This week ESPN pulled off the Triple Lindy version of stepping on your own Johnson. It decided that appeasing a few social media trolls mattered more than a powerful and meaningful symbol of diversity.
Instead, what was once the number one cable channel regardless of format, continued its descent into the mouth of social justice warrior madness as it removed an announcer from an upcoming football broadcast at the University of Virginia because his name is Robert Lee.
Not Robert E. Lee, mind you, but Robert Lee. Oh, and did I mention this Robert Lee is a Millennial Asian? Not exactly a chip off the old Confederate block. His grandparents weren’t even alive to see Appomattox, and he’s not old enough to have watched “The Blue and the Gray,” but that didn’t stop Reuters from originally claiming he was named after the man who surrendered the South.
But since we can only spank one stupidity at a time, back to ESPN …
In the wake of the deadly race riots in Charlottesville, ESPN said it made the asinine decision to take Lee off the broadcast because it feared “social media hectoring and trolling.” So, congratulations definitely goes out to SatanIsMyHomeboy on Reddit, for you are officially a badass.
And to think, if ESPN truly feared those lethal online memes and Putin’s brigade of Twitter bots, all it had to do was ask the online inquisition at CNN to open a can on those keyboard commandos.
That brings us to the cruel irony here, which has been missed by the very progressive utopian zealots who regularly justify using a sports network as a tool of the people’s revolution. The progressives at ESPN are so drunk on political correctness, they missed a real opportunity to champion the very diversity they claim as their mission.
I mean, what a powerful symbol of progress and diversity it would be to have an Asian face named Robert Lee doing a game on a campus that was just ablaze with racial strife and conflict.
That’s exactly the statement and symbolism the nation needs right now, and that’s a message that a liberal mindset of not very long ago would have gladly jumped on in order to seize the day’s moral high ground.
Meritocracy triumphs over oppression. God-given talent triumphs over tyranny. The melting pot wins.
However, this isn’t your father’s liberalism; this is its cancerous and idolatrous progressive progeny that thinks the melting pot is for (literally) Hitler. In progressivism, there is no victory — only victimology.
And according to the ESPN brass, Lee himself played the victim card like any true Millennial snowflake would. He could have been the one to say, “Hey guys, don’t worry. I got this. And oh, by the way, don’t you think you are turning a non-problem into the very joke you insist you are trying to avoid?”
But Lee didn’t, and instead embraced the spirit of the safe spaces age. And you know what, it worked! Lee’s name ID has greatly increased, and ESPN actually rewarded him with a better game (Pittsburgh and Youngstown State are both better teams than UVa or William & Mary).
Come to think of it, maybe that makes those of us still bitterly clinging to antiquated notions like integrity, courage of conviction, and self-awareness the schmucks after all?
Honor, can’t live with it … pass the beer nuts.
Steve Deace is broadcast nationally every day on BlazeTV. He is the author of the book “Truth Bombs: Confronting the Lies Conservatives Believe (To Our Own Demise).”