If you were worried that your favorite athlete was going to say something bad about the racist horrorshow we are currently living through, don't worry. ESPN is carefully examining how best to avoid offending white supremacists all over the country:
“We want to emphasize a direct connection to sports, understanding that’s the lens through which most fans view ESPN,” he said. “We also understand there may occasionally be exceptions that reference important, broader political topics. We just want to ensure those are thoughtful discussions, and meet the other criteria in the guidelines.”
Said Bengtson: “I don’t think people are turning us on to hear us talk about social and political issues. When we can make a connection with sports, we should do so and do it smartly.”
“The presentation should be thoughtful and respectful. We should offer balance or recognize opposing views, as warranted. We should avoid personal attacks and inflammatory rhetoric.”
I don't know how you would find "balance" when the President of the United States is surrounded by Nazis and white supremacists. Maybe you'd find it somewhere else where people actually perform the age-old practice of journalism.
Basically, ESPN is telling everyone that their coverage will be a "safe zone" where political commentary will never intrude upon the gentle thought process of those who are tired of seeing professional athletes stand up for social causes. This goes against every aspect of common sense, given the fact that athletes in this country are rediscovering the power of being politically active in their communities.
You can expect that incidents like this will be excised from ESPN's coverage:
It was a somber moment before the Minnesota Lynx WNBA team took the court on Saturday night. Four players, standing in front of the press before the game started, wore black shirts that on the front said, “Change starts with us, justice and accountability”; on the back were the names Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, the crest of the Dallas Police Department, and the words “Black Lives Matter.”
“If we take this time to see that this is a human issue and speak out together, we can greatly decrease fear and create change,” said Maya Moore, one of the team captains and the 2014 league MVP. “Tonight we will be wearing shirts to honor and mourn the losses of precious American citizens and to plead for change in all of us.”
Moore said they wanted to speak out against racial profiling that many activists said led to the death of Sterling, who was shot in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Castile, who was shot last week by a police officer in suburban St. Paul, not far from where the Lynx were playing in Minneapolis. Moore also denounced the “senseless ambush” of Dallas police when five officers were killed by a lone gunman.
ESPN would certainly not want to offend anyone who advocates for the killing of unarmed black people, you see. They have feelings, too. They're going for the Donald Trump demographic--people who want to live out their white supremacist fantasies while watching terrible sports programming that is free of any reminder that they're an asshole.
Failing to take a stand for basic human decency in order to make money by not offending horrible people is cowardice, plain and simple. If this isn't the absolute low point of low points in the history of ESPN, then what is?