We hesitated to write you because we feel you've done an outstanding job leading the University, and with the gravity of the pandemic backdrop, because you obviously are facing many unforeseen and serious challenges every day. However, we feel compelled to reach out to you on this issue because we feel strongly that Princeton has made the wrong decision on not permitting its students to withdraw and come back next spring.
The idea that athletes have nothing productive to add to our national conversation and that their intelligence begins and ends with their ability to run routes and read defenses shapes the way many people think about even our most dominant sports figures.
The illusion of social progress that has often accompanied Europe has steadily been challenged by a number of racist incidents in the arena of European soccer. Though this is not a new phenomenon (and is certainly not confined to Europe), a recent slew of fan abuse toward players of color will hopefully cause soccer institutions to finally get serious.
Ultimately, the arguments that defend the status quo in college sports reflect only a single viewpoint. Often, they fail to consider what profiting from one’s own likeness or from ticket sales could do for athletes who may not be able to reach professional level but still face the pressure of supporting their family, maintaining a very limited education, and finding time for physical and mental health.
Columnist Matthew Fuller digs into Super Bowl LIII between the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots with questions about whether the Rams deserved their appearance, Julian Edelman’s MVP achievement, Sean McVay’s brilliance, the importance of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick to the Patriot’s dynasty, and whether or not Super Bowl LIII was the worst Super Bowl in history.
Look around at schools across the country of all sizes and missions, and you will see that almost without exception, football is a public social experience that brings the entire community together around a common cause, an important feature of a school’s character in a way that no other sport is. That’s why we began celebrating this victory against our rivals so ostentatiously, and that’s why we still do. We should continue to celebrate it in exactly that unique way.