By Selwyn Duke
ESPN just had in July the lowest ratings ever in its 41-year history, but this hasn’t stopped the network from dealing with its woke-joke status by doubling down. Its latest fumble is to apply affirmative action to the gridiron and broadcast football games based on skin color.
This pigskin prejudice takes the form of a new partnership between ESPN and members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) and Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC); these entities comprise historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and these schools will now get national coverage in more than 100 games this season. It’s a move that the Federalist states “is dividing the sport of football.”
Yet there’s an irony to forcing popular, nationally ranked teams to share the stage with affirmative-action (AA) choices. As the Federalist explains:
While HBCUs are defined as “any historically Black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans,” top tier teams like Alabama, Florida, and Clemson are also schools with athletic teams historically composed of black players.
In 2018, Clemson had 57 black athletes on their roster. Of their last three national championships, two were led by starting African American quarterbacks, Deshaun Watson and Homer Jordan. But this isn’t just common at Clemson. On a larger scale, black athletes make up nearly 60 percent of all college football rosters.
Black athletes are getting covered, and for playing for schools other than HBCUs. Airing the games simply because the players are black creates division. After the new partnership with ESPN, headlines read, “Black College Football is ESPN’s New Baby.”
What’s more, black athletes get wide exposure far beyond college sports. Blacks constitute almost 70 percent of the NFL and 74.2 percent of the NBA despite being only 13 percent of the population. So even if you’re a wokester who views sports-broadcast AA as a cure, in this case it’s one in search of a disease.
So what’s the point? The Federalist mentions that head coach “of Jackson State Deion Sanders even created a separate HBCU or ‘black’ combine for those athletes of HBCUs in preparation for the NFL draft,” further making a race-based distinction in the sport. The site continues:
But why? For decades, the American sport has allowed those of all ethnicities to play together. Now, the emphasis on airing HBCUs makes it seem like the races must have their own circles in the sport, as opposed to sharing one.
And what happened to air time going to the teams that earned it? That is a more equal and fair option.
When people flip on their TVs to watch any athletes compete, they flip on their TVs to watch the best of the best compete. They don’t flip on their TVs just to watch “black” football….
So it’s not enough that some sports have embraced nauseating Anthem kneeling and the neo-Marxist group Black Lives Matter; now we’re being brought back to something closer to “Negro Leagues” segregation.
But if ESPN is bearing its new “white man’s burden,” it certainly will (or would in the recent past, at least) discriminate when deciding what minorities to shower with its paternalism. In 2011, after all, it published an article in which it lamented the dearth of black baseball players. It provided statistics in that regard and then wrote, “That’s the reality, not a judgment.” Yet it asked the reader to make a judgment with its article’s title: “Is Major League Baseball too Hispanic?”
Of course, while it never defined “too,” an observer may ask, “Is ESPN too prejudiced?”
It’s completely unrealistic to think that our society’s every entity — every organization, workplace, group, or profession — will perfectly reflect our country’s demographics. Should the NBA and NFL be 51 percent female? Should 49 percent of nurses be male (as opposed to the current nine percent)?
As late economist Walter E. Williams would point out, perfect demographic proportionality has never been witnessed anywhere, in all of history. For while we can argue about whether the cause is nature or nurture or both, the reality is that groups do have different characteristic strengths and weaknesses (e.g., Jews are only two percent of the world’s population but have won 22 percent of its Nobel Prizes).
Oh, the social engineers at ESPN and elsewhere do accept this reality — selectively. Consider that, in an article written by a white man described as “a human rights activist, pioneer for racial equality, expert on sports issues, scholar and author,” they did just last week complain that the “[s]ports media remains overwhelmingly white and male.” Yet they never trouble over the NBA and NFL being overwhelming black and male. Apparently, some failures in “diversity” are more equal than others.
Especially, that is, the convenient ones. ESPN’s president is a white man. The CEOs of the network’s two parent companies, Disney and Hearst Communications, are also white men. This is the pattern all throughout corporate America’s upper echelons, too. Yet if these wokester value-signalers truly believe their “equity” and white-privilege shtick, why don’t they insist that non-white people be given their positions? Your ideals don’t mean much when you can outsource the sacrifices they demand to others.