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Will somebody save professional sports from liberal insanity?

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There’s never been a more politicized time in our sports history. Even Jackie Robinson breaking the “color barrier” in baseball wasn’t this politicized. I mean, Robinson was a great baseball player, and nobody had to add “for a black person” because he played with whites and the results stand for themselves.

But today it’s gone to levels of insanity. Serena Williams is pregnant, and Vanity Fair put an art-shot of her naked form on their cover. As the Robin Givhan at the Washington Post pointed out, it’s been done before. Note that Vanity Fair is a fashion magazine and Givhan is the fashion reporter at WaPo. I’m not into celebrity naked-pregnancy shots, but I brought this up to note that nobody asked John McEnroe how Williams looked on the cover of Vanity Fair.

Lulu Garcia-Navarro, of NPR, did ask McEnroe, however, about his assertion of Williams being the best “female player in the world.” As in, why didn’t he say she’s simply the best tennis player in the world, period?

McEnroe: Oh! Uh, she’s not, you mean, the best player in the world, period?

Garcia-Navarro: Yeah, the best tennis player in the world. You know, why say female player?

McEnroe: Well because if she was in, if she played the men’s circuit she’d be like 700 in the world.

Gasp! How could he say that? Whether he’s right or not (and McEnroe is wildly more qualified than anyone at NPR to make that statement), it’s obvious that Serena Williams is a women, and at the highest level of tennis, women don’t play men, because women would lose. It’s why we have women’s tennis and men’s tennis.

To McEnroe’s credit, he won’t apologize for disagreeing with insanity.

Forget about Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King. That was a stunt. But why would anyone ask the question in the first place, if it wasn’t to force some kind of gender equivalence down everyone’s throat? A false gender equivalence, by the way. It would be like asking McEnroe why he’s never been pregnant.

Then there’s ESPN, the model of liberal intolerance and lockstep leftism. Britt McHenry was a conservative, and was laid off by the network. Granted, the House of Mouse forced ESPN to lay off about 100 people, mostly “talent,” in April. The New York Post confirmed McHenry’s political leanings, which she wasn’t at all quiet about–but not in-your-face either.

In the week following the network’s layoffs, “SportsCenter” anchor Linda Cohn agreed with a radio host who wondered whether ESPN’s politics was hurting its ratings and thus its capacity to pay its employees’ salaries. Earlier this month, ESPN issued a press release, interestingly at the same time it rehired conservative firebrand Hank Williams Jr., that tried to clear its name of a political bent. An ESPN-commissioned study determined that ESPN is “getting it right” in its combination of sports and political content, the network announced.

ESPN is in-your-face liberal. The fact that ThinkProgress rushed to its defense to deny it is confirmation of what we already know by watching.

Also in-your-face is Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, who got into a Twitter war over his retweet of Bernie Sanders’ assertion that the GOP is about to “take health care away from 23 million people.”

My friend Josh Hammer engaged him, tweeting “Looks like one of the most venerable sportswriters in America has begun to start shilling for socialism.” To which King replied:

Okay…it’s fine if King is a sportswriter as a profession and tweets his personal views as a socialist. Free speech, liberty and to each his own. But if sportswriters are of the same ilk as most journalists (and they are), then they’re 90 percent liberal in just about every way.

Their bias shows and it’s offensive.

Rob Arthur at FiveThirtyEight, the statistics nerds who also do election predictions, used sabermetrics (Moneyball-style) to show why Tim Tebow should not have promoted out of low-A to high-A minor league ball.

It almost goes without saying that the move likely had less to do with baseball and more to do with marketing and selling tickets. Tebow was such an outsized star at this level of pro baseball that one opposing team went so far as to label his teammates as “Not Tim Tebow” on the scoreboard. (The team later apologized.)

Yes, Tebow is a huge draw. But Tebow is also an outspoken Christian, whose unapologetic witness for his Savior earned him scorn and mockery in the NFL, and now in minor league baseball. Let’s grant the guy this: he’s an incredible athlete to compete at any professional level in baseball and football. The list of athletes who have done this (since the 1920’s) is vanishingly small.

There’s Pete Layden in 1948, Drew Henson with the Yankees, Brian Jordan, who played 36 games with the Falcons before switching to a 14-year baseball career, and of course Bo Jackson. Comparing Jackson and Tebow: they both won the Heisman, All-American, and other similar awards for football.

Here’s the difference. Jackson played college baseball and played in the MLB before he was in the NFL. Tebow had not played competitive baseball since his junior year in high school. Yet he’s not awful on the field.

Arthur’s statistics are correct–Tebow is a below-average minor leaguer. But he’s not laughably bad, and he’s getting better fast, according to his coaches. But Arthur’s hypocrisy is also showing. Why is is wrong to promote a famous and up-and-coming player to sell tickets but it’s right to use sabermetrics to predict which players will sell more tickets, a la “Moneyball?”

Apparently, when that player is Tim Tebow, outspoken Christian.

When we apply the same filter to hiring, firing, tweeting, on-air commentary, interviews and coverage in general of sports in America, we see that the entire industry’s bias is showing. (Don’t even get me started on Michael Sams.)

It’s not that people don’t want politics with their sports (but most don’t). It’s that most people don’t want a heaping helping of nanny-state, preachy, virtue-signaling, metrosexual, pajama-boy, social justice, gender-bending, smug liberal moralizing, progressive politics with their sports.

Is it too much to ask if someone can save us from the liberal insanity so we can just watch a game?

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Phil

    June 29, 2017 at 3:21 am

    Is it too much to ask that one who writes such an article correctly gets the name of the greatest female tennis player ever? I don’t disagree with your premise except that you expose yourself as someone who is not a sports fan (SELENA- really???) and probably just looking for an excuse for a religious rant. I’m just as fatigued by the Religious Right as I am the Socialist Left. Try “practical and realistic “…it feels good.

    • Steve Berman

      June 29, 2017 at 5:06 am

      Nope it’s not too much to ask. Thank you for being my proof editor. If you notice I wrote the post somewhere after midnight. No excuse, just typos. And Jesus values accuracy just as much as Darwin did, if not more. Painting a typo (which I gladly corrected) as some nefarious plot is fairly petty, no?

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Foreign Affairs

Saudi foreign minister does damage control on American press

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Saudi foreign minister does damage control on American press

The foreign relations mess stemming from Jamal Khashoggi’s murder continues to grow more chaotic despite Saudi Arabia’s attempt to cover it up with regularly changing stories. The latest attempt at damage control comes from Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.

Fox News’ Bret Baier him, pressing multiple times about Mohammad bin Salman’s role in or knowledge of the operation that led to Khashoggi’s murder. The blame is being placed on the individuals who carried out the operation; as much space is being created between the direct actors and Saudi leadership as possible.

One important note in the interview was when al-Jubier said they do not believe the entire 15-man “kill team” was at the consulate where when Khashoggi was killed there. He admitted he did not know whether Turkey really had a recording of what happened during the incident, nor whether the United States had intelligence that contradicted the Kingdom’s story.

The responses from the foreign minister were in stark contrast to the indignation exuding from the Kingdom for two weeks following the initial report of Khashoggi’s disappearance.

My Take

As I wrote last week, Saudi Arabia gravely underestimated the international response to this incident. They thought they could get rid of a dissident as they have done in the past and the response would be muted. They didn’t take into account his American ties and the desire of the Turks to expose them at every turn.

How is this going to end? It won’t, at least not for a while. Unlike other international news stories of similar magnitude, this one has multiple forces bent on keeping the story going until a satisfactory resolution is reached. It won’t be reached. The White House and the Kingdom will do whatever they can to sweep this under the rug and make people forget.

This stinks, but here’s the sad reality: “Justice” will not be delivered the way it should and the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States will return to the status quo in a few months.

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Foreign Affairs

Pulling out of the INF treaty isn’t just about Russia

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Pulling out of the INF treaty has very little to do with Russia

Russia has broken the treaty already, according to this administration as well as its predecessor. That’s enough to prompt President Trump to put out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, famously signed by President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev in 1987.

President Trump to pull US from Russia missile treaty

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45930206The US will withdraw from a landmark nuclear weapons treaty with Russia, President Donald Trump has confirmed.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Trump said Russia had “violated” the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.

The deal banned ground-launched medium-range missiles, with a range of between 500 and 5,500km (310-3,400 miles).

My Take

This isn’t about Russia. Their actions are the excuse for pulling out, but the reason for doing so is because China has no such restrictions. They’re advancements in weaponry have prompted the United States and our allies to explore means of warfare that have been prohibited.

Until now.

This is a counter to China’s continued aggressive actions. Russia will keep doing what Presidents Obama and Trump already acknowledged. No we can step up our missile program as well.

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Videos

The cover up begins: 18 Saudis arrested in death of Jamal Khashoggi

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The cover up begins 18 Saudis arrested in death of Jamal Khashoggi

The cover up has begun. Saudi Arabia has arrested 18 people in connection to the death of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. This is the first step in an alleged plan to separate the top levels of Saudi government, particularly Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, from any involvement in the journalist’s murder.

Soon, we will hear that “rogue killers” were responsible for the death. It will be positioned as a simple argument that escalated until Khashoggi was “inadvertently” killed. Once dead, the people responsible reacted by trying to cover up the incident, choosing to dismember his body for easier transport from the consulate.

This has been the dominant story in the West and Middle East since his disappearance on October 2nd. He went to the consulate with his fiancee to finalize his divorce. He went in and hasn’t been seen since.

The Turkish government obtained a plethora of circumstantial evidence against the Saudis to the point that any flat denial was no longer tenable. This is the best course of action in their opinion, to cover up an obvious hit against a Saudi dissident and harsh critic of the Crown Prince. It will be interesting to see how those charged with the crime treat their situation.

The story doesn’t end here. America and the world must watch closely as this perversion of justice unfolds.

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