One of the hottest topics in the sportswriting niche of the world has been the following online debate, kicked off by Bryan Curtis over at The Ringer. The name of his piece was “The End of ‘Stick to Sports'”, and it was a thinkpiece that truly got writing minds thinking. “Sportswriters have been awakened by Donald Trump’s presidency,” the byline read. “Is that what their readers want?”
It’s had an interesting effect on the entire sportswriting community – a response veering from general agreement, to “we never really did stick to sports anyway” and “I will always stick to sports and let others talk about politics.”
What it isn’t is cut and dry. I think the problem with this so-called “debate” is that it attempts to make sportswriting into a binary choice – either you stick to sports or you have your sports explore other topics.
Art is not a series of binary choices, and if you agree sportswriting is a form of art, then “sticking to sports” will never work. It’s like saying to Lady Gaga “stick to singing show tunes”. It doesn’t work that way.
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