Brett Favre Pegs Politics and Professional Sports, but Is Patriotism Politics, Too?

Miles Kennedy

 

Brett Favre has an idea: People don’t like politics poured into their sports.

He may be onto something.

As reported by The Washington Post, the Hall of Famer took part in a special “Town Hall with President Trump” edition of Sinclair Broadcast Group program America This Week, during which he asked the President about athletic promotion of anti-racism.

As published Thursday, here’s how the legendary quarterback characterized the state of things:

“The NBA and the NFL are struggling with lower ratings, as fans clearly do not want political messaging mixed with their sports.”

Nonetheless, it seems, Brett still believes game organizations should involve themselves in social change:

“So how should the leagues support and promote an anti-racism position without becoming political and alienating fans?”

The President replied thusly:

“People don’t want to see all of the politics. They’ve got enough politics, with me and with everybody else. And they don’t want to see it with football and sports on Sunday, or whenever they happen to be watching. … Football ought to get back to football, and basketball to basketball. And let politics remain separate.”

 

As noted by The Daily Caller, “Nobody enjoys [politics in sports], and the ratings reflect that fact. The TV ratings for the NBA Finals were atrocious this year and hit record lows.”

Indeed, in October, RedState’s Brad Slager offered the article “More Activist Lessons for the NBA to Ignore – Player Who Stands for Anthem Now Has a Best-Selling Jersey.”

And last month, RS Senior Editor Brandon Morse wrote the following:

The NBA has almost lost 50 percent of its audience since 2011. Meanwhile, Fox News has only grown exponentially.

Sports is supposed to be a unifying force that allows people of every walk of life to come together to enjoy something. It’s not a stage for political activism despite what some sports stars think. The NBA should have taken lessons from the NFL who lost 33 percent of its viewership in 2018 thanks to the kneeling controversy.

The plummet in interest even spurred a fight between Ted Cruz and Dallas Mavericks co-owner Mark Cuban:

Back to Green Bay’s iconic QB, not everyone was impressed with his question.

Here’s what the LA Times had to say:

[S]ports viewership is down across the board. Favre asked a garbage question because it clearly wasn’t about probing for answers, he was promoting the President’s agenda. If he genuinely wanted to know what leagues could do to fight racism without hurting the bottom line, he could have asked Trump directly when they went golfing together weeks before.

It followed with this:

Of course Trump — who took time out of the debate to give a white supremacy group a shoutout— has not shown a lot of interest in helping sports fight racism, so of course he would say, “I think that football ought to get back to football and basketball to basketball,” adding, “And let politics remain separate.”

Be nice if he followed his own advice.

The way the Times writer sees it, Trump wants the politics of people saluting the Stars and Stripes.

[T]he clearest illustration as to how Trump injects politics into sports came later in the conversation with Favre in which he claimed fans “want to have these players stand and salute, or put their hand over their heart, or at least stand for the national anthem and salute.”

Has everything become so political that…that’s political?

If so, we’ve got some major things to figure out — ones much heavier than running around and throwing a ball.

But maybe that’s why people love sports — it’s not supposed to be so weighty.

Especially in 2020, perhaps fans just want an escape from the news.

Are we set to truly see such a thing?

Time will tell.

Meanwhile, if we’re gonna mix athletics and politics, let’s do it with a potent punch.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m soccin’ it to ya (watch out for the bad sportsmanship at 44 seconds):

-ALEX

 

See more pieces from me:

More Sense, Less Insanity: Ice Cube Avoids Typecasting, Gives Great Advice for Life After the Election

Of Course: America’s First Known Murder Hornet Nest Appears, and It’s Big as a Basketball

Priorities: Awash in Problems, California Eyes Giving Power at the Polls to Younger Teens

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below.