Sometimes, someone just beats you to the punch. They say what you want to say before you can say it.
So, here we are . . .
"ESPN is MSNBC with footballs," Ben Shapiro recently said on Twitter. "Sage Steel is terrific at her job, but she must be silenced because she thinks differently about vaccine mandates and Barack Obama."
Shapiro is referring to a recent spat between ESPN hosts Sage Steele and Jemele Hill and the fact that Steele has now been suspended from ESPN for controversial comments she made on a podcast.
Steele recently discussed COVID, race, and President Obama with former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler.
Here she is talking about filling out her census form:
"If they make you choose a race, what are you gonna put? Well, both ... Barack Obama chose Black and he’s biracial … congratulations to the President, that’s his thing. I think that’s fascinating considering his Black dad is nowhere to be found but his white mom and grandma raised him, but OK. You do you. I’m gonna do me. Listen, I’m pretty sure my white mom was there when I was born. And my white family loves me as much as my Black family."
Steele comes from a mixed-race, military family. Her dad played football at West Point. She, like everyone of us, is shaped by her upbringing.
But remember, diversity of thought is not welcome in major media in 2021. Jemele Hill, a former ESPN employee, has been one of Steele’s loudest critics for those comments.
Hill said Steele exhibited "clown behavior."
One person’s very personal story about growing up in a mixed race household is "clown behavior?"
In case you forgot, Hill was also one of Colin Kaepernick’s biggest apologists when he was kneeling during the national anthem.
Hill has managed to inject enough racial tension into America’s major league sports to make this divisive style of reporting as her brand.
She’s the best at it. We won’t call it journalism. Although some do.
She previously got in a bit of trouble herself at ESPN when she, a sports reporter, decided to tweet hot takes about presidential politics.
She left ESPN for the progressive magazine The Atlantic. But the media treated her like she was some kind of martyr for leaving the company.
She recieved this treatment after tweeting that "Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself with other white supremacists."
"If you vote for Donald Trump, you are a racist. You have no wiggle room," she also tweeted.
Since then, she has been building a little empire out of being the top spokesperson for America’s oppressed millionaire athletes and celebrities.
She has also become a proponent of critical race theory and the false narrative pushed by the likes of Nicole Hanna Jones and Ibram X Kendi.
Oh, the irony of this Ibram Kendi quote:
"... And I actually found this sort of core or cradle as good old self-interest that people have instituted racist policies because it made them money because it got them elected or kept them elected because it allowed them to excel in their professions."
He’s thriving, Hill’s thriving.
Hill has even appeared on an episode of the reality show "Below Deck," which profiles the crew of a yacht waiting on the rich and famous.
And while all the supposed anti-racists are thriving, Sage Steele is now sidelined.
There’s more to this story, too.
It’s not just that Sage Steele doesn’t toe the woke line on race.
She also has some original thoughts on vaccine.
In fact, she called ESPN’s corporate vaccine mandate “sick” and “scary.”
ESPN released this statement on Twitter:
"At ESPN, we embrace different points of view — dialogue and discussion makes this place great ... That said, we expect that those points of view be expressed respectfully, in a manner consistent with our values, and in line with our internal policies."
Well, ESPN doesn’t embrace different points of view. It only allows for certain points of view.
That is one of the most dominant and destructive trends in big sports and big media today; Fealty to group-think, the facts be damned.
The trouble is that this is much bigger than Sage Steele or Jemele Hill.
The institutional rot is loud over there.
Remember Bubba Wallace and the NASCAR noose controversy last year?
ESPN and other members of the establishment press went all in on the now debunked story. It was widely reported that someone put a noose in a NASCAR Talladega garage to taunt him.
The FBI also bit down hard by dispatching a team of investigators to Talladega Superspeedway to check out these allegations of a hate crime.
Well, it turns out that the FBI’s investigation concluded the so-called noose was actually just a "garage door pull" that had been there for at least a year.
That means the suspicious "garage door pull" was there before most of the media and even some lawmakers were using George Floyd’s death to justify riots, looting and promote lots of fake news — including this story about Wallace.
Let’s be honest: The definition of a hate crime has got a little blurry over the last year and a half.
We’re not here to attack Wallace. He won Talladega this past weekend.
Good for him. Winning a NASCAR race is a big deal. And he’ll be well compensated as a result of his success. Again, congrats on what is undoubtedly a major achievement.
But, Wallace is not blameless for the way the media distorted his story.
Despite the FBI’s findings check out what he told CNN’s Don Lemon at the time:
"What was hanging in my garage is not a garage pull," Wallace said. "Whether tied in 2019 or whatever, it was a noose. So, it wasn't directed at me, but somebody tied a noose …That's what I'm saying."
If it wasn’t directed at him, whom was it directed at?
If that was in fact a noose, that person is the real victim here, not Bubba Wallace
Everyone seems to forget that.
Did the FBI, NASCAR, Wallace or anyone else from ESPN ever track down the real racist noose tier? Maybe they should put O.J. on the case.
The only reason this noose became a story is because ESPN made it about Bubba Wallace, and he was OK with that.
This week some of ESPN’s anchors — and other members of the media — felt the need to revive elements of "NASCAR’s the hate crime that never happened" to contextualize Wallace’s historic win this past weekend.
They act like what Wallace has gone through to win one race in 2021 is akin to what Hank Aaron experienced with regards to racism in 1974. To do so diminishes both Wallace and Hank Aaron’s accomplishments.
ESPN should be ashamed for that and for what they are doing to Sage Steele.
John Bachman is the host of John Bachman Now on NewsmaxTV.
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