Ostensibly, the NBA boycotts, which other sports are adopting, are illogical. But then, the animating concept behind the player protests — “systemic racism,” derived from the smear that the nation’s police forces are hunting down young black men — is irrational, a triumph of distorted narrative over critical thinking. Why should the boycotts be any different?
For a work stoppage to be successful, it has to withhold something the potential consumer wants. Or, at least, wants badly enough to be depressed by its absence. Big-time professional sports has been that something for a long time. The sand is running out of the hourglass, though, and that won’t change if the players don’t figure out why.
With some exceptions, the astronomically paid athletes are inexperienced in anything other than their sport — understandably so: They are young, and it takes full-time dedication to compete at their elite level. They are ill-informed, or flat uninformed, about the phenomena they claim to be animated by. They do not approach public policy with an open mind. That, too, is not their fault. Modern-era education has supplanted critical thinking with tribalism, grievance-mongering, and hostility to the free exchange of ideas and viewpoints.