Are we really surprised that these professional lecturers do not follow their own lessons?
Instead of a welcome release from a quarantine monotony, the return of professional sports has become a tiring lesson in patience. The NBA has been on a perpetual performance of activism and posturing for social causes, Major League Baseball has followed suit, with Black Lives Matter insignia on the fields and players kneeling for the anthem. And grudgingly the normally politics-free NHL has seen instances creeping into their league.
Not coincidentally, fan interest in the sports has waned since their return to play, and it was exacerbated last week. Following the Jacob Blake shooting, and the ensuing riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the NBA players elected to not play games for a few days, because they had not been activist enough, we presume. This led to actions taken in other leagues. The WNBA also decided to not play — and few people even noticed. An MLB game between the New York Mets and Miami Marlins had the players on the field and pausing for a moment of silence — and then they all walked off the field. Then the NHL, pressured by outside critics, elected to suspend the Stanley Cup playoffs for 2 nights.
I am still at a loss as to what this accomplished, aside from repelling fans. As I explored recently, the leagues have struggled with their ratings, at a time when everyone thought a captive COVID audience would be hungry for athletics. It is almost as if they all refuse to learn about the trap of Get Woke Go Broke having affected so many other businesses. Yet they persist in their resistance, as a league-wide meeting was held with NBA players during their downtime.
And regarding the NBA, note how I said ‘’posturing’’. This is due to a nugget of information to come out of the player meetings they recently held during their work stoppage. In speaking to the players, longtime league fixture and LA Clippers head coach Doc Rivers addressed them with a cold reality. Only 20% of the eligible players were registered to vote. With all of that activity, and all of the words of signaling outrage spoken at press conferences, 4 out of 5 players do not even cast a ballot.
What makes this all the astounding is some of the activist movements these players have been vocal about in their lecturing. LeBron James has an initiative he started, called More Than A Vote, where they want to bring in more poll workers and get out the vote initiatives in black communities. One of the demands the players called for during the work stoppage was to have team owners make their stadiums available for election polling use.
Meanwhile, the vast majority of these posturing ‘’leaders’’ cannot even be bothered to vote themselves.
This echoes another brash and brave social leader, Colin Kaepernick. After years of his grandstanding kneeling antics and disruption of the NFL, it led to drops in the ratings and the first decline in the league seen in decades. Then, in the course of his numerous insipid interviews, it was revealed that Kaepernick himself does not even vote. His claim — doing so would be hypocritical of him. Try making sense of this explanation from the bench rider:
“I’d said from the beginning I was against oppression, I was against a system of oppression. I’m not going to show support for that system. And, to me, the oppressor isn’t going to allow you to vote your way out of your oppression.”
So he did not vote by choice because the system would not allow him to vote…
This is the kind of logic you see from the NBA. The players are pushing numerous initiatives to highlight the import of voting. As far as these same players doing so themselves — not so much. They are all proving something we have known for all this time; these athletes who were able to get a college education for free certainly got their money’s worth.