If a future historian seeks to write a book describing what it was like to live in this era, it should be titled, “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.” These days, it feels like whatever is nice, whatever we’re enjoying, we can’t have it — take it away.
This week, on my Facebook memories, an old photo popped up of my dad sitting courtside and cheering at a Knicks game, and for a moment I remembered what it was like to have one of those nice things that we once all shared: sports.
I grew up in the ’90s. My family didn’t have money to spend on all of the cable channels, but my dad, being pretty crafty, figured out a way to get access so we could watch the big sports games. We also had one of those big screen TVs, a bulky, dinosaur-sized television that stood in the middle of the room. On that massive screen, we got to experience the nice thing that was sports.
Like Michael Jordan, game 6 against the Utah Jazz. I was 9 years old. Everybody was crowded around the TV, going absolutely crazy. You could hear the neighbors. You could hear people in front of their TVs down the street. Game six was a great moment, a nice thing.
And I’ll never forget the emotion in our tiny little living room — cousins, brothers, uncles — all huddled around watching Mike Tyson fight Evander Holyfield. I remember the utter disbelief, the screaming. I remember thinking something bad had happened, actually being frightened because the adults in the room were no longer acting like supervising adults. They weren’t watching us because they were transported into that moment. It’s seemed the whole world was emotionally invested in that moment. Tyson vs. Holyfield. That was a nice thing — an event that allowed all of us to transcend our circumstances.
And that used to be a regular thing. Have a bad week at work? Michael Jordan is playing. Struggling financially? Kobe is about to grab another ring. Those moments we all watched on ESPN when the cameras cut to the stands to see a father catching the home run ball and his little boy next to him who just can’t believe it — elated because his dad, his hero, just caught his other hero’s ball.
Sports. That used to be a nice thing. It united us. In those moments nobody cared about anything else. That’s why athletes seemed larger than life. Because they had the unique ability to unite the country, unite the world. Everybody wanted to “be like Mike.” His greatness was enough. He was great because he knew that being the best at something was transformative enough. It made the world better somehow, even if only for a few minutes.
It’s different now though. Sure, athletes are still athletes. They are still performing incredible feats and breaking records, but it’s different. We all feel it. Now, it seems like athletes want to become great for the express purpose of patronizing regular people.
The NBA paints the floor with “Black Lives Matter,” invoking a controversial political organization that rakes in millions and millions of dollars that apparently disappears into a black hole. Nobody knows where all that money really goes, but the NBA paints the court with “Black Lives Matter” anyway. Don’t agree with that organization and their extremist agenda? Well, LeBron James and the NBA wants you to know you’re a racist.
The New Orleans Saints plastered the name Jacob Blake on their helmets to honor him because he was shot by police officers. Why would you honor a knife-wielding man with a warrant out for his arrest for allegedly raping a woman?
Because that’s what sports has become about. Stoking controversy. Divisive politics. Sports are no longer just sports — they’re now woke activism. It’s no longer about transcendence. It’s about submission. It’s about power. Do you like this team? Then you better agree with this hotly contested political topic, or they don’t like you.
Personally, I’ve stopped watching sports. When sports leagues began telling me who I had to be, I stopped watching. When players became billboards for political interest groups, I lost interest. Because I know who I am, and I know what they are. They are mouthpieces for woke corporations that want nothing more than control over my mind — and that was never for sale.
If enough people made the individual decision to simply say no to this divisive nonsense, we could make a difference. And maybe we can one day get some of those nice things back.
Candace Owens is an American writer, producer, conservative commentator and the host of “Candace.”
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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