No politics in sports, please


Lost in the din and hoopla of the recent University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) title series between Ateneo and the University of the Philippines was the call of certain quarters for supporters of both schools to wear black in protest of what they call “tyranny, impunity and misogyny in our midst.”

“The so-called
Battle of Katipunan universities is a relatively rare occurrence considering that UP rarely reaches this point in the league.

Hello? Do they really know what they’re doing?

Here we have two schools who worked hard to get to the finals and in come these freeloaders — no less than the student councils of UP and Ateneo — urging everybody to wear black.

What disrespect!

All season long, the Blue Eagles and the Fighting Maroons labored to get to where they wanted to be. It was supposed to be their show and their time, as a daily noontime show loves to shout.

But the freeloaders have their own agenda. They wanted to use the title series, aptly called “Battle of Katipunan,” for their own selfish ends. Politics reared its ugly head again in what was supposed to be a purely basketball affair between the defending champions and a school that wanted to end a 32-year title drought.

What a spoiler!

Earlier in the season, when the Blue Eagles and the Fighting Maroons first collided, the Ateneo Blue Babble Battalion turned political during the halftime show as it protested the House of Representatives’ decision to give the Commission on Human Rights a P1,000 budget for 2018 by tearing a placard with the said amount. They also raised a banner calling for a “stop to the extrajudicial killings and uphold human rights.”

That was not the first time a protest was staged in the university league. Ateneo, along with archrival La Salle, had earlier urged fans to similarly wear black in their encounter last season to express solidarity against what they call human rights violations.

“The freeloaders have their own agenda. They wanted to use the title series… for their own selfish ends.

But the universe certainly has a way of correcting itself and do justice to what is not right.

You can count by the fingers those who heeded the call in the series opener. The Mall of Asia Arena turned out to be a sea of blue and maroon, the respective colors of Ateneo and UP. Nowhere was the sea of black which the freeloaders wanted to dominate the venue.

No less than a UP executive slammed the call to wear black in the best-of-three playoffs, calling it a stupid idea. “Maroon and green are the official colors of UP. Those who choose to wear black are lacking in the UP spirit,” he was quoted as saying. “This is not the place and time. This is basketball. Bakit nakikisali ang agenda ng iba? Such disrespect to the UP men’s basketball team who fought tooth and nail to get here. This is their show, not yours!”

He urged the students not to allow the stage to be taken away from them by the freeloaders, emphasizing that this is their spotlight.

So, now Katipunan Road, known for its heavy vehicular traffic, is having its day in the limelight. That busy stretch of road traversing these two institutions of learning has suddenly become home to every UAAP basketball fan. And for a good reason. The so-called Battle of Katipunan universities is a relatively rare occurrence considering that UP rarely reaches this point in the league which is perennially dominated by Ateneo and archrival La Salle.

This year, the bandwagon moving along Loyola Heights’ main thoroughfare is reeling under the weight of basketball fanatics who’ve jumped on it. Some of them even joined for the wrong reason – to politicize the game.

Trust these so-called “activists” to presume to know what is good and what is bad. But what this bunch of bozos is actually doing is share with everyone the rotten pieces of their small minds. They seem to be really quick in prescribing specific colors to wear whenever they call on the public to rally around their moronic advocacy.

Let’s just enjoy the games the way they were meant to be enjoyed — pure, unadulterated collegiate basketball devoid of any political color.

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