From: The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
Sent By: daniel.hervig@mail.house.gov
Date: 9/28/2015

Rep. Conyers and Rep. Dent Encourage You to Join the Newly Formed Bipartisan Sports Caucus

As Fall begins, baseball season winds down, and football season gets underway, we would like to encourage you to join the newly formed Congressional Sports Caucus—the only caucus focused on sports at all levels and Congress’ role in supporting America’s national pastimes.

Sports have a special place in American society.  Professional and college sports contribute billions to our economy.  Roughly 60% of Americans describe themselves as a sports fan.  About 1 in 6 Americans over the age of 15 play a leisure sport every day.  While nearly five times as many Americans watch television every day, sports will account for roughly 40 percent of cable’s programming costs.  Sports are a major business—one that Congress should be mindful of.

But sports are about more than money.  They are the frequent source of our fondest memories, one of the foundation upon which we develop our children’s work ethic, and the cause of joy and heartbreak for millions.  They are an accessible and engaging source of inspiration.

We play and watch sports because they offer us a chance to see our most cherished virtues in action—we want to see athletes demonstrate a sense of fair play, the power of teamwork, the importance of hard work, and a mutual respect between competitors.  At a time when Americans are losing faith in their institutions—the simple meritocracy of winning and losing has a powerful pull.  At a time when Americans are questioning what the next decades hold, sports provide us with a common language to help us endure failure, pursue redemption, and appreciate success.

That American authenticity is something that politicians crave in our own efforts. It is why nominees to the Supreme Court of the United States describe their judicial philosophy as “calling balls and strikes”.  It is why we say we are moving the ball on issues, going to bat for our constituents, and taking the other side to the mat. We are reminded that a campaign is a marathon not a sprint.  We obsess over stats.  We want to hit homerun legislation, pass slam-dunk bills, and hold the line on important initiatives.

We think that Congress has a lot to learn by studying sports—long a medium through which we teach our children the values that every American holds dear.  The Congressional Sports Caucus aims to examine our national pastimes with a wide-angle lens.  We want to gain a better understanding of the structures and characteristics that capture the American people’s imaginations—and examine the legal, social, economic, and political dimensions in which they operate.  We hope you will join us as we leave the starting line.

To join the Congressional Sports Caucus, please contact Daniel Hervig (Daniel.Hervig@mail.house.gov) with Rep. Conyers’ office or Andrea Uckele (Andrea.Uckele@mail.house.gov) with Rep. Dent’s office.

John Conyers, Jr.                     Charles Dent

Member of Congress                  Member of Congress