Leftist Pandering Is Killing Sports
ESPN and the leagues themselves are committing suicide by injecting politics.
For decades, American sports have provided both a welcome relief from the troubles of the day and a powerful social adhesive that binds us together in a way that transcends politics, race, and other divisive issues.
Just how powerful is this phenomenon? So powerful that 29 of the top 30 most watched single-network broadcasts in U.S. history are Super Bowl games, with the series finale of M.A.S.H. being the lone program to break the monopoly, coming in at #9.
Yet today we’re watching as multibillion-dollar sports leagues engage in professional suicide, doing everything in their power to destroy the very things that attract Americans to sports.
ESPN has been the undisputed leader in sports programming for several decades, but suddenly the Disney-owned network seems oblivious to what made it so popular. Rather than doing what it does best — broadcasting, promoting, and calling sporting events — the network has become a progressive, politically correct nanny, lecturing and haranguing its viewers at every opportunity.
In a nation so starved for live sports that fans were willing to watch Korean baseball, Monday’s game between Arkansas State and Memphis should have been a happy event for millions of viewers with appetites whet for live football. Instead, we got whiny, self-righteous lecturing on social justice from self-appointed arbiters of morality.
The Arkansas State-Memphis game was called by ESPN announcers Bob Wischusen and Dan Orlovsky, who decided midway through the first half to ignore the game they were being paid to call and instead launch into a mea culpa of their own white privilege and to bemoan how blind they were to America’s racial troubles when they were in college.
On Sunday, ESPN analyst and former Ohio State quarterback Kirk Herbstreit broke down in tears during a broadcast, crying like he did after his 8-of-24, 113-yard disaster in the 1993 Citrus Bowl against the Georgia Bulldogs (including a fumble on what could have been the game-winning drive).
During Sunday’s broadcast, Herbstreit called on white football players to “help with the change,” arguing it’s not enough to have rallies or skip practices or games. Herbstreit falsely implied that black Americans have to fear death at the hands of police if they are wearing a hoodie or Nike gear or not “putting your hands at 10 and 2” on the steering wheel, ridiculously claiming that these are things that white people can’t relate to.
Oddly, these discussions of the plight of black Americans never seem to touch on the two leading causes of death, by far, of young black men: black-on-black homicide and abortion.
Though ESPN claims to have a “no politics” policy, such political diatribes have become standard fare for ESPN’s “analysts,” and, oddly enough, all of their diatribes seem to reflect a left-leaning, anti-American political viewpoint.
And it’s not just ESPN announcers. Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll recently jumped on the white guilt bandwagon, calling on other coaches to “step up,” saying that “this is about racism in America — white people don’t know. They don’t know enough… Black people can’t scream anymore, they can’t march any more, they can’t bear their souls anymore … because white guys came over from Europe and started a new country with a great idea and great ideals and wrote down great writings and laws and all of that about democracy and freedom and equality for all.”
Carroll continued, “We went down this road here and followed economics — rich white guys making money — and they put together a system of slavery, and we’ve never left it, really. It has never gone away.”
So, according to Carroll, hundreds of thousands of white soldiers didn’t die in a war to end slavery under a Republican president, nor were civil rights extended to black Americans, nor did they get the right to vote. And apparently the Civil Rights Act of 1964 never happened, nor have millions of black families been lifted into the middle-class American Dream.
What these “woke” folks don’t seem to grasp is that America is arguably the least racist, most inclusive nation on Earth. And the average hard-working, honest, decent Americans who make up the bulk of sports fans don’t appreciate being told they are racist and need to atone for sins they didn’t commit by begging for forgiveness from people they didn’t hurt. That is especially true when those lecturing them make more money in a year than the fans being lectured make in a lifetime.
But, as the Bill Whittle team hilariously pointed out, the NFL (and NBA) can prove its sincerity by ending the practice of buying and trading black men and forcing them to work on their (immaculately manicured) fields.
After several years of ratings decline, in no small part due to players kneeling during the national anthem, the NFL last year saw a rise in ratings. The NBA’s ratings have plummeted by 45% since 2012, and if the NFL keeps focusing on leftist politics over football, it can expect the same result.
As it turns out, insulting your fan base and accusing them of racism, bigotry, hatred, and apathy in the face of injustice is not only not true, it’s a bad business decision.
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