The performances laced with unpatriotic virtue signaling during competition cannot be ignored. American athletes are simply indifferent to the ceremony of representing the red, white and blue, as the vacuous Tokyo venues lacking any semblance of energy as glorified warehouses are at full capacity as it pertains to politics. After the latest iteration of the once proud US basketball Dream Team was woefully embarrassed by France in a stunning loss, maybe the megalomaniac celebrities of competition prowess should stick to social networking and building their brands, instead of underwhelming fans on the $20 billion stage of a failed megaproject. The sordid venture once again lining the pocketbooks of the obligatory corrupt International Olympic Committee, and bureaucrats who could be mistaken for callous European mid-20th century dictators behind some sort of metaphorical curtain.
As coronavirus cases are allegedly surging outside the empty nearly empty venues, the narrative has become all about the flag, performance anxiety derailing athletic exploits, and barely teenagers medaling in events that blatantly lack the talent, strength and skill level required by traditional team and individual sporting events. Stunningly the snarky US women’s soccer team stood with arms interlocked during the National Anthem, as individuals attempted to justify the sudden onset of national pride in claiming that being a part of the US national team on the global stage is somehow different than being involved in a match played at a stadium stateside. The rationale that competitors recognize a duality or distinction between Olympic and non-Olympic protocol defies logic, and parrots the tactic of radicals constantly changing the goalposts to benefit their ideology. This tawdry gesture allowed the conversation to gravitate towards the rhetoric of, “We still believe in the our country, but we desire to change it beyond recognition.” This follows the agenda of morphing the stars and stripes into a placard of hatred, and along with nefarious revisionism and a controversial interpretation of history, the official assassination of the American dream, at least by extremists.
Any sliver of relevancy of the Olympics from a US perspective being anything more than a ceremonious and sanctimonious compliment to the social justice movement was lost as outspoken countercultural advocate Sue Bird led the American team into the Olympic stadium for the opening ceremony. What has followed has been a unsettling F***book trending news stories to champion the integration of athletes facing gender identity crises into the framework of the international sporting dynamic. Lost within this maelstrom of radicalized propaganda is the simple fairy tale script of a small town impoverished warrior overcoming adversity and enormous odds to briefly shine on the medal stand as a culmination to a life of hard work and success nullifying a constant struggle.
Unfortunately, the broadcast giants of NBC and ESPN have fallen prey in attempting to appease a group of people spurred by an abstract and ambiguous goal, who can and will never be satisfied. Pathetically, these individuals employ threats to drive specific content, and the purveyors of social media and the mainstream press regularly surrender and in doing so eradicate the founding journalistic tenets of fair and balanced and objectivity in the process.
As drama-laden viral fluff detracts from the actual athletic exploits, including the vital for the survival of humanity’s Norwegian women’s volleyball team being fined for refusing to the required kit of a swimsuit and instead donning shorts, the legacy years of Bob Costas and Mary Lou Retton remain so distant in the rear view mirror of time that baby boomers and generation xers can’t remember if they cared at one point. Regardless of the underwhelming existence of nostalgia (recently on Jeopardy! every contestant whiffed on identifying Fl0-Jo and her stars and stripes-themed finger nails) apathy has been copied and pasted around the digital living room of a once fanbase fatigued by the extracurricular skirmishes and indoctrinating content.
While the NFL was adroitly able to cauterize the Colin Kaepernick fiasco and proving through a hideous experiment that politics and sports don’t mix, as fans overwhelmingly voted with their wallet, the propensity of factions of the sporting industry to continuously push an agenda onto the audience is tediously baffling. The new director of business operations for the Seattle Mariners has vowed to rally the franchise to a level of the “most progressive team in baseball”, a curious choice of vernacular in creating a mission statement for a team that has never even been to a World Series. In raising red flags for a beleaguered fan base that has not tasted the postseason since 2001 and probably would have been content with phrases such as “innovatively successful” or “winning in all facets”, the mentality of forced equity has infiltrated the entire sports hierarchy. This phenomenon is excruciatingly inexplicable for an athletic symposium that has relied on the steady brute force of cable and satellite subscribers. However, the transition of a significant amount of consumers to online and streaming services attenuates an already miniscule margin for error other parties than the IOC profiting off live broadcasts.
The existence of exemplary and intense competition is sacred and provides a crucial outlet for society, but disturbingly, the politicization of every facet of life, and the relentless pressure applied by countercultural groups to normalize the entire spectrum of effulgent colors of reality into a maudlin grayscale, puts the Olympics in the precarious position of being added to the endangered species list. As Japanese organizers have been judiciously competent in not filling the empty arena seats with garish cardboard cutouts, the only question remains if the North Korean cheerleading and reeducation squad will receive a special health waver to provide some sort of entertainment and energy from the stands.
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