Politics In Sports Is More Obvious Now

Living in a civilized society can be a drag sometimes because of too much politics in various aspects of our lives. Even families (especially big ones) have issues like this at times and what more in our surroundings. It is there in our workplace, school, and both private and public places we frequent. While some aren’t that pronounced, others can’t help but openly show and voice out their political opinions. However, there are areas or industries that try to be as neutral as possible. Ideally, the church should be one because of the separation of the powers of the church and the state aside from them supposedly being non-partisan.

Sports is another area that should be solely about sports only. This is the only avenue where they are supposed to highlight various sports events, sports personalities and athletes and their achievements, among others but it seems that the landscape has changed along with the times. Rather than talk about sports-related events and issues, sports outfits like ESPN are featuring more shows that are political in nature rather than sporty. Of course, there are people who like and dislike this change. However, considering how colorful American politics is these days, it is bound to happen for other industries to have a keen interest in the various happenings in and out of the country.

Bryan Curtis reports a striking scene in “Jemele Hill and the Fight for the Future of ESPN,” his essay on America’s premier sports network and its relationship with politics. The staff of SportsCenter, a group under fire for producing shows that are “too political,” are gathered together to decide the contents of the 6 p.m. broadcast.

“ESPN’s transformation is usually described as swapping a highlight for a debate segment,” Curtis writes. “But the changes are even more elemental. At the SC6staff meeting, everyone had their heads buried in their social media feeds, looking for content … Twitter is now the de facto coordinating producer of ESPN’s daytime lineup. The network’s old currency was a highlight of Klay Thompson shooting a three. The new currency — and, indeed, that day’s top offering — was a video of Thompson dancing like a dork in a Chinese nightclub. Programming ESPN is like curating your Twitter feed: Find the content that everyone’s talking about and craft the right joke.”

(Via: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/09/why-espn-is-more-political-than-before/540231/)

The rise of social media also has a big impact on all these changes taking place in a sports icon like ESPN. People converge in various social media sites rather than sitting in front of the TV. They rather take part in making things happen rather than watching them unfold in front of their eyes. This is especially true in the vibrant and always active world of Twitter where everyone’s opinion matter. No wonder ESPN take inspiration from it as to what topic to cover or what to feature in their today’s highlight or commentary.

ESPN host Jemele Hill is back on the air after calling President Trump a “white supremacist” who has surrounded himself with “other white supremicists” — remarks that earned her a reprimand, but not a suspension, from the network.

The Twitter-taunting and subsequent fallout comes as the sports network’s ratings have taken a significant hit over the last year, starting with players’ social justice protests at pre-game festivities.

ESPN host Jemele Hill is back on the air after calling President Trump a “white supremacist” who has surrounded himself with “other white supremicists” — remarks that earned her a reprimand, but not a suspension, from the network.

The Twitter-taunting and subsequent fallout comes as the sports network’s ratings have taken a significant hit over the last year, starting with players’ social justice protests at pre-game festivities.

(Via: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/shut-up-and-play-the-nfl-and-espn-need-to-get-politics-out-of-sports-or-risk-losing-millions/article/2634948)

However, there are instances when the world of sports dabbles with too much politics and people become irritated with it already. From hosts to athletes that blatantly make their personal political beliefs known to the rest of their viewers (and subsequently to the rest of the world), it creates more conflicts and fans the flames that contribute to a bigger nation divide.

At a time when we should all be united and helping one another make our nation great once more, we often only notice the bad rather than highlight the good and motivate the public to do more good and make this world a better place for the future generation. If there really isn’t anything newsworthy that is related to sports, then I think they should focus on doing better at their jobs and bring back some life to their dying industry.

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