Jay Maxson is a Contributing Writer for MRC Culture
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Earlier this week, Newsbusters' Gabriel Hays exposed Golden State Warriors' woke coach Steve Kerr for saying nothing about China's brutal crackdown on freedom-seeking Hong Kong citizens. "If only he would be as circumspect when gun control or Donald Trump are at issue,'' Hays wrote. No sooner said than done. In a Thursday press conference, Kerr gave China another pass, ridiculed President Trump and condemned America for abuses and gun violence.
The NBA sure talks a good game about free speech rights ― out of one side of its collective mouth. Amidst China's seething anger over Houston general manager Daryl Morey expressing support for freedom in Hong Kong, NBA commissioner Adam Silver mildly defended the American's free speech rights. But on Tuesday night, two fans were ejected from an NBA exhibition game in Philadelphia for peacefully protesting against China. Talk about inconsistency.
The NBA isn't the only organization drawing criticism for the China-Daryl Morey controversy. ESPN now looks like the Worldwide Leader In Sports Compromisers, as its television commentators treat the controversy with kid gloves. Deadspin's Laura Wagner points out that ESPN has a working agreement with Tencent, a large Chinese internet company that covers the NBA, and may not want to anger its partners.
Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are pushing HR 40, a bill calling for a commission to study and develop reparation proposals for African-Americans. Burgess Owens, an African-American, former NFL player and now a Fox News contributor, testified against this bill in June and, a few days ago, he appeared in an opposition video on Prager University.
The Washington Post on Saturday continued its seemingly never-ending campaign against Indian imagery with a story on a St. Louis Cardinals pitcher who called the Atlanta fans' tomahawk chop "disrespectful." The Post frequently advocates against the Washington Redskins nickname, and with the Cards and Braves hooked up in a National League playoff series, writer Jake Russell lets St. Louis reliever Ryan Helsley pick up the anti-Native nickname drumbeat.
To left-stream media in Missouri, free speech extends to inflammatory actions by athletes, but not to Republican politicians who comment on those activities.
Wonder of wonders, the normally staunch and reliable USA Today defenders of all things LGBT actually allowed an opinion piece by someone opposed to transgender athletes taking over women's sports. Anita Y. Milanovich, a constitutional attorney from Butte, Mont., says transgender athletes deserve compassion, but they don't have a right to transform women's sports.
Monday's signing of the California Fair Pay To Play Act into law is generating overwhelming support from the liberal sports media establishment. Starting in 2023, state universities in California will begin allowing college athletes to profit financially off their names, images and likeness ― opposing NCAA rules and setting up a major conflict with the association that governs U.S. college sports. The Nation magazine's progressive sports editor Dave Zirin took advantage of the controversy to bludgeon the Republican Party and by bringing "plantation politics" into the issue.
Casting aside interests in fair reporting this weekend, ESPN W's feature story on U.S. track and field star Gwen Berry attempts to justify her shameful protest at this summer's Pan American Games in Peru. Inspired by her war veteran father and the late Michael Brown of Ferguson fame, Berry won the hammer throw and raised her fist on the victory stand during the playing of the national anthem.
Tom Brady's six Super Bowl titles are not the reason for his popularity, says a University of Rhode Island associate professor. His popularity is really due to white rage and white supremacy, says English Professor Kyle Kusz in a badly over-reaching chapter in a new book published by Macmillan. Matthew Impelli reports the story in Newsweek.
Everlast, the company name you see so often on boxing gloves, is throwing a big punch for transgender athletes. The 119-year-old fitness company has selected trans boxer Patricio Manuel as the face of its "Be First" campaign. Everlast and Manuel are getting very good press from Newsweek, CNN and CNBC.
Rice University's intolerant marching band turned Saturday's halftime performance into a protest against visiting rival Baylor University's biblically based policy on sexuality. Rice's Marching Owl Band and fans displayed anti-Christian bigotry and showed their support for LGBTQ students at Baylor who recently tried and failed to start an LGBTQ club there.
On Monday, Washington Post sports writer Kevin Blackistone declared that public protests and lawsuits are winning the war on words against the continued use of Native American nicknames and mascots. But it depends on what the meaning of "winning" is: Polling by his own newspaper says that opponents of Redskins, Indians and other such nicknames are losing badly in the court of Native American opinion.
Just forget about all that bad blood between Colin Kaepernick and football fans. The former NFL quarterback is a money maker and the league that made a record $15 billion last season is embarrassing itself by blackballing Kaepernick, writes Terence Moore of Forbes magazine.
College wrestling season is only weeks away, and on Friday ESPN intentionally withheld key information in its celebration of the sport's first transgender wrestler. Non-binary ESPN W writer Katie Barnes featured Mackenzie "Mack" Beggs, the girl who wanted to compete in boys' wrestling, but was forced against her will to win her last 92 matches and two state high school girls' championships in Texas. Beggs is now a member of the Life University men's wrestling team that will start its season in a few weeks, and Barnes is riding this story for all it's worth, skipping over some crucial facts.
In a New York Magazine story claiming the age of athlete-politicians is coming soon, Will Leitch not only endorses the idea, but says a presidential ticket of LeBron James and Megan Rapinoe is already underway. Leitch is jazzed about the idea of athletes seeking public office — particularly those who are aligned with Democrat positions.
With the NFL's quarterback injury toll mounting, the volume on media calls for Colin Kaepernick's return to the NFL has risen to a deafening roar this week. His apologists always call for NFL teams to sign him when a quarterback goes down with an injury, but they've really ratcheted up the anger and intensity in the past couple days. USA Today's Nancy Armour and ESPN First Take's Max Kellerman top the list of shrill media bludgeoning the NFL for declining to restore the anti-American Kaepernick's pro football career.
While beefing about Major League Soccer (MLS) banning the anti-fascist Iron Front banner at its games, retired NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar writes in a UK Guardian rant that curtailing the free speech of athletes or fans is not consistent with our vision of democracy. His is a slanted view of democracy, though, because he also says that if sports leagues allow fans to wear MAGA hats or play the National Anthem, then they must also allow all political activities.
Media disdain for model citizen Tim Tebow is so ridiculous that on Monday Carron J. Phillips, of The Shadow League blog, compares him to law-breaking actress Felicity Huffman. She got 14 days in jail, a $30,000 fine and community service for conspiracy to fix her daughter's SAT scores. Tebow, who angered the Left by going on ESPN Friday to say he opposes pay for college athletes, is "convicted" with Huffman, by Phillips, for the high crime of "white privilege."
Sports writers and sports casters are lining up to take a whack at Tim Tebow for his opposition to payola for college athletes. Several from ESPN alone took shots at him Friday. The topic flared up this week after California lawmakers unanimously passed the so-called Fair Pay to Play Act, which if signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom, will enable athletes to make money off their own name, image and likeness, beginning Jan. 1, 2023.