Latest Issue

I Want to Watch Sports, Not an Episode of “The View”

As I watch what’s being spun on TV, I can’t believe the hosts of an ABC morning show want me to believe that they’re knowledgeable and will help educate the American people on what’s really going on in the world. They might as well follow that up with if they don’t, David Muir will on the evening news.

With where ABC/Disney/ESPN have taken their beyond-liberal agenda, there is no way they can honestly report and educate the American people on the realities of the world we’re currently living in. This conglomeration has taken sports coverage to a place where almost every broadcast includes social and political issues. I, like most Americans, just want to enjoy a ball game.

I have always believed in equality, equity, and honesty. The best player or person for the job. Standing up for those who are discriminated against or not rewarded for their value and hard work.

In one of my columns on the World Cup women’s team, I stated they should be as equally compensated as the men’s soccer team in the USA because, at the time, they were World Cup Champions. Their viewership far exceeded the men’s soccer team, as they were not very good.

And this is where compensation and salary levels must be kept based upon success and revenue created. In the same breath, there is no way WNBA athletes should be compensated like their NBA counterparts. If the women’s game continues to grow to the point where the financial statements are equal, then they absolutely deserve the same. But simply compare attendance, merchandising, and viewership to see the reality.

I have gotten a little off my intended path here, like I often do, but I think this example is relevant to what I’m about to say.

The way sports are being presented by ABC/ESPN turns many Americans off from watching whatever the event is. The inclusive use of social agenda and political views upset the true sports fans, and they lose them.

The best way to promote athletes is through the coverage and education of the game they’re playing. The best players will rise to the top and be rewarded for their hard work and effort. And if the sport is popular, the growing fan base will encourage more media coverage and revenue dollars.

I continue to be amazed by how much improved women athletes and the games they play have become. Caitlyn Clark just set the NCAA scoring record for women’s basketball. She is an unbelievable player for whom the whole state of Iowa cheers. She is closing in on Pistol Pete Maravich and the all-time NCAA mark of 3,667. The NBA’s Steph Curry and WNBA’s Sabrina Ionescu’s recent 3-point shootout shows just how good the ladies’ talent level is. Curry, the best shooter in the world, beat his female challenger by just one shot.

Again, I am a huge fan of sports, especially when I witness pure excellence created by hard work and the word that not everybody has — heart. This shines through no matter the game, and I love watching!

Just to be completely honest, though, sometimes when I watch women’s sporting events, especially the WNBA, the TV coverage seems to want to alienate me. I surmise because I don’t fit the viewership they believe is watching or who they want to watch.

I will not stop watching if it’s an event I want to view. However, many will just turn it off. This is counterproductive for so many reasons. This is an example of a lost opportunity by the major networks that seem to be fueled by a political narrative that must be stated.

Sports are one of the most powerful ways to unify people. Whether it’s the local high school or athletic events held within a local area. This extends right up to the college and professional ranks, which have the power to bring people together on a national level. When a team is winning and successful, no one asks what political affiliation the fan sitting next to him is. The quarterback isn’t wondering if the center in front of him is a Democrat or Republican. Players, coaches, and the fan base are united over a common goal. And I should probably even add that when the team loses, the unity often doesn’t waver.

So, why have we reached the point when so many televised sports have a political narrative? Simple. Power and money. Sports have become a tool for those who have it, those who want it, and those who want to keep it. I’ll finish this week’s column with this: I hope the opportunities for more girls and women to be involved in athletics continues to grow. As always, I believe there’s never been more of a need for women coaches. But if they’re the most qualified and want to be an NFL referee I hope they run down their dream.

On the competition side of things, I hope all of the opportunities created are filled by girls and women. The continued growth and development of female sports have been accomplished by the ladies who have come before them. Future successes, whether it be a gold medal or the opportunity to earn a living, should always be accomplished and earned by women.

Go get ’em, ladies.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb