See this is Why Star Athletes Don’t Usually Talk Politics


If you’ve ever wondered why college and pro sports teams employ media handlers to train their athletes on public speaking, well Wednesday gave you the answer; repeatedly. Below you’ll find four examples of why publicists and media relations departments want all their players to be like Tom Brady, Russell Wilson or Derek Jeter- talk, without every saying anything.

That said, we’re ecstatic that “stick to sports” is pretty much dead now. Thank you Colin Kaepernick for being the primary driving force is getting this to happen. While we’ll focus here on the athletes expressing sociopolitical views that we disagree with, we absolutely support their right to express those views. Better to lose some of your audience but retain all of your soul, no matter what side you’re on.


What follows is all pretty bad, but it’s debatable if it’s actually worse than Michael Jordan’s infamous “Republicans buy shoes too” response, when he was asked to take a stand against notorious segregationist Jesse Helms.

And of course, we have seen and heard a lot of athletes using their platforms for good this week, especially in the NBA and the Bundesliga. Additionally, watch the “Enough is Enough” video, made by several American and German soccer stars.

Brian Urlacher

I guess we should have seen this coming with the barb wire bicep tattoo; the correlation is strong. Grant Hill posted a call for change in the Oval Office this November on his Instagram account. Kendall Gill commented, applauding Hill for the post.

Urlacher commented right below saying “did you not watch the press conference? He’s (Trump) is trying to protect us from the nonsense going on right now?”


He also mentioned the violence against “OUR country” in ALL CAPS. He also happens to follow Don Jr. and Kayleigh McEnany on Twitter, so well, this is just who he is. It’s not too surprising though to any journalist who has ever interviewed him.

He doesn’t really say anything that interesting or engaging when he speaks publicly, so for him to try and say something substantive, and fail, well, it’s not a shocker.

Todd Wellemeyer

Didn’t think I’d get blocked on Twitter by Todd Wellemeyer today. Credit to him for blocking me right away too. Honestly, I really haven’t even thought about anything related to Todd Wellemeyer since, the early 2000s.

Apparently, he’s got a Ben Roethlisberger style itchy trigger finger for the block button.  Take a look at the montage below, and notice all the unintentional comedy he brings upon himself. He can’t acquire a better in action photo of himself than something with a ShutterStock watermark?

He calls himself “the most unbiased person I know” despite being politically to the right of Tomi Lahren? Too stupid to spend any more time on.

Drew Brees

This is very disappointing, to say the least. Considered an all around good guy by almost everyone, a man who just gave $5 million to the state of Louisiana to help fight the coronavirus pandemic, Brees is, well was, ok, I guess not, better than this.


Asked his thoughts on NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem this season, he responded that he will: “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country” during an interview with Yahoo Finance.

Lebron James, Aaron Rodgers and Malcolm Jenkins called him out. Michael Thomas (the last two players we mentioned are his New Orleans Saints teammates) said Drew just doesn’t get it. That’s very problematic as this is a man in his 40s, not some teenager. It’s alarming that he doesn’t understand by now, given all the information being constantly provided to him.

Pete Carroll

Really, the least of the offenders, and far from the problem here, but the Seattle Seahawks head coach comes off as “do I as say, not as I do.”

He extensively praised Kaepernick today, but it all seems like Monday morning quarterbacking at best, ringing very hollow at worst. Let’s remember where Carroll was at when Kap was still trying to get a job in the league.

Vic Fangio

Former Bears Defensive Coordinator and current Broncos Head Coach said he believes the NFL is a meritocracy and that racism just doesn’t exist there. He even went so far as to say that society would be much better if it functioned like a football team.

Uhm, yeah, okay.

I honestly don’t think he’s racist as he is just a simplistic meathead, and for a middle-aged man to still be this oblivious is just plain alarming. Obviously, we missed a couple more out there, so just have at it in the comments section.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TV, Sports Illustrated, Chicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago, on Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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