Is the Left taking over sports?

posted at 6:30 pm on November 16, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

The title question of this piece is the subject which Matt Lewis was pondering this week at The Daily Caller. Exactly how deeply has social change in the liberal / progressive direction embedded itself in our daily lives and those aspects of our public awareness outside of politics and government? There are plenty of areas where it either may not be the case or might not be obvious, but I’ll confess that some recent events in the NFL have gotten me wondering along the same lines.

Are liberals taking over sports coverage, too? Increasingly, that’s the way it feels. And it’s not just because Keith Olbermann is back at ESPN.

In just the last year or so, sports has been dominated by stories about NBA player Jason Collins coming out as gay, the Miami Dolphins “bullying” scandal, debates over whether or not “Redskins” is a racial slur (with some outlets refusing to even use the name), and worries over the NFL’s “concussion crisis.”

The increased politicization of sports was probably the first sign. More and more, it seems, the behind-the-scenes soap opera has overshadowed what’s happening between the lines.

And as was the case with Bob Costas’ gun control rant earlier this year — or ESPN commentator Kevin Blackstone’s recent reference to the national anthem as a “war anthem” — many sports commentators are coming down decidedly on the side of political correctness (the flouting of which forced Rush Limbaugh to resign from ESPN a decade ago), away from overt patriotism and pro-American symbolism, and toward using sports to advance progressive social engineering goals.

There’s certainly something to be said for the variously humorous and/or frustrating turns we’ve seen when sportscasters step outside of their professional wheelhouse and begin preaching about political and social issues. But everyone has an opinion, and they are free to spout them off from whatever platform they can achieve. Some of Matt’s other questions, though, deal with changes we are seeing in the NFL of late. It seems clear that players who engage in some of the hardest hits (and don’t we all love them on the replays every week?) over a long career are susceptible to brain trauma of various sorts. Nobody wants that.

But what is there to be done? I confess that this question leaves me conflicted. Nobody wants to see players end up in a vegetative state, and it seems logical that technology should be able to offer some sort of relief on that front. But how much do we want to (and I’ll apologize in advance for using the term) “sissify” the NFL? If we change the rules and the gear to the point where they are eventually playing flag football, would anyone still want to watch? Would you watch professional boxing if everyone wore headgear? I probably wouldn’t. But then, I don’t want to see all the ex-champs being pushed around in wheelchairs either.

This is a tough question. I don’t know if it should be, but it is. I open it up for your discussion this evening as we prepare for another weekend of football.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Yes they are…NBC Sports is helping to lead the way. I only keep up with NFL football, but rarely watch it on TV unless I have it muted. Too much politics in the NFL now. I go to cbssports.com Gametracker for live action…use to get the NFL Sunday Ticket, but am not going to help overrated players make more money now. Go back to the days Rush Limbaugh mentioned McNabb and then tried to become part owner in an NFL team, and black racists came out of the woodwork. One of the worse QB in the NFL is Josh Freeman…his stats from ProFootballFocus prove he is a useless QB. NBC Sports acted like they were his agent, blaming HC Schiano for the problems – basically stopping short of calling him a racist. Freeman was doing his own leaks, and HC Schiano got blamed for them. That got fairly quiet after Freeman forced his way out and Vikings got suckered into taking him…one game, and he was so bad that total silence became the norm. Redskins? 24/7 news, almost as much support for the anti-Redskins name groups as there was for the Occupy movements. No tackling allowed as it heads to flag-football…raising your voice to a player will get you sued for job harassment, etc.

Hopefully, this leads to more diversity in the NFL Football teams selections of players, e.g. more white, Asian & Hispanic players. More women…at least one woman QB!

Karmi on November 17, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Calling any sort of hazing “bullying” gets into fairly murky waters. A local sports writer down here said that asking rookies to pick up dinner tabs, sing fight songs and carry luggage was abusive behavior and should be stopped.

Really?!

How much longer before they’re getting on coaches for hurting player’s feelings when they upbrade them for screwing up a play?

What’s next? Calling balls and strikes is hurting a batter’s self esteem?

postaldog on November 17, 2013 at 8:47 AM

Nobody wants to see those hard hits like nobody wants to see a bullfighter get gored. Right. It seems the libturds can’t even leave us to our amusements and distractions. What’s next, mandating a 6 block head start to run in Pamplona, no skiing black diamonds, or NASCAR using kiddie peddle cars? Lewis and Clark would never be able to cross the continent today with these wimps and wusses watching their every step.

Kissmygrits on November 17, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Oh and Itsnotaboutme…

You’re right, it’s not. Thinking it stupid to watch sports is one thin line from thinking people who do so are stupid. Many would consider spending hours at a keyboard stupid.

I also don’t watch sports. I’m from MA and lost track of the World Series at Boston 3 St.Louis 2. Still don’t know what happened. Don’t care.

Leave people to their own forms of entrtainment. That’s Libertarian

Scorn only leads to the darkside.

WryTrvllr on November 17, 2013 at 9:14 AM

But everyone has an opinion, and they are free to spout them off from whatever platform they can achieve.

Really? Like the guy on the train who is certain that you want to hear about his idiot boss for an hour, or when your crazy uncle wants to discuss porn at Thanksgiving dinner?

Actually, when people watch a game of some kind it’s supposed to be a diversion. The Left wants everything politicized, whereas normal people don’t. A place for everything, etc.

That’s why normal people roll their eyes when a has been hoops player announces that he’s into dudes, and expects the rest of us to take it as from a blushing twenty year old’s announcement of her upcoming nuptials.

Is there one NFL channel show not hosted by a blonde babe these days? Will we soon have them calling games?

Now they are throwing flags for on-field profanity.

Before long you’ll see a female umpire doing NFL games, and there will be a push for female coaches.

Akzed on November 17, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Calling a fellow employee and leaving a message saying he’s a “half-n****r” will get you fired from most jobs, regardless of the “context.” notropis on November 16, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Most jobs. Not all.

Incognito was made an “honorary n*” by his black teammates.

Martin’s mom is a lawyer whose practice for twenty years was workplace discrimination and harassment. He has undergone therapy for PTSD, no doubt prepping the battle field for a massive lawsuit.

Akzed on November 17, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Scorn only leads to the darkside. WryTrvllr on November 17, 2013 at 9:14 AM

I scorn Marxists, don’t you?

Akzed on November 17, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Is the Left taking over sports?

What? I can’t hear you. I have my bicycle helmet on too tight (or is it too tightly, grammar police? Never mind. I still can’t hear you.)

Fallon on November 17, 2013 at 9:57 AM

ah, yeah they are.
this is why I don’t watch as much anymore. I have it on for background noise.

mmcnamer1 on November 17, 2013 at 10:31 AM

the NFL is a frog in a pot of warm water!

mmcnamer1 on November 17, 2013 at 10:35 AM

It should be blindingly obvious to anyone that leftists are trying to kill the game of football. It’s the most popular sport in America now. It is also one sport that women cannot play, where the physical difference between men and women prevails. It involves violence and hitting. It’s also primarily watched by men. It is accompanied by scantily clad “cheerleaders” that men also like to watch. Its audience is patriotic, even in New York City – I recently attended a Jets game during which they honored a double-amputee Afghanistan veteran and there was a sustained and heartfelt standing ovation for the young man.

Basically, everything the Left hates is involved with football.

rockmom on November 17, 2013 at 10:39 AM

The old generation of sports writers were generally tough guys who loved to play with words and who loved the games.

The new ones are simply journolisters, indoctrinated, tagged and then released onto an unsuspecting public.

PattyJ on November 17, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Oh and Itsnotaboutme…

You’re right, it’s not.

*sigh* You’re #527 to say that.

Thinking it stupid to watch sports is one thin line from thinking people who do so are stupid. Many would consider spending hours at a keyboard stupid.

Who said it was stupid?

Leave people to their own forms of entrtainment. That’s Libertarian

Um, huh? No one is proposing any law against sports.

Scorn only leads to the darkside.

WryTrvllr on November 17, 2013 at 9:14 AM

I scorn Marxists, don’t you?

Akzed on November 17, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Yup.

itsnotaboutme on November 17, 2013 at 3:55 PM

Want more reasons not to be interested in overgrown multi-millionaire kids in funny clothes fighting over a toy ball?

Who said it was stupid?

Say what?

*sigh* You’re #527 to say that.

You know the joke about the guy who was asked why he was getting divorced for the 15th time?

I scorn Marxists, don’t you?

Akzed on November 17, 2013 at 9:29 AM

I despise liberals. That is, by definition, the combination of a person and a deeply flawed ideology, acting jointly to push their views on other people. As individuals, I could no more hate them than an idiot with an IQ of 50

WryTrvllr on November 17, 2013 at 11:15 PM

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