Nobody cares what Sue thinks
Once again, athletes have found a receptive media establishment for all their political philosophy. I recall when they got questions about their sport: "Hey, Tom Seaver, did you think the manager was going to take you out of the game when you walked the first batter in the 9th inning?" Or "Hey, Bart Starr, did you call that quarterback sneak in the huddle or on the line?"
Now they've all become political pundits because they know that there is a microphone waiting for their comments.
Sue Bird and the rest of the WNBA have been at the forefront of social justice protests and during the 2021 season, most players have left the court before the national anthem has played.
Bird and Team USA have no plans to leave the court for the national anthem during Olympic competitions this coming week and the Seattle Storm legend sees no contradiction in it.
"You are wearing USA jerseys, and it does change the conversation a little bit and what you're representing," Bird told the Associated Press on Saturday. "With that, I don't feel like a hypocrite in any way. Everyone knows where we stand. I don't think it contradicts anything since we're actually doing the work."
Bird and her fellow Olympic teammates have shown unity through their exhibition matches by locking arms before tip-off. Bird was also the U.S. flag bearer during the parade of nations at the opening ceremony in Tokyo.
She said she believes people know where their stance is on social justice issues.
You really think so, Sue? WNBA games average 357,000 viewers across ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2. It's better than than the 205,000 from 2020 but still a rather small number. Hallmark, with super-traditional movies and no actor pretending to be a philosopher, is at 493,000, so what does that tell you, Sue?
It sounds to me as though sports fans are sending you and the WNBA a message: "We don't care!" And they are going to care even less if you keep thinking the country cares what you think about this or that. Don't believe me? Ask your partners at the NBA.
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).
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