America is currently divided on a multitude of issues. Not only is the country in the middle of a presidential race, but it’s also in the middle of a pandemic. It has additionally seen many protests over the past few months in response to years of police brutality and racism. Sports have played a large role in fighting racism too. However, Max Kellerman of ESPN just discussed how they could also potentially affect the presidential election. In fact, he just made a bunch of Donald Trump supporters pretty mad.
Max Kellerman and Stephen A. Smith discussed the possible cancellation of SEC football
According to Sporting News, on an Aug. 12 episode of First Take on ESPN, Kellerman’s co-host, Stephen A. Smith, said that SEC football not being played due to COVID-19 could potentially impact the presidential election.
“We have to take into consideration that the president of the United States basically took the south when he won the electoral college, obviously not the popular vote,” Smith said, according to Sporting News. “We’ve heard him come out and say, ‘It would be tremendously bad,’ and all this other stuff if college football was canceled. Not really accepting his role, in terms of being responsible for all of this.”
Kellerman, however, disagreed and said that President Donald Trump‘s supporters blindly follow him.
“When you have enough like that, whatever happened in the past, whatever’s happening now, whatever happens in the future doesn’t matter,” Kellerman said, per Sporting News. “Because the leader can simply say, ‘No, that’s not what happened in the past.’ And will literally change people’s memory of it. And so it doesn’t matter what occurred until now. Blame can very easily be shifted.”
Kellerman brought the point up again on ‘First Take’
During an episode of First Take on Aug. 27, Kellerman brought up his point again.
“You made the argument a couple weeks ago, you thought if SEC football wasn’t played, that could swing the general election,” Kellerman said to Smith, per Sporting News. “Because people in Trump’s base would be very upset that they didn’t have football, which is practically a religion down there. And I disagreed. Because he would simply shift blame because the pandemic is raging.”
“They seem to be susceptible to very low-quality information, and easy to propagandize and almost immune to facts. … And if they stay in their propaganda silos — like the Fox News propaganda silo — it wouldn’t matter what happened because they’d say the handling of the pandemic has been great. The handling of the pandemic has been the worst in the industrialized democratic world, by far.”
In the end, Kellerman brought the point back up to say that if the NFL were to not play games as a result of social justice issues, then that could actually have an impact on the election.
“If the NFL doesn’t play football, I think the NFL players have a lot of power here … the football base goes all throughout the country,” Kellerman said, per Sporting News. “It doesn’t just hit one or another’s political base, but insofar as there’s a such thing as swing voters still, it would absolutely affect some of them. If the NFL season isn’t played or it’s interrupted, as a result of social justice issues — and of course we all understand this is all against the backdrop of the pandemic.”
His comments made some people pretty mad
While some people on social media agreed with Kellerman’s comments, some didn’t like what he said at all.
Clay Travis of Fox Sports and OutKick shared his thoughts in a video.
“Max Kellerman went on ESPN today and said, ‘SEC fans are easy to propagandize, they are susceptible to low-quality information, they are dumb, and that is why they support Donald Trump for president.’ Max Kellerman said that on ESPN. This is wild,” Travis said in the video. “Why is it OK only to stereotype Donald Trump supporters? If Max Kellerman had said that about any other group, and if they had been Joe Biden voters, there would’ve been mass uproar.”
Additionally, Laura Ingraham of Fox News tweeted, “Was this message approved by the folks at Disney who own ESPN?” John Kincade of CBS Sports Radio also tweeted, “My God Max Kellerman. Your broad brush ignorance is embarrassing. As you sit in the epicenter of failure in protecting human life during this pandemic. You’ve been wrong over and over, but keep doubling down. It does pay well.”
Kellerman did have some supporters, though. One Reddit user said, “He ain’t wrong.” Another one said, “Next thing he’ll tell us is that water is wet.”
His comments certainly got a lot of attention. It will be interesting to see if Kellerman ends up getting a response from Donald Trump himself.