The Wide Woke World of Sports

AMAC Exclusive


As American athletes compete in the Tokyo Olympics on the other side of the world, a storm of wokeness is turning sports — once a shining example of color-blind meritocracy — into just another battle ground of the culture war at home.

In the five years since Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the National Anthem, sports has gone from a unifying diversion to another division. And wokeness keeps winning.

In baseball, the Cleveland Indians just announced that they will become the Cleveland Guardians starting next season. What these Guardians will guard—other than fragile feelings in faculty lounges far away from Cleveland—remains unknown.

In football, the former Washington Redskins still wait in sports purgatory as the even more meaningless Washington Football Team. It’s no wonder that the team looks lost on the field.

And in basketball, NBA players seem to kneel for the anthem more than they stand for it.

All this woke virtue signaling is a far cry from the power of American sports in the past.

Just think of Jesse Owens winning four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Hitler could spew racist rhetoric all he wanted, and Nazis could hang their banners and chant their slogans. But, after the gun fired and the race started, Owens humiliated them on their own soil.

And when the Star-Spangled Banner played, he saluted.

And who could forget the iconic scene of baseball superstar Sammy Sosa circling Wrigley Field carrying an American Flag before his first home game after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001? When Slammin’ Sammy hit a homerun in the second inning, he carried Old Glory around the bases with him again, evoking a thunderous, patriotic roar from the crowd.

Again and again, athletes in the past of all colors have worn red, white, and blue. Again and again, they proved the American ideal: a person’s talent and hard work are more important than a person’s background.

That’s why sports are the perfect American stage. Inside the lines, talent is everything. Skin color doesn’t make you run any slower or throw a ball any farther. Your last name can’t save you. And team identity—not identity politics—determines success.

More than any other sport, basketball once captured this ideal, showing the way forward on race relations.

Take Bill Russell, the Hall-of-Fame center for the Boston Celtics in the 1950s and 1960s. Sure, he heard racist taunts from fans. But, inside the league and on the court, he won five MVP awards, eleven championships, and ultimately became the first black coach of any major professional sports team and the first to win a championship.

By the 1980s, when the rivalry between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird captured the public’s imagination, fans and the media often saw the embodiment of a racial, black-versus-white struggle.

But the two players themselves never did. In fact, they constantly rebuked efforts to make their rivalry about anything other than basketball. Through the fires of athletic competition, these two legends of the game, one black and one white, formed a unique bond based on mutual respect that transcended any racial divide the media attempted to impose on them.

That’s ancient history now. Once a great proving ground for the power of a color-blind meritocracy, basketball now reflects the decline of the American consensus on the desirability of color-blindness.

In fact, the NBA as a league often appears to be more focused on promoting certain political causes than actually producing a watchable product for fans, thereby undermining the great strides in racial progress made by players of past generations.

For example, players today across the NBA wear Black Lives Matter t-shirts so often that video games now include the shirts for in-game play. In case you missed the BLM merchandise in warm-ups, “Black Lives Matter” was also painted across all NBA courts for most of the abbreviated 2020 season.

The NBA’s brightest star for the last fifteen years, LeBron James, has made more news for his statements on “systematic voter suppression” than for his performance on the court in recent years.

But despite what ESPN and the liberal media want you to believe, the numbers show that fans just aren’t that crazy about the new activist NBA.

Perhaps most telling of all – and most concerning for the billionaire owners who run NBA franchises – NBA television ratings have plummeted in recent years. Even during the middle of the pandemic last year, at a time when ratings for other shows were skyrocketing, one NBA Finals game drew only 5.9 million viewers, and the first game of the 2020 Finals had the lowest viewership ever for a Game 1. While ratings for the 2021 Finals were up from the previous year, the numbers still showed a 34% decrease in viewership from 2019.

The left-wing bent of the NBA is also affecting players’ business endeavors off the court. James’s new Space Jam film reboot has made less than $100 million worldwide, compared to Michael Jordan’s original, which made over $230 million. The film was an embarrassing flop for someone who is consistently rated among the top-3 most famous athletes in the world.

It’s just too bad that, as the NBA becomes the Woke NBA, “WNBA” is already taken as an acronym.

But that might not last long—a whole league closed to everyone except women? That seems far too exclusive—far too gendered—for the woke left of 2021 who apparently now control the direction of seemingly every major American sports league.

By all indications the Woke leagues will certainly be continuing their activism. The only question is, how much longer will anyone watch?

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James Thompson
2 months ago

With almost every sport…and I do mean EVERY sport…sucking up to this woke “culture”, television is rarely turned on in this house. I won’t pay to go to any stadium or venue, I won’t buy any of their merchandise, I will have nothing to do with any of them until they can somehow “magically” discover that they are able to do their “playing” and make their millions of dollars in the same country that is the home of the freedoms that they have. They can take their “greatness” to some marxists communist country and protest there….see what that gets them.

Aubrey J LeBlanc
2 months ago

It started with me not watching any basketball or football (for no reason (even when the local NFL and NBA teams were doing good)). Then it moved to college teams and high school teams. Then the other sports becoming social warriors. Now even the Olympics are more worried about being correct. I don’t watch any sports end of story. This is sorry. I am 65yo and have watched the Olympics since as far back as I can remember. This is unfortunate for the athletes that are athletes and not premadonas.

W Daily
2 months ago

Haven’t watched much Olympics! I do catch a few Patriot Olympic American events! I just love it when American athletes, that live this country, drape themselves in the American flag! They love competing as an American for the greatest country in the world!

2 months ago

I quit watching professional sports of any kind several years ago. I stuck only to collegiate sports; mainly college football, and then primarily my alma mater.
Now I may need to curtail even that if that dreaded disease “wokeness” rears it’s ugly head in college football as well. I’m sure that the woke idiot crowd have designs on that as well.
They simply suck the fun, and the sunshine, and the very life out of everything worth having.
They must be miserable little folks, and not simply in stature.

2 months ago

Women’s soccer team spokeswoman for Subway ensured I won’t eat there. Consumers unite and starve out the Woke idiots.

2 months ago
Reply to  Oz

Absolutely. When I know that any company is on board with the “woke” crowd, I’m gone.

Chrys Hamper
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert

Great thinking! Proud you you!

Chrys Hamper
2 months ago
Reply to  Oz

YAY YOU! Good for you, America needs to stand for it’s greatness! Not what a few are shoving down our throats!

We MUST be united. ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

2 months ago

So no sports in this house either. When I want to watch politics i will tune into a news station.Watching sports on tv used to be fun entertaining. Not any more. We have found other things to do.

2 months ago

After watching cappernick take a knee during the National Anthem, I was done with sports. I’m not going to contribute one penny to further this nonsense! I have more time to spend with my grandkids and more money to donate to chairities! Win/ win as far as I’m concerned!!

Jesse Tiede
2 months ago

Yep, when I consider all the money I have saved because of my beloved sports teams going political (THANK YOU, KOLIN CAPPERNICK!), and my refusal to support politics in sports, I wonder why I placed so much time and energy, not to mention money, supporting these ideals! I am saving a good chunk of change because all those poor, underpaid athletes want to change the society I live in, and make ME feel guilty because of the color of my skin? They can all just kiss my bl…, uh, ass.

Doug Ryland
2 months ago

I lost all interest in professional sports other than Rodeo several years ago and major college sports are getting to be almost as bad.
I haven’t watch any of either on TV for several years and it’s been even longer since I went to a game, and I really don’t miss them. I live in Arizona and honestly didn’t even know the Suns we’re in the NBA Finals this year until a close friend asked me if I was going to watch the games. I didn’t and don’t think I missed anything. There are far better things to spend that time on.

Ed J
2 months ago

While each person is welcome to have his or her opinion on any subject and generally to express such views (First Amendment right), interjecting such discourse into a sports venue is troublesome, at best. The only word I can come up with to characterize such activities is PATHETIC!
Let’s hope these “woke” folks WAKE up and come to their senses. Sports events should be about sports only, and not a forum where these misguided idiots can throw their nonsense into our faces. We, the public, are the ones who ultimately are paying the salaries or expenses of these people. It’s time the owners of professional franchises or Olympic committees get some balls and squash this sort of behavior. In fact, if a player violates the “rules” regarding this, then that player should be summarily fired and permanently enjoined from returning to the sport.

2 months ago

The corrupt, dishonest communist democrats are at it again, same old failed policies against freedom.
They are starting the familar whine that covid cases ( which number of cases means nothing ) are going to require masks and shutdowns.
Of course the motivation is to then stop in person, verifiable honest voting, to force Citizens to accept corrupt mail in voting, which they cheated at previously.
STOP this madness, We the People are NOT their subject, these useless FRAUDS work for US!

edgar fletcher
2 months ago

Basketball, a game I came to love as a child growing up in Indiana, has been trashed by the NBA. I quit watching a few years ago. It’s sickening what these “woke” athletes have done to the game.

Dave Smith
2 months ago

I sooooo love hearing pathetic excuses for Americans crying over how oppressed they are with their Bentleys, mansions and 6-7 figure salaries. Even the mediocre 2nd and 3rd stringers make more in a year than most Americans of any skin color will see in their lives or at least several years of actually working. Stop watching, stop buying their crap, stop supporting companies who bend over for these lying losers. Start publicly laughing in their faces, start publicly calling them liars and hate mongers, start telling them to quit hiding behind the Constitution that Americans of all colors have served and sacrificed for and leave this great nation so they can live in fantasy land with the other loud, lying, loser minority because Americans have had enough of their male bovine fecalfest.

2 months ago
Reply to  Dave Smith

I have stopped watching my beloved Atlanta Braves,for that matter any baseball because of the All Star game out of Atlanta this year. Likewise I was a lifetime Coke drinker until them weighing in on the Georgia voting laws, never again, I don’t appreciate their “Try to be less white” philosophy. Stand up America we will take it back.

2 months ago

Shameful that individuals who made MILLIONS from the opportunity this great country offers would believe the lies and anti american actions of the radical communist democrats and their 50 year lie!!
Wake up and see these failures for what they are and what destruction, hatred and division they subscribe to.

Last edited 2 months ago by Garye
2 months ago

Who wants to watch a bunch of tall crybabies whine and pout while kneeling and wearing BLM on their uniforms? I say raise the hoop 3 feet and see how they perform. I cannot fathom these rich infants crying that they are oppressed.

2 months ago

Very simple solution:
Don’t attend any games! No people paying to see a game, the owners make no money, then they can’t pay the athletes. The athletes will have to go to another country to play and the can STAND for their new country

2 months ago
Reply to  Raymond

The owners can’t pay these type of salaries and bonuses from revenue from fans in the seats. TV revenue sharing pays the bulk.

2 months ago
Reply to  Art

And let’s quit watching so ratings will go down and advertisers lose money!

2 months ago
Reply to  Raymond

Did anyone notice, during the last professional football games, that the cameramen apparently strove to only show shots of the fans in the stands who were not in empty areas? Large empty areas?

Enuf Said
2 months ago

If that is “Woke”- GOD, please let me stay ASLEEP!!

Enuf Said
2 months ago

What really amazes me, these “so-Called” oppressed people only protest in America. This PROVES their effort is only self served. Why do you not protest in China, Russia, and the dark continent countries? Google ten worst countries TODAY for slavery and you can bet the farm- 7 to 8 of them are in Africa. Wonder what percentage of their people are millionaires? Immigrants make up 25% orf the millionaires in AMERICA. Yet, these same Biden brain dead fools try to tell me how racist we are.

2 months ago

Kneeling is a sign of submission. If you want to protest stand tall. Most of the “protesters” are from the “oppressed group.” They are being paid generational cash to display their talents on the courts and fields of competition. Many fans spend major money to sit in the stands. If it were not for TV contracts the players wouldn’t be getting paid the amounts of money they receive. Players are eligible to be paid what their market value indicates but should keep THEIR POLITICS in perspective and to their own time.

JJ Johnson-Smith
2 months ago

American Sports Fans don’t CARE what color an athlete is, or what their views or politics may be. What we DO care about, is how they play the game, what kind of message they send our young people, and how they represent our schools, states, and country. They are paid millions a year to fulfill those few expectations, and they can no longer do even that much? Athletes and Celebrities need to count their blessings, blessings they could only enjoy in America and nowhere else on earth. They need to SHUT UP and do what we pay them to do, and keep their ideologies to themselves.

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