Pence and Trump didn't start the battle over the national anthem. But they may have just won the biggest current-day culture war in sports.
The left wanted to mix politics with sports right up until last Sunday, when Vice President Mike Pence left an Indianapolis Colts game at the sight of the kneeling players on both sides (the San Francisco 49ers are the most kneel-happy team in the league).
For years, sports media has enjoyed injecting politics into sports, but they didn’t seem to like Pence doing the same. Which suggests that their priority was never about covering the intersection of sports and politics, as they claimed, but rather the intersection of their politics and sports.
Sports fans, in large number, think of sports as solely entertainment and largely unifying. Sure, you may be a Clemson grad who hates all things Gamecocks, but for the most part, sports are what brings communities together for high school football, colleges together during NCAA Tournament runs, and diverse cities and entire regions together for pro sports success.
Everyone enjoys an inspiring story, and sports are chock-full of them. It can be the most uplifting part of your newspaper.
What disrupts our enjoyment of sports is divisiveness, but sports media has had no time for that complaint in recent years. This was another realm of culture to claim, so they’ve made things and more political, even against its better interests.
Sports Media Have Disdained Their Audience
In 2013, the National Journal studied 200,000 interviews and charted what sports fans liked, how they leaned politically, how many fans liked a certain sport, and how likely those fans were to vote.
The sports that skewed left were the WNBA, pro tennis, the NBA, soccer, pro wrestling, horse racing, UFC, and extreme sports. Only the NBA ranks among America’s most-watched sports.
Two were right on the line of bipartisanship: motocross and grand-am road racing (I don’t know what that is, and don’t care to look it up).
All other sports skewed right: the NFL, the MLB (the closest to the bipartisan line all these), college football, college basketball, NASCAR, rodeo, bull riding, drag racing, pro golf, IndyCary, high school sports, and the Olympics.
It would be wise to take this information into consideration, right? Maybe not preach liberal politics to right-leaning sports fans, particularly at a time when...Read More HERE