Talk of U.S. Olympic boycott reminds us sports, politics are entwined. And that’s good

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The United States and allies weigh boycott of 2022 Winter Olympics n China.

Megan Rapinoe rips Draymond Green’s pay-gap comments.

Major League Baseball moves its All-Star Game from Atlanta because of a new voting law.

Remember when sports stuck to sports and didn’t mess with politics?

Yeah, me neither.

Those simpler times, a.k.a. good old days, are a fallacy, a figment. In my lifetime, at least. (And chances are pretty good I’m older than you).

They are snapshot memories in black and white.

Cassius Clay becoming Muhammad Ali in 1964 and later refusing military induction to object to the Vietnam War.

Tommie Smith and John Carlos with black-gloved fists raised from the medal stand at the 1968 Olympics.

Billie Jean King’s 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match a shot fired for gender equality.

The inseparability of sports and politics always has existed; it only seems magnified now because ESPN and social media and the rest make it all instant and amplified.

The NBA leading sports’ major role in the Black Lives Matter protests last summer — it wasn’t new. It was closer to the continuation of a long-standing tradition.

LeBron James refusing to “shut up and dribble” and only speaking out louder when you tell him to — Ali is looking down and smiling.

Rapinoe, the women’s soccer star, schooling the NBA star Green over his tone-deaf take on the fight for equal pay — that baton has passed from many hands since Billie Jean King.

Jackie Robinson was a very good ballplayer but also one who never hit 20 home runs in a season. He is a towering baseball legend for a reason larger than sports.

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