Because fantasy football is so popular and the more people who play ESPN (my bad Clay Travis, “MSESPN”) Fantasy means the more money ESPN makes, the folks in Bristol decided to have an all day marathon of fantasy football Monday. For the three of you that are big Mathew Berry fans, I’m sure it was great, but for the rest of us I think fantasy talk gets old after a few hours.
Regardless, the marathon isn’t what people ended up talking about during the day, much to ESPN’s dismay. Instead, the esteemed political commentators on Twitter focused on a segment that ESPN ran where they had a real life fantasy auction draft. Now, this was supposed to be a funny take on the online fantasy draft where players were ‘auctioned off’ to owners with their headshots being shown.
But this is 2017 America, so of course, this was made to be about race.
After the events in Charlottesville, race is once again at the forefront of political discourse in the country. But isn’t this blowing this a little out of proportion? The Fantasy Football ‘auction’ had both white and black players being auctioned off, but that was conveniently ignored by most of the internet, as they only liked showing what backed their position.
Many, including several prominent athletes and sports personalities, chimed in including Kevin Durant who called ESPN “bum(s),” which admittedly is funny. But regardless, isn’t this a bit of an overreaction to a sketch that had no intention of being racist? Was it dumb of ESPN to do this with everything that has happened within the last few days? Very. They had to know that people would take it the wrong way. Auctioning off people as a joke will never be taken in a joking manner, even if that is the intent. That being said, does everything need to be racist now? When does this stop? Does everything, like Macklemore’s old haircut, now have to be connected to race in some way shape or form? The sketch was just of an in-real-life comedic representation of online fantasy drafts. But because most of the ‘owners’ were white, it is automatically racist.
I think the main thing to learn here is that people get upset over everything. And if you disagree, you are automatically labeled a racist, regardless of what your argument is. This was a stupid sketch to run, but it was even dumber for people to get upset. Virtue signaling is the new internet craze, and that was ever present when people who had only seen a screenshot of the sketch began commenting on it. Without context, anything can look bad, and that was the case here.
Of course, including context doesn’t support the narrative, so it must be left out.