‘You Should Stick to Sports’: Has ESPN Become Too Political?

ESPN, too political, Jemele Hill, Donald Trump, Twitter
Bob Ley is one of the least controversial hosts on ESPN. He might deal with heavy topics on Outside the Lines, but the acclaimed show isn’t seen as being too political. The same isn’t said about ESPN overall. Ley left for a six-month sabbatical in September 2018, but he has been the host of OTL since May 1990.

Since 2013, ESPN has made a series of layoffs. Many of the layoffs are connected to the loss of viewership and subscriptions, but there are other factors at play. Some people will argue that ESPN has lost viewers because of the political direction the 24-hour sports network has taken this decade, but that’s a reductive statement often made by people with an agenda.

That said, is ESPN (too) political nowadays? From what I’ve seen, I don’t think so. However, I feel that there are times when it is nearly impossible for sports networks like ESPN to ignore politics, especially when it is intertwined with sports.

In order for me to explain this, I will need to go back to a series of incidents that happened well over a year ago. When I first started this series, it had been two weeks after Jemele kicked off a controversy that put her employer in a precarious position. Yet I feel that the topic is still relevant because the complaints about sports mixing with politics have not abated. Ultimately, this topic ties into the issue of protest in sports, among other things.

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Are You Following the Gilets Jaunes Protests?


I heard about the gilet jaunes (yellow vests) protests when watching a YouTube video entitled, “France Teachers World How to Protest Properly.”

I loosely followed the protests ever since, but now I want to inform any of my readers who might not know what is going on. These protests in France are very important because of the stakes involved and they are the largest of their kind in the country since 1968. Not only will success by the protesters help those most in need in France, but it can add serious momentum to populist movements around the world.

Let’s begin by understanding who the yellow vests are and why they are protesting across France.

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Famous Sayings #134 — ‘Bite Off More Than You Can Chew’

Image via Pixabay

This is a phrase that I can relate to. I’m sure others can, too, because there are times when we try to do too much and get stressed out as a result.

What Are You Doing When You ‘Bite Off More Than You Can Chew’?

When you bite off more than you can chew, you make take on more work than you can possibly do (at a given time), make a promise that you cannot keep, or attempt to do something which is otherwise impossible to do. The work cannot be done because the task is too large, you have taken on too many tasks, you have been assigned a task they don’t have the skill to do adequately, or the deadline for an assignment doesn’t give you enough time to properly complete their task. The bottom line is you are overwhelmed because you have assumed (or have been assigned) too many responsibilities. Thus, any work you do when be substandard or you might end up finishing none of your tasks.

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Reading, Viewing, and Listening for Martin Luther King Day 2019

Martin Luther King, Martin Luther King Day, Reading, Listening, Viewing, Quotesk Civil Rights Movement

Martin Luther King Day 2019 is almost over where I am, but before it ends, I wanted to share some more links that I found today. Since this has become somewhat of a tradition (started on MLK Day in 2017), why not? This time, I found links to a few speeches made by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as links to videos and audio. Let’s look them over, shall we?

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Famous Sayings #133 — ‘Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction’

January 21, 2019

Sometimes, the truth is stranger than fiction.

truth is stranger than fiction, famous sayings
Image via Pixabay by Engin_Akyurt

Sorry for the lateness of this post, but I was pre-occupied by Championship Sunday in the NFL. This post was also delayed because I decided close to Sunday to choose this expression to examine this week.

That said, “truth is stranger than fiction” is one expression I kind of like. Not only is it easy to understand, but it contains a bit of sardonic humor. In a way, it allows those who use it to “break the fourth wall,” so to speak.

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Famous Sayings #132 — ‘To Tell the Truth, the Whole Truth …’

January 13, 2019

Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?


to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God, judicial oath, witness testimony, court
Witnesses in court are customarily sworn in while holding their hands on a holy book or plain black book. They must promise to “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth …” under the threat of perjury. The image was taken via a screenshot. (Video)


While brainstorming for this year, I decided to investigate the words “to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but …” because those words are so familiar. If you’re an American, you might have heard the above sentence in certain legal situations, but there are different versions on it in various states and in different countries. For this post, though, I will be looking more closely at the terms in an American context.

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Let’s Talk About Identity Politics

identity politics, Combahee River Collective, Civil Rights Movement, black feminists, progressives

I was arguing about identity politics a few days ago because it became clear that many people, including lefties, are averse to the topic. I argued my point, but I don’t feel that I convinced anyone to take a deeper look into what Identity politics is.

A couple of days later, I also saw a video made by the much-maligned “Factual Feminist,” Christine Hoff Sommers:

I felt that the video’s arguments were so off-base that I responded to Hoff-Sommers’ tweet with a thread of my own (via my personal Twitter account).

The arguments surrounding identity politics bother me because they are fallacious. I feel that identity politics movement arose with good intentions and that there is a place for it, but others don’t want to see it that way. Hence, why I’m making this post. Not everyone who comes across this post wants to look at identity politics from a different angle, but I will make my case anyway.

Identity politics is a subject that I’m still trying to grapple with. The first time I heard of it was in 2016 and I leaned toward the negative view of it.

Why was I wrong about identity politics? I was wrong because, for one thing, I failed to do my own research about the topic. (I am still learning to withhold judgment for a lot of things until I can do my own research because often, people who make certain claims have an agenda. That’s true of this topic.)

What did I find? There’s too much to parse right now, but let’s begin with some basic information.

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Famous Sayings #131 — ‘Turn the Page’

January 6, 2019

That last project may have been difficult for many of us, but it is time to turn the page.

turn the page, new year, 2019, Bob Seger, famous sayings
Image from Pexels

Since it’s a new year, I wanted to start it off right by publishing the first Famous Sayings post on the first Sunday of 2019. (It wasn’t easy, given the projects I’m working on, my problems with procrastination, and my preoccupation with the NFL playoffs). That said, let’s look at a phrase that has some connection to a new year (if not by its origin).

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