Each year, ESPN holds something called the ESPYs. Apparently, the event is a sort Academy Awards for sports. The idea seems ridiculous. Part of what makes sports wonderful is that it’s not show business.
According to Larry O’Connor at HotAir, and confirmed by other reports I’ve seen, “the ESPY award broadcast was filled with about as much race-baiting, left-wing politics as the Democrats convention in Philly will have two weeks from now.” Moreover, “ESPN, the Disney-owned network that created and produces the awards broadcast on their parent network ABC, went out of their way to feature and celebrate the divisive Black Lives Matter grandstanding.”
The broadcast apparently began with luminous social critics Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade, and LeBron James mouthing Black Lives Matter lines. Pretending to “follow in the footsteps” of “legends like Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, John Carlos, Tommie Smith, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jim Brown, Billie Jean King, [and] Arthur Ashe” (a mixed bag, indeed), Paul intoned:
Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Laquan McDonald, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile: this is also our reality.
Really. Has Chris Paul assaulted a police officer (Michael Brown) or tried to pound the life out of anyone (Trayvon Martin)?
LeBron James’ words were the most sensible uttered by the quartet. He said, in part:
Let’s use this moment as a call to action to all professional athletes to educate ourselves, explore these issues, speak up, use our influence, and renounce all violence. And most importantly go back to our communities. Invest our time, our resources. Help rebuild them. Help strengthen them. Help change them. We all have to do better. Thank you.
He thus recognized both the cause of the problem at hand — broken communities — and the need for athletes to educate themselves about it. The education should have preceded the pontificating.
The leftist politics apparently didn’t end with the opening comments. O’Connor reports that there were pitches for gun control and for more government spending on medical research. President Obama and Vice President Biden were featured.
But the worst manifestation of ESPN’s leftism isn’t the ostentatious leftism of the ESPYs, but rather the network’s suppression of other viewpoints. O’Connor reminds us:
Remember Curt Schilling was fired for speaking out on his Facebook page about transgender bathroom laws? And when Schilling spoke out about his firing, he made it clear that it’s only a certain kind of politics ESPN doesn’t want to hear:
One of the things I got early on, people would walk up to me… We had the green room in ESPN, which I kind of turned it into a locker room where everything was on the table, you could make fun of anybody’s mom and all the things that go with that, like in a baseball locker room. But I had people come up to me and go [whispering] ‘Hey, I’m with ya. I’m a Republican, too.’ It was like a deadly serious thing, like, we didn’t talk… like religion on the table was a much easier discussion than who you voted for.
O’Connor also notes the fate of Ray Lewis, who put out a video saying:
Why do we always find ourselves the victims, and now we have the separation once again that we’re being victimized because of one bad white cop, two bad white cops, three bad white cops, killing a young black brother. But every day we have black-on-black crime, killing each other?
ESPN fired him within a month, according to O’Connor.
What, then, should we conclude from this claim by ESPN:
At ESPN, our reputation and journalistic credibility are of paramount importance — and that extends to our coverage of the Presidential Election, candidates, issues and the intersection of sports and society. Our audiences should be confident that political pressures or personal interests do not influence our news decisions. At the same time, the news cycle has evolved and there is an increased appetite for broader coverage of candidates, placed in proper sports context.
We should conclude that ESPN is the worldwide leader in bulls**t.
If you’re a committed sports fan, it’s difficult to avoid ESPN. But if you’re a conservative, you should consider avoiding it as much as you feel you can.