This seems like the quintessential Playpen topic.
First, given how Clay Travis has hackishly (and profitably, I presume) whined about politics affecting sports fandom for a while now, involving him in a discussion like this is irony so rich it’s almost beyond words. (And, no, for once, I do not digress.)
Second, I know Shapiro is young, but politics has been intertwined with sports in the modern era for decades: the 1936 Berlin Olympics, integration, Cassius Clay’s refusal to submit to the draft, the 1968 Olympics… hell, the list goes on and on. It’s nothing new.
Third, he doesn’t come right out and say it, but I strongly suspect what he really disapproves of are politics that don’t align with his impacting sports. Doubt me? I don’t follow every comment of his, but, as an example, I don’t think you’ll find a tweet or podcast where he complains about the NFL decision to have the players on the field for the Anthem.
Anyway, here’s an explicit example of that:
They’re making money stirring up the rubes, so I get it. That’s America. Besides, and to be fair, if a particular political expression intertwined with sports does comport with your personal leanings, at the least, it probably doesn’t interfere with your entertainment and may even enhance your experience.
But does what we’re witnessing now really affect your perception of sports and your level of passion for them? I mean, Herschel Walker and Mike Leach are Trump supporters and I couldn’t care less about that in terms of how I take their sporting accomplishments. But that’s just me; your mileage may certainly vary.
If you are a “shut up and dribble” sort, okay, but if so, aren’t you really saying that your selfish interest in being entertained is more important than the entertainers’ interest in expression of their beliefs? After all, they’re folks just like you — folks with opinions. Beyond that, do you expect the entertainers to buy into your point of view?
I’m not being snarky with those of you who disagree with me here. I am curious how far you are prepared to take it, though. Those of you who found fault with Kaepernick’s stance and mocked Nike’s support for it, how will Georgia’s and other college football teams’ embrace of Black Lives Matter (using that label in the larger sense of what is the subject of protests now) affect your desire to watch the sport going forward? Do Drew Brees’ comments about kneeling or the blow back Drew Brees received for them make you less willing to watch the NFL now? (I know, but work with me here.) Share in the comments.
Speaking of which, a gentle reminder about how should you interact with your fellow commenters seems apropos about now. Don’t make me come in there and get you.