The Weird Woke World of Sports for January 3, 2023

(AP Photo/Michael Perez)

Here at the sports desk located somewhere below the decks of the Good Pirate Ship RedState, we join the world in praying that Damar Hamlin makes a full recovery. ‘Nuff said.


A couple of other sports stories are floating about demanding attention, both decidedly falling in the “you can’t be serious — no, wait, you are?” category. The first emanates from Charlotte, where Panthers owner David Tepper reportedly has had a “conversation” with former San Francisco 49ers and current Michigan Wolverines head football coach Jim Harbaugh about considering the Panthers gig currently held by Steve Wilks, who took the job earlier this season after Matt Rhule’s dismissal.

It’s curious that Tepper is contemplating anyone other than Wilks for the position on a permanent basis (Wilks is operating under the “interim” title). When he took the job, the Panthers were 1-4 and nowhere near as competent as their record suggested. Since then, he has led a mediocre team to play far better than anyone believed possible, bringing them along in an admittedly atrocious NFC South to where they had a legitimate shot at winning the division until their New Year’s Day loss to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. No shame there. This should strongly suggest that Tepper ask Wilks what color he wants his office painted, as he will be there for a few years. Granted, Harbaugh has the name and track record, but rewarding someone already in the system who’s done the job of making a lousy team respectable seems logical.

The ESPN report mentions Wilks is a strong candidate to be given the job permanently, which is good. However, it also contains this note that … well, peruse it yourself.


Even if Tepper decides to hire Wilks, who is Black, he has to interview two other minority candidates outside the organization under the guidelines of the NFL’s Rooney Rule.

Read that again. Slowly. And then wonder once more how the NFL is genuinely astonished one and all don’t reverently genuflect at its prostrating itself before the altar of woke.

The other story that brings on more head-scratching than an elementary school lice infection comes from the United States Soccer Federation, those economic geniuses who have decreed that the women’s national team should earn as much as the men’s national team despite bringing in a minuscule fraction of the men’s team generated revenue. In its ongoing effort to champion all women, it has launched an investigation into men’s team head coach Gregg Berhalter over a physical altercation between him and his then-girlfriend …

… in 1991.

Berhalter was 19 at the time.

For his part, Berhalter says yes, it happened, and unsurprisingly there was alcohol involved.

Let us review. Two kids not yet legally allowed to drink had a few too many and got stupid together. 33 years ago. Said kids have since grown up, been married a quarter of a century, and raised a family together. For this, the USSF hires a law firm to investigate something freely admitted? Really? This is their priority? As opposed to, say, why the men’s team couldn’t score to save their lives at the World Cup? There is protecting women, and there is utterly vapid virtue-signaling. Guess which one this falls under.


The USSF statement is curious for another reason.

“Through this process, U.S. Soccer has learned about potential inappropriate behavior towards multiple members of our staff by individuals outside of our organization. We take such behavior seriously and have expanded our investigation to include those allegations.”

What does this even mean? Is it connected with the “investigation” of Berhalter? What exactly can USSA do about people not a part of the organization behaving in an undefined yet allegedly unseemly fashion toward staff? Other than letting them cry to HR that someone looked at someone cross-eyed or something.

Seriously. With organizations like the NFL and USSA in charge, no wonder people have difficulty retaining an interest in sports.


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