Donald Trump and the Vancouver Canucks have in common? Their results caused riots. The aftermath of Tuesday’s US Presidential Election resembled the riots that occurred in the streets of the Lower Mainland after the Boston Bruins won the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. The only difference here, the Vancouver riots were result of the Canucks losing. The ones this past week across the United States are happening because Trump won. That is one thing I took away from this year’s election. Here are a few others.

There have been several theories as to why the billionaire business mogul defied odds to beat Hillary Rodham Clinton for the ultimate house on the block: The White House. Here’s one. I believe the moment every political insiders dismissed Trump’s chances of winning the presidency, that is when the downfall began for Trump’s opponents. Some sports teams are not expected to be the world champs at the end of the season. Experts would evaluate the level of talent on each team and believe about half would be lucky to finish the season with a winning record. But there are those who will surprise these people and others. No one expected the Dallas Cowboys to be Super Bowl contenders this year even if quarterback Tony Romo was healthy enough to play. But the play of Romo’s replacement, Dak Prescott, along with fellow rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott, has elevated to team to one of the best records in the NFL. No one expected that kind of result from a 4th Round draft choice from Mississippi State. Playing the season while no one was looking at you or had little to no expectations are part of the reason for the Cowboys’ success this season. And that is what Trump did until he finally got the nomination, he simply slipped under a lot of people’s radar until he became a serious contender. If no one recognizes your superior work, just keep at it and one day they will.

Another thing is sports fans appreciate athletes who put in the hard work. These athletes take nothing for granted, show up everyday, and put their heart into it. In the case with Trump, he campaigned in places he knew would help him get over the top. His supporters are blue-collar type people: hard workers, self-sufficient, takes care of immediate family and community. These groups of people have been largely ignored by candidates in the past. Trump has been able to connect with these people despite the enormous gap between incomes. When he shows up in communities, he attracts a crowd. Trump has been able to engage them to head to polls and vote. Compare that to Clinton who would rather hang out with Hollywood celebrities who like her than try to attract support from people who are tough to please but can get her elected.

Which brings me to the third thing. Trump doesn’t care if he is liked by everyone. You want people to see your side of things but that doesn’t mean you have to be friends with them in order to do so. I have learned early in my broadcasting career that there will be critics and enemies who are more than willing to stand in your way. I didn’t ignore them (remember what I said earlier about dismissing what other people say and do), but I also didn’t let their objections get in the way of achieving my goals. Just ask the New England Patriots or NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. Ask them if they ever listen to their critics. Trump had detractors from every angle: Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, left and right. Yet, here he is now. Despite everything that was thrown at him, he is going to be occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in the new year.

One more thing to take from the US Presidential Election, if you plan on running for office and are looking for celebrity endorsements, if LeBron James wants to offer his support, do yourself a favour and politely turn him down. This year alone, the star forward for the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers has thrown his support to Clinton in the election and to the Cleveland Indians in the World Series. James has been seen wearing his Indians jersey at games and showing up at Clinton campaign rallies. A guy like the former MVP would be great to have on your side. But guess what? Both the Indians and Clinton lost. If I was a Super Bowl bound NFL team, I would stay the hell away from James because he is proving to be a curse.

Also see:

Sports is Not a Platform for Activism
Political Correctness has No Place in Sport
Before the Confederate Flag, There was the Springbok

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