Jay Maxson

Contributing Writer

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Thursday was just another day of progressive politics in professional sports. The defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors met informally with their former president, progressive Barack Obama, and some members of the team also met with their champion of "San Francisco politics," progressive Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

There's nothing like history in the making that also makes a statement against the scourge of toxic masculinity. It doesn't require a big, expensive Gillette-style ad campaign, either. It's the inclusion of male cheerleaders in the formerly all-female world of NFL cheerleading. And when the Los Angeles Rams take the field Feb. 3 for Super Bowl 53, two men will be there with them as members of the cheerleading squad.

South Dakota lawmakers are debating a bill that would require high school athletes to participate on the teams of their birth gender, and predictably the LGBT's media allies are weighing in against the commonsense measure. Gender deniers SB Nation Outsports and The Daily Beast denounced the proposed law, Senate Bill 49.

The World Series Champion Boston Red Sox are scheduled to visit President Donald Trump at the White House Feb. 15, prompting CNN and Newsweek writers to politicize the event and intimate that the team shouldn't show up. It's a "Big Decision in Beantown," reads the CNN headline. The Newsweek report focused heavily on Trump-era no-shows while ignoring athlete boycotts during previous administrations.

A couple days after Gladys Knight said she's returning home to Atlanta to restore the national anthem in the Feb. 3rd Super Bowl, Rev. Al Sharpton, of MSNBC, tells TMZ Sports an African-American entertainer is failing to fight Jim Crow at the Super Bowl. The halftime program, now a regular blight on the culture, has become a big political football with supporters of Colin Kaepernick boycotting in protest to his unemployment.

The "War on the National Anthem" has gained a significant new opponent: Gladys Knight, the high-profile African-American entertainer who will sing The Star Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl in Atlanta next month. Knight, a seven-time Grammy Award winner, says she will restore the voice of the anthem and attempt to unite America, which has been torn over anthem protests started in 2016 by former NFL player Colin Kaepernick. Knight is standing up to the criticism she's receiving, too.

The nauseatingly controversial Bob Costas, an eight-time National Sportscaster of the Year award winner, is leaving NBC. The New York Post's Andrew Marchand reports it is difficult for Costas and the network to find projects he feels passionate about and which fit into NBC's current properties. No wonder. Costas has, over his four decades with the network, demonstrated his passion is political lecture. He's worn out his welcome among sport fans who tune into sports broadcasts for sports and prefer that politics be left to the newscasters.

Soon-to-be former Oklahoma University quarterback/outfielder Kyler Murray, the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner, is weighing opportunities to play professional football and baseball. Instead of accepting the freedom of African-American athletes to choose the sport of their choice, New York Daily News sports columnist Carron J. Phillips sees Murray's declaring of the NFL draft as evidence of racism in Major League Baseball.

With a charge of racism Wednesday, ESPN TV's First Take talk program unofficially launched its third season of Trump Derangement Syndrome. All three members of the leftist-heavy program took potshots at President Donald Trump after he fed fast food to the national championship Clemson football team in Monday's White House reception. First Take has been battering Trump ever since he became president two years ago.

Before the national champion Clemson University Tigers' football team visited the White House Monday evening, the media echo chamber questioned whether the event should even take place during a government shutdown. After the champs had visited with the president and eaten fast food, the media lemmings transformed themselves into food critics. Sports Illustrated created a "BurgerGate" controversy by claiming the president had lied about how many hamburgers were catered. Yes, the media was that petty.

In her Sunday post on The Atlantic magazine's website, Jemele Hill makes a charge she can't support with the headline "The War on Black Athletes." She claims President Donald Trump is warring on black athletes, but she offers no broad-based arguments in support of her accusation. Hill's post is Part 6 in The Atlantic's "Unthinkable" series, "50 Moments That Define An Improbable Presidency."

This week's engagement of Tim Tebow demonstrated how judgmental media continue dismissing male behavior at both ends of the spectrum. Respectable Christian role models like Vice-president Mike Pence and Tim Tebow are often insulted for upholding honorable standards, right along with the disgraced abusers who spawned the #MeToo movement. While some media responded politely, Tebow's recent engagement also sparked another round of personal attacks by biased media who deem him "polarizing." None more so than from Deadspin's Tom Ley.

Following the end of the 2018 NFL season, left-stream sports media bitterly denounced the dismissal of five of the league's eight African-American head coaches. While these coaches' combined records with their respective teams was an icy cold 21-50-1, J.R. Gamble, of The Shadow League, said NFL owners "eradicated" most of the African-American head coaches this offseason.

Progressives in the sports media are among the strongest advocates of pay for college athletes. The New York Times has advocated for it. So has Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (in an article in The Guardian), and so have Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe of Fox Sports 1. After Monday's national championship football game, USA Today's Nancy Armour suggests the NCAA either gets with the pay for play times or a judge may it do it for the organization that governs university sports in the U.S.

Once again, the ever-restless Jemele Hill is expanding her social justice media reach. After talking her way out the door at ESPN last year, she is now planning to launch a new podcast on Spotify this March, reports Deadline's Dawn C. Chmielewski. Hill's psyched because she gets to curse on Spotify and says she can be even more thoughtful than she's been in the past. Which wouldn't be hard for this social justice lightning rod to do.

Big brash Charles Barkley went "snowflake" on Thursday evening's TNT Inside The NBA program. A discussion of next month's NBA all-star game in Charlotte and whom the fans will vote for starting positions sparked painful memories for Barkley of the 2016 presidential election. He likened his opposition to NBA fan votes to the voter mistake of electing Donald Trump's as president.

Monday night's national championship college football matchup between Clemson and Alabama goes far beyond football. To the USA Today sports staff progressives, it's a matter of red state teams from Alabama and South Carolina invading Hillary Clinton country when they square off at Levi Stadium in California's Santa Clara County.

On Thursday night, UCLA basketball legend and noted leftist Bill Walton (at left in photo) provided color commentary during the ESPN broadcast of the Bruins' first game since Coach Steve Alford was fired Monday. Play-by-play man Dave Pasch asked him who he'd like to see installed as UCLA's new coach, and as Cassandra Negley of Yahoo Sports reports, Walton aimed high in recommending former President Barack Obama.

African-American and progressive white writers are in full gripe mode over this season's firing of five black head coaches in the NFL. The combined records of Denver's Vance Joseph (appearing in photo), Arizona's Steve Wilks, Cincinnati's Marvin Lewis, Cleveland's Hue Jackson and the New York Jets' Todd Bowles was 21 wins, 50 losses and one tie. Records be darned, though, because it's a clear case of racism, and to The Nation's Dave Zirin, the support of President Donald Trump by league owners is also part of the story.

2018 was a Pro Football Hall of Fame induction year for former Baltimore Ravens' linebacker Ray Lewis. But the Awful Announcing blog shamed him for his faith, including him in its year-ender, "This Year In Hot Takes: breaking down the 10 hottest sports takes of 2018."