KEIR RADNEDGE COMMENTARY —- Many, many commentators, far more erudite, aware, informed and insightful than this one have had, are having and will have their say on the meaning of Donald Trump’s accession to the presidency of the United States.
Set against the mould-shattering uncertainties facing America and the world along with the fears of a wide swath of already oppressed minorities plus baffled and battered progressives any concern about the effect on sport is so minimalistic as to be virtually out of sight.
But sport is business and big sport – the Olympic Games (Los Angeles 2024?) and the World Cup (US 2026?) – is big business; and Trump, after all, has trumpeted his (tax-dodging and bankruptcy-littered) business acumen.
In the immediacy of Tuesday, November 8, the likelihood is that very little may appear to have been shaken.
Rather like the United Kingdom and Europe in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum, once the initial shock has been absorbed, the parties and peoples may settle back into a blinkered state of pretence and denial that anything much has changed.
But the lava field of societal upheaval is rumbling beneath the surface.
So it is in the wake of Trump’s decisive defeat of Hillary Clinton and the Republicans’ associated assumption of all the levers of power in Washington.
The blessing of victory has turned not merely sharply right but into a full U-turn.
Expect then, that emboldened, agenda-pursuing, score-settling coat-tail-clingers will seize the cue to use sport not merely as a vehicle for their opinions and policies but as a weapon of strategic international effect.
Never mind the ‘soft power’ of the Gulf and ex-Soviet states, expect a far more powerfully vocal version to bellow forth from the hitherto-hidden margins of Trump’s ‘new’ America.
Sports boycotts could even be back on the cards.
Presidents Putin and Trump will be eager to test out the other. Will Trump’s triumphalist support be happy to see the US sending a football team to the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia? Would the Russians, in response, want to send a team to a 2024 Olympic Games in Los Angeles?
George Santayana, famously, once said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
A large dense cloud of amnesia appears to be enveloping our world.