Ethics Quote Of The Week: Paul Mirengoff

“Conservative America is disgusted with the NBA, and therefore is tuning it out. We’re disgusted ….with the embrace of the radical BLM movement by the league and its players….My problem was what was allowed, indeed encouraged, during the games. I will not watch any sports event during which the preaching of politics or ideology occurs. I guess I’m not alone.”

—Conservative lawyer and blogger Paul Mirengoff on the Powerline blog, discussing the huge fall-off in TV ratings for the current NBA play-offs.

Mirengoff is wrong to attribute this reaction only to conservatives, however. I have spoken with many sports fans who would not fit that description who are equally disgusted with the professional sports leagues. All of the leagues made a foolish assumption that by embracing the views of many progressive activists, they would at least hold on to the allegiance of  fans who agreed with those positions. ESPN and many sportswriters have made the same mistake., and it’s a stupid one. If I go out to dinner and the service staff bombard me with their political views during the evening, it doesn’t matter if I agree with what they say: I didn’t come to the restaurant to listen to political diatribes.

If you’re wondering about the ellipses, I left out a reference to the NBA’s addiction to China’s money, leading the league to ignore the despicable human rights record and political oppression in that country. That is a conservative complaint, and a valid one, but I doubt it affects NBA play-off ratings one tick.

I haven’t finished my letter to the Boston Red Sox, but I write it as I completely ignore the baseball play-offs as I will through the World Series. I want to make sure the team realizes that if its ugly promotion of Black Lives Matter could alienate me, it is in big trouble in the community. The players need to understand that as well, but it was up to management to tell employees to do what they were paid for, and not use their celebrity to make incompetent and divisive political statements.

The NBA and Major League Baseball players pulled a one day wildcat strike to protest the shooting of an accused rapist who returned to harass the woman he allegedly raped, after police were called by the African American victim of the rape and the alleged rapist attacked a cop, refused police orders to surrender, and reached into his car (which had his children in it) after telling police that he had a gun, and after previously brandishing a knife. All of the players should have been fined and suspended; instead, the two sports de facto endorsed a stunt that was both ignorant and offensive. Their conduct also endorsed the destructive and cretinous riots that followed.

The simple-mindedness of the two sports’ lazy and cowardly virtue-signaling was epitomized by the email I shared earlier from Boston baseball writer Pete Abraham-–I didn’t name him in the initial post, but I will from now on:  no more Mr. Nice Guy—who 1) implied that I was a racist because I didn’t back the Red Sox organization’s groveling Black Lives Matter promotions in Fenway Park and outside of it, and 2) fatuously said that baseball only supported the literal (and mind-meltingly banal) slogan and not the violent, lie-based, anti-law enforcement,  Marxist, racist organization that coined the phrase and uses it as its title and rallying cry.

Sports, as entertainment,  has been and should be a great unifying force in a nation and a culture. If it is not, than following sports is a waste of time, emotion and money. The reaction of the public to the sports world defying the very reason it exists is gratifying here, because the Ethics Alarms position hasn’t budged since Colin Kaepernick first dropped to a knee during the National Anthem without being able to clearly explain why. That it is Kaepernick’s shallow and addled reasoning that has prevailed rather than that of those who saw his protest for what it was again confirms the frightening power of ignorance in a democracy. But as for the sports leagues and eventually their players getting the swift kick in the wallets they deserve:


10 thoughts on “Ethics Quote Of The Week: Paul Mirengoff

  1. You forgot the part about Jacob Blake trying to kidnap the children. No cop in America was going to let him drive off with a felony warrant, a stolen car, a knife, and kidnapped children. Why does Black Lives Matter only champion cases of black criminals getting killed while committing crimes? Aren’t there any law-abiding black citizens who get killed by police? There seem to be plenty of law-abiding white citizens who get killed by police. Why do people support this? Is it because they are racists who believe that all black men are criminals? Just like it seems that many male feminists are rapists, it seems that many white BLM supporters are racist.

    Daniel Shaver

    Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas (note that although many articles state that the victims fired at police with a .357 magnum revolver, the only firearms recovered were three long guns stored in a locker in a different room).

    maybe Duncan Lemp

    the list can go on and on

  2. As someone who will watch if I’m interested because my team is doing well, I participated in one game as a Virtual Fan but I don’t have cable TV anymore so I simply couldn’t watch any other games. I’ve watched a bit of Hockey in passing, but I just seem to be working more hours. I’m happy NFL is back, but after the first couple showings of my Broncos and the injuries stacking up, I couldn’t bring myself to watch the third game.

    I guess you can try to say that the total viewership is down because people don’t relate to these sports when they’re ideologically bent, but I would still argue it’s a bit of a compilation of that and that the TV & Sports addiction has been broken with many people during the pandemic and for many others, the people struggling paycheck to paycheck, they’re too busy trying to make ends meet than to schedule time for sports.

    If I’m NBA Commissioner, I’d milk the pandemic for everything it is and not start the next season until things are certain to be fairly normal.

    • Well, don’t the NBA and NHL normally start their season sometime in October or early November? Seems like I heard some mutters about a Christmas start for this coming year. No way things will be ‘normal’ the rest of this year.

      Also college basketball starts early to mid November. They never did finish their season. One might thing that, now that all the major leagues are playing football, basketball should follow Right?

      I watched my local hockey team the one round they were in the playoffs, but then a)They lost and b)The Kenosha thing happened and I’ve not really been back. I’ve never watched the NBA and certainly didn’t have the urge this year.

      I am following the baseball playoffs (how about them Astros!), and I listened to the whole abbreviated season on the radio broadcasts. At least the team I was listening to, on the radio I was fairly insulated from the virtue signaling stuff. We’ll see how it goes from here. I think they did a decent job of coping with the current conditions, after a bit of a rocky start. No bubble, but also no fans. MLB is going to have neutral sites starting with the divisional playoffs and they will have about10k fans for each game. We’ll see.

  3. I am confused about BLM. Are there two versions? Is the Red Sox version BLM Lite – fewer riots, no burnings? Is the other BLM heavy? More looting and more burning? The Red Sox have that obnoxious banner pasted outside the park and smeared in CF. I will be curious to see the fan reaction if there is a season in 2021.

    • And wait! Shouldn’t MLB and the NBA look like America? Shouldn’t people of color be limited to, what, thirteen percent? That’s about two or three black guys per NBA team.

      • Exactly. I might be more interested, if more of the players on the court and on the benches looked more like me. OB I give you benefit of doubt, along with presumption that you are writing tongue-in-cheek. But I am actually serious – I am speaking specifically about the color of my skin. If that makes me “racist,” tough melanin.

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