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The Left is Weaponizing Sports

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What happens when a culture loses its last neutral ground? Striking the latest blow for pregnant and “chestfeeding” men, the NCAA has mounted its righteous high horse and is pulling seven championship events from North Carolina venues. The Tar Heel State, you see, has the hateful audacity to mandate that its citizens use the public bathrooms that correspond to their biological sex. The NCAA’s decision comes on the heels of the NBA pulling its all-star game from Charlotte, and in the midst of a rolling series of small-scale (though much-hyped) national-anthem protests at NFL football games.

Before I turn to the larger issues, can we just take a moment to ponder the pathetic absurdity that is the NCAA? This is an organization, mind you, that reaps billions of dollars of rewards off the labor of disproportionately poor and minority students while imposing on them — as a condition for even participating in college sports — economic restrictions not imposed on any other college student. So-called student-athletes don’t own their time, or even the rights to their own names. The vast majority of them don’t go on to play pro sports, so they’re effectively prevented from making money during the time when their earning potential is at its highest. But the NCAA is now suddenly discovering social justice? Please.

While the NCAA — as perhaps the peak representative of progressive hypocrisy and cheap virtue signaling — is an easy target, its action raises a much more significant concern. Simply put, there are not many cultural spaces remaining where Americans can meet on more or less neutral ground — where Americans of all faiths and political beliefs can meet, unite, and share a positive communal experience.

Our political polarization is but one symptom of our increasing Balkanization. When I speak, I sometimes challenge audiences to name one significant cultural force or trend that is binding Americans together, rather than pulling them apart. Social media? It might be the single most divisive new development of the last half-century. Faith? Few communities are polarizing and separating faster than our faith communities, with polar opposites — the “nones” and Evangelicals — enjoying the best prospects for long-term growth. Our neighborhoods and cities are cocooned, often so much that they lack the ideological diversity of the average suburban mega-church. Television shows are frequently micro-targeted, so red and blue Americans watch very different things.

The result is clear: Not only do Americans believe different things, they dislike their political opponents more than at any other time in recent memory. Indeed, the dislike is so strong that Americans tend to despise the other side more than they like their own side.


Source: David French, nationalreview.com