Pick a sport – baseball, college basketball, golf at the Masters and the annual NFL draft – and Spring should be an ideal time to be a sports fan.
Only it’s not.
Sports have become the latest fronts in the left’s full-scale attack against conservative values. Suddenly, the liberals and their media fans are making everything about the game a battleground from transgendered basketball players to Christianity to team names and mascots.
Fans and players, who mostly just care about the sport itself, have been caught like a dozing player trapped in a run-down. Liberals no longer care about scoring points in the games and are focused on scoring them outside.
Fox Sports Pre-Game. Image: YouTube
Sometime funnyman Stephen Colbert recently tried to skewer Redskins’ owner Dan Snyder over the team name. It failed only because he went too far. Colbert mocked Snyder’s new pro-Native American nonprofit and said he was “introducing the Ching Chong Ding Dong Foundation for Sensitivity.” That comment set in motion a feeding frenzy against him. But liberals stood by Colbert because he went after one of their many current PC targets – the Redskins.
Both ESPN and Grantland were bullied into apologizing for what Outsports called a “badly conceived posthumous hit piece” on a transgendered golf club designer. They ignored the fact that the subject of the story had lied extensively. And the NFL’s threat to pull the Super Bowl from Arizona was depicted as a response to an “anti-gay law,” not the bullying of Christians by a powerful sports league.
The left’s long history of divisiveness has fractured the sports world. Instead of teams, players and fans are now divided by race, class, gender, sexual orientation and faith. Next, they’ll be selling jerseys as well.
A Washington Redskins helmet sits on the turf during the NFL football teams training camp in Richmond, Va., Saturday, July 27, 2013. Credit: AP
It’s not too surprising that liberals are trying to wreck sports the same way they have damaged education, politics and media. It’s a winning formula. Take some wannabe icon of diversity, toss in some media love and, voila, news.
Time magazine recently claimed that Hammerin’ Hank Aaron would have had a worse time of it if he played today.
“The home-run king is lucky he didn't have to contend with the ubiquitous bigots and haters on today's social media,” wrote Jon Friedman. Because Twitter barbs are the same thing as real life death threats, I guess.
In 2012, college basketball fans watched in horror as the PC approach made a mockery out of the game. The Mission College women’s basketball team unveiled its new weapon – the “6-foot-6-inch, 220-pound Gabrielle Ludwig, who joined the Lady Saints as a mid-season walk-on and became, according to advocates, the first transsexual to play college hoops as both a man and a woman,” wrote The Chicago Sun-Times.
ESPNW called Ludwig’s critics “idiots.” That same story quoted the coach saying Ludwig was the “leading scorer and rebounder,” but tried to dispel the notion of an “unfair advantage.” SB Nation called Ludwig a “behemoth on the court,” but said that was all part of the “beauty of competition.” Feel free to laugh at their dishonesty.
(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Everywhere we turn in sports, dogma has replaced dominance. No one on the left is concerned that the Redskins didn’t win last year. They care about the logo on the helmets. Or, as one ESPN broadcaster said, whether the team’s quarterback was black enough. Rob Parker was suspended after he worried about Redskins QB Robert Griffin III: “Is he a brother or is he a cornball brother?”
When Christian Quarterback Tim Tebow was traded to the Jets, The Nation’s sports correspondent Dave Zirin, bashed him. (Yes, it’s a measure of the times that lefty tripe like The Nation has a sports writer.)
Zirin told MSNBC, “There are a lot of LGBT people that live in New York City who are also football fans and they might want to know why the new, possibly, starting quarterback for the New York Jets wants them to move backwards 30 or 40 years.”
“Inside the NFL” analyst Chris Collinsworth was one of the few honest voices and admitted that Tebow was “hated because of his faith.” This is the same NFL that has tolerated the crazed outbursts of broadcaster Bob Costas when he either whined about the Redskins name or how he blamed a murder-suicide on “our gun culture.”
Whether it’s Democrats lobbying league execuetives on climate change or liberals trying to turn every draft pick into a diversity hire, sports as we know them are no longer fun and games. If sports fans don’t speak up, more and more of the games they love will turn into forums for left-wing propaganda.
Dan Gainor is the Vice President for Business and Culture for the Media Research Center. He has written for The Blaze Magazine and writes on media for TheBlaze.com.
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