Tom Sorensen

‘No comment’ is a sad phrase, but if you must comment on politics ...

Charlotte Hornets center Spencer Hawes (00) hasn’t been shy about his thoughts on the presidential election, as his “Hillary for prison” T-shirt attests.
Charlotte Hornets center Spencer Hawes (00) hasn’t been shy about his thoughts on the presidential election, as his “Hillary for prison” T-shirt attests. Getty Images

If you express an opinion in a newspaper or on talk radio or television, you often are asked for additional opinions. Even if the question is outside your area of authority, it’s tough to say “no comment.” For journalists, “no comment” is among the saddest phrases in the language.

That’s why I liked writing about pro wrestling. Only wrestlers who spoke no known language refused to answer questions, and they didn’t say: No comment. They merely made strange noises.

In that context, then, I respect sports commentators who, when asked their opinion of the 2016 presidential election, are willing to express one. I also respect the athletes and coaches who do. They know that by taking a side they are going to anger some of their fans. But are they really fans if they turn on you simply because you espouse a philosophy that differs with theirs?

Spencer Hawes of the Charlotte Hornets wore a long-sleeved Hillary for Prison T-shirt last week. It was hanging in his locker, an advertisement, and then he put it on. That’s not a shirt I’d wear, and not because it would be too big. (Hawes is 7-foot-1.) But here’s a player on the edge of the Hornets’ rotation who is willing to demonstrate what he feels. I’ll take that.

Speaking of demonstrate: I understand the anti-Donald Trump demonstrations. But if you failed to vote, you have no right to march. You stayed home when you had an opportunity to make a difference. Stay home now.

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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