Sports under Trump
Matt Gad – Sports Writer
ESPN came out with a new social media policy recently which prevents their talent from broadcasting their political opinions on social media channels unless it related to a hard news story, or one they were reporting on themselves. Since those reporting would be sportswriters or sports broadcasters, this would mean it would cross between the sports and political spectrums.
Jemele Hill, co-host of a nightly SportsCenter telecast with Michael Smith, was suspended earlier this fall for comments she made on Twitter related to, first, President Trump being a “white supremacist” and, second, to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones during the heat of the NFL anthem protests. While players are still protesting the national anthem, the heat of the protests has died down after being set back by Trump’s explosive comments in which the president targeted the league’s players for being overly political.
Since Trump took office on Jan. 20, a number of professional or college sports teams have declined invitations to honor their championships at the White House—something former President Obama cherished dearly. Somewhat recently, Trump tweeted that the Warriors and star player Stephen Curry had their invitation to celebrate the championship they won this past summer cancelled, despite a large volume of rumors indicating that they were not going to visit the White House regardless.
Despite the New England Patriots, Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Penguins coming to celebrate with Trump, neither of this past college basketball season’s champions, in the North Carolina men and the South Carolina women, have gone to the White House. The Tar Heels reportedly had a “scheduling conflict.” There has been no public invitation or mention of any willingness to invite the Gamecocks, even though their coach has said they would go because of the pure honor that visiting the White House brings regardless of who is currently serving the office.