Politics In New York Skies

There has always been a debate around involvement of politics in world sporting events. Some believe that it is the perfect stage to get international attention to their issues while others feel it is against the spirit of the game and should be avoided at all cost. No matter what you believe, it is a fact that even the biggest sporting events have served as a platform for many to bring forth their politics.

When India met Pakistan for a fiery and nail biting match in New York on Sunday, an unexpected message took to the sky as a plane carrying the message ‘Release Imran Khan’ flew over the stadium. For a brief moment, the focus of the crowd shifted to the plane which flew during the national anthem of the Pakistani team.

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Many people in Pakistan have alleged that Imran Khan’ has been kept as a political prisoner. The incident could well go against ICC’s spirit of cricket. This is not the first time anything like this has happened. During the final of Cricket World Cup 2023, a spectator barged into the field carrying a Palestinian flag.

It is being condemned by a larger section of the society who believes this is not the place for politics. However it has long been argued that being apolitical at all these world events is a stance only the privileged can afford to take. Moreover, it is the majority and the mainstream deciding what’s political and what not. Nobody ever questioned the knee taken by sportspersons all around the world after the black lives matter movement.

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There certainly lies hypocrisy when it comes to deciding what’s political and what’s not. To come to a common consensus on it is nearly impossible. The best we can do is treat them equally.