Which sports remain, then, for a good, ethical conservative American to consume? The NFL’s out, according to those who nodded along dutifully during the five years Trump spent targeting football for having the temerity to offer tepid support of its majority-Black players. The same goes for the NBA, which was similarly the subject of much teeth-gnashing and garment-rendering by the dumbest and loudest voices on the right. I guess that leaves hockey among the four major pro sports, unless the NHL’s baby steps towards encouraging inclusivity crossed an uncrossable line.
It’s almost like conservatives cannot stomach a sport beyond those wholly controlled by a single owner like UFC, which, thanks in no small part to Dana White, has ground its employees to a fine paste, went whole-hog for MAGA, and, shockingly, spawned more than a few QAnon enthusiasts in their ranks. Perhaps notably pro-Trump NASCAR will see an influx of fans and stem its decades-long decline. Hang on, NASCAR banned displays of the Confederate flag this summer and investigated a suspected instance of racial prejudice so they’re boycott-worthy, too.
Leaving aside the groaning, self-evident hypocrisies—a party that’s spent the last 60 years enabling nearly unfettered corporate power now furrowing its collective brow and issuing toothless threats, or pegging “cancel culture” as an imminent, existential threat only to return the favor the moment it’ll get any aspiring national figure a 10-minute hit on Fox News—this spate of anti-baseball posturing will amount to nothing. Just follow the money.