I am a sports fan. Probably too much of a sports fan. I am also a very proud American. I attend dozens of high school, college, and professional sports events a year. You note in passing something that has become deeply troubling to me.
“Sportswriters rarely touch issues like the antitrust exemption and the flag-waving militarism that drenches pro sports. (See Fox’s Super Bowl pregame show for one recent example.)”
So, why aren’t sportswriters addressing this? At many — perhaps most — of the sports events I attend, I hear a variation of this prior to the national anthem: “Ladies and gentlemen, please rise to honor our flag and the men and women of our armed forces….” [Again, some version of the sentiment, not always those words.] As someone who served my country for over 30 years, I am offended by this notion. It is our country’s national anthem, not our military’s theme song.
Why isn’t this troubling to the sportswriters that you describe as having immersed themselves in liberal politics? Why don’t they tackle it, to link back to your Super Bowl example?
Heck, why isn’t it troubling to all of us, military and civilian alike? I don’t think anyone in our armed forces believes that the anthem is dedicated to them, yet somehow sports events have decided that military honor guards, military aviation flyovers, and other martial elements are required accessories to the traditional expressions of pride in our country.