Bias exists in many different forms: religious, gender, racial, ethnic and others. But all of these biases can be tied back to one realm – politics. Sticking with the political theme for this edition of The Troubadour, let’s talk about the relationship between sports and politics.
As much as we want to deny it, yes, politics does exist in sports. And, no, I’m not talking about the “coach isn’t playing this one player” kind of politics. I’m talking about the real kind of politics with Democrats and Republicans and all that jazz.
As much as we try to ignore politics by escaping into the realm of sports, it still shows up on the field and the television screen. But the political bias extends further.
As much as bias does not belong in the newsroom, the sports media can be one of the most biased areas of journalism when it comes to politics. The entire sports world leans as far left as possible, leading to a whole slew of other biases, especially against the Christian religion.
When the Supreme Court handed down the 5-4 decision in support of legalizing gay marriage in 2015, sports stars and media organizations alike erupted in celebration. ESPN published the best reactions in an article titled “Alex Morgan, Kenneth Faried, More React to Same-Sex Marriage Ruling.”
American men’s figure skater Johnny Weir (@JohnnyGWeir) tweeted, “Marriage equality in all 50 states! Congratulations America! Brimming with pride … ”
Soccer star Landon Donovan (@landondonovan) also tweeted his support, saying, “What an amazing day for our country. So happy for all the people who can all live their lives the way they want to. #proud.”
Not only do the sports media further the pro-gay marriage agenda any chance they get, but they treat gay professional athletes like messiahs. Take Michael Sam, for example. Sam became the first openly gay football player to be selected in the NFL draft, taken by the St. Louis Rams with the 249th pick.
The media took a liking to Sam’s story and his was the leading story on ESPN’s SportsCenter for a month after the 2014 NFL draft. A video of Sam kissing his boyfriend after being drafted played on repeat, causing gay marriage supporters to cheer while repulsing those in favor of traditional marriage.
Sam had mediocre talent at best and did not merit all the coverage that he received. By the end of the year, Sam had been cut by both the Rams and the Dallas Cowboys, indicating that he did not have the potential to play professional football.
While Sam’s “professional” football career was praised, Tim Tebow had his career destroyed at the hands of the sports media. Tebow is an evangelical Christian who did not keep his beliefs quiet while playing in the NFL, much to the dismay of the media, who tried their best to stifle the quarterback’s voice.
To learn more about how the liberal sports media treated athletes like Michael Sam and Tim Tebow, I would highly encourage checking out Dylan Gwinn’s book “Bias in the Booth: An Insider Exposes How the Sports Media Distort the News.” Gwinn works as a nationally syndicated sports talk host for Yahoo! sports and as he exposes in the book, he has experienced the left-leaning liberal bias firsthand.
This is a definitely a challenge I will face as I (hopefully) enter into the field after graduation. How much criticism will I face for both my political and religious beliefs? Will my voice be stifled as a result?
Politics in sports. How much will you as fans take?