Re: “Ban College Sports”

The April 23 edition of The Monitor features an article by Evan Weinstein ’19 arguing that college sports should be banned, since they make life worse for athletes and non-athletes alike. I will attempt to respond to each of its arguments and defend college athletics.

Like 30 percent of our student body, I am a varsity athlete. As an athlete and a fan, I have come to appreciate the innumerable benefits that sports teams bring to our campus and campuses across the nation. Student athletes are privileged to take part in an extracurricular activity that forges deep bonds of friendship and trust, which last well beyond our college years. They have the opportunity to represent their school and engage in the kind of education that happens on a playing field. Non-athletes benefit as well, most obviously in the entertainment our sports provide. The hundreds of people banging on the glass of Sage Rink during the Citrus Bowl, and cheering on our men’s basketball team during a deep playoff run, should make clear that our students enjoy watching their peers deliver electric performances. These are but a few of the virtues and benefits of college sports.

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The Democratic Party and Common Ground

Hamilton’s most recent installment of Common Ground, featuring Reince Priebus and Jim Messina, was notable less for on-stage disagreement and more for the political and campaign wisdom both participants displayed. One of the most striking points was their agreement that the current large Democratic primary field is positive for the Democratic Party. Such a claim seems counterintuitive, and demonstrates an evolution in thinking from the punditry in the 2016 primaries.

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Should Women Have to Register for the Draft?

In a recent court case, National Coalition for Men v. Selective Service System (NCFM v. SSS), Judge Gray H. Miller ruled that a male-only military draft is unconstitutional, finding it violates the Due Process clause of the Fifth Amendment. Although such a ruling will not produce immediate change in the draft system − Congress is currently writing a report on it, and the Supreme Court will likely take up the case – the ruling is a high-profile instance of a “legacy” system conflicting with modern notions of equality and perhaps with political popularity.

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Incomplete Reporting and Covington Catholic

On January 18, a short video showing a smiling white teenager in a Make America Great Again hat standing face-to-face with an elderly Native American banging a drum, while a number of other white teenagers stood behind them, was widely shared on social media and reported on by media outlets. The event, known as the Covington Catholic incident for the high school these teens attended, has added fuel to the long-running national debate about the integrity of our news media.

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Where Should Common Ground Go From Here?

Hamilton deserves praise for Common Ground, the new series aimed at bringing together distinguished individuals from across the political divide to engage, with the help of a moderator, in civil discussion about some of today’s most controversial topics. Last year, Common Ground focused more on the speakers than on subjects for debate. Hamilton could expand this platform by making ideas, not just the guests, central to it.

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Extreme Speech and the American Civil Liberties Union

The alt-right and white nationalist rallies of August 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia brought about a period of reflection and self-examination for much of the nation. The citizens of Charlottesville were faced with the ugly aftertaste of brawls and a fatal vehicular attack. Politicians were faced with the need to address a president who seemed unable to unequivocally condemn white nationalist protesters. Americans were confronted with an ugly ideology, emboldened, rearing its head in public. But one of the biggest episodes of soul-searching, and one of the most overlooked, happened within the American Civil Liberties Union.

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