God help us all as we have entered a new era, that of the athlete activist.
There was a time in American life when Hollywood celebrities could accept an award or speak in public without breaking into a lecture to the little people about how the world would be tolerable to them if only we would do as they say. But today, when Madonna suggests blowing up the White House, and Meryl Streep tells us not to watch martial arts, and half of Hollywood vows to move out of the country if a Republican is elected to the White House, we take such talk for granted as this is what the entertainment industry has become. Have you ever heard anyone say, “I wish actors and actresses would speak out more on social issues and politics”? Me neither, but as annoying and ineffectual as Hollywood’s proselytizing on whatever leftist cause is in vogue, we accept that it will happen, just like ants at a picnic.
And now in 2017 we’ve entered a new era, where America’s professional athletes have gone Hollywood and decided it is their duty not only to sink baskets or score touchdowns but to set us straight on who to vote for and what to believe. And so far, professional athletes who are speaking out on politics have proven to be as big of a collection of ignoramuses as their Hollywood counterparts.
The evidence of professional athletes’ recent descent into political madness is self-evident and illustrated almost every day. Say a team wins a championship and is invited to the White House to meet the President. This harmless little nonpartisan feel-good ceremony focused on team has now become a personal platform to protest the sitting Commander in Chief by announcing you won’t be making the journey to D.C. Currently the list of New England Patriots boycotting a White House visit is at a half dozen and growing. At the rate players are dropping out, I suspect this year’s NBA Champs, whoever they may be, will only have the team’s water boy and head coach present when they go to Washington. And maybe not even the head coach. Add in players taking knees during national anthems, Stephen Curry announcing this week that Donald Trump is an ass, and you get a clear picture of where this is all going.
This is a new phenomenon and until recently didn’t happen often, but now that the genie is out of the bottle we’ll all be nostalgic for the good old days in sports when all we heard from the athletes was what they thought of the game they just played. I could see this unfortunate day coming about 20 years ago, and I blame our good friends in the media for its arrival. In the ’90s, both Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan took flak from the media for not using their celebrity status to speak out on social issues impacting African Americans, code in media speak for blaming Republicans for all the ills associated with Black America.
Now two decades later the left has finally achieved its propaganda victory, now that as with most Hollywood activists most athlete activists are hard left. From Katy Perry to Colin Kaepernick to Angelina Jolie they are an interchangeable lot, in that they are nothing more than useful idiots for the left, no different from, say, Jean-Paul Sartre was when he spouted the virtues of the Soviet Union back in the day.
The frustrating part is that a large chunk of professional athletes aren’t liberal. Walk through a Major League Baseball locker room last season, and you wouldn’t have found many ardent Hillary supporters. A lot of professional athletes are gun owners and enjoy hunting in the off season and are big Second Amendment supporters, just the kind of people the left loves to hate. But that is the rub with being an activist, as it is a one-way street, with all the traffic coming from the left side of the road. The reason for this is simple. If you’re a conservative and speak out, like say Curt Schilling, you’ll be labeled as a bigot and homophobe, and your career will run into speed bumps that have nothing to do with your job performance. If, however you’re a liberal and speak out the media will laud you as “courageous, brave, compassionate, a pioneer.”
So, here’s to our new era, that of the athlete activist, and we can look forward to more post-game interviews where the star of the game uses his or her status to scold us on how big oil is killing polar bears. I miss yesterday already.