Disturbing trend of sports writers calling for cancellation of NCAA football and basketball

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Key Bank Centre Buffalo, NY. Photo by Chris McKee.

Stop calling for cancellations and let the kids play NCAA basketball and football.

One of the most disturbing trends in sports media during 2020 is the transformation of sports writers and broadcasters into proponents of cancel culture.

We are now facing the possibility of the cancellation of NCAA basketball and football during the 2020-21 season. 

These cancellations are not because the universities and college’s want to cancel and possibly destroy college sports forever but rather because of media pressure that perhaps it’s not “safe” to play basketball and football during a pandemic.

Since when did it become a sports writers job to decide how, when or where the sports they cover are played? 

Since when do sports broadcasters get to decide under what circumstances games get played that make them feel comfortable?

The postponements and cancellations happening in NCAA sports are not happening because the SEC and Big 10 don’t want to play. The cancellations are happening because of media pressure. 

Even though there are dozens of sports leagues around the world who have safely returned to play without any health issues at all for the players or coaches involved media members across North American continue to focus on the sports that aren’t being played and how we need to cancel more sports. 

Last Saturday, I spent my morning flicking back and forth between the English Premier League, Bundesliga, PGA Tour and Formula One Racing on TV. I later drove to work listening to sports radio on ESPN, Fox and CBS and not one single show was talking about any of the sports that actually happened that morning but rather they chose to focus the conversation on how other sports need to be cancelled. 

2020 is doing some strange things to the psyche of good people.

There are a handful of what used to be respected college football and basketball writers and broadcasters who have now morphed into parrots of fear mongering because they’ve been sitting at home way too long during this pandemic watching politicians on CNN. 

The irony is that the writers calling for the cancelation of the upcoming season continue to preach safety and health as the main reasons we need to cancel college football and basketball in 2020-21. 

Their reasonings are mostly based on some projection from a scientist they saw on CNN that perhaps, possibly, conceivably, imaginably or maybe a player suffers health issues due to the coronavirus. 

Where were those same calls for cancelling NCAA sports after Jordan McNair actually died because of being overworked at a Maryland football practice in 2018? 

Where were the calls to cancel college football after Shawn Afryl died during a practice at Winona State in 2014 or following the death of Theodore Hammonds at a Warner University practice last year?

They still played college football games at Penn State after dozens of children were molested on campus and at team facilities by defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky over a 30 year period. 

They continued to play college football after Eric LeGrand was left paralyzed for life on the field during a Rutgers game as well as following the death of Robert Grays of Midwestern State after he suffered a neck injury in a game.

Nobody was concerned about the safety of college athletes during the hundreds of life altering injuries and deaths over the past few decades but now all of a sudden media members and writers think its important to cancel sports because of “safety.”

Memo to sports broadcasters and writers who don’t want see NCAA basketball and football played this year; turn off CNN, you’re not Andrew Cuomo. 

The calls for cancellation are not based on safety or concern for student-athletes because if they were dozens of college football programs should have been canceled many years ago. 

The calls for cancelation by these broadcasters are whats known in psychology as the hero syndrome. 

The hero syndrome is a phenomenon affecting people who seek recognition, usually by creating a situation which they can resolve. This can include acts such as arson (ie. Lighting the college basketball and season on fire).

People with hero syndrome generally cause an accident or disaster with the intention of then coming in to render aid; becoming the hero. The perpetrator may be trying to validate their own self-worth, or be seen as brave by others.

Sports writers and broadcasters are not heroes, nor will they ever be.

Get out of the way and let the kids play football and basketball in 2020-21. 

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