This article about the NFL and ESPN getting (for lack of a better word) pwned by Trump’s trolling makes me wanna make something clear.
The NFL and ESPN are in this situation completely by their own hand.
By being a ‘national’ brand with a heavily white consumer base, based largely on watching black violence/athletic excellence – those two are pretty inseparable with football – and living up to a legacy of old-tyme control by old white men in sports (as one example, the right to free agency was not given freely), the NFL has been a particularly nasty powder keg of corporate-based racial exploitation for quite a long time.
OTOH, ESPN’s foundational business model was basically running NFL (and other sports, but this is America) clips. And now they’re so dependent on anger-inciting and often race-baiting ‘hot takes’ that this ended up seeming like a good idea.
(For context, Stephen A. Smith is something like mainstream sports journalism’s professional angry black man.
I grew up reading his newspaper columns, and what little I’ve seen of his national work seems pretty much of the same cut as I can remember his columns being. Which isn’t a compliment.)
The NFL has been an evil, racist business for longer than I’ve been alive.
ESPN’s daytime programming has become mostly built around building up and sating the resentments of older and/or ‘racist-y’ white men.
And now Trump is feeding the racist beast better than them, and they’re in some pretty serious double-binds as a result.
If you were ever looking for an example of corporate karma, this is a pretty solid one.