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After firing a commentator for spouting center right ideas, ESPN is now turning against the nation’s 9/11 first responders for having the temerity to sing a national anthem on TV before a sports event.
In a new column, ESPN The Magazine senior writer Howard Bryant attacks police officers and military personnel saying they should not be allowed to sing the national anthem before sporting events.
Not only did he attack police officers, Bryant called their participation “racist” and even “authoritarian.”
“Nobody seems to care much about this authoritarian shift at the ballpark, yet the media and the public are quick to demand accountability from players they consider insufficiently activist,” Bryant writes in the June 6 issue of the magazine. “They blame these black players for not speaking up on behalf of their communities, ignoring the smothering effect that staged patriotism and cops singing the national anthem in a time of Ferguson have on player expression.”
The writer also criticized black players for not standing up against police. “Why don’t more athletes speak out on behalf of their communities? Perhaps more of them would if there wasn’t a chilling force looming over them,” he says in his article.
“Policing is clearly one of the most divisive issues in the country–except in the sports arena, where the post-9/11 hero narrative has been so deeply embedded within its game-day fabric that policing is seen as clean, heroic, uncomplicated. Following the marketing strategy of the military, police advocacy organizations have partnered with teams from all four major leagues to host ‘Law Enforcement Appreciation’ nights, or similar events,” he adds.
On Fox & Friends Weekend, host Peter Doocy slammed Bryant for his anti-cop screed saying, “People don’t go to ESPN for racially inflammatory political views. They want to hear about Steph Curry and whether his defense is any good.”
Doocy isn’t alone. At the Washington Examiner, Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker, insisted that Bryant’s rant was further evidence of the fall of the once powerful sports network.
“Bryant perfectly reflects the continued decline and fall of ESPN into embarrassing political correctness,” Baker said, “censoring Curt Schilling but providing a platform for far-left political pontificating, including the rants of the very angry and race-obsessed Bryant. It’s doubtful many in ESPN’s audience share Bryant’s disgust of police officers singing the National Anthem.”
Speaking of Schilling, Bryant’s inflammatory column comes after ESPN fired former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling for posting one too many right-leaning memes on his social media account. Schilling, who ESPN has censured several times for his publicly expressed conservative ideas, slammed ESPN as having “some of the biggest racists in sports commentating.”
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