When did ESPN become the social justice police of professional sports? And if they’re so concerned about allowing a “controversial” singer to perform the national anthem at an NHL all-star game, perhaps they should’ve taken a stand when Beyonce did her cop-hating, racist, Black Panther skit for all the world to see during the Super Bowl a couple of years ago.
Breitbart – ESPN has begun a subtle, yet obvious campaign to get rock singer and well-known conservative Kid Rock, fired as the National Hockey League’s All-Star Game performer.
In a January 19 article, ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski noted that the NHL is “aware of the backlash” over the announcement of Kid Rock as the All-Star Game entertainment. Though, the NHL says that the choice of Kid Rock was “purely based” on his entertainment value and has nothing whatever to do with his politics.
“Most of the time, our acts are passionate hockey fans,” said Steve Mayer, NHL executive vice president and executive producer for programming and creative development. “It’s all about the entertainment at the end of the day for us, and this selection was purely based on that, and the fact that Kid Rock is a hockey lover. That’s simply the background here.”
Here’s Detroit sports fan Kid Rock singing “America The Beautiful” at the 2005 Pistons Finals game:
Despite those comments, ESPN characterizes the addition of the singer as having “created controversy in the hockey world” and being “widely criticized on social media.”
Of course, a careful review of much of that criticism proves that the complaints came mostly from liberal members of the sports media and not rank and file NHL fans. Indeed, an article by The Comeback’s Andrew Bucholtz revealed a whole list of sports media members tweeting their distaste over Kid Rock.
In September of last year, ESPN host Jemele Hill accused Kid Rock, the single father of a black son, of “pandering to racists”.
He loves black people so much that he pandered to racists by using a flag that unquestionably stands for dehumanizing black people. https://t.co/ukbl3RodoP
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 11, 2017
The former editorial editor of the Detroit Free Press Stephen Henderson, who has recently been fired after misconduct charges were filed against him, attempted to label Kid Rock as a “racist” prior to his much-anticipated opening concert at the Little Caesar’s Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons. Henderson wrote:
When the Ilitch family’s Olympia Entertainment division chose divisive performer Kid Rock to christen Little Caesars Arena with six shows and a new restaurant, it sent a message to the Detroiters who made the project possible and who have yet to see the benefits promised. It’s a message that’s not too far off those Jim Crow-era signs warning that blacks weren’t welcome.
Negro, go home.
Having Kid Rock open this arena is erecting a sturdy middle finger to Detroiters — nothing less. And the Ilitches, who’ve done so much for this city and also taken so much from it, should be the last to embrace that kind of signaling.
ESPN didn’t worry much about the backlash among conservatives who were upset that Hillary supporter Beyonce was chosen as a Super Bowl entertainer, despite the fact that she was set to perform an anti-police song called “Formation.” Nor was the sports cable network interested when conservatives criticized the announcement of well-known Trump detractor Kendrick Lamar, to perform as the college football championship halftime act.