There once was a time when people could gather around the watercooler at work or around the dinner table at Thanksgiving or Christmas and talk about common, culturally unifying topics such as the latest movies and tv shows and, especially, sports. These were areas that were apolitical and helped bring people together. But no more. The radical left has succeeded in politicizing these topics such that to talk about them is to invite arguments and controversy. While Hollywood gave into political correctness a while ago, a new group has recently given into it as well—Big Sports.
Especially since 2016, Big Sports has been taking an increasing role in supporting left-wing, politically correct causes. In that year, bi-racial football player Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the playing of the national anthem to protest alleged police brutality and racial injustice. Likewise in 2016, the NBA pulled its all-star game out of North Carolina when the state passed a law requiring that people go to the bathroom of their objective biological sex rather than their subjective “gender identity”, and the NCAA cancelled events in North Carolina over that same issue. Things really ramped up in 2020. Following the death of George Floyd, Big Sports could not quickly enough show its support to the controversial “Black Lives Matter” movement. Leagues, teams, and players gave millions of dollars to “Black Lives Matter”, players wore BLM shirts and patches, and the NBA even had “Black Lives Matter” painted on its basketball courts. Kneeling, by players at both the professional and college levels, ran rampant. Indeed, taking a knee by players in almost all sports played in North America and Europe—generally with the support of their leagues—to protest the alleged racism of the West has become de rigueur. The PGA then decided to join the politically correct movement this year when it took away the 2022 PGA Championship from Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey over the president’s alleged incitement of rioters on Capitol Hill on January 6. And now Major League Baseball has decided to move its all-star game and its 2021 player draft out of Atlanta to protest the new Georgia elections law that it claims will disenfranchise minority voters.
All these actions by Big Sports not only support leftist, politically correct causes but are generally based on faulty facts. As Heather McDonald of the Manhattan Institute has demonstrated in her books The War Against Cops and The Diversity Delusion, the research shows that there is no bias against blacks in police shootings; indeed, some research shows there may actually be a bias in favor of blacks. “Black Lives Matter” is not a moderate organization dedicated to bringing harmony to race relations; it is an extremely divisive leftist group founded by Marxists that supports defunding the police everywhere, destroying the traditional family, and ending capitalism. North Carolina and other states with “bathroom” laws are trying to protect the privacy and safety of girls and women who may not want to be in a public bathroom with a biological male. President Trump did not incite a riot on Capitol Hill on January 6. In his speech before supporters that day the President specifically said that they should “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard today” (not that you’ll be able to find any video proof on social media sites like YouTube which have scrubbed it altogether); in addition, once he learned of the riot, he tweeted: “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence. Remember, we are the Party of Law and Order—respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue.” And the new Georgia voting law does not stifle voting by minorities. It actually extends early voting and puts in common-sense security measures like requiring absentee voters to provide a driver’s license or other state identification and limits absentee ballot drop boxes to secure early voting locations.
But to woke Big Sports, facts do not matter. Supporting political correctness and left-wing causes is all that counts. It is clearly time for fans to hit Big Sports in the wallet by refusing to watch games and leagues that have become politicized. This strategy seems to have merit. In 2020, NBA television ratings took a nosedive in large part due to its leftist positions; in a Harris poll in September 2020, almost 40% of respondents, when asked why they were watching the NBA less, chose the answer “the league has become too political.” Then, as ratings got even worse for the NBA Finals after this poll, the NBA announced that it was removing “Black Lives Matter” from its basketball courts and players’ jerseys. Said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, “my sense is there’ll be somewhat a return to normalcy—that those messages will largely be left to be delivered off the floor.” TV ratings—and the money they generate—really do talk. If more fans who are turned off by political messaging likewise decided to hit Big Sports in the pocketbook, it most likely would respond as the NBA did. It is high time to take action and just have the players—rather than wokeness—on our fields and courts.