Athletes supporting athletes


Graphics by Olivia Braito.

Michael Caruso, Senior Writer

Sports are an extremely powerful force that brings people around the world together, regardless of their ethnic, social, or economic backgrounds. A similar topic, not nearly as prevalent, is just how much athletes actually support other athletes, both at the collegiate and professional level. But with an athlete’s hectic schedule, what might be the appeal?


Dartmouth conducted a small study on why student-athletes support other student-athletes at their games, matches, or events. One big theme that attracts the support of others is the understanding of just how grueling their schedules can be and how athletes appreciate that they are not the only ones going through it. Chloë Conacher, the Dartmouth women’s soccer captain from this past fall, said, “That appreciation for the overall effort that goes into it definitely influences – positively influences – athletes going to other events.”


Other reasons range from the entertainment value, where athletes enjoy watching sports because it is part of their lifestyle, to the connections that are formed between athletes on campus.  There are special bonds that form between collegiate sports teams. They have similar practice and lifting schedules and work ethics for balancing sports and academics. With all of that comes the meeting of new people and learning about different sports.


We even see this at the professional level with MLB players sitting courtside for NBA games and NFL players throwing the first pitch at MLB games. Sports are a common link for these individuals because it is all they have been accustomed to their entire lives. They share that understanding with other athletes regardless of the sport they play. These relationships are even seen off the fields and courts, where professional athletes stand up for and support other athletes with political, racial, or other social issues that arise in the United States.


LeBron James is a great example of this, as he has created a network of athletes to showcase their intellect and branch out beyond the sports world, becoming more involved with our society. With athletes like Odell Beckham Jr. and Kevin Durant by his side, James has revolutionized the support for athletes that go beyond sports.


“The athletes … they have a voice,” James said on the show “Uninterrupted.” “And their voice carries more than just dribbling a basketball or swinging a racket. I think these athletes have so much more power than their respective sport and what we see of them in their uniform.”


In the end, sports do not only bring fans together, but they also bind athletes together. Although the stages at the collegiate level might not compare to the one James has, sports have the power to form lifelong bonds between athletes. You are introduced to people and places that make experiences in your life memorable. That, in itself, is why sports have so much power.

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