As professional sports and the media organizations that cover them become ever-more woke, viewers continue to tune out and wreak havoc on their market value. Perhaps nothing better exemplifies this rater cratering than what has happened at Disney-owned ESPN.
Lately, ESPN talent has fully embraced the religious dogma of wokeism, blaming racism for every ill that befalls a black athlete and has long catered toward the transgender issue. ESPN can perhaps own a lot of blame for our current predicament for awarding former Olympian Bruce Jenner with its Woman of the Year in 2015.
But lately, as more people push back, prominent employees within the failing company have joined a growing chorus of voices speaking out against the cultural narrative.
Samantha Ponder and Sage Steele, both ESPN personalities, have taken to the air to lend support to female athletics, echoing what former NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines has been addressing ever since her graduation in the public sphere.
“Women with influential platforms are beginning to speak out on the injustice of men competing against women. These women in particular have a lot to lose by using their voice, yet chose to anyways. That is what courage is. I’m so honored to be able to lean on them as we continue forward with advocating for sex-protected sporting categories,” Gaines previously said to Fox News Digital.
Fox News briefly mentioned Sage Steele’s reaction to the idea of biological males competing against biological females in sports, quoting her as having called the situation “ridiculous,” “heartbreaking,” and “difficult to watch, writing:
Steele declared that she stands with Gaines and called what has occurred with trans people overtaking women’s sports “ridiculous,” “heartbreaking,” “difficult to watch” and added the hashtag “savewomensports.”
Fox News later said of Ponder’s stance:
Ponder, a focal point of ESPN’s NFL coverage, tweeted that the Biden administration’s plan to change Title IX would “take away so many opportunities for biological women and girls” in sports across the nation.
“It is a shame that we are needing to fight for the integrity of Title IX in 2023 and the reason it was needed in the first place,” Ponder wrote.
There is then the outcry among former ESPN commentators who left the outlet altogether and joined organizations more amenable to free speech and common sense.
Ex-ESPN personality Charly Arnolt left for the greener pastures of the Clay Travis-owned Outkick and said much of that motivation stemmed from wanting to be free to speak up on various issues.
“I have to commend these two women for standing up for these women who, unfortunately, are losing so much of the success that they worked so hard for,” Arnolt said during a taping of “America’s Newsroom.”
“As far as ESPN, I don’t really know what their plan is, as far as whether they talk to these women or address it on-air,” she continued. “I would hope that this would be something they would address, but up to this point they remain completely mum on this topic, so I’m not sure exactly what happens.”
Of course, in an ideal world sports commentators wouldn’t be saying much at all about politics. SportsCenter was ESPN’s flagship program for years, reaching massive audiences due to its funny and timely sports coverage. Now, though, since the left allows for no neutral spaces, and if we have to have political commentary, we might as well afford competing and rational discussion into the fold.
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