All That and a Bag of Mail

It’s Friday and I hope all of you are ready for a great weekend.

It has been a fun and wild week for me as Buck Sexton and I are about to complete our first week in the Rush Limbaugh timeslot. The feedback has been phenomenal so far, but it’s been a monstrous undertaking to launch the biggest new radio show in history.

But so far, I think it has gone really well.

And I’m loving it.

For those of you who are fans of OutKick the Show, my daily afternoon show, we are working on getting the podcasts over the past few weeks uploaded on iTunes. There’s a glitch in the process that hasn’t allowed our uploading to work. It’s above my technical understanding, but I’m told it should be resolved soon. In the meantime, you can watch that daily show on YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook if you just search out my name on any of those platforms.

If you haven’t already, go subscribe to the new Clay Travis and Buck Sexton podcast here. Give us a smart or funny review, and we’ll read the best ones on air at some point in the near future.

Final bit of news, if you’re an Outkick VIP, I’ll be doing a Sunday live video chat with all of you at 1 pm eastern. Should be fun.

Okay, let’s dive right into your questions.

KG writes:

“When are Jay Williams and Jalen Rose coming on your show?”

Ha, rough week for these two guys.

As always, they have an open forum to come on the show, but I doubt they’d be willing to do so.

If you missed it, Jay Williams congratulated the Boston Celtics on hiring a minority coach for the first time. The only problem? The guy is actually the Celtics’ SIXTH black coach.

I mean, come on, Doc Rivers wasn’t that long ago, man. And this is the sport you’re supposed to know better than anyone since you played in the NBA yourself and have covered it on ESPN for years.

Jay later claimed he was hacked, which set forth a tsunami of incredible Twitter takes. Sure, man. You got hacked, and the first and only thing someone tweeted from your account was a dumb take about the new Celtics coach?

Come on, just own your Twitter stupidity.

But Jalen Rose is much worse.

He said Kevin Love was a “token” addition to the US Olympic team and that the only reason Love was on the team was because the USA was afraid to have an all black team. Except the US Olympic basketball team in 2016 was all black, and no one cared or even talked about it that I can remember.

This is a great example of direct sports racism that wouldn’t be allowed to stand if anyone other than a black guy had said it about a white guy.

Think about a statement like this being made in any other sport. I don’t even know what the racial make up of the United States Olympic hockey team is, but I think it’s fair to say there are probably a lot of white dudes on that team. What would the reaction be if we had one black player on our team and a hockey analyst said the player was only on the team because he was a “token” and because the United States was afraid to have an all white team?

I mean, the hockey analyst would be fired within an hour of making those statements, and he’d probably never work in sports again.

All of you know this is true.

The same thing would happen if, for instance, the United States Ryder Cup roster was announced and a golf analyst came out and said the only reason a black golfer was on the team was because of his race.

That analyst would be fired and never work in golf again.

So why will Jalen Rose get a pass on this stupidity?

It’s simple: black privilege. He can get away with saying something that’s blatantly racist because he’s a black guy saying this about a white guy. People like Jalen Rose, who are railing against racism all the time, are allowed to be racist themselves. And there are zero consequences for their racism.

Now, again, I’m not in favor of cancel culture or firing someone because of one dumb thing he has said or tweeted, but shouldn’t we at least attempt to apply an even standard on stories like these? It’s a failure of our national discourse on race that we can’t apply an even standard of behavior for all people, regardless of their race.

In the meantime, how do two stories like these happen in such short order at ESPN? I’ll tell you: because ESPN hires people who are more obsessed with identity politics than sports and then continues to promote them. ESPN employees who obsess about race, gender, sexuality, and identity politics — all from a left-wing perspective — constantly get rewarded and promoted.

It’s madness, honestly.

And, trust me, the executives running ESPN see this and know how toxic it is for their brand, but these executives are mostly white and they’re terrified of losing their own jobs by not seeming to be woke enough. So they just keep promoting people saying stupid things like this in an effort to avoid losing their own jobs or being called racist themselves.

The woke MSESPN contingent has completely taken the company hostage.

Dylan writes:

“How crazy is MLB for checking every pitcher for using or suspecting a foreign substance?”

Very crazy.

It’s been a really bad year so far for MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. Which is a shame because I thought he did a pretty decent job getting the baseball season played last year with all the coronabros demanding the season be canceled. Manfred was steadfast in ensuring the season didn’t get canceled, and for that, I praised him.

But the decision to pull the All-Star Game out of Atlanta was next level stupid. And so is this checking the pitcher business.

It’s an awful stoppage to the game, but it also just makes the entire sport look ridiculous. Plus, it reinforces the idea that everyone in baseball cheats, which I don’t think most fans want to be thinking about during the games themselves.

I’m headed down to Atlanta next weekend with my family for three Braves games over July 4th weekend, and I can’t wait for the trip, but I hope MLB recognizes how absurd these checks are and realize it’s bad for the game in the meantime.

There has to be a better way to check pitchers for illegal substances than to have them effectively doing pitcher strip searches during the middle of the game.

Jack writes:

“How will you and Buck attract the democratic voter, not crazy about what Biden and the Democrats are doing, to listen to your show so they can learn what’s going on without feeling slighted?”

It’s a good question. I’m a big tent guy. I want everyone to listen to the show, conservative, liberal, libertarian, you name it. Because I think what we’re saying is important, and I also believe there are many persuadable voters out there — people who think less in terms of political parties and more in terms of sane and insane ideas.

I think there are a lot of insane policy ideas out there — most being floated by the Democrats, presently. As I’ve said for over a year now, defund the police, the COVID lockdown response in general, a lack of willingness to stand up to China, calling requiring voters to have a photo identification racist, cancel culture, all of it is being fueled by the woke elements of the Democrat Party who are stifling free speech in the country.

There are massive majorities that repudiate all the things I just listed above. I mean, 80% of all races are opposed to defunding the police and 89% of all races think you should need an ID to vote. No one is for these policies. Yet the blue check brigade on social media has been trying to foist all of this upon us for over a year now.

I think we have to kill the woke virus infecting American politics.

And I think our show is going to be a big part of that.

Interestingly, if COVID doesn’t happen and Donald Trump rolls to re-election in 2020, which he would have done, I think Democrats would have had to analyze themselves and realize identity politics and cancel culture are killing them. But instead, they dragged Joe Biden over the finish line by a narrow margin and have doubled down on identity politics.

The result is, I think we’ll see Republicans take back the House and Senate in 2022 — this is why Biden is being so aggressive this year with trying to force through as much left wing policy as he can. Then in 2024 if the Republicans nominate a solid choice, I think that candidate will wipe the floor with Kamala Harris, who is just not a likable or skilled politician. (Kamala will have to be the nominee because it would be racist and sexist of the Democrats not to nominate her.)

But in the meantime, my hope is that our radio show speaks to all people of all different political persuasions who feel like things in this country have gotten insane. Which is why I try to say on a regular basis that we want to be a big tent show. I really do think we can speak to the vast majority of reasonable Americans out there who want to repudiate identity politics and cancel culture. And I’m not sure anyone in media has a bigger audience to speak to the American people on a daily basis anywhere than we do.

It’s why I couldn’t say no to the opportunity to host this show.

I’d encourage you to check out the show if you haven’t already, and let me know what you think.

Randall writes:

“How will we ever overcome the media? They have no check.”

I disagree here.

I still believe in the marketplace of ideas. The best way to overcome bad speech is with more speech. I believe over time the marketplace rewards honesty and facts. I really do.

Now that’s made more difficult, no doubt, by the current social media environment where we have such a viral anecdote driven culture. What do I mean by a viral anecdote driven culture? Whatever you believe, there’s a viral video on the Internet to support that belief.

But it isn’t reflective of the larger societal issues. It’s an outlier.

What honest media should do is contextualize that video and make it clear that it’s an outlier. But instead we have most media claiming that outlier videos are representative of the real world.

The George Floyd video is a great example. The reason the Floyd video went viral is because things like that almost never happen. Most police do a great job of keeping us safe on a daily basis. But that doesn’t mean all police do this — some police commit crimes.

What the media and social media did was use the George Floyd video to stereotype all police behavior. And the result is police weren’t able to do their jobs, and the overall crime and murder rate has skyrocketed in this country.

Now even the Democrat Party is aware of what an issue the murder rate has become, and there’s a sudden panic on their side because of what they unleashed by demonizing police. But they’re probably too committed to woke politics to unring that bell.

We’ve got to get back to the broken windows era of policing. Instead of going soft on crime, we have to go hard on crime. Because the data reflects that when you let small time crime occur, it leads to big time crime.

Again, this isn’t complicated.

It’s self evident. We’ve known the Ferguson effect is real for years now. So why did we think the murder rate wasn’t going to skyrocket when we kept police from doing their jobs? It’s just a failure of national policy. A failure of policy, by the way, that just happens to occur every four years in an effort to try and motivate black voters to show up and vote for president.

If the media had done their job, they would have been telling us all of this for the past year.

But they didn’t.

Because, as a group, they’d decided they hated Trump too much to allow him to win again.

Frog writes:

“Would love to hear your predictions for the first state to go back on partial lockdown and limit fans at sporting events when the inevitable winter cold/flu/COVID season hits in about 5 months.”

I mean, this is pretty easy to figure out, it’s California, Oregon or Washington.

Zero doubt.

Closely followed on the east coast by New York, Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Just look at the states that did the worst job with COVID over the past year and presume they’ll continue to do a bad job going forward. This isn’t rocket science.

I hope this doesn’t happen, but I’m afraid it might.

Oscar writes:

“Have you mentioned the NBA ratings lately?”

Yeah, they stink.

The NBA fan boys are really upset with me because I keep sharing facts that upset them. The NBA is going to post its second worst — and still maybe the worst — ratings in the history of the league this year.

The bottom has completely fallen out of the league audience, and most people are too dumb to realize they’re getting played by the usual online NBA ratings suspects who try to confuse them with data.

Here’s the ratings data on the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals airing on TNT right now. Game One between the Hawks and Bucks drew 5.3 million viewers, that’s down from 2019’s Game One between the Bucks and the Raptors, which drew 5.5 million viewers. But remember in 2019 there was a Canadian team, the Raptors, in the finals. So if you go back to 2018, Game One drew 7.2 million viewers, meaning in the past few years, the NBA has lost around 27% of its audience.

Put simply, Hawks-Bucks has a decent chance to be the least watched Eastern Conference Finals taking place in the summer, ever.

ESPN is playing ratings games right now by comparing games this summer to games played in the bubble last year in the fall. And they’re even cherry picking games that were played competing directly with NFL games.

Not surprisingly, most people aren’t smart enough to recognize this.

But I think it’s important to recognize what’s going on here. The NBA ball washers in the media are spinning as hard as they can to try and make it look like the league’s brand is in good shape. It isn’t. We’re headed to the second lowest ratings in the modern history of the NBA.

The NBA numbers may be up, it appears, from 2020’s overall disaster numbers. But not by much. The two worst seasons in NBA ratings are likely to happen in back-to-back years.

As always, the lesson is clear for sports leagues: get woke, go broke.

Thanks for all of you who are out there listening and reading.

I’m off to the studio for the Friday edition of the Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show.

Hope all of you have fantastic weekends.

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.

4 Comments

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  1. Love the new show, I have been listening to the podcast on Spotify. Will you guys put out a “best of” summary type episode, like outkick had, anytime soon? I do not always have 3 hours to listen, would love a quick 45-60 minute recap episode for my drive home.

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