To “just do sports,” even setting aside Tim Tebow praying or Lebron James wearing an “I can’t breath” t-shirt, is to ignore what sports fans are talking about on their own initiative, and to seem out of touch on a program that has always thrived on knowing in-jokes.

But to allude to the latest way sports and politics intersected online is to lose touch with another set of sports fans, who do not deeply inhabit the peculiar information ecosystem of social media. They catch 15 minutes of local sports talk on the way to work and never signed up for Twitter––and so, if they tune into SportsCenter and hear a quip about Dunham/Dykstra, they are baffled, and mistakenly believe ESPN staffers are the instigators of the sports-culture-politics mashup when really they are reacting to it.