The media will not leave us alone.
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Super Bowl 51 is now in the record books as one of the most exciting games since the inception of the series. The New England Patriots’ stunning come from behind victory of 34-28 over the Atlanta Falcons surprised a lot of people, including yours truly. Quarterback Tom Brady set many records, Julian Edelman made a miraculous catch, and the Falcons grasped defeat from the jaws of victory. There was also the moment afterwards where NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell awkwardly presented the MVP award to Tom Brady, thereby finally concluding the “Deflategate” incident.
All of this though pales in comparison to how the news media tried to politicize the event. In the week prior to the game, Brady was asked about his relationship with President Donald Trump, who is reported to be a friend. When he balked at answering questions about it, claiming his attention needs to be focused on the game, the press seethed at his lack of response. Then there was the half time show featuring singer Lady Gaga where the media desperately tried to decode some anti-Trump message from her performance. The press also scrutinized all of the new ads debuting during the Super Bowl, trying to determine if they had any hidden anti-Trump messages. Finally, Patriots Tight End Martellus Bennett reportedly said he would not attend if invited to the White House to honor his team’s Super Bowl win, claiming differences with President Trump. As to the latter, had this been tried during the Obama administration, the person would have been labeled a racist.
Instead of allowing viewers to enjoy the event, the news media politicized it thereby ruining what would have been a very entertaining show. Look for such shenanigans to continue, such as at the Daytona 500 on February 26th, Major League Baseball Opening Day (April 2nd), The Masters Golf Tournament (April 3rd – 5th), and the NCAA College Basketball Tournament (March 14th – April 3rd). Mixing politics with sports has become the norm and I believe it will ultimately alienate viewers.
There is also the problem of celebrity sports figures sharing their political perspectives, most notably the NBA’s LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton. As with entertainers, I am really not interested in the political opinion of athletes, whether they are pro-Trump or anti-Trump. It shouldn’t have a place in our culture. If I wanted to listen to such mumbo-jumbo, I would tune in Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Madonna, et al, but I do not respect their opinions either. I would much rather let them entertain us, then listen to their political pablum.
Frankly, wouldn’t it be nice if the athletes, entertainers, and the press would drop the political spin and just leave us alone so we can enjoy the show? Unfortunately, that doesn’t look like it will happen as they are determined to push the liberal agenda. I cannot help believe they are hurting their viewership and ticket sales as a result of all this.
It used to be sporting events were a haven from the nasty world of politics, but that seems to have radically changed with the 2016 presidential election. We better get used to it as it appears the politicization of sports is here to stay.
Keep the Faith!