This country remains bitterly divided, and the victors of this election cycle are gleefully spiking the ball by terrorizing the most vulnerable groups in our society. This election was, in most ways, a values election. Donald Trump ran on a platform of implied or explicit racism, misogyny, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, homophobia, and the use of violence and fear to achieve political goals. And while he did not win a plurality of the voters, he did win the election. Businesses are being defaced with swastikas and minority kids are being bullied at school and Pride flags are being burned because the bigots know that neither the government or “polite society” will stand in their way now. Between a newly-antagonistic federal government with little respect for the First Amendment and an electorate who are either all-in on white supremacy or are willing to look the other way, marginalized people in this country are in grave danger. And safety pins notwithstanding, those of us who are marginal and oppressed in this new political climate are probably on our own.
I spent a lot of time last week wondering if I can even do this job anymore. There was a lengthy moment where I couldn’t come up with an argument for why writing about soccer isn’t superfluous in a time when democratic values hang in the balance. How could I possibly write about Cristiano Ronaldo’s lifetime deal with Nike The Republic is on fire! On a personal level, I came out of this election feeling like there’s a sort of countdown clock for me. As if there will come a day when government agents arrive in the night to take me to mandatory conversion therapy where I will be electrocuted until they believe I’m no longer queer. And that’s if my fellow citizens don’t get to me first. If I indeed don’t have much time left, how can I justify writing about soccer?