Sports has always been a galvanizing force that brings all types of people together to rally around a common cause. Think of the fervor and excitement of how countries unify around their shared interests during the Olympics or the World Cup, or how Jesse Owens and Joe Louis raced and fought not only against their opponents, but Hitler’s appalling brand of fascist ideology as well.

The team construct in the American sports landscape brings great athletes from a dizzying array of nationalities, backgrounds and belief systems together in ways that few other entities can.

Tune into a National Hockey League game for five minutes, and you’ll see a cohesive blend of players on the respective teams that hail from the United States, Canada, Russia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Finland, among other places.

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