An alumnus and a star running back of Archmere Academy, Joe Biden brought an eight-consecutive winning streaks to his alma mater with 10 touchdowns in his senior year. “Sports were as natural to me as speaking was unnatural,” recalled Biden in his book. “So even when I stuttered, I was always the kid who said, ‘Give me the ball.’”
Thanks to such stellar performance, Biden entered the University of Delaware on scholarship. Having graduated from Delaware 506th in class of 688, however, Biden had to give up the dreams of becoming a professional athlete owing to lack of academic credentials. Biden recalled that at his first training in Delaware, he sensed the team was expecting more than physical abilities; it expected them to act like a gentleman on and off the pitch.
Sports not only turned him into a gentleman but taught him the meaning of hope. After losing his wife and daughter in a car accident in 1972, it was the smile on his two sons when they received a sign ball from the Pittsburgh Steelers, which got Biden back on his feet again.
For President Biden, sports also symbolized liberal values. When the women’s national soccer team filed a suit with the U.S. Soccer Federation for getting discriminatory treatment, Biden openly endorsed it, and after the lawsuit was dismissed at court, he urged the federation to offer the same salaries for female athletes, warning that he will stop subsidizing the federation if it fails to do so.
Following the tradition, the Washington Nationals invited the newly-elected president to throw the first ceremonial pitch of the 2021 MLB season. And Biden has accepted the invitation. More a golfer than a fan of sports in general, former President Donald Trump has never thrown the pitch during his term and often made racially insensitive remarks involving sports stars. With a new chief taking office, the landscape of American sports is also experiencing a wind of change.
Kyu-In Hwang firstname.lastname@example.org