Sports Illustrated Hates You

Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated via AP

Sports Illustrated went woke long ago, and the editor who made it happen has clearly said she was happy to jettison her audience. 

"We didn't care. We thought that the right reader would come along with us and the wrong ones we didn't want."


Let's call it the "Bud Light Strategy," in which a company decides they don't like their customers, so they send them packing. 

This year's issue of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition is the 60th, and the magazine is celebrating by not featuring gorgeous women in skimpy swimsuits. 

In fact, the magazine's cover features a photo of women in evening gowns—at least, mostly women. These days you can never tell who will show up in the magazine pretending to be female. 

Gail King, a noted sex symbol, is prominently featured. She snagged an interview with the magazine's editor, who explained the shift away from featuring women in swimsuits to more woke content, featuring plus-size women and men cosplaying them. 


"This ain't your dad's Sports Illustrated," we are told. And this is supposed to be a good thing. The formerly unabashedly male publication prefers old, fat, Queer readers these days. Because they are the core audience for sports, just as woke white women are the core audience for comic book movies. 

This is why they have been so successful. 

SI has been, at least, successful in jettisoning its former readers--circulation is down by half. So at least their strategy of offending much of their audience is working. What publication would want to be patronized by heterosexual men these days? 

Good riddance!

Of course, jettisoning readers isn't so good for the bottom line. They have had massive layoffs and almost folded, being rescued at the last minute by a last-minute buyer

Some of SI's troubles stem from changes in the media ecosystem, so the shift to woke is hardly the only cause of its travails. 

But it certainly is A cause. Driving away your core audience is hardly a good business strategy. But commercial success isn't a priority for people whose only goal is driving an ideological agenda. 


The ideological hostile takeover of Sports Illustrated is a perfect example of the Burge Effect. It is not enough for lefties to create their own institutions to reflect their priorities--doing so is difficult and leaves the competition out there. 

So lefties infiltrate, take over, destroy, and turn the institutions into ideological zombies that no longer have the soul of the original. 

When Gayle King says, "This is not your father's Sports Illustrated," she is literally correct. It is simply the outer skin that masquerades as the original. 

The brand remains, but this is the SI for those who demand Queer sports. 

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