Okay, so the "stick to sports" argument has been defeated once and for all by Deadspin writer Donovan Dooley. He claims that former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville's Tuesday victory over Jeff Sessions in the Alabama Republican run-off election is all the proof we need to stop insisting media and athletes separate politics and sports.
Not only are sports and politics intertwined, Dooley said, but sports IS politics:
"If it hasn’t been any clearer before, the past few months have shown us that sports, politics, race and gender identity will always be intertwined, no matter how much we want to separate them.
"Ignoring how these issues impact each other is no longer an option."
Back to Tuberville (celebrating victory with his wife in photo), he coached 21 years, at four universities. He's most known for his success at Auburn, where his teams defeated Alabama six years in a row.
He stopped coaching four years ago, and as a political candidate -- not as a football coach -- he beat Sessions, the former long-time Alabama senator and former U.S. attorney general. Despite Dooley's confusion, he's no longer a coach:
Oddly, no one seems to be telling Tuberville to "shut up and coach." Somehow, a man who made a name for himself on football sidelines, and has held no prior political office, isn’t being told to keep out of politics, or stay in his lane.
Uh, politics is Tuberville's lane. He has no team to coach.
"Tuberville understood what many people in his base are either too ignorant or too stubborn to believe, that almost nothing in our society stands alone," Dooley said.
Dooley added Tuberville's coaching ability "allowed him to gain a platform for his political views and his ideologies speak to a large portion of those same individuals around the state who tuned in to almost every Auburn football game when he was on the sidelines from 1999-2008."
No, Tuberville's coaching ability made him a public figure. His political abilities enabled him to defeat a seasoned politician Tuesday.
Yet, Dooley came at his failed position again, trying to justify political activism by athletes and media: "Tuberville is proving what we already knew but what the majority of his base won’t acknowledge. There is no such thing as a segmented America that is able to truly prevent it’s different sectors from overlapping."
How many times do we have to say Tuberville is no longer a coach?
Dooley had another major beef with Tuberville. President Donald Trump is still feuding with Sessions and enthusiastically lent his support to Tuberville in the primary. That ties the Senate hopeful to a President who dares oppose Black Lives Matter.:
Now, the former college coach has willfully become a pawn for a man who has called Black Lives Matter "a symbol of hate" and reportedly called his condemnation of white supremacists at Charlottesville in 2017 the "biggest fucking mistake I’ve made.”
Tuberville was also accused by Dooley of echoing the problematic views of Trump and playing off "the cachet of coaching the second-most popular sports team in the state."
We can’t escape being a segmented society, Dooley claimed, still trying to convince people that the football field is an acceptable forum for political activism. "We are not as complex as we think. Actions that take place in one realm will have ramifications in another.
"Actually separating sports from politics and culture is impossible in our society, especially when the people screaming it can’t find a way to do it themselves."
Overlooked by the Deadspin writer is the fact that Alabama voters had two choices Tuesday and they chose Tuberville as the candidate they feel has the best chance to beat the liberal Democrat incumbent, Senator Doug Jones. They didn't choose a man who can win a football game for their team.
Tuberville already has been leading Sen. Jones in early polling, and if he gets elected he'll prove that the Senate, part of our culture and society, is definitely segmented from football.