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Whitlock: The Vanderbilt Publicity Stunts Explain China’s War On America’s Competitive Spirit

China’s ban on Twitter might be its single greatest advantage over the United States of America. 

Social media has accelerated America’s transition from a competition-based society to an attention-based one. 

This acceleration can be most easily seen in the sports world. 

The modern-day Muhammad Ali — Colin Kaepernick — has the resume of Jimmy Young, a heavyweight boxer most famous for losing a controversial decision to Ali. You no longer have to be the greatest to be compared to “The Greatest.” You simply need to win the social media attention competition.

The young ladies at Vanderbilt University have been inspired by the Kaepernick model. The Commodores women’s basketball team announced via Twitter Tuesday afternoon that they will not be partaking in the pregame national anthem. They will sit inside their locker room and “mourn” racial injustice.

That’ll fix it.  

No one cares all that much about Vandy women’s basketball. They haven’t advanced to the NCAA Tournament in six seasons. They’ve never won the SEC regular-season title. Their current coach, Stephanie White, has a lot in common with former football coach Derek Mason. She’s under a lot of pressure entering this season. In her previous four seasons at Vandy, the Commodores have never finished higher than tied for 12th in the SEC. 

Last month, Mason tried to save his job by recruiting a player from the school’s women’s soccer team to squib a second-half kickoff. The publicity stunt worked to perfection. Sarah Fuller’s 30-yard kick was treated like the left-hand shot Buster Douglas delivered to knockout Mike Tyson.  

The kick heard ‘round the woke did not, however, rescue Mason. Vandy fired him two days later. His virtue signal and the attention lathered on Fuller did, however, inspire the young women on Vandy’s basketball team. 

They publicly announced their decision to privately mourn racial injustice. 

It’s an attention grab. Attention, not competition, is becoming the point of sports. 

This week, Sports Illustrated named five “activists” athletes sportspersons of the year. NBA star LeBron James, NFL star Patrick Mahomes, WNBA player Breanna Stewart, tennis star Naomi Osaka and retired NFL lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. 

I’m a Chiefs fan. Mahomes and Duvernay-Tardif are/were Chiefs players. Mahomes is my favorite athlete at the moment. Mahomes’ activism comes down to fronting a couple of Black Lives Matter commercials and tweeting in solidarity with LeBron.

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Duvernay-Tardif, a doctor, didn’t play football this season. He wrote on Twitter that he opted out over concerns about COVID and fear that he could unintentionally transmit the disease. Sports Illustrated claims that Duvernay-Tardif opted out so he could work on the frontlines of the medical pandemic. The reality is he is no more heroic than Avery Bradley, the Lakers guard who opted out of the NBA bubble for the exact same reason Duvernay-Tardif did. 

What’s being promoted by Sports Illustrated, the mainstream media and social media is media-approved activism and attention whoring. Competition is being deemphasized. I’m supposed to be ashamed that I’m bothered by this deemphasis.

I’m not. An attention-based society cannot compete with China, the communist-run country that is rapidly changing American culture. I do not support banning Twitter. That’s what communist, anti-freedom countries do. What we used to do in America is break up monopolies, especially ones that operate as undemocratically as Twitter and Facebook.

The activist athlete isn’t changing America for the better. He or she is simply building a brand to be monetized domestically and globally. The global monetization process stops first in China. The Chinese Communist Party — the CCP, the political apparatus running China — financially rewards leagues (NBA), corporations (Nike), athletes (LeBron and Kap) and entertainers (movie stars) willing to smear America as inherently racist, sexist and evil.

China doesn’t care about American winners. It cares about the athletes and entertainers who can bring the most attention to its anti-American propaganda campaign.  

China bans Twitter because it wants its citizens focused on competition with America. China manipulates our social media apps because our competition for attention undermines the competitive spirit that used to define our culture and made us the envy of the world.

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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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  1. Really the spirit started to weaken in America when widespread immorality became the culture norm. Morality is the keystone of freedom. Immorality leads to revolution which leads to uncontrolled passions which leads to tyrannical draconian control. CCP has been licking its chops.

    The rainbow flag period we were in wasn’t going to last long. Either the Constitution wins or CCP wins.

    • Couldn’t have said it better Jason and Roy with your comment. God has been erased from everything (except many of our laws which are based in Christianity but that is another conversation). Immorality is not only accepted but celebrated. As for Jason’s article, that is exactly what China wants to do, undermine American values so they can be The Super Power. It may sound a little Austin Powers to some of you out there but it is real.

    • Great Responses! The biggest threats to this country is Liberalism, Participation trophies and China. Our country was founded by people that worked hard to survive and for their freedom, believed in (a) God, Loved their neighbor, & worked together for a brighter future for all.
      Work hard, family, faith, and the golden rule. I don’t care who you sleep with and your opinion is yours and mine is mine. Just because they are different doesn’t make the other an idiot or a racist.
      Liberals, if you want everything is “awesome” and “wonderful”, great! give your stuff away not mine
      It was squib kick. please! move on. Here is your SEC CO-special teams player of the week participation trophy.
      Go try all that shit in China and see how they handle it. Send you to a “Camp”
      Feel free to renounce your citizenship and move to China

  2. Mason, you need to study up on your history. Everything changed in 1948, not 1950.

    That’s when liberal Democrat and former KKK member Hugo Black, Supreme Court justice, led the court to re-define “The Separation of Church and State”, which no longer allowed religion to be taught in schools, which led to the 10 Commandments being removed from all schools, followed by prayer, and if the trend continues, the flag salute will soon be next.

    Liberal Democrats changing the moral compass of America isn’t something new, and it didn’t start in 1950. And Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, even though both were deists, both attended church on a regular basis, as they thought the values and sense of community that came from church, were far more important and impactful on society as a whole, than their own individual beliefs.

    Liberal means “excessive”. Google can change the definition if they like, but that is the true definition. Conservative means “only what you need, if not a little less.” Think about it. Especially in terms of government and politics.

    Great article as always Whitlock.

    • Yep the separation of church and state was done to prevent the state from interfering with the church, and also to prevent the government from outright endorsing a religion or requiring people to be a certain religion to serve or have certain rights. Not to prevent people in government or institutions from using certain iconography or sayings or whatever a religion entails. It has been corrupted over time to the reverse…by libs.

  3. The whole “kneeling/staying in the locker room” nonsense during the national anthem has become tired. Biden is president-elect so what are they mourning? Vanderbilt’s sports programs have had a stellar two weeks when it comes to attention-seeking. Great column as always Jason.

  4. Thank you, Jason. As a lifelong Vandy fan, I’m sickened by these last couple of stunts. They’re just trying to run off any supporter who has a functional brain. Sports aren’t what they used to be. Who would’ve seen this 10-15 years ago?

  5. hearing Rush Limbaugh read from Jason’s column today made me smile.

    smile be dammed. we have big problems in this country folks.

    in what seems like a blink of an eye, since whuhan and their famed virus attack, we have given in to rich athletes (entertainers of all kinds) and their desires, bored overeducated ladies (and coronaboy friends) and their desires and lefty billionares and their desires.

    i love sports, women and this country, but 2 of the 3 have lost some sparkle; and the 3rd is teetering.

    we need to stop ‘understanding’ the decline in our culture and hold people accountable – ie Le

  6. Twitter allows too much free speech for China’s liking. I don’t think they banned it for any other reason. The fact that Twitter is changing our culture and is now used as a political tool to flame hate in the U.S. are just bonuses.

  7. From where I’m standing I can see no difference between Mason and a stump!! Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniel’s are looking for a third idiot to play the part in their new movie “Dumb and Dumber and the Biggest Dumbass That Ever Lived!!” Sayonara Troll Boy!!

  8. Jason, when will you start making videos on youtube again? I like Clay, but I joined as a subscriber here to support your voice, especially on video. I enjoy your articles. But I much prefer listening to you are your points on video, they get much wider reach, and have greater impact in that venue, imo.

  9. Jason when are you going to do some more fearless videos they were great .I’m very surprised that some of them where not censored and taken down .After all Google owns You tub .And the two owners Larry Page and Sergey Brin both love money more then America and it people .TO do busses with the CCP is no different then doing busses with Nazis Germany and the third Reich .And just like the Nazis and the CCP they must stop freedom of speech and thought. Jason keep fighting for America . And our
    Bill of Writes right that were give to us by our Creator . We need more journalist like you will to stand up and speak the truth about China .And at the same time trying educate the Black and White athlete on what China real intention are . Thank You for standing up for America

  10. When the left / Hollywood decided to shove moral
    decay down our throats a drive traditional values out of the public square then we get to a place where objectivity and sound ethics are done away with.
    “LiVe yOUr tRuTh” even if it’s Peter Pan Neverland fiction etc

    Now here we are. Stuck with stupid.

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