ESPN has begun a subtle, yet obvious campaign to get rock singer and well-known conservative Kid Rock, fired as the National Hockey League’s All-Star Game performer.
In a January 19 article, ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski noted that the NHL is “aware of the backlash” over the announcement of Kid Rock as the All-Star Game entertainment. Though, the NHL says that the choice of Kid Rock was “purely based” on his entertainment value and has nothing whatever to do with his politics.
“Most of the time, our acts are passionate hockey fans,” said Steve Mayer, NHL executive vice president and executive producer for programming and creative development. “It’s all about the entertainment at the end of the day for us, and this selection was purely based on that, and the fact that Kid Rock is a hockey lover. That’s simply the background here.”
Despite those comments, ESPN characterizes the addition of the singer as having “created controversy in the hockey world” and being “widely criticized on social media.”
Of course, a careful review of much of that criticism proves that the complaints came mostly from liberal members of the sports media and not rank and file NHL fans. Indeed, an article by The Comeback’s Andrew Bucholtz revealed a whole list of of sports media members tweeting their distaste over Kid Rock.
Nor did ESPN worry much about the backlash among conservatives who were upset that Hillary supporter Beyonce was chosen as a Super Bowl entertainer, despite the fact that she was set to perform an anti-police song called “Formation.” Nor was the sports cable network interested when conservatives criticized the announcement of well-known Trump detractor Kendrick Lamar, to perform as the college football championship halftime act.
ESPN did not post stories demanding that the NFL answer to the “backlash” over Beyonce. Nor did it quiz college football authorities if they were “aware” that fans were upset over the choice of Kendrick Lamar. So, why did ESPN feel it necessary to write an article hyping the “backlash” against the NHL, while implying that the NHL was unresponsive to the concerns of their fans?
Wyshynski’s attack on the NHL is far from the first time ESPN has gone after Kid Rock. In September of last year, ESPN host Jemele Hill accused Kid Rock of racist pandering.
He loves black people so much that he pandered to racists by using a flag that unquestionably stands for dehumanizing black people. https://t.co/ukbl3RodoP
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 11, 2017
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.