• Sumo

By Ken Reed

Sports Business Daily has tabbed our nation’s Divider-In-Chief as 2017’s most influential sports business person.

What a sad choice by a publication that has a lot of respect in the industry. First of all, Trump isn’t even in the sports business. Second, his sports involvement amounts to the couple minutes it takes him to type his antagonistic tweets or throw out an off-the-cuff remark at one of his pep rallies.

Trump decided to weigh-in last year on the Colin Kaepernick-led social justice protests during the national anthem. The result was like pouring gasoline on a smoldering campfire. As a result of Trump’s visceral seat-of-the-pants commentary, the debate became louder, more angry, and more hate-filled. Nothing positive came out of Trump’s comments.

He also sent out a few stream-of-consciousness tweets about LaVar Ball, father of Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball. Are you serious? The President of the United States has nothing better to do than jump in the weeds with a self-promoting loudmouth like LaVar Ball? Hmm, “self-promoting loudmouth” … Perhaps Trump and Ball going back and forth at each other in the Twitterverse was a perfect match of egomaniacs.

Irregardless of your beliefs about Trump, it’s hard to imagine Sports Business Daily giving its “Most Influential Person in Sports Business” award to someone who spent about 10 minutes thinking and writing about sports all year.

Brace yourself, the kind of ego-boosting recognition that Sports Business Daily dropped on him will only encourage the Divider-In-Chief to stick his nose into SportsWorld even more in 2018.

Luckily, we have the San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich, leader of SportsWorld’s anti-Trump movement, to take on Trump. I would pay big money to watch a debate between Trump and Popovich — on any topic. I have little doubt that Pop, a true renaissance man, would win in a blowout.

After Trump was elected president, Popovich said the result made him “sick to his stomach.” I had a similar feeling when I saw Sports Business Daily’s award.

Hey, Sports Business Daily, don’t feed Trump’s ugliness. Next year, pick someone who actually is a sports person, someone who actually spends more than a few minutes during the year thinking, talking and writing about sports. And someone besides a person whose only influence on sports is of the negative variety.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans

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