Jet-setting tennis pro Serena Williams, the insulting LeBron James, cop-hater Colin Kaepernick and the gymnasts who exposed former U.S. Olympic coach Larry Nasser are the sports heroes of 2018 — in the progressive view of USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan. The gymnasts are no-doubters; the others are highly questionable.
" ... I think we’ve discovered what they’ll be talking about in 50 years," writes Brennan, a hardcore leftist whose year was marked by attacks on Republican President Donald Trump and Congressman Jim Jordan along with praise for sports lefties. For the next half-century she envisions observers idolizing "Athletes who dared to speak out against all odds, and the changes that came from their heroism."
One of them will be Williams, a multi-, multi-millionaire who became a first-time mother 16 months ago and can obviously afford any help needed for her child as she plays the worldwide tennis circuit. For losing the U.S. Open, and during an emotional explosion, blaming it on sexism, Serena (see photo of her argument with U.S. Open officials) is "the face and voice of working moms." Though she has no idea what it's like for working moms struggling to make family life and their careers work. They're the embodiment of working mothers, not someone with incredible privilege and resources. Brennan never mentioned that Williams' embarrasssed herself at the U.S. Open.
Brennan is also on a crusade to glorify Kaepernick, a non-athlete in 2018, and puts him on a level of heroism with the gymnasts who exposed Nasser's crimes: "Combine the gymnasts with Nike’s support of Colin Kaepernick and his campaign against social injustice, which did the impossible and quieted the previously un-mutable Donald Trump ... ." She believes that Kaepernick will also stand tall in public opinion for the ages:
"We don’t know exactly where the Kaepernick conversation will take us in 10 years, or 20, but as today’s more socially active youngsters age and begin leading the nation, it’s likely his name and what it represents will be a touchstone for them. Kaepernick is a lightning rod now, but it’s not difficult to picture a more demographically diverse America in 2068 gravitating to his story about remaining true to one’s beliefs while essentially becoming unemployable in a league afraid of social change."
The Washington Redskins are now Brennan's poster team for franchises that won't age well — for passing on Kaepernick after their top two quarterbacks were injured. "The NFL team in Washington needed a quarterback but wouldn’t sign Kaepernick, yet felt comfortable picking up linebacker Reuben Foster three days after he allegedly hit a woman. That truth is devastating in 2018, and it will only look worse as time marches on."
James is "a role model for kids who are growing up as he did," writes Brennan, who completely ignored the basketball star's recent stereotyping of Jewish people and insults of NFL owners for their "slave mentality" and white skin color:
“In the NFL they got a bunch of old white men owning teams, and they got that slave mentality. And it’s like, ‘This is my team. You do what the f—- I tell y’all to do or we get rid of y’all.’"
At last check, no NFL owner has gotten rid of the whole team. And James made news in 2018 for running the Lakers' offense without input from Coach Luke Walton. Yet we're led to beleve that this disobedient athlete will be a role model for the ages.
No matter how ridiculous, outrageous, insulting they are, Brennan says these are the athletes that people should look up to now and 50 years from now — for "speaking out and charting a path off the courts on which they play."