It seems nothing, not anything, can happen today without it being politicized, exploited, and, frankly, tainted, by a cause. Invariably, there is victimization involved, and sports, like life, becomes one continuous political editorial espousing the ills of modern existence, the unfairness of life, and/or how blatantly unredeemable America is.
Where once we went to places like Yankee Stadium, Polo Grounds, or Ebbett’s Field (in this area of the country) to be entertained, and to have a respite from the cares of everyday life, now it comes to invade our entertainment. Television shows have become vehicles for this or that social experiment, and late-night talk is nothing more than left-wing bully pulpits.
Take Yankee Stadium for example, in the last few weeks, the venerable recording of Kate Smith singing “God Bless America” was deep-sixed. In her career, Smith sang some lyrics that today might be considered out of bounds. But the Yankees are trying to be “woke.”
So, they determined that in Monument Park – that sacrosanct baseball memory lane – a plaque went up memorializing the “Stonewall Riots,” that watershed event that began the gay rights movement. Whatever you think of that movement, gays, or riots, what does it have to do with baseball? It’s just pandering.
Then we have the most recent “victims” of oppression, the United States women’s soccer team. Evidently, they have a suit against their oppressors, the United States Soccer Federation, to get the same money as their male counterparts. “Equal Pay!” was the chant of the crowd after their win last week.
As with most things, bumper sticker chants usually only tell part of the story. Columnist Rich Lowery this week put it into perspective. It’s not as cut-and-dried as it seems:
“It is true that the American women, who sweat and practice as much as their male compatriots — perhaps more, given their superior results — don’t make as much. But the women’s game isn’t as popular or profitable, which fundamentally drives pay.
“The total prize money for the women’s 2019 World Cup was $30 million, with the champion taking away about $4 million. The total for the men’s 2018 World Cup was $400 million, with the champions winning $38 million.
“This seems blatantly unfair, until you take into account the vastly different viewership and revenue from the two events. FIFA raked in more than $6 billion from the 2018 men’s World Cup. The women’s 2019 World Cup has been projected, when all is said and done, to make about $130 million.”
So, in proportion to the amount of money taken in with television rights, ticket sales and other revenue streams, the amount seems commensurate.
Megan Rapinoe, the lesbian captain of the team, of course, knelt during the National Anthem to protest President Trump’s stance against gays. When she was asked what policies exactly he supported that were anti-gay, she was less than forthcoming. She hates Trump, and that’s all that really matters. She is a heroe to the left more for that than her sexual proclivities.
They won, that’s unfortunate in my eyes. I was hoping a good loss would teach her and her teammates some humility. No, I am not celebrating the World Cup win.
Of course, this all started with Colin Kaepernick, the second-tier quarterback, formerly of the San Francisco 49ers. It was he who began the kneeling during the National Anthem to focus on what he sees as police brutality against people of color. The NFL, made up of mostly Ivy League or Wall Street types, who are overwhelmingly liberal, and overwhelmingly chicken, refused to do something about it, and politics came into the sports arena.
The NFL is still smarting from the drop in ratings and attendance because normal people don’t see the country as the gulag that left-wing loons, like Kaepernick, do.
And his recent escapade, having Nike drop the Betsy Ross flag on a sneaker was proof positive that he’s not for equality or civil liberties, he hates the country.
Sports, watching, playing, enjoying is a break from the day-to-day struggles life brings. It is supposed to be a break, not another foray into political positions.
When we watch professionals we want to be entertained by the people who are the best in their given endeavor. We don’t want to be held hostage to their rants. They can have political positions, but paying customers shouldn’t be captive to them. And, their celebrity doesn’t give them license to hold us captive.
To paraphrase a book title by Laura Ingraham, we just want them to “Shut Up and Play.”