Welcome to The Worldwide Leader in Leftism
Have you watched ESPN lately? Have you watched MSNBC? Do you think the two are getting harder and harder to tell apart? I sure do, and that was the inspiration behind starting this social media presence on Medium, Twitter, and more.
I had a unique introduction to the immersive nature of leftist politics at ESPN. During the summer of 2016, as Colin Kaepernick began his social justice campaign, I was working from home. Over the course of the summer, I had read about the increased presence of leftist politics in the network’s programming, but I had no idea how bad it had gotten.
On one particular day, I watched First Take on the main network when I heard something odd. The debate centered on Colin Kaepernick’s recent trend of kneeling during the National Anthem. All of a sudden there was mention of “institutional racism.” My ears immediately pricked up; I remember it distinctly. I got up from the kitchen table and walked into the next room to actually stand in front of the TV, remote in hand, to make sure I heard correctly. To my unpleasant surprise, I had heard the TV perfectly.
Sure enough, the term was mentioned again during the segment. I was taken aback by how such a flippant term based in virtue signaling could make its way onto air at the Worldwide Leader in Sports. Perhaps the rumblings I had heard over the past few months, and apparent ties forming a pattern of politics on the network since the Caitlyn Jenner ESPY Award, were true.
I began to hear other peculiar terms for a sports network to use. I heard about “hate speech” and “homophobia” and “authoritarianism.” I also heard about Russian influenced conspiracy theories and white privilege. The odd thing was that all of these topics had absolutely nothing to do with sports; an entire segment would go by without any mention of a sport, an athlete, a game, nothing. Even when the social issue at hand could be somehow tangentially linked back to sports, it was a huge leap and didn’t impact any game at all.
To make matters even stranger, each political issue discussed on ESPN was done to an open and obvious leftist bent. To be clear, it was not even simply a “liberal” slant on the issues. It was pure, unabashed leftism. Identity politics, race baiting, and ad hominem attacks were the norm. Often the discussion mirrored what you would see on a college campus these days.
Leftism had somehow managed to be amplified in the wake of well-known instances of leftism at ESPN from years past. We were not far from Caitlyn Jenner sauntering onto the ESPY stage to accept the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. We were even closer in time to four future Hall of Fame NBA players opening up the next year’s installment of the ESPYs with an homage to Black Lives Matter, all the while blurring the line between law abiding citizens and those meeting their fate against the legally justified force. There are real through lines from the seeds planted during these awards show to the blossoming leftist politics seen at the network on a daily basis today.
And so I wrote. I wrote about the leftist nonsense that sprouted on ESPN airwaves. As I wrote, I became convinced that a thorough examination of ESPN’s leftism could be put on paper through various lenses. Little did I know that not only was the leftism blatantly apparent on television, but it was also doused all over ESPN’s website and its sister sites dedicated to identity politics and virtue signaling. It was . . . systemic.
More to come.