I think this article confuses two things: the politics of sports and politics outside of sports. Issues like the NCAA not paying their players (and punishing them for getting paid) are the politics of sports. Issues like Donald Trump’s election or Travel Ban are politics outside of sports.
Sportswriters writing about the politics of sports is both necessary and proper. And, their positions on these issues don’t line up with the American liberal/conservative breakdown (I don’t know why the author believes that being for paying college athletes is “liberal,” it sounds like free-market conservatism to me).
Sportswriters writing about politics outside of sports is, for the most part, foolish. Sportswriters, lacking expertise in this area, often make misinformed statements; particulary about conservative positions with which they are not familiar. In so doing, not only do they alienate their conservative readers, but they also cast doubt on the general trustworthiness/reliability of their reporting on sports.