Life can be hectic. The important things–studying for tests to maintain a certain GPA, paying off a mortgage, spending time with family and friends, working hard at a job in order to put food on the table, etc.–take up the majority of our time. For many of us, the sports realm is one place we go to take a break from the real world, relax, and just “chill.”
For years, ESPN has maintained a chokehold on sports media. As kids growing up, my friends and I would sit around and watch SportsCenter, the highlight-driven daily television show which helped propel the company’s popularity. Today, times have changed, and so has ESPN.
It’s no secret that ESPN is losing subscribers and viewers at such a ridiculous rate that they recently had to lay off at least a hundred employees, many of whom were household names who had been at the company for years. No doubt the success of streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime has contributed to many people cutting the cord on traditional cable packages; however, I think the company’s decline can be more so attributed to its constant intertwining of sports and liberal ideology.
Not only does ESPN mix sports with politics, but they are completely one-sided. They attribute unwarranted coverage to any story which falls in line with their agenda. Remember Michael Sam, the former Missouri Tiger football player who came out as gay heading into the 2014 NFL Draft? ESPN continued to cover and promote this guy all the way through the summer and into the preseason. Sam’s NFL career ended in October 2014 after he was cut from the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad. I have never seen a football player fresh out of college who didn’t even make a team’s final roster garner that much media attention.
Then there’s Caitlin Jenner. Jenner was awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award in 2015, an award previously won by Michael Sam in 2014, after transitioning from a male to a female. In my opinion, the most disgusting part of the decision to select Jenner for the award was that Jenner was picked over Lauren Hill and Noah Galloway.
For those who may not know, Lauren Hill was a college basketball player at Mount St. Joseph University who was battling brain cancer. Hill passed away in June of 2015 leaving a legacy that truly defined “courage.”
Noah Galloway, a war veteran, lost most of his left arm and most of his left leg while fighting for our freedom in Iraq. Despite his injuries, Noah didn’t allow them to debilitate or define him. After his service, Galloway competed in various extreme sporting events and even saw success on the popular TV show, Dancing With the Stars.
See the comparison between Jenner and the likes of Hill and Galloway? I don’t either.
Former MLB All-Star pitcher Curt Schilling was fired last year by ESPN after sharing a Facebook post regarding North Carolina’s HB2, commonly known as the “bathroom bill.” The bill mandated that all people at government-run facilities use bathrooms and locker rooms which matched the gender on their respective birth certificates if the rooms in question were multiple-occupancy. Because of Schilling’s decision to speak out against the political correctness of liberals surrounding this issue, ESPN chose to cut ties with him.
As long as employees toe the company line at ESPN, they will have nothing to worry about. A perfect example of this blatant bias came to light during Colin Kaepernick’s infamous national anthem protest. When most of ESPN’s on-air personalities began to parrot each other in their support of Kaepernick, Paul Finebaum had the gall to suggest that black people were not being oppressed in America. Just when I thought someone on this network had a spine, Finebaum apologized soon after on SportsCenter in a way that appeared almost self-loathing. This man, in his apology, pulled a complete 180, even saying, “I made a terrible mistake in trying to express a feeling I had no right to express.”
No right to express your feeling that America is not currently implementing any process which systematically oppresses black people? No right to express this view? I lost all respect for Finebaum and ESPN when I watched him grovel on-air in a self-deprecating manner which was, to be honest, difficult to watch.
Since these instances, I have distanced myself from ESPN, especially the talk shows, only tuning in to watch a live sporting event of relevance. While it’s obvious ESPN and the majority of sports media lean heavily left, I still like to watch sports shows and listen to sports talk from time to time. Lately I’ve broadened my horizons and found a few different sports anchors and shows which don’t attempt to insult their viewers by slamming them with the same liberal tripe over and over.
I know there are many sports fans who are sick of most of the “sports” news out there, so I figured I’d give you guys a few names of sportscasters who will actually provide refreshing takes. By no means are the following individuals card-carrying conservatives, but they do think independently and provide unique perspectives on issues which is something you’d never find at the echo chamber that is ESPN.
- Clay Travis– A former lawyer, Travis founded the website outkickthecoverage.com in 2011. He has a radio show of the same name on FOX Sports Radio and often appears on Fox Sports 1. He also does a podcast, Outkick the Show, which is not restricted by the FCC.
Interesting Fact: Clay Travis recently challenged Shaun King (Yes, the same Shaun King who TCU, in its infinite wisdom, paid to come to Fort Worth to indoctrinate its students) to take a DNA test to prove he was at least 25% black. If it turned out King was 25% black or higher, Travis would donate $50,000 to Colin Kaepernick’s charity. If it turned out King was less than 25% black, he would owe nothing other than an apology to the American people for lying about his race all these years.
- Jason Whitlock– Whitlock is a co-host on Speak for Yourself on Fox Sports 1 and writes for the Wall Street Journal. He previously did two different stints at ESPN. He has recently spoken out about ESPN’s decline being a consequence of their lurch to the left.
Interesting Fact: Whitlock has called out Lebron James for embracing victimhood and invoking Emmett Till when the gate of Lebron James’ Brentwood home was allegedly vandalized with a racial slur.
- Chael Sonnen– “The American Gangster” is an MMA fighter and former UFC middleweight title contender known for his trash talk. Regarding verbal and mental warfare, he was Conor McGregor before there was Conor McGregor. On his podcast, You’re Welcome, Chael regularly provides interesting points of view on a myriad of subjects and also hosts very entertaining guests.
Interesting Fact: Earlier this year, Chael was fired on Celebrity Apprentice for deliberately cutting his team’s computer cord in an attempt to gain more time to complete a task.
- Colin Cowherd– Cowherd is a co-host on Speak for Yourself on Fox Sports 1 and hosts his radio show, The Herd, on Fox Sports Radio. The Herd is also broadcast on Fox Sports 1. Prior to joining Fox, Cowherd worked for ESPN. He does a great job of making compelling comparisons such as juxtaposing situations in the sports world with circumstances in the business world.
Interesting Fact: Cowherd was friends with current University of Florida head football coach Jim McElwain back when they attended college together at Eastern Washington.
Each of the individuals mentioned above are just that–individuals. While everything they say may not be agreeable, you won’t hear the same pablum from them as you would from many others in sports news. In a world with so many choices around us, there is no need to feel pigeon-holed when it comes to methods of receiving information or being entertained. If we are going to devote part of our day to a podcast or television show, it might as well be one based on original thought that is free of liberal dogma.