Does it matter what political position an athlete takes for the action to be accepted by the media and public? What’s wrong with an athlete like Tim Tebow speaking his mind and just "trying to be a role model"? The problem is not that sports and politics don’t mix, The Nation‘s Dave Zirin argues, but that league owners only allow certain types of politics to mix with sports.

On yesterday’s Outside the Lines on ESPN, Zirin points out the hypocrisy in sports when it comes to athletes’ political expression. Tim Tebow was allowed to run a right-wing commercial during the Super Bowl precisely because his politics complied with the conservative positions of the NFL, Zirin argues. This hypocrisy in sports is apparent when athletes who voice liberal opinions get silenced or lose endorsement deals. "That’s what troubles me," says Zirin. 

 — Jin Zhao