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In Support Of Black Lives Matter, Let’s Defund CardiB, LeBron James and Jimmy Kimmel

The love of money ruined sports. Rather than defunding the police, American lawmakers should consider defunding sports and funneling a significant portion of the money generated in sports toward law enforcement and criminal justice reform.

That’s not snark or sarcasm. As a lifelong sports fan, participant and journalist, every day I feel a bit more like Method Man’s hook on the Wu-Tang rap classic C.R.E.A.M. 

Cash Ruined Everything Around Me.

Late Thursday night, I read USA Today’s excellent investigative piece on the toxic and abusive culture that cost Texas Tech women’s basketball coach Marlene Stollings her job. 

The story legitimately made me want to cry. I love sports. I believe in the lessons they teach related to hard work, accountability, responsibility and collaborating with people from different backgrounds. 

I don’t believe that Stollings’ behavior is representative of most college coaches. But the abuses described in the USA Today story were not unfamiliar to any seasoned journalist who has covered a rebuilding program. Stollings’ top assistant, Lowry Dawkins, was fired at New Mexico State in 2003 for, among other things, threatening to kill a player and pulling another girl by the hair. Five Texas Tech players accused Stollings’ strength coach, Ralph Petrella, of sexual and verbal harassment. 

Excluding the sexual harassment allegations, Stollings’ program sounded a lot like the Kansas football program I covered in the mid-2000s. Mark Mangino turned an awful program into the 2008 Orange Bowl winner before being fired two seasons later for presiding over a toxic and abusive culture.

Were there abusive coaches in college athletics long before coaches earned high six- and seven-figure salaries? No question. Woody Hayes and Bobby Knight come easily to mind. 

But the added cash has only added to the pressure and desperation of coaches. The glut of cash has changed the focus of sports. The goal is to build a brand and become a wealthy influencer. The cash has changed players, coaches, scheduling, the bowl system, everything.

Love of the game is secondary to what the game can do for the individuals within it. College football teams now play 14 and 15 games in a single season. That’s the influence of television cash. 

In hindsight, the year 2020 might be exactly what the sports world and American culture needed. We’ve elevated athletes to a perch much too high. We’ve elevated celebrities to a perch much too high. The amount of money earned in sports makes us take the participants too seriously and makes many of them take themselves too seriously.

Our societal hierarchy is upside-down. Here’s a Game of Thrones analogy: LeBron James is Ser Gregor Clegane, a mammoth, ferocious warrior who serves Queen Cersei Lannister. We treat LeBron like he’s Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister or Ned Stark.  

COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter are helping rational people realize LeBron, Alyssa Milano, Lena Dunham, Steve Kerr, Amy Schumer, Colin Kaepernick, Aaron Paul, CardiB, Meek Mill and Jimmy Kimmel all need to shut up and entertain. They’re not thought leaders. They’re court jesters pretending to be world leaders.

Let’s defund them. Seriously. 

I don’t want to eliminate them. I like to be entertained. I just think it’s a huge mistake to pretend CardiB is important. She’s a stripper-turned-rap music-pornographer. She’s Hugh Hefner, not Michelle Obama with a boobjob. 

Let’s give entertainers a special designation in our tax codes. Tax their income at 80 to 90 percent. I’m serious. Entertainers embrace Marxism and socialism. Let’s give them the system they prefer. 

Let’s take their tax revenue and invest in law enforcement and a criminal justice system focused on rehabilitation. With the extra tax revenue generated from the entertainment industry we could afford to pay and train law enforcement at a higher level. We would attract more qualified police officers. We could take the money from entertainers and dramatically improve how the criminal justice system treats George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks.

I repeat. I’m not being sarcastic. 

We can call it the Black Lives Matter Tax Initiative funded by the American movie, television, music and sports industries.

Defund Entertainers! Black Lives Matter!

If you want Jason Whitlock for your TV or radio show or podcast, contact gary@outkick.com.

Written by Jason Whitlock

Jason Whitlock is a longtime sports writer, TV personality, radio host, podcaster and the newest member of the Outkick family.
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65 Comments

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    • I used to love Kimmel, but he went all SJW the last two years or so, and he has become unwatchable. Same with Corden. I used to love his show as well, but I am guessing the suits at these networks tell them off the record that they can pursue Leftism as long as they make the network money.

      • Sadly, I haven’t watched any late night TV since Letterman became unwatchable, in my opinion, because he was so hard left every night. I used to love SNL, Letterman, Leno, and Kimmel in the beginning. I just know there are thousands of men and women like myself that are yearning to go back to things that have been tainted so badly by the social justice, and PC bullcrap.

        At some point, I really think more folks in the entertainment industry are going to get it, like Outkick, and start helping us to turn this ship around.

  1. I love it!!! “The Black Lives Matter Tax initiative”, funded by American movie, television, music, and sports industries………Since they believe in Marxism and socialism, I look forward to seeing what they have to say about this. Hopefully we can do something like this!……I remember the video hollywood celebs made, where they each stated “I take responsibility”. Hopefully they take responsibility for getting this entertainment tax started, and if not, we as a society can help them get started.

    • Great point regarding the “I take responsibility” nonsense Rodney, really, how about being responsible enough to do just a little research about BLM to see what they are really about as Jason has and continues to so eloquently point out!

  2. I think the R in CREAM was *Rules. Still applies either way.

    The idea here would be hard to execute practically since entertainers would have tax lawyers smart enough to change their designation. But I do agree with the general premise that high-income makers in Hollywood would change their tune if the socialism they advocate for was ever enacted. Also, what is stopping those people from creating an organization to distribute funds to low income people and donating 90% of their wealth to that organization?

  3. They believe in Communism/Socialism/Marxism, etc. until such a system comes for them!

    The entertainers are just as big hypocrites as the NBA taking Billions of dollars from the oppressive regime in Communist China while lecturing the U.S. about how their left wing politics is the only politics that is acceptable for our country.

    Entertainers living sheltered lives – very full of themselves.

  4. Question. As anyone really missed today’s modern entertainment and entertainers? I haven’t. Before covid, the product and quality have been so bad that I was turned off by them anyway. Ironically, it all started when Trump started to run for president. Not the biggest Trump supporter, but you can’t deny as soon as he ran for office, the message changed to be more political.

    • I have been gradually tuning out a lot of live and TV entertainment stuff for a while now. I have basically written off the big ticket concerts. You blow $100+ per ticket, pay $12 for a beer, spend two hours in traffic, to barely get a glimpse of whatever entertainer you came to see because a 6’8″ guy bought the seat in front of you.

      And then there’s the degeneration of college football…. Long a sacred thing for me, half our games are now literally played at noon in September, in 90 degree heat, so that we can get on ESPN the Ocho. The Jumbotron used to be a slight bother, now it literally belches out commercials all game long. I knew it was over for me when the home team had the ball on a crucial 4th down, and the jumbotron was belching out a Journey song while people were more interested in doing a sing-along and taking selfies than whether or not we converted the 4th down and kept the drive and the game alive. This is College football, not a karaoke bar you silly fucks.

      • Amen to both of you, it is amazing to me that it doesn’t seem like any of the decision makers (owners, school presidents, etc) understand they are killing the cash cow, the gravy train, whatever cliché fits.

        First the outright greed as Timothy and Robert point out (though I was very encouraged, when I believe it was Arthur Blanks who reduced the $ of concessions in Atlanta), now the short-sighted taking a knee and holding BLM out as a worthy organization.

        Could it be, that I’m the short-sighted one, and our country is truly going to go down the socialistic, there is no higher power than humankind, doomed to repeat history path??

        Hell no, not without a fight.

        A good fight, getting engaged, aspiring to do what’s right in all aspects of your life.

  5. Black Lives Matter Tax Initiative. That makes me think of the New Testament story with Jesus and the Rich Man. The Rich Man wanted to know how he could join Jesus and his disciples. Jesus insisted that he sell his possessions. The Rich Man turned away for he had many great things. Most Hollywood / Athletes would have a similar reaction to this.

    This article displays a lot more truth than people realize. If wealthy athletes and Hollywood are serious about making positive changes within society, then they’d redirect more of their riches away from their current self-worship to assist the communities that are exposed on the opposite end of the class spectrum.

  6. You’re point is well taken, Joshua. Here’s a similar verse:
    …23Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”…

    These anecdotes from The Bible, designed to guide us in life were once considered essential truths, but have become truisms, with little real impactful value, sad to say.
    And there’s the rub…the wealthy (not all) aren’t serious about much else except their own bottom lines. And I believe that I would try to uplift and improve things where possible if I had the means, but can I say for sure I would…

  7. Jason: Excellent points, and on target as usual. It’s amazing the lecturing these entertainers provide us, and rarely practice what they preach. A lesson would be taught by your program to defund these entertainers. Let me feel a little bit of what is being rammed down our throats. Thanks. Keep up the good work!

  8. Got some good news and some bad news.
    Sure, you guys want the good news first lol (friggin optimists)…my crystal ball says these pseudo-celebrities, formerly funny entertainers, and sports stars extraordinaire are gonna get hammered with tax rates in excess of 50%…
    the bad news…it’ll only happen if Basement Joe gets elected…but the same crazy tax rates will apply to all of us.
    Be careful what you wish for.

  9. You are a national Treasure Whitlock! I actually have thought the same thing for years; this that support Marxism should be free to live under its rule; start by raising their tax rate to 90%. I am sure they would want to be consistent and would not put up a fight because it is what they believe is right.

  10. JW,

    I love the thought behind this piece! I love the fact that a journalist (rapidly becoming my favorite journalist sports or any other kind) can be so thoughtful about how we have deified people with specific physical or entertaining talent but ability for cognition.

    However, I’m not sure they are the primary problem. I fear it is us whom have placed value on opinions of folks like LeBron or Kimmel or Jane Fonda or DeNiro because they are very talented in an area totally unrelated to public policy that are the real problem. So few of us can comprehend that just because a person can entertain the heck out of us that those same people are incapable of rational thought.

    We need more Jason Whitlocks whom can back up their opinions with logic and not raw emotion. We need more kids reading your columns and reading less of the revisionist history tought in public schools.

    The libertarian in me just can’t quite get to taxing their stupidity. As honorable the premise. I just can’t get there.

    Still live ya brother!

    • An excellent point James, we are of course, who is to ultimately blame. I think the best thing we can do is to keep engaging (website forums, with our families, with our friends, starting as many mini movements within our own circles as possible).

  11. Right on the money Jason. All the people you mentioned should put up or shut up and they should give the low born people they the high born profess to care about more than just lip service. The pandemic has showed me that these empty drums make the most noise.

  12. Liberals are consistently on the wrong side of most debates. Their fuel is emotion and baseless ideology and ultimately they need to roll into the pit to refill the tank. You saw that yesterday with Chuck Schumer back-peddling on school closures and Ted Wheeler calling out rioters in Portland. The past three years, and especially the past four months, have clearly identified what many of us already knew — the Democrat agenda is built on Marxist ideology and its aim is to destroy the fundamental underpinnings of America. They are showing their hand and we need to believe our eyes. As for Kimmel, LaPawn, NIKE, and the NFL, etc., they are useful idiots on blast. We see you and won’t forget you.

    • I think the Democrat Agenda is about one thing only, power. Right now their best chance to retake power is by promoting a false narrative that Trump is a racist, the police are racist, the white guy driving that pick-up truck is a racist… Only Great Grandad Joe Biden and AOC can save you from these terrible racists. I don’t think the Dems really want Marxism, they’ve just learned that ANTIFA an BLM make great foot soldiers to do their dirty work.

      • You are correct David regarding it’s all about emotion, it’s the only reason I can think of, as to why they continue to win elections.

        Completely agree with Robert too, I don’t give most of them enough credit to be so dedicated to any ideology, it’s simply about power and what’s expedient. I have much more respect for the zealot believing in a misguided philosophy because they are authentic. So much of the left just seems soulless to me. Don’t get me wrong, plenty of soulless folks on the right too, but the left’s blind ambition doesn’t care about damage (the ends justify the means).

        Covid is a perfect example. Something Jason said in a previous post struct me, imagine being a lower class family stuck in a small dwelling on top of each other because of the lockdowns (like his living arrangements were growing up). I’m blessed to not have to worry about that, but if the left truly cared about what they claim, these Democrat governors would have thought twice about shutting things down. But they saw the perfect cover, we are doing it to save lives, when I believe the real impetus was to produce as much havoc and economic harm as possible prior to the election, and damn the damage it will cause let alone the potentially nasty long term effects. If I’m right (and I think a fair amount of the folks on this site would concur), think about how absolutely wrong that is.

  13. A Whitlock-ism:

    “ Let’s give entertainers a special designation in our tax codes. Tax their income at 80 to 90 percent. I’m serious. Entertainers embrace Marxism and socialism. Let’s give them the system they prefer. ” -JW

  14. Why anyone even listens to pampered multi-millionaire entertainers is beyond me…they are NOT thought leaders! – they just have a “platform.” I personally don’t like to ever hear from my favorite entertainers because I see them as they really are instead of the characters I enjoy in their shows/music/games! Someday soon actors/actresses will all be CGI — studios won’t have to pay them or put up with their antics.

  15. Funny and interesting Tucker Carlson interview where he calls out an affluent CA professor who wants to tax 80% of the wealthiest American’s incomes. Tucker flat out asks her, why don’t you pay 80% of your income, you are very wealthy. Chick responds “I don’t know how to”. Tucker nails her with “Make the check out the US Treasury, send it to Washington DC, no zip code required.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keZu9_Lbne4

  16. JW –

    AGAIN !!
    I’m STUNNED at how right on target you always are.
    Bullseye! SHACK – as we say in Navy Pilot lingo.

    Exactly what I’ve been thinking.
    This is key to all this CRAP !
    Defunding is a 2-Way Street, not a One Way Autobahn.

    They claim to love redistribution of wealth.
    So, help them out by taxing their earnings at 90% – perfect.
    Where is there a better case for that than LBJ and his ilk.
    At some point you’ve made enough, to paraphrase
    B Obama.
    Sports, Education (NEA/NTA), Hollywood, Silicon Valley.
    Defund, defund, DEFUND!
    Boycott too. Don’t spend money on people who hate you.

  17. Love it.

    LBJ is just in over his head. I don’t think he is a bad guy, but he is not well thought in a lot of his remarks. The Morey thing still bugs me. The irony of the public stance he has in his own country while keeping his mouth shut about China is just sick.

    • It’s funny you use LBJ, as I thought of the former President, obviously, I’m in the minority, lol. But, I agree that I don’t think Lebron is inherently a bad guy, I think he can be swayed back, so to speak. But I don’t know if he possesses the humility (and wisdom) to admit how wrong his take on China is, for example, putting their billions $ above human rights.

    • Agreed that Bron is in over his head and isn’t some America-hating pro-China political activist.

      I think he sees himself as a teammate first and foremost, and right now, his team is supposed to be criticizing America. His team is the Woke. So he’s ok with it, and he adds fuel to the fire because it’s what a good teammate would do. It’s simply his belief structure informing his words and actions.

      Now, is it no big deal? Of course not. He’s as influential as it gets. His anti-America stance, passive as it might be, sets the tone. All NBA players take cues from LeBron, and NBA culture influences black culture heavily. They are role models for young men, black/white/Hispanic/Asian/etc, but of course the dominance of black players leads me to believe young black men look up to these guys in a personal way that others might not. This is all loose speculation, but I mean, come on.

      He could change the world with one Instagram post about how much he appreciates America and all he has been able to accomplish here as a black person. He could do the same with one Instagram post about the evils happening in China right now. He would be an immediate hero and would completely change his legacy. It would take one post.

  18. “Entertainers embrace Marxism and socialism. Let’s give them the system they prefer.”
    GAME, SET, MATCH

    Can you imagine the names listed actually living in a utopian Marxist Totalitarian Society?
    How much fun would THAT be?

  19. 10% of LeBron’s 2020 salary is $3,744,000. His tax bracket would need to be about 99.8% so that he can really achieve the #Equality he desires. I look forward to the LeBron stimulus check direct deposited into my bank account.

  20. While I disagree with LeBron and the rest, cancel culture is much more dangerous to our democratic principals. We can all vote with our channel changers, which I believe is what happened to the NFL last year. I hope that freedom of speech and freedom of association (i.e. what we watch) can win the day without treating anyone differently from a tax perspective or hoping and trying to have anyone lose their jobs. That should apply to all sides.

  21. One of the best articles I’ve seen written in years. Truly reflects how I feel in every way. I grew idolizing sports heroes. Their disconnectedness from the reality of their paying customers has me now loathing them as much as they loathe me. I’m so done with supporting these pampered millionaires.

  22. Actually, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) could be a wonderful laboratory for all our social problems. Income inequality? I bet all those liberal A-listers would have no problem supporting those in their profession who are less fortunate, working their way up waiting tables. They just haven’t gotten their break because they are oppressed. Immigration? Do you know how hard it is to get a SAG card? Open it up to everyone! After all, it took a village to make that movie/tv show. Healthcare? Of course, after opening the floodgates to new members, they could offer outstanding coverage to all. Once they have established their Utopia, they could then show us all how they did it, and I might listen. Until then….

  23. Yes!

    I’ve been saying it for years: no one under a certain age (30?) listens to anyone but celebrities.

    If you’re Ariana Grande, your voice carries more weight than any academic/scientist/expert. It’s an ongoing house fire in our nation. We suffer greatly for this stupidity.

    You know what would be cool? If Emma Watson talked about how women are treated in the Middle East and other places under Sharia Law. It would be cool if she talked about that instead of making pseudo-profound statements about how women can get jobs and not shave their armpits. Everyone already knows that and has no issue with it, save a few dinosaurs here and there.

    Until we have A-list celebrities talking about issues in a data-informed, nonpartisan way, we’re going to continue to see minds warped across the country. I think, anyway. Enough of them have fuck you money that I think we might see some step up and do this sort of thing, maybe even this year. We are at a breaking point with the spike in Wokeness and the trendy blind hatred of conservatives. Think Terry Crews, but on a variety of issues.

    Hopefully Whitlock is right that we’re seeing a breaking down of this stultifying norm. I do think one interesting side effect of Corona is that people are being forced to be data-driven. It is not easy to learn to how to find, interpret, and verify the quality of information, but it can all be done on a smartphone, and I think more and more people are getting hip to this practice.

    Things are bleak if you look in certain places, but I have hope that we are getting smarter. And I really think a large number of liberal men are becoming so disturbed by what they see that they’re challenging their learned beliefs and realizing that what the Dems are supporting is illiberal and frighteningly unscientific. I appreciate Clay and Jason so much for being outspoken voices on this matter in a sports setting. It makes a huge difference.

  24. “They’re court jesters pretending to be world leaders.” Thanks for framing the words to reflect the thoughts of many — thumbs-down on Colbert and Kimmel who transmogrified comedy into political boredom in order to stay on the air. Maher may be wrong about almost all topics, but at least he has more brains and bigger balls than these dullards.

  25. Jimmy Kimmel’s name was included on the list of names (125) that where on an Epstein Lolita plane.
    Those planes stopped at St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands and from there by either helicopter or boat. on to Epstein’s private isle for their fun and games.

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