Sports and politics: never shall the twain meet

Contrary to many sports analysts’ views, it wasn’t Adolf Hitler who introduced politics into sports. That happened originally in ancient Greece. Except, at that time, the Greeks called it business as usual: let me win this race, and my sponsor will provide you with a job at so many drachmas a year, plus room and board.

Hitler re-introduced this kind of cynicism into the Olympics in 1936, bringing in the torch comedy along the way. It was a marketing genius at Hitler’s Reichskanzlei (Imperial Office) who had come up with the idea of a relay and of the last runner remaining anonymous till the moment s/he picks up the torch to bring it to the fire ring.

The first last runner in Berlin that year was a guy from Hitlerjugend (Hitler’s Youth), as sporting an organisation as there ever had been.

Alas, politics and sports didn’t die with Hitler and the defeat of Nazi Germany (and Imperial Japan and Fascist Italy).

The combination would become an artificial yardstick by which to claim whose political system was superior to all others.

Crazy change

But that wasn’t progressive and inclusive enough.

With the spread of Marxist idiocy a.k.a. critical theory, we now have a new breed. Sporting events broadcasts must now meet criteria that have nothing in common with sports. And those who happen to think that sports is about sports get slapped out of the room.

George Orwell used to view sports with a jaundiced eye for a number of reasons, and his essay, named The Sporting Spirit, sums it all up pretty nicely.

But not even Orwell, the man who had predicted political correctness with shocking accuracy, could envision what’s going on now.

Professional sports have become escapist entertainment through the years, and reporting on them reflected precisely that.

First, Canada’s Sportsnet.ca found it necessary to warn readers that a news story about an NHL club’s town-hall meeting with its fans and reporters includes several allusions and direct mentions, even, about a scandalous sexual abuse incident. Those readers who may feel uneasy about the content are warned the content exists. It read almost as a warning to day-care and kindergarten children, telling them not to use swear words.

Now, America’s ESPN, one of the major sports networks in that country, is rocked by an insider revelations of how deep the so-called “woke” culture has seeped into the proceedings.

A Project Veritas story has shown that who gets to describe games and competitions does not depend on that person’s expertise and ability. It depends on that person’s gender and race, and not necessarily in that order. That would depend on how sharp are that particular person’s elbows.

Before we continue, herewith the opening paragraph from a site that some still believe provides information (it’s copy-and-paste): Project Veritas is an American far-right activist group founded by James O’Keefe in 2010. The group produces deceptively edited videos of its undercover operations, which use secret recordings in an effort to discredit mainstream media organizations and progressive groups. Project Veritas also uses entrapment to generate bad publicity for its targets, and has propagated disinformation and conspiracy theories in its videos and operations.

End of quote that shows how much Project Veritas has been a stinging thorn in the side of openly left-wing would-be sources such as Wikipedia.

Not that it would be much of a surprise: even Wikipedia’s cofounder, Larry Sanger, felt he had to leave the place for its blatant propagandising.

Back to today’s story: Trevor Adams, a former studio operator, told Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe in an interview about an e-mail he had sent to ESPN leadership detailing his issues with the company.

“A lot of people were cheering me on,” Adams told O’Keefe. “A lot of people said, ‘We’re glad you sent this. We hope something comes of it. We don’t think it will, but we’re glad that finally someone spoke up.’ ”

An e-mail that, basically, told the company it was losing credibility with its audiences because of its newly introduced politicking ways made Adams into a security threat. Next thing he knew, police paid a visit to his house.

To quote some more from the Project Veritas story: Adams also recorded several behind-the-scenes conversations with people who vented their frustration at the woke insanity.

For example, on-air host Alyssa Lang said: “I know the comments that have been made to me at work and the conversations that have been had in front of me at work, like, I mean just blatantly racist sh*t. Just blatantly, like, complaining to me that we have three white hosts, and I’m like, ‘What do you want me—do you want me to leave?’ ”

Watch what you watch

ESPN employees are now afraid to watch Fox News in the break room for fear of ostracisation, Project Veritas reported.

ESPN ombudsman Jim Brady wrote about such incidents. ESPN fired him for such impudent behaviour: how dare you tell the truth?

ESPN also purged several personalities whose views ABC and Disney, its owners, considered to be on the conservative side, including former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling, NFL Hall of Famer Mike Ditka, reporter Britt McHenry, and others.

Health politics have come into the mix, also: ESPN’s star reporter Allison Williams refused to submit her body to Covid-19 vaccine, and off she went. She is so good she found another job at the Daily Wire almost immediately, remarking that “When one door closes, another opens.”

A physician told Williams not to get the shot. She was planning to have a second child. On top of it, she had already recovered from the Covid-induced pseudo-bronchopneumonia, thus obtaining robust natural immunity.

ESPN’s ratings have been sinking the last several months. It seems they will match the Titanic-like CNN ratings soon.

People may as well stop watching sports on TV and start performing themselves. They may return to skating and skiing with their kids in winter, and playing ball, all kinds of it, with them, during summer months.

If nothing else, that’s what can make them much healthier than they used to be.

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