On Sunday, Grantland editor-in-chief and ESPN host Bill Simmons penned one of his eminently entertaining mailbags. In it, he discussed ad nauseum the situation surrounding NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, and former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. He also took time to answer the letter of one fan, James in San Francisco. James wrote:
Is it too early to speculate on the Last Place finisher in Sportsman of the Year for 2014 (or as you once dubbed it, the Anti-Sportsman of the Year)? We’ve got ourselves a real barn-burner here between Ray Rice, Roger Goodell, Adrian Peterson and Donald Sterling alone.
Come on, this isn’t the 1994 Best Picture race for the Oscars; we won’t be arguing about it 20 years from now. Donald Sterling is our 2014 Anti-Sportsman of the Year. The race ended last spring. It’s over. He just put up stats on the level of 2001 Barry Bonds, even if we’ve been blessed (or unblessed) with an impressive array of second-place candidates.
Simmons’ feelings on the matter likely represent those of most sports commentators. But to elevate the sins of Donald Sterling – a court-adjudicated senile old racist secretly taped spouting racist nonsense – above those of a man who punched a woman into unconsciousness or a man who beat a four-year-old child bloody with a tree branch – seems ridiculous. It demonstrates once again the moral hierarchy of the left: believing evil things is more sinful than doing evil things.
Sterling’s great sin was not his long and ugly record with regard to his housing projects; the media knew about that for years and said little or nothing. Only when tape broke of Sterling ranting about black people did the media swoop down and declare his assets to be at risk. So what Sterling said meant more than physical abuse of a child or a woman. It is certainly ironic that the same media that has self-righteously declared themselves the ultimate advocates for women and children – so much so that folks like Simmons have urged Roger Goodell to resign for failing to properly punish Rice and Peterson – finds the racial comments of a senile coot more villainous than the physical abuse of women and children.
But that’s the world in which we now live. The left is far more interested in saying the right things with regard to women and children than doing the right things. That’s why President Obama has declared that when it comes to sexual assault, “It’s On Us” – he’s even launched a campaign to that effect, even as sexual assault repeat offender Bill Clinton stands ready to head back to the White House alongside his wife. That’s why while Obama explains that from “pop culture to politics, our society does not sufficiently value women,” even as one of those joining his PR campaign is Questlove, the musician who infamously accompanied Michele Bachmann’s appearance on The Jimmy Fallon Show with “Lyin’ Ass Bitch.”
The thought police have arrived. But don’t worry: they’re here to help. Unless, of course, that help requires real moral action rather than the stock condemnation that guarantees a level of self-backpatting but solves nothing.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the new book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.