Let’s step back and take a deep breath.

So much of the sports landscape over recent months has involved political and social issues.

There was Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors saying he would not visit the White House following his team’s championship, and President Donald Trump subsequently withdrawing the invitation.

There were athletes kneeling — a movement started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick — during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice. (After chatter about this had died down it was stoked again earlier this month when QB named Kaepernick its citizen of the year.)

And there continue to be the seemingly never-ending problems with athletes involving drugs, domestic violence and sexual assault.

As a sports writer and columnist, those have been the topics I’ve most often been asked about in recent months. The questions I get are less about what team will win the World Series or what I think of the latest trade and more about the social and political issues surrounding the games.

Those social and political issues are all important in our national discourse. But every once in a while it’s important for us to take a step back, not to forget the challenges and problems facing our nation and world, but to simply take a breath and enjoy the games for what they are and remember why we love them.

•We love sports for the championships. For a Cleveland fan, watching the 2015-16 Cavaliers win the city’s first title in 52 years was unforgettable. Even more amazing, perhaps, was seeing the city once known as the “Mistake on the Lake” come together — thousands of people watching game seven in the plaza between Quicken Loans Arena and Progressive Field and north of a million crowding the streets and climbing parking garages for the celebration parade.

•We love sports for the excellence. It’s staggering to see athletes achieve at the highest level — for O’Dell Beckham Jr. to make the twisting, one-handed catch, for Michael Phelps to bring home gold medal after gold medal, for Abby Wambach to send the header just out of the goalie’s reach, for Jordan Spieth to make the seemingly impossible shot, for Nadia Comaneci to record the perfect 10, for Aaron Judge to blast the towering home run, for Serena Williams to zip the untouchable serve, and for Usain Bolt to run so fast he leaves the second-fastest man in the world out of the picture.

•We love sports because for every Eric Hemmelgarn, who wins state medals and plays for a national champion, there are 100 Matt Shracks, who have to scrape and claw just to make a high school varsity roster. And because every once in a while one of those Eric Hemmelgarns gives up his spot in the starting lineup on senior night to a Matt Shrack, who uses every ounce of skill and strength he has to push himself up off the wrestling mat and rally to record the winning takedown with just four seconds left on the clock.

We … love … sports.

Because we do, there have been plenty of columnists and commentators who have argued in recent months that sports and politics just don’t, or shouldn’t, mix. That’s not the contention being made here, because it’s simply nonsense.

Social and political issues have long been intertwined with the games we love.

Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier 17 years before the Civil Rights Act was signed. The Miracle on Ice took on far greater significance that any other hockey game because of the roles the United States and U.S.S.R. played in the geopolitical landscape. Magic Johnson expanded awareness of a feared and often misunderstood disease when he announced that he had contracted HIV.

Sports are, and will continue to be, part of our national and international consciousness. There will continue to be debates about patriotism, the presidency and racial issues. That’s as it should be.

But every once in a while we should set that all aside. Every once in a while we should let the games just be the games.

So, while we’re giving thanks this weekend for family, friends, health, safety and other forms of good fortune, let’s also be thankful that we live in a society in which we can enjoy sports.

Be thankful for the distraction.

Be thankful for the excitement.

Be thankful for the camaraderie.

Take a deep breath and enjoy the games. The social and political arguments can wait ’til tomorrow.