The United States has become a place where entertainers and professional athletes are mistaken for people of importance.
Robert A. Heinlein
Well gentle readers, professional sports teams, and their owners and management, are now so woke, they’re canceling themselves. The Daily caller explains:
The National Football League announced Tuesday that it would allow the stenciling of social justice messages on the field during the 2020 season.
During a conference call with reporters, the league‘s commissioner Roger Goodell said that the messages ‘End racism’ and ‘It takes all of us’ would be stenciled in the end zones of every football stadium across the country in time for this year’s season, per ProFootballTalk.com.
‘The NFL stands with the black community, the players, clubs and fans confronting systemic racism,’ Goodell explained, per the outlet. ‘We will not relent in our work.’
As I’m sure you’re aware, the NBA has “Black Lives Matter” painted on its courts, various players have similarly woke things on their jerseys, and similar things are happening in Major League Baseball. Full disclosure: at the Manor, it’s Mrs. Manor who watches some televised professional sports. I do not, for primarily two reasons: (1) when I was teaching, I just didn’t have the time. (2) I have no interest; I prefer to do sports rather than watch others do them. I have no clue who the quarterback of a given football team is, and I’m comfortable with that lack of knowledge. As we age, it’s hard enough to maintain weight and fitness. Sitting on one’s spreading ass and snacking doesn’t help much.
Now that I’m retired, I still don’t have the time, and I have even less interest in watching sports. As Benjamin Franklin said:
Do not squander time, for that’s what life is made of.
Before I go on, there have been, from time to time, real sportsmen involved in sports, people of good, even great character, people whose work ethic and genuinely good deeds were worthy of emulation. There seem to be fewer such people these days.
I do not begrudge athletes their astronomical salaries, nor do I envy anyone making far more money in a year than I’ll likely make in a lifetime. It’s part of our economic system, and making millions has to be possible for everyone if they have a marketable skill, if what they have to sell is in sufficient demand. It’s not a zero sum game. A dollar they make is not a dollar denied me. And therein lies part of the problem. Just what are those limited skills worth during and after the Covid-19 hoax fades into history? And what if another viral hoax shuts down the nation’s economy for good, giving craven, despotic politicians total control over the lives of Americans? What about professional sports then?
We all recall how much money the NFL lost when its players started “taking a knee,” which is a cute euphemism for “pissing on the sacrifices of far better Americans than they,” during the National Anthem. The Covid hoax—yes, I know the virus is real and it kills the elderly and otherwise medically weak; that’s not what I’m talking about—has taught a great many Americans they’re fully capable of living comfortable and fulfilling lives without professional sports. Some people have actually realized they have family, and it might be pleasant to speak with and otherwise interact with them. Even the family dog has likely enjoyed greater human attention, though that’s debatable with the family cat.
So now we have the tail wagging the professional sports dog. Hulking adolescents in adult, steroid-bloated bodies are now our moral arbiters. I’ve told this story before, but it’s worth telling again. Many years ago, watching The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson—boy, that dates me, huh?—Tom Selleck was on. It was during his Magnum P.I. days, and he was a hot commodity. Carson asked him a political question, and he replied something like this: “I’m an actor. I pretend to be other people. My job is to do that as well as I can. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to know what I think about politics.” I’ve bought every one of his movies since, and have not been disappointed.
In so saying, Selleck demonstrated not only common sense and actual humility, he demonstrated fiscal responsibility. Why would any entertainer want to alienate 50% or so of their potential audience? Acting is like professional sports in that there are a limited number of roles/positions, and competition for them is cutthroat. Merit matters—for the most part. That attitude is why Selleck continues to enjoy a lucrative career at 75 when a great many actors have been out of the business for decades.
Some professional athletes are above average in intelligence, but judging by their actions and words, most are—let’s be kind—not. Far too many dropped out of college to play professional sports. In fact, they only went to college as a means of making it in professional sports. Need I speak about all the college sports scandals? I thought not. More recently, far too many athletes are racking up felony points on the criminal justice scoreboard, using drugs, beating women, committing rape, you name it. Tom Selleck they’re not.
Why, gentle readers, would anyone want to watch a sport where most of the players imagine they’re expert in every field of human study and endeavor? Where they think their spectacularly uninformed, and frankly often stupid, political opinions are persuasive, where they think everyone is entitled to their opinion? Where they think everyone should be their fan because they’re just that magnificent? Where they think most Americans think there is no higher honor, no greater aspiration than to wear grotesquely overpriced athletic apparel bearing their imprint? And best of all, where they think all the suckers paying exorbitant fees to sit in stadiums, or paying for view, are vile racists? I don’t know about you, but I tend not to find the company of people that think I’m an immoral slug comforting, and I surely don’t want to enrich them. Nor will I follow their woke lead in dishonoring our nation.
We often hear actors and athletes expound on how they believe they have some kind of obligation to use their “celebrity” for…well, for whatever dimwitted cause has caught their attention at the moment. And just what is the source of their celebrity? Acting well or performing well in a sport. We pay to see their movies, or patronize games because we expect a certain level of skill. Sure, some high school football players live vicariously through professional sports. Watching the game on Sunday, they think “I could have done that if only I wasn’t a 5’7,” 150 pound white kid who rarely got off the bench,” except they tend to stop after “that.” What we do not expect, nor do most appreciate, is being lectured, particularly when that lecture consists of people with the moral qualities of squid telling us how immoral and awful we are.
Circa 2020, racism in America is rare, and actual racists are justly social pariahs. The Civil Rights movement was one of the great American success stories, and all people of good will are glad for it. The supply of racism is far outstripped by demand, thus do we have constant race hoaxes, and thus must our moral and intellectual betters constantly remind us just how racist we are. When we protest we are not racist, that is the ultimate proof we are racist, because racism is systemic, unconscious, and besides, we’re white privileged, because no matter how much we might have to scrape to get by, being white means privilege and racism. And when we have the temerity to demand just one example of our racism, just one, any one will do, Shut Up You Racist! is explained to us.
And now they’re going to write their inane and usually false slogans in huge letters on football fields and basketball courts, and even on pitcher’s mounds, just so we can’t forget, because being racist means being stupid and forgetful too. I can’t wait to see what Goodyear puts on the blimp.
Oh yeah. That’s exactly the kind of thing that makes me want to watch professional sports, buy $300 dollar athletic shoes made in Asian sweatshops for pennies, and plaster the likeness of people who hate me and think me a racist sucker all over my wretched hovel.
How about you?