On the latest episode of "Fearless," BlazeTV host and former ESPN reporter Jason Whitlock used a comparison between Los Angeles Laker LeBron James and NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan to illustrate the massive cultural shift we've seen in sports since the Walt Disney Company took over ESPN in 1996 and explained how Disney's considerable influence is adversely affecting America's younger generations.
"I'm not trying to denigrate LeBron James with this anecdote, I'm just speaking facts about a cultural shift in basketball," Jason began. "Michael Jordan, the best player perhaps of all time in the NBA, took great pride in playing all 82 regular-season games … including his final season with the Washington Wizards at age 39, Michael Jordan played all 82 games. He was a reflection of that era and how important competition was to his era of basketball players. LeBron James is the greatest player of the post-Jordan era. Again, I'm not trying to denigrate him, but he's also a symbol of where NBA culture and sports culture has gone. Competition has been de-emphasized. Having the greatest competitive fire is not as important as it used to be," he continued.
"There has been a cultural shift, and something has been done to the culture to shift it so that the sports world is less competitive and more soft," Jason added. "And I say that Disney is the reason sports culture has gone soft."
Jason argued that Disney's acquisition of ABC and ESPN and the end of Michael Jordan's "heyday in the NBA" mark the beginning of a major cultural shift in how we view sports.
"Disney [took] over the worldwide leader in sports, ESPN, and at the time no one thought much about it. No one knew the significance of it, but I think here in 2022, it should be becoming quite apparent that when Disney takes over an industry, it's going to significantly change that industry. And Disney's acquisition of ESPN was an acquisition of the sports world," he said.
Jason went on to explain why he believes Disney’s influence over ESPN and sports is "grooming" a whole generation of children to turn their backs on traditional notions of sexuality and gender.
"This is what my definition of grooming is, based off of everything I've read [and] how other people have described grooming: Grooming is the act of building a relationship, trust, and emotional connection with a child so that you can shape their sexual, gender, political, and racial worldview," he said.
"This is what the parental rights bill in Florida is about. It's trying to stop this grooming process that's going on in our schools. Ron DeSantis is at the forefront, and Florida is at the forefront of this fight. They have passed a parental rights law that Disney, a California-based company, has publicly opposed. Disney and its employees have put Ron DeSantis in Florida and this bill in the crosshairs. They've called it the 'Don't Say Gay Bill.' It has nothing to do with saying the word gay. It's about parents, being able to control [and] object to school systems trying to teach kindergartners to third grade — that's 4-,5-,6-, and 7-year-olds — about sexuality and gender. Parents in Florida and most right-minded parents, they want the right to teach their kids about sexuality and gender ... not leave it to crazy schoolteachers."
Watch the video below, or find the full episodes of "Fearless with Jason Whitlock" here.
Can't watch? Download the podcast here.
Want more from Jason Whitlock?
To enjoy more fearless conversations at the crossroads of culture, faith, sports, and comedy with Jason Whitlock and Uncle Jimmy, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.