Politics has been injected into every single facet of Americans’ lives. One such avenue that has recently been the center of controversy is the sports industry.
Channels like ESPN claim to be an integral hub for sports fans around the world. Instead, they have devolved into a left-leaning political propaganda machine that puts politics before shots on goal, touchdowns, or batting averages. This was supercharged when players in the NFL started kneeling during the national anthem. Now, according to Sports TV Ratings, ESPN lost nearly 500,000 subscribers last month, a stunning amount!
There are multiple cases of politics being injected across ESPN, and each time it happens, more viewers turn away from the sports giant. Many would rightfully argue that the political injection alone is the cause for this number drop.
The biggest example of this is the way ESPN broadcasters responded to the national anthem protests in the NFL. It all started when former quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel during the national anthem last season to protest racial injustice.
Major controversy didn’t follow until the next season when Kaepernick wasn’t signed by an NFL team. Keep in mind, he couldn’t get signed after he decided to opt out of his current contract with the San Fransisco 49ers.
After the national anthem protests became a highlighted societal issue — especially since the election of President Donald Trump — ESPN seized the moment. The bold claims and overstatements started coming in full force.
Michael Wilbon of ESPN said to Dan Patrick that NFL owners who didn’t support kneeling players had the mindset of “a plantation owner.” As outlandish as it sounds, the claim was openly made on ESPN.
Many people were put off by the race-baiting tactics being used against NFL owners for being upset over the players’ disrespect towards the American flag and national anthem. Comments similar to this were made on multiple occasions, and it didn’t sit well with fans.
Then, ESPN analyst Jemele Hill made claims that President Trump was a “bigot” and a “white supremacist” although offered no facts to back up her claim. Unbelievably, she was not even suspended for making such brash, factless accusations.
She was later suspended for saying that people should protest Dallas Cowboy sponsors because the team owner, Jerry Jones, warned that any Cowboys’ players would be benched for games if they knelt for the national anthem. ESPN released a statement saying simply that Hill was suspended for violating their social media policy. Many found it odd that she was suspended for telling people to boycott sponsors while going undisciplined for calling the President a white supremacist.
ESPN is suffering in the ratings. Are the protests the cause of ESPN’s troubles?
Hill’s comments were found extremely offensive, and this is just one of many cases. This is considered acceptable behavior from a network that is supposed to center around sports.
If ESPN wants to see their ratings rise again, they will have to drop their political bias. If they get back to real reporting on sports, they may be able to recover some of the people who turned off their channel. However, some irreparable damage has been done to their network and their name.