Conservatives Shunning Sports to Own the Libs are Dunking on Themselves
Stop me if this sounds at all familiar but the right wing has opened up a new flank in the culture wars, and yet again, the target of their spittle-flecked ire is a major sports league. After a slew of multinational, multibillion-dollar corporations located in Georgia expressed some mild concerns that a recently-passed bill would disenfranchise voters—and specifically Black Georgians—Major League Baseball decided to pull up stakes on Friday and move this year’s All-Star Game from Cobb County. (Reportedly, they’ve settled on Coors Field in Colorado, a state that boasts less restrictive voting laws.)
In response, diapers were filled. GOP politicians and various pundits decried the league for becoming “woke,” promising to excise the national pastime from their sports-watching diet and even calling for boycotts. On Tuesday, the Republican National Committee fired off a tweet accusing MLB of being in bed with communists, and former President Trump dialed up Newsmax to drowsily air a list of sour, fact-free grievances, including his difficulties figuring out which TV channels were currently broadcasting baseball games. This too, is hardly a recent trend. For years, the right has pitched a fit and swore they’d vote with their wallets whenever some brand, like Nike, for example, behaved in a way they found irksome.
Which sports remain, then, for a good, ethical conservative American to consume? The NFL’s out, according to those who nodded along dutifully during the five years Trump spent targeting football for having the temerity to offer tepid support of its majority-Black players. The same goes for the NBA, which was similarly the subject of much teeth-gnashing and garment-rendering by the dumbest and loudest voices on the right. I guess that leaves hockey among the four major pro sports, unless the NHL’s baby steps towards encouraging inclusivity crossed an uncrossable line.