The ESPYs Smear Fox's Will Cain as Sexist as ESPN Chooses Politics Over Facts

(AP Photo/David Kohl, File)

Remember the days when ESPN did sports and entertainment? You could tune in and watch people competing – sometimes in silly events like hotdog eating, bowling, or maybe cornhole. Football, baseball, hockey, and basketball too. A time of innocence.

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From humble beginnings in 1979, ESPN grew exponentially. By the time Disney acquired ABC in 1996 and with it, ESPN, ESPN was a household brand. By 1996 the ESPY Awards show was three years old. The first show was hosted by Dennis Miller. Back in the 90s, it seemed most of America still liked to watch award shows. Alas, the ESPYs devolved into another social justice and political statement show, with an occasional award between political/social justice speeches and lectures about equity. ESPN drives Disney’s ad sales and leads the way in making social justice statements.

In 2015, when Obama was still president, ESPN started its shift from occasionally political to openly making statements.

Also in 2015, Bruce Jenner announced he was no longer a man. And ESPN dutifully awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award to Bruce, now known as Caitlyn. That same year, Mike Ditka made the courageous choice to say that Obama was an awful president. Within days he was off ESPN’s Sunday Countdown. No courage award for Ditka.

The following year, LeBron James and three other NBA players opened the ESPYs with a bald-faced fiction. The message was clear. Police were targeting and killing blacks. Dwayne Wade waded in:

“The racial profiling has to stop. The shoot-to-kill mentality has to stop. Not seeing the value of black and brown bodies has to stop.”

Seven names were mentioned by those four NBA millionaires.  The first two named were Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Only in the fevered minds of BLM acolytes were those two targeted by police. Brown was anything but the innocent teenager wearing a cap and gown holding his in the air pleading “Don’t shoot!” Obama’s own Justice Department found that Brown was a violent aggressor.

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Who wasn’t mentioned? Daniel Shaver. Six months before the ESPYs Shaver had been unjustly gunned down by a cop while Shaver was on his knees begging the cop not to shoot. But Shaver was white. He didn’t fit the narrative. Statistics didn’t matter. The facts didn’t matter. The narrative mattered. The ESPYs are much like the Oscars. A political platform disguised as an award show.

This year, the ESPYs used its multi-billion-dollar platform to weave another fiction. This year’s falsehood wasn’t nearly as profound as claiming that black men like Michael Brown were profiled and murdered cops but a falsehood nonetheless by mocking and maligning Fox personality Will Cain. The produces clipped his words and presented an out-of-context statement to make him look like a know-nothing ass.

No matter how it is packaged, Women’s soccer isn’t the same as the men’s game, any more than the WNBA is the same as the NBA.  The WNBA doesn’t even play with the same ball.

Eight months ago, I wrote:

The reason FIFA doesn’t pay out the same prize money for men’s and women’s World Cup is that on a grand scale, no one cares about the WWC. The world doesn’t care about it. Sure, FIFA would counter and claim that “over a billion people” watched the Women’s World Cup in 2019, but as the saying goes there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. That “billion” viewers included 342 million Chinese tuning in.

And “watching” for one minute counted as a “viewer.” I was one of those one-minute viewers. More telling is the total viewership in the USA. The WWC final in 2019 (I’ll bet you didn’t know it was USA vs Netherlands) was watched by about 15 million Americans. The Super Bowl generates an average of about 100 million. Your average NFL game gets around the same viewership as the WWC finals with an American team playing for the Cup. If our national team wasn’t in the finals, the viewership would have been about equal to a rerun of a Don Lemon show. No one would care.

If USWNT reaches only the knockout stage in 2023 the men’s prize money “split” will be about $500,000. Not per player. Total.

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Facts are generally not the rule at ESPN. How could they be when ESPN clearly fired some of its most effective talent in what seemed to be an “equity” cut? Merit be damned. Uncomfortable facts for ESPN’s political broadcast are even worse. How popular is FIFA’s WWC? FIFA is giving away tickets to this year’s Women’s World Cup. 20,000 of them. Why? To make sure the stands are full to give the appearance of sold-out venues.

My prediction holds. If the US Team fails to make this year’s finals, Americas will watch regional cornhole before they tune in for the Women’s World Cup. A large portion of the potential market lost interest when the US Soccer agreed to the extortion demand and agree to pay the Women’s team part of the men’s earnings simply for existing.  ESPYs can and will spin more political and social fictions but reality will eventually smack ESPN in the face when people tune out.

ESPN will gladly mock people like Will Cain. Facts be damned. It’s what ESPN does.

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