Sportswriter questions display of flag at baseball games

A lot of discussion in the conservative media recently about the liberal bias in journalism extending to the sports page.  I don't think there's any doubt that in the Age of Trump, liberals who happen to write about sports feel a little left out unless they can bash their political opponents as much as liberal pundits.

But NBC's Craig Calcaterra really jumped the shark when he questioned the display of the American flag at baseball games.

"Will you keep politics out of sports, please. We like sports to be politics-free" pic.twitter.com/Mx3omxcNhu

— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) April 16, 2017

Calcaterra doubled down in hypocritical fashion.

Washington Times:

Multiple readers asked how the American flag is political, to which the writer responded: "People often wrap themselves in the flag in order to achieve political ends. […] Maybe a flag, in and of itself isn't always political. A two-acre flag with a military flyover is saying something very specific, however."

The writer also posted a response on the NBC Sports page on Monday for critics and "some conservative people" who aren't familiar with his work.

"Let us not pretend for one second that displays of conspicuous patriotism haven't spiked dramatically in our country over the past 16 years," the writer said. "Let us not pretend for one second that they persist for all of the same reasons that initially inspired them. Let us not pretend that, over more than a decade and a half of it, many have not learned how effective it is to leverage patriotism to aid their political careers, their images, or their marketability and the marketability of their brands."

"I respect your opinions Craig," wrote one reader. "But I think you are a total goof 95% of the time and use hardball talk as a platform to blog about your socialistic points of view. ... You disagree with people just for the sake of starting an argument quite often (and describe yourself openly as a contrarian) and then whine when people come back at you with a different opinion while trying to mock them with nonsensical sarcasm."

Calcaterra is either blind or stupid.  Why doesn't he mention how NBA players have engaged in blatant politics by promoting Black Lives Matter?  Or how Colin Kaepernick used the flag as a protest at NFL games against his notion of police violence?

How many have wrapped themselves in the BLM flag to advance a personal or political agenda? 

You see, Craig, you are upset only when politics you disagree with are associated with the flag and sports.  You are fine with politics that you support being shoved in the face of fans 24-7.

No doubt Calcaterra doesn't think Kaepernick's protest or BLM protests are "political."  How many leftist politicians have latched on to both those protests to advance their careers?  That makes it hugely political – aside from the obvious political connotations in the protests to begin with.

So what happened to "We like sports to be politics free"?

A lot of discussion in the conservative media recently about the liberal bias in journalism extending to the sports page.  I don't think there's any doubt that in the Age of Trump, liberals who happen to write about sports feel a little left out unless they can bash their political opponents as much as liberal pundits.

But NBC's Craig Calcaterra really jumped the shark when he questioned the display of the American flag at baseball games.

"Will you keep politics out of sports, please. We like sports to be politics-free" pic.twitter.com/Mx3omxcNhu

— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) April 16, 2017

Calcaterra doubled down in hypocritical fashion.

Washington Times:

Multiple readers asked how the American flag is political, to which the writer responded: "People often wrap themselves in the flag in order to achieve political ends. […] Maybe a flag, in and of itself isn't always political. A two-acre flag with a military flyover is saying something very specific, however."

The writer also posted a response on the NBC Sports page on Monday for critics and "some conservative people" who aren't familiar with his work.

"Let us not pretend for one second that displays of conspicuous patriotism haven't spiked dramatically in our country over the past 16 years," the writer said. "Let us not pretend for one second that they persist for all of the same reasons that initially inspired them. Let us not pretend that, over more than a decade and a half of it, many have not learned how effective it is to leverage patriotism to aid their political careers, their images, or their marketability and the marketability of their brands."

"I respect your opinions Craig," wrote one reader. "But I think you are a total goof 95% of the time and use hardball talk as a platform to blog about your socialistic points of view. ... You disagree with people just for the sake of starting an argument quite often (and describe yourself openly as a contrarian) and then whine when people come back at you with a different opinion while trying to mock them with nonsensical sarcasm."

Calcaterra is either blind or stupid.  Why doesn't he mention how NBA players have engaged in blatant politics by promoting Black Lives Matter?  Or how Colin Kaepernick used the flag as a protest at NFL games against his notion of police violence?

How many have wrapped themselves in the BLM flag to advance a personal or political agenda? 

You see, Craig, you are upset only when politics you disagree with are associated with the flag and sports.  You are fine with politics that you support being shoved in the face of fans 24-7.

No doubt Calcaterra doesn't think Kaepernick's protest or BLM protests are "political."  How many leftist politicians have latched on to both those protests to advance their careers?  That makes it hugely political – aside from the obvious political connotations in the protests to begin with.

So what happened to "We like sports to be politics free"?

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