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Thursday, July 29, 2021

The Woke Olympics, Transgenderism, And Identity Politics–Tokyo Charade

Viewership for the Olympics is significantly down, its lowest since the 1988 games in Seoul, and it comes as no surprise.  After the incessant banging of Black Lives Matter, disrespectful protests by professional athletes, and the infection of all sports with radical wokism, it is apparent that viewers and most Americans have had enough.  

It was bad enough that they had to sit by and watch professional athletes introduce radical politics into sports at home.  It was even worse when these same athletes, hearing the angered public outcry at the sight of sullen, defiant athletes sitting during the National Anthem, changed their tune and disingenuously knelt instead.

 “We are praying for the restoration of the dignity of America, not disrespecting the flag”, one BLM spokesperson said; but viewers immediately understood the chicanery and insolence of using the illusion of prayer as a cover for a profoundly contemptuous act.

Image result for images 2021olympic american medal winner raising fist

And worst of all, athletes who knelt, raised their fists, or shouted in protest before and after Olympic events were not only disrespecting their American fans at home, the teams for which they played, and even the flag, but America itself.  Such self-serving demonstrations offended even those with sympathy for civil rights.  It was an outrage.

At the same time, these offensive protests are signs of something far more troubling and profound – an endemic anti-Americanism.  The violent demonstrations against supposed police 'brutality' did not remain in the streets but went viral, promoted and encouraged by the media and given loud support by political progressives.

America is indeed a racist country, they said, and black people have every right to challenge racism in every quarter and by any means necessary.  Racism is a vile, perfidious legacy of slavery, and must be expunged, erased, and eliminated at any cost.

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These protests in the hands of a renewed and energized Left did not end with condemnation of presumed racial injustice but evolved into a blanket condemnation of white people, an assumption of historic guilt, and a dismissal of the European culture and civilization which was the foundation of the American republic. 

Before long the infection had spread virally.  Fourth of July parades were cancelled, flags kept in the closet, celebrations muted.  There was nothing to celebrate, progressive critics said.  America was a racist, venal, and corrupt capitalist society which deserved no praise or support.

So in addition to those on the political right who were offended by the sanctimonious displays of Olympic athletes, the political left also protested.  Cheering Americans who represented their country and competed under the American flag were tantamount to political traitors.  It was the perfect storm.

There’s more.  Many people are upset by the demise of Olympic amateurism – competition unbiased by professional training, sponsorship, or monied interests – and see participation of professional athletes in the Olympics as a corruption of an important ideal.  While some see the participation of the world’s best athletes (judged at least by their professional standing) as a good thing, others see it not only as a deviation from the Athenian norm, but more of the same.  

Who really wants to see over-the-rim basketball in Tokyo when the long, laborious, and tedious NBA season has just ended.  And why should anyone care about soccer when the UEFA championships have just ended and the World Cup is soon to come? Or who will watch Olympic tennis when the Australian Open, the French Open, and Wimbledon are over and done with?

Image result for images over the rim nba basketball

That’s not all.  Identity politics and the divisiveness and moral lassitude it has sponsored have infected the Olympics. Simone Biles, world champion American gymnast withdrew from team competition because of her concerns for her mental health.  Or, looked at more critically, in an act of selfish egoism she failed her team and her country by dropping out at a critical moment of the games. 

If she had been so concerned about her mental health, she could have chosen not to compete at all giving a chance to others; but no, she waited until she had center stage to complain and protest. Not unlike the athletes who took a knee, she did not admit personal failing but the failing of ‘the system’.  A premier, coddled athlete blames the system that made her? She wanted to set an example, she said, of all those victimized by the system; to step up for what is right; to legitimize mental illness.  Are you kidding? said millions of viewers who wanted no more of her cant and self-promotion.

It gets worse. At least three transwomen were viewed as strong contenders for slots on their nations’ women’s Olympic teams and two are currently competing.  The issue of cross-gender sports competition is a live, contentious one in the United States with progressive supporters advocating for an open field.  Anyone, no matter where they are placed on the gender spectrum, they say, should be able to pick and choose how, when, and where to compete.  

Opponents disagree.  Transgenderism is a folly at best and a distortion of human biology at worst.  Viewers know best and are again turning off the set.  Who wants to see a ripped, 300 lb. man compete in a woman’s competition?  

Additionally, the number of openly LBGTQ+ athletes is at an all time high.  While no one objects to gay athletes per se, for viewers who have been so force-fed gayness at home, the last thing that they want to see is rainbow flags in Tokyo.

Image result for Images Transgender Weightlifters. Size: 237 x 204. Source: www.dailymail.co.uk

There is no shortage of athletes and celebrities who use their popularity to speak out on political issues but they do so as individuals and judged as such.  While most people wonder why anyone should listen to a Hollywood actor on the Middle East, taxation, or international finance, others swallow their meanderings hook, line and sinker.  

We are used to such bilge, emotional claptrap, and political ignorance, and if we choose to pay attention, that’s up to us; but when popular athletes use American Olympic teams as a pulpit, a venue, and a place of protest, they are not only out of line, they are – despite their vainglorious claims – acting immorally and unpatriotically.

The Olympic ideal, now so sullied and made to look archaic, once represented the best of our collective humanity.  The Olympics were a showcase of simple, proud, and determined amateurism – the display of individual achievement unaffected by monied interests or financial support.  They did not disparage professionalism, but provided a space for its alternatives.  

Now the ideal has been corrupted by professionalism, identity politics, and wokism.   Those American athletes who ‘take a knee’ and bow their heads in sanctimonious protest; those who hypocritically use personal failings as a means of public complaint; and those who participate as cross-gender willy-nilly competitors, are not only defiling founding Athenian principles, but disrespecting team and nation.

Why would anyone watch these games? Who wants to watch sports these days anyway? Viewership for American professional sports is also at its lowest ebb.  The American television outlet TNT, a frequent broadcaster of professional sports, has noted that viewership of NBA (National Basketball Association) games is down over 50 percent since the 2010-11 season.  No surprise there.  Who wants to see predictable over-the-rim slam-dunks preceded by knee-taking, BLM sweatshirts, and political disrespect?


The most telling consequence of this politicization of sports is that it has deprived the American viewer of his last non-political refuge.  Sports was a happy, exciting escape from politics; and now that it has become just as contentious, aggressive, and meanspirited as everything else, where can one turn?  Nowhere.

The drop in viewership of the Olympics, therefore, is not just an incidental demographic affair.  It is an indicator of the social disruption, political arrogance and ignorance that has infected the entire country. 

It may be that this progressive race-gender-ethnicity juggernaut will be slowed come the midterm elections which will offer voters an opportunity to voice their dissatisfaction, but it may have too much momentum, and the Left may have been too successful in institutionalizing its exaggerated ideas.  The next Olympics will be an indicator, that is if anyone watches.

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