Former NFL Quarterback Brett Favre, host of the podcast “Bolling with Favre,” discussed the increasingly politically-charged, woke sports environment with Daily Wire host Andrew Klavan.
Favre, who has been vocal about his disdain for the injection of politics into sports, said that he thinks “both sides” of the American public are dissatisfied with how sporting events have become a partisan tool.
“I think both sides, for the most part, want to see it just remain about the sport, not about politics,” Favre said. “At least that’s my interpretation. I know when I turn on a game, I want to watch the game. I want to watch the players play and teams win and lose and come from behind. I want to watch all the important parts of the game, not what’s going on outside the game. I think the general fan feels the same way.”
The comments come on the heels of Major League Baseball’s decision to relocate the All-Star Game from Georgia after being pressured by leftist activists unhappy over the recent election bill signed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. On Monday, The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), announced it will pull championships from states that do not allow biological males to compete in women’s sports.
Increasingly, professional sports have leaned into political issues, notably backing Black Lives Matter and allowing athletes to kneel during the national anthem. When the National Basketball Association restarted its season over the summer, it allowed players to put approved social justice slogans on their jerseys. Among the approved slogans were “Anti-Racist,” “Say Her Name,” “Black Lives Matter,” and, “I Can’t Breathe.” These phrases, along with some others, were the only ones permitted.
In December, reports showed professional sports ratings had plummeted after months of social justice activism. As Front Office Sports reported, the NBA Finals took a hit by as much as 49 percent. NFL ratings were reported to be down by seven percent, according to Nielson, in addition to the league reportedly scrambling for advertisement space for the Super Bowl.
When Klavan asked Favre about whether tensions existed between different races when he was playing, Favre said politics and the issues of the day did not make their way into the locker room.
“In fact, that was sort of our protected space if you will, where we could kind of let our guard down,” Favre replied. “We were in something together. We fought together. We won together. We lost together. And we truly were a family. So yeah, to answer your question we absolutely didn’t have issues.”
Favre also weighed in on the national anthem. While the NFL technically has a policy about kneeling for the national anthem, athletes have done it for years after former quarterback Colin Kaepernick began doing so in 2016. Athletes in several leagues have done so, and in some cases, fans have booed the players for disrespecting the flag and “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
“Something’s got to unite us. And the games or sport in the past has been some kind of unification,” Favre said. “Now, it’s almost like a division. I can’t tell you how many people, including yourself, have said to me, ‘I don’t watch anymore. It’s not about the game anymore.’ I tend to agree.”
“It’s a shame,” Favre continued. “There’s always been differences and issues within the world, within the country, within our states. But something has to unify us. I felt like the flag and standing patriotically — because blacks and whites and Hispanics have fought and died for this country. It’s too bad.”