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Perhaps ESPN is learning.
When San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich blasted President Donald J. Trump on May 14, it wasn’t covered on ESPN.com.
Maybe they’ve finally learned that mixing sports and politics is bad for business.
In the past, they’ve run with Popovich’s poison on the current President, like in January when ESPN’s Dave McMenamin featured Popovich’s vitriol in a column.
In this January story, Popovich, who is often nasty with the media, gave Trump some advice in dealing with the press.
“I want to be totally vanilla, whether someone says something great or something bad [about me],” Popovich told ESPN before a Spurs-Cleveland Cavaliers game on January 22. “You can’t let that affect you. We have somebody in office right now who should take that lesson.”
Then, Popovich praised the women’s marches in Washington, D.C., and other cities that protested the new president.
“The march today was great,” Popovich said. “That message is important, and it could have been a whole lot of groups marching. And somebody said on TV, ‘What’s their message?’ Well, their message is obvious. That our president comes in with the lowest [approval] rating of anybody who ever came into the office. And there’s a majority of people out there, since Hillary [Clinton] won the popular vote, that don’t buy his act. And I just wish that he was more — had the ability to be more — mature enough to do something that really is inclusive rather than just talking and saying, ‘I’m going to include everybody.’
“He could talk to the groups that he disrespected and maligned during the primary and really make somebody believe it. But so far, we’ve got [to] a point where you really can’t believe anything that comes out of his mouth.”
From 2008-16, Popovich never commented on the believability of former President Barack Obama. Nary a word on Obama saying, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.”
While Popovich has now blasted Trump on five different occasions, he never said a word about matters like the IRS targeting conservative groups, which occurred under Obama’s watch.
But, to ESPN’s credit, they ignored the latest hateful diatribe from Popovich. It’s not covered anywhere on their website.
You have to tip your hat to ESPN for avoiding giving Popovich another platform.
So, perhaps they are starting to get the message that politics and sports don’t make good bedfellows.