Thursday on ESPN’s “First Take,” co-host Max Kellerman downplayed the intellectual capabilities of SEC college football fans while discussing the potential political implications of a canceled season.
Kellerman disputed the suggestion that cancelation of a college football in SEC football states, which are primarily Republican, would dissuade these fans on their support for President Donald Trump.
He argued Trump would shift the blame and that the fans of these colleges would not be convinced the President was, in part, to blame.
“[S]tephen A., you made the argument a couple of weeks ago that you thought that if SEC football was not played that could swing the general election because people in the base, in Trump’s base, would be very upset that they did not have football, which is practically a religion down there,” he said. “And I disagreed because he would simply shift blame and, you know, because of the pandemic that is raging.”
“And if they seem to be very low quality — susceptible to low-quality information and very easy to propagandize and almost immune to facts because as Kellyanne Conway, adviser to Trump, said, they have alternate facts,” Kellerman continued. “And if they stayed in their propaganda silo, like the Fox News propaganda silo, they would say, ‘Oh no, the handling of the pandemic has been great.’ The handling of the pandemic has been by far the worst in the industrialized democratic world by far, the United States, by far at the federal level. It has been a disaster. And as a result, we’re dealing with this pandemic. And yet I did not think that that would affect voters because the blame would be shifted.
Kellerman argued the impact could be different if the National Football League interrupted its season because of “social justice issues.”
“If the NFL does not play football look, I think that the NFL players have a lot of power here,” Kellerman said. “If they do not play football, at a certain point, there will be — the base, the core will remain, but the football base goes all throughout the country and does not just hit one or another’s political base, but in so far as there are such things as swing voters still, it will absolutely affect some of them.”
“If the NFL season is not played or is interrupted because of social justice issues, and we understand that this is all against the backdrop of the pandemic, I think — I know we exist in a sports bubble, and we have an outsized idea of the effect of sports,” he added. “But I think that that actually might have political consequences in a general election.”
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