Politics and Sports: Keep Your Hands Off My Football

Politics and Sports: Keep Your Hands Off My Football

When did sports get so political? When did ESPN become MSNBC? When did Colin Kaepernick become Mahatma Gandhi? I love sports. I always have. Growing up, I played every sport I could. Michael Jordan and Bo Jackson posters adorned the walls of my room. Sports remains my passion and for two decades has been my career. I love that sports allows us a break from
daily worries, to lose ourselves in the game – where the rules are clear, where
talent reigns supreme, and surprise is always possible. And I love sports not only for my own selfish
reasons, but for what it does for the nation. Sports brings together people of all backgrounds
to, you know, “root, root, root for the home team.” No other form of entertainment does this. Sure, a movie
might be great, but you don’t see Democrats and Republicans hugging and high-
fiving after watching Tropic Thunder. I’m not done. Sports are a living civics lesson. Think about it. Every team represents its community – a
city, a college, a high school. It is, after all, the New York Yankees. The player who wears the team
uniform represents that community. ‘’
Now let’s take it one step further: a soldier, also in uniform, represents his
country. He is a member, in effect, of the nation’s
team. The flag and the anthem
are symbols of that team. That’s why every professional sports event
in America begins with the National Anthem. When you stand for the Anthem you are not
only cheering for the home team, but for the nation. In short, we begin every sports contest united. Then, of course, it’s game on. But the lesson has been taught. Unfortunately, the unifying power of sports
is being trashed. Who is responsible? The worst culprits are, ironically, the very
people who cover sports in the first place – the sports media. How did this happen? There are, of course, many factors. But a good place to
start is with four letters: ESPN. 24/7 sports news and
highlights — every fan’s dream. That is, until a few years ago. That’s when ESPN realized that it was losing
its clout. Their answer? A new approach: Sports mixed with politics. ESPN replaced ratings bonuses with diversity
bonuses; gave “woke” analysts like Jemele Hill, Max Kellerman, and Bomani Jones
their own shows; and an anti- American former backup quarterback, Colin
Kaepernick, more airtime than he got playing time. And because ESPN leads the field, much of
the sports media followed suit. The result? When you go to the sports section of USA Today
or Yahoo or even Sports Illustrated, you’re as likely to read about
players’ thoughts on the President as you are about their thoughts on the game. Here’s how insane this has gotten: In August
2017 ESPN pulled 40-year-old Asian American play-by-play announcer Robert
Lee from calling a University of Virginia college football game in Charlottesville,
Virginia. Why? Because in the wake of the violent Charlottesville
protests surrounding the removal of the statue of Confederate general
Robert E. Lee, ESPN didn’t want to “trigger” its viewers. So, an Asian American named Robert Lee couldn’t
comment on a game because of incident involving a
statue of Robert E. Lee. No, I’m not kidding. You’d think that sports reporters, the guys
who eat, drink and sleep sports, wouldn’t put up with this nonsense; that
they’d know politics has no place on the field. But you’d be wrong. They’re just as political as their news
desk colleagues. Why? Because they’re afraid of being called racist
or sexist, because they want to be friends with the athletes, because they want
to think of themselves as “serious” journalists, and because they come from the
same journalism schools as the political reporters. And because, yes, they’re overwhelmingly
on the left. Sorry, that’s just a fact. Over 80% of sports journalists, according
to a survey from The Big Lead, voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. Less than 4% voted for the other
candidate – you know, the guy who won. And do we know who those 4% are? Of course not. They want to keep their jobs. So, how’s this new business strategy working
out for ESPN? Since 2011, the network has been losing about
2 million subscribers per year. It hasn’t turned out any better for the
NFL. The league has lost nearly 20 percent
of its viewership since 2016. But you don’t see me celebrating. We need sports. We need that break from our everyday cares. We need its unique ability to unite our communities, our nation. We need the civics lesson. What else brings Americans together? It certainly isn’t politics. I’m Clay Travis, host of Outkick the Show,
for Prager University.

100 thoughts on “Politics and Sports: Keep Your Hands Off My Football

  1. Sports were ruined when you let the minorities take over
    Why can’t everybody just play, fans enjoy & go on with your lives
    Woke is not a proper word

  2. Anti American because he's practicing his first amendment rights of free speech right? Anti-American because he decides to use his platform for something he believes in right?

  3. Just involving the national anthem at all makes it political. If you put your hand on you're heart and stand for it, you're pro America and if you don't, you've got some beef with America. That difference is called politics and by demanding everyone stands and puts their hand on their hearts for the anthem is pushing beliefs on certain people like Kaepernick that don't agree with those beliefs. So get rid of the national anthem and then you can complain if politics gets involved with sports

  4. We don't need sports, really. Not on the level it's become. High school districts are building $80 million stadiums in my state (Texas). For HIGH SCHOOLERS. You'd think $80 million of public money can go to other things. People won't even go to church on Sundays because of Football. Sports needs to remain a simple entertainment, not something that consumes ones life.

  5. to you it might just seem like politics, but to many who arent privileged, oppression plagues their every day lives and cannot go ignored.

  6. So this isn't really about separating sports from politics, but just from the politics PragerU doesn't like. What does the military have to do with football?

  7. Here's my opinion on Kapranik,
    I don't like how he takes the knee but honestly it's not that big a deal, it's a form of peaceful protest that's getting alot of people talking. Not to mention that it's protected by the 1st amendment an amendment our soldiers fight to pritect, so our soldiers fight for his right to do this.

  8. No we don’t, we need to fight back just as the democrats do. Companies fear the liberals, they need to fear the conservatives!

  9. I was at a middle school basketball game today and two of the girls started kneeling like they knew what the point of it was 😂 omg

  10. So sports weren't political in 1936 when Jesse Owens did a long jump and a 200 meter sprint in front of HITLER in Berlin during the WORLD Olympics???? 🤔

  11. If you want a break from everyday cares it'd probably be best to turn off the TV altogether rather than expecting people to not use their right to an opinion…

  12. Politics aren't exactly what's divisive. It's the fear of being offensive or discussing hard topics that's more of the problem I'll say…

  13. PragerU has an annual budget of $10 million dollars, and a good chunk of the money comes from the Wilkes brothers, conservative billionaires. The Wilkes brothers made their money from fracking, which frankly says a lot. They also supported Ted Cruz and funded many conservative super PACs. The rest comes from either smaller donations, or the shop they run.

  14. Lebron James and Kevin Durrant tried to get political with the "Orange MAn Bad" narrative but it was an epic fail 😛
    Nobody cares about their political views. It's not what made them famous in the first place.

  15. Another hot take from PragerU. Sport has always been political, from the Ancient Greeks using it to promote unity between city-states, the "bread and circuses" of Rome, Adolf Hitler using sport to promote his Aryan race, to Mohammed Ali's fierce political activism.
    For a channel that claims "the left" wants to erase history, you seem to have very little understanding of history

  16. "Keep politics out of sports and sports reporting!" …Says the political "sports reporter" guy on the political YouTube channel.

  17. What this video fails to realise is that sport has always been political. It is especially ignorant of a sports commentator to deny the fact that sport has been political for a very long time


  19. American Sports have devolved into a celebration of anti-Americanism, and I blame one person, and it's not ESPN. It is THE FANS.

    The fans could stop all this anti-American crap tomorrow, but they don't.

  20. Same people who hate SJWs and preach about how bad political correctness is, get triggered by Kaepernick and people supporting him on sports shows

  21. Sports r dumb but they r over politicized. The concept of sports news is dumb too. Chill out with the kneeling thing too. Moral of the story this was dumb

  22. i got this as a skippble ad, and this is amazing! After the first few seconds, I didn’t even think about skipping the ad.

  23. "When did sports become so political?" Probably when they became sponsored by the US Army. Or back when Cassius Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali, or when the Olympics became a thing.

    But I guess now it's a problem because whiny right-wingers are mad that the football man is saying things they don't like.

  24. I've noticed Chess coverage is more about drama than Chess itself. You don't really have heroes anymore who you can vicariously live through and aspire to other forms of greatness yourself.
    Edit: I just realized Tom Brady is one such hero however they don't wax poetic on greatness and instead do things like talk about Deflategate.

  25. Saw this as a commercial and just had to say… athletes have ALWAYS made political statements. I imagine this would've been the same sentiment when Jackie Robinson played major league ball in a previously whites-only league, or in the 1968 Olympics when Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists on the medal stand. (Or maybe it's just because black Americans had a point to make and a platform to make it on that white Americans were paying attention to).

    This video's disingenuous "oh it was always awesome BEFORE an athlete had something to say" tone is insulting, especially when I would LOVE to see an add or video about how Ted Nugent should shut the hell up because, after all, HE'S AN ENTERTAINER TOO. Maybe get on that one and I'll give you some props, but until then, your out-and-out stupid propaganda meant to stir up some anger in – let's just say it – WHITE PEOPLE is disgusting and you should be ashamed of yourselves.

  26. Nice video kind Sir. Agree 100%. My son Derek, who is 12, loves your channel, Mr. Prager. He actually introduced me to you guys!

  27. Everybody that makes the claim that ESPN and the NFL are losing ratings because they are left leaning should answer one question….. Why is NASCAR losing ratings ??? THEY ARE DEFINITELY NOT LEFT LEANING.

  28. Screw the NFL and ESPN.  I have not watched a game in going on two years.  I MIGHT start watching next year.  After 22 years in the military will you knell during the national anthem it is offense to me.  I don't care that "that's not what its about, etc." That gesture is offense to….ME.  You do something offensive to ME then I will not support their organization.  Accordingly, I have not watched an NFL game, listened to it on the radio, or watched any Sports programing on the NFL going on two years.  They can pound sand.  Roll Tide! (Oh….before you ask, if college football players start taking a knee during the national anthem…I won't be watching their ass either).

  29. My family stopped watching the NFL at the onset of all of this and I can honestly say we miss it terribly. But none of us can stomach the garbage being flouted, so we no longer tune in.

  30. So he explains the political utility of sports and then says sports shouldn't be political? Someone just sounds triggered to me lol :p

  31. Sports also point out the inherent relative nature of morality.😁 The fans of the team that win are happy, it was a good day! The fans of the team that loses are unhappy, it was a bad day! Who's perspective on the game was absolute good or bad? It's entirely dependent and relative to what team you root for and if that team wins or not.

  32. A sport I enjoy with little politics injected is horse racing. Still love football and basketball, just turn off the major media sound or play local radio announcers, particularly my favorite college stations

  33. Ok… I'm honestly hoping that they had to pull "Robert Lee" because.. to be honest, most jocks and people really interested in sports aren't the brightest. On the other hand, saying players can't have opinions is kinda dehumanizing, I mean, if you want to know an actor's political beliefs, why not a sports player? You will listen to any other pop media person, no matter their reasoning, or if you agree, just to see what they think (though it might piss you off from time to time). I just think it's not quite a straight-forward conversation. And where did you get "they dont want to be seen as racist or sexist"… But…. what… why… that wouldn't ever be an issue… it wasn't…

  34. 4:27 I don't think there are that many journalism schools… I mean, more than one type of journalist will go to the same school… I don't understand people's logic sometimes… If you look to the left, ignorant… I don't have a word to describe that actually… and if you look to the right… straight up idiots. How has humanity striven as a species…

  35. Same happen on south korea media
    comedians no longer make people laugh just they want clapping
    Movie,drama,news,yutuber act like leftest propaganda and government regulation free speech

  36. Maybe prager-U should stop politicizing my sports. Pretty pretty please. Both left and right should stay out of my sports and that includes you prager-U yes people should be able to talk about it, but I don't want businesses like you go telling me what to support in sports.

  37. What a galaxy brain take to point out how the similarity between sports teams and governments makes sports inherently political, then say that sports aren't political.

  38. If I ever own a professional team owner my rules will be if you don’t respect the anthem you will not play if you have a problem you can leave and lose your millions dollar pay check

  39. So true I didn't watch one second of Super Bowl this year do to this political crap in my own form of taking a knee.

  40. The thing about sports is that most don't even think in terms of race when watching sports. It's the closest realization of MLK's colorblind society that we've ever seen. And that's why the left hates it. It threatens their identitarian power play.

  41. My viewership of ESPN has gone WAY DOWN. I only ever watch it if there's a game I ABSOLUTELY have to watch. Don't watch sportscenter at all anymore. My life is better because of it.

  42. Athletes, like celebrities, need to know… we don;t care about their political ideologies. They're not politicians.

  43. Kaepernick is not "anti-American"! Also, politics has been involved in sports for decades! Study it. This new right wing propaganda is expressly false.

  44. The same scenario effects sport and sports coverage here in the UK. It is bad enough on TV. But a few months ago I went to a football (soccer) match here in the NW of England and the rainbow flag of the gay rights movement was situated behind the goal posts. People are increasingly being told in the media that if they do not find women's football, cricket, tennis, golf, rugby etc. as exciting as men's they are suffering some sort of crisis of masculinity. It is becoming very tiresome.

  45. You kidding me sports divides us even more we want to beat eachother over the head on what team is better

  46. Hey, Clay….no, we DON'T need sports. I know YOU don't have a problem with it. I have no idea who you are or where your sports show plays, but apparently your love is for the money. But take the average American worker, a sports-addicted drunken slob who cheers for cry-baby players who are upset that they can't live on $15M a year……for half a year or less. Here I am finally retired but struggled every day to work and get a roof over my head and food on the table. I'm supposed to cheer these bozos? Nope, and that's why I gave up sports years ago.

    And believe me, it doesn't unify the nation. Take a look at the crowd at any sporting event, be it baseball, football, basketball, etc. Look who's footing the bill! How many blacks do you see in the crowds supporting a team? And of course, we're all no good and racist say the players, but without us buying the tickets they wouldn't have a pot to piss in. It actually continues to advance the divide started years ago.

  47. Woke-&-Broke, the liberal delusion of attempting to bend reality to their viewpoint instead of the other way around.

    Folks, that is a mental illness.

  48. Sports has always been political. To name a few Jack Kemp, JC Watts, and Jon Runyan. All sportspeople who went into politics. (all Republican btw)

  49. Sports is the one time when our differences vanish. It doesn't matter if we right or left or in between. In this way sports is a glue that binds us together in a real way. And it's why almost all people so viscerally reject it when others try to take away this special aspect of sports by injecting politics into them.

  50. Wow.. this exactly why Amerikkka still has a racism problem.

    NFL has lost most of it viewers due to Kap being white balled and people have a right to determine what organization they support.

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