"Sports fans made it clear in 2018 that they crave stories that go beyond everyday scores and highlights," writes The Sporting News in its recap of the year. Did sports fans really have a choice though? That's assuming an awful lot because woke sports writers and broadcasters are shoving social activism in the fans' faces, glorifying malcontents, obsessing on partisan politics and pushing radical progressive agendas on their audience.
Patting itself on the back, The Sporting News bragged about its refusal to stick to sports and vowed to continue to do more of the same in 2019.
No. 1 on the list of 2018 highlight stories is a lengthy puff piece on Colin Kaepernick, written by David Steele and titled "An Endless Fight, A Defining Choice." It started out this way:
Colin Kaepernick’s bold decision to kneel during the national anthem in protest against the oppression of black people did not happen in a vacuum — and it did not disappear as a topic when he disappeared from the NFL. Activism and sports have been part of the American landscape for more than a century, and the question athletes confront when choosing whether to raise their voices is an eternal one. Fifty years after Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their gloved fists on the Olympics medal stand, SN explored how athletes throughout history have wrestled with their platforms, their visibility and their conscience.
Steele said people spent the spring and summer picking sides and deciding whom to love and whom to hate, protesters or non-protesters. "Refuses to engage? Defers to authority? Goes 'All Lives Matter' or 'disrespecting the troops' or 'what about Chicago' or 'not the time or place to protest?'”
"And, in the background of all of that, again, is Colin Kaepernick. In a span of just 32 days, his journey of quiet rebellion traveled from his name being literally treated as a profanity by the most popular NFL video game to the industry leader in apparel endorsements making him the face of its milestone ad campaign."
Outside of a handful of MVPs and Super Bowl champs, Steele wrote — incredulously — "Kaepernick’s name will live longer than that of any quarterback of his era." Hear that, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning? Believe that, anyone?
The quarterback in exile is Steele's "face of athlete activism," and that’s largely because loud voices on both sides of the protest issue still invoke his name. Steele identified President Trump, the Republican Party, the NFL and its owners as those trying to squash Kaepernick's protest, which now continues through social media, his SJW surrogates and awestruck media lackeys.
Steele's one-sided story also lauded LeBron James, football players Eric Reid and Michael Bennett and others as heroes among sports activists. None are recognized as social justice warriors who have driven away fans.