Finding Disability Equality in Sports

Finding Disability Equality in Sports

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Picture the audience at a sold out sporting event. Now imagine an inclusive crowd. Did the image in your head change? Yes? That right there demonstrates how sports effectively create disability equality.

Given I need to point out the disability says a lot. When you pan across sports spectators you see one group. Fans! Anyone with cerebral palsy or another disability blends in. Such equality you simply cannot deny.

Said disability equality transcends stadiums too. Name the setting, sports even the odds. Tailgating, a friend’s watch party, the local sports bar, whatever the situation! Today you and I will explore the characteristics which enable sports to provide this effect.

Social Interaction Cheat Code

Once upon a time I published a Youtube video discussing cerebral palsy and building self-esteem. A difficult task due to the self-consciousness cerebral palsy may cause. In the video I recommend seeking common interests. An example I suggest involves intermingling at a local sports bar. Admittedly though, exhibiting outgoing behavior could prove intimidating. Enter the first way sports enables disability equality.

If becoming outgoing seems too intimidating, take some deep breathes. Then change your clothes. Seriously! Wear apparel representing your favorite team. Others will approach you and ask your opinions about the team. Or, offer their thoughts. Basically wearing sports attire equates to activating a social interaction cheat code.

People Legos

Sports’ ability to establish disability equality transcends one-off conversations. Repeated dialogues turn a classmate, co-worker, friend’s friend, etcetera into your friend. Consider sports, people Legos! You use sports to construct connections.

Rob, myself, and Pete pose for a picture with the Babe Ruth statue found outside Camden Yards.

With high school friends Rob and Pete after cheering the Cleveland Indians to a road victory against the Baltimore Orioles.

Personally my Cleveland Indians fandom supplied the foundation required to develop friends in high school. I spent countless hours talking Tribe with Rob and Pete. Names those who read my cerebral palsy memoir Off Balanced might recall.

Anyways eventually the frequent Cleveland Indians chatter formed deep-seeded bonds. Back in March I talked with Rob via phone. Amidst an hour long talk we failed to mention the Indians. Instead we discussed families and careers. Proof today’s sports small talk translates to future meaningful friendships.

Like a Magician

Contemplating the above you may possibly conclude sports make disabilities disappear. Like a magician making his assistant disappear! Whether sports and disabilities or a magician and her allusions, the disappearing act calls for distraction.

After all, sports do not cure a disability. Rather they produce disability equality through fading a condition to the background. I mean views regarding how Terry Francona organizes the Cleveland Indians lineup hold equal weight despite a person’s mobility.

Sports Sponsored Disability Equality

To conclude, sports fans with disabilities should via sports discover disability equality. Wearing your favorite team’s apparel assists starting social interactions. Repeated interactions with the same individual build towards deeper friendship. Simultaneously the sports talk distracts from your disability, allowing you to feel an equal to fellow fans.

Do you agree? What other ways do sports facilitate disability equality? Sound off with a comment in the “Comments” section.

*Mandatory disclaimer- The link to Off Balanced’s Amazon sales page connects with the Amazon LLC Associate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. 

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