Here are a few questions I’d like to pose for today’s professional athletes: If America is a systemically racist country, then why are there so many black athletes making tens of millions of dollars? If America is such a racist country, then how did a black man like Barack Obama get elected for two terms as president? If America is such a racist country, then how are there so many black mayors and police chiefs?
Of course, I highly doubt that these rich athletes could answer those questions. But even so, they have turned their sports into social justice propaganda events, and they don’t even know what they are talking about. Of course, racism is abhorrent and should be eradicated, but just because there are a few racists doesn’t make the United States a “systemically” racist country.
This isn’t 1860 or even 1960. This is the year 2020. Never in the history of this country have minorities been as free—but you wouldn’t know that if you listened only to athletic stars.
Lebron James, the face of the NBA, opined that “I can’t even enjoy a playoff win right now, which is the sad part,” James said. “We are scared as black people in America … Black men, black women, black kids. We are, we are terrified. Because you don’t know, you have no idea. You have no idea how that cop that day left the house. You don’t know if he woke up on the good side of the bed, you don’t know if he woke up on the wrong side of the bed.”
Now, I’m not one of those guys who thinks that athletes can’t share opinions on issues just because they aren’t political commentators. After all, this is America and one is entitled to free speech. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t be criticized for their statements and behavior, and it doesn’t mean that one-time sports fans are prohibited from choosing to change the channel.
The NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL have all seen a ratings decline in the wake of their social justice protests. The opening Thursday Night Football game saw a 12% decline in viewership, no doubt in part because sports fans are sick of being lectured by millionaire athletes who can’t even articulate what the problem is, and they go about their protest by disrespecting the American flag and what it stands for.
For example, the Daily Wire reported that “during the Baltimore Ravens season-opener against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, all but two players stood for the playing of ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing,’ which has been dubbed the ‘black national anthem,’ while more than half of the players sat or took a knee during the National Anthem.”
This country has been so good to these athletes, and yet half of the Baltimore Ravens players can’t be bothered to stand for the anthem of the nation that has given them so much. The lack of gratitude is astounding. There has never been a more prosperous time for members of all races in this country, but you wouldn’t know it by watching the beginning of football games.
Americans are sick of these protests as evidenced by a recent Gallup poll that found that only 30 percent of Americans have a positive view of the sporting industry, compared to 60 percent the year prior. That is a staggering 30 percent decline in only one year.
The more that these athletes disrespect the flag and lecture us, the more of us are going to tune out. It is disappointing because many Americans, including myself, love to watch and play sports. These athletes are making it more difficult to tune in. America is more important than a game, and these major sports leagues are about to find that out the hard way.