I don’t know about you, but I am sick up to here with just about everything being smothered in politics. It’s gotten to the point where you can’t take some solace or enjoyment in something without politics raising its now ugly head.
You like the beach? Uh-oh. Debris from too many people. Erosion from global warming. Pollution from oil and garbage, and more.
You like the woods? Uh-oh. Too many people trooping through and building cabins. Too many hunters. Too much, or not enough, logging. Too much trash, and more.
You like school and classes? Don’t ask. It’s filled with political slants on everything that used to be taught in a balanced manner.
Religion? Have you listened to your local pastor, rabbi or priest lately? Politics all the way.
News media? This is a lost cause. There’s no balance. There is no such thing as objectivity or honest reporting. Everything has a slant, and most of it is from the left. If you disagree, tough.
Entertainment? What’s that? There are people who consider themselves actors or entertainers, but they all have the same political point of view, and they infuse it into everything they do – whether scripted or ad lib.
Does anyone really care what some half-baked Hollywood actor thinks about international politics or Washington intrigue? Do we really need to be told again how Hillary should have won or that Donald Trump needs to be gone?
And then there’s sports. Professional sports used to be the major entertainment source for people of all ages. Whether baseball, basketball or football – or hockey, or golf, or soccer or even the Olympics – all of these were wild diversions from everyday life, in person or on TV.
Fans were loyal and fierce and didn’t care about the enormous salaries that many of the players took home. As long as they won! And when the teams won, they could be forgiven anything, even a rough lifestyle, violence, criminal activities and abuse of women.
Considering that estimates are that the NFL earned some $14 billion last year, you can see a lot is at stake. The players haul in their share of the loot; an average salary is nearly $2 million a year.
This is all to play a game! What do they have to complain about? It’s hard to pinpoint, but they’ve found something: the national anthem and the United States, the very country that allows them the opportunity to rake in the big bucks – even for the dumbest, most uneducated among them.
It started with refusing to stand for the anthem, allegedly because of police brutality and the alleged killing of blacks by white police.
It started in football and is slowly spreading to other sports. Management is scared to death – attempting to find some kind of balance between their own politics – usually liberal – and the politics of their fans – read that “customers,” who are very often conservative or, at the very least, don’t like having their flag and country insulted.
It’s not going to go away. Safety Eric Reid, who was the first 49er to join Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the anthem, says he and his teammates will continue their protests because of the “systemic oppression.”
If you thought that was the height of politics in sports – look again! The latest move by the 49ers takes it several steps further.
It has been announced that the team will partner with police unions from big cities in their efforts to further gun control and especially to outlaw “bump stocks,” which can up the shooting power of rifles.
The Bay Area News Group reported that team CEO Jed York said he’s not against the Second Amendment but “this is something that is common sense.”
The other issues at the news conference where this was announced on support for proposed federal legislation to outlaw armor-piercing bullets and gun silencers.
There were representatives from police unions from nine jurisdictions at the news conference – San Jose, Oakland, Santa Clara, New York, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Long Beach and Portland.
They all signed a pledge that is supposed to smooth the friction between police and communities that’s supposedly the cause of the player protests.
The 49ers have pledged $500,000 for an “outreach campaign” and public service announcements for support, and they say they plan to solicit support from other NFL teams and police unions.
It all may make the owners feel good and it may, for a while, pacify the league. And it may let the players pat themselves on the back for what they see as their “success.”
But I think it will backfire.
Fans do not want to be preached to when they shell out the big bucks it takes to watch a game in person or on TV or cable).
It has nothing to do with whether the “cause” is good and worthy.
It has to do with keeping “sports” what it has always been – a recreation – a diversion from the travails of real life.
Sports has been a means of spending some nonpolitical time in basic enjoyment.
I have no doubt as the airwaves and the fields become cluttered with partisan messages of any type, the audiences will diminish. They already have, and it is hitting the financial bottom line.
The PR is terrible and the owners will live to regret caving into the juvenile, self-important pseudo-political statements of their overpaid employees.
I note that through all of this, virtually no one has asked what the cop on the beat think of all this, especially since their injury and fatality stats are largely ignored.
Cops get killed too.
Media wishing to interview Barbara Simpson, please contact [email protected].