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:
If that’s what it’s called, then I’m a socialist, and happy to be one. https://t.co/fj3XHMImqE
— Peter King (@peter_king) June 26, 2017
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?