Brett Favre wants there to be a clearer separation between sports and politics, saying the intertwining areas are ruining the events for the “general fan.”
The NFL Hall of Fame quarterback told the “The Andrew Klavan Show” on the Daily Wire that he feels most fans want there to be less politics involved in sports.
“I know when I turn on a game, I want to watch a game. I want to watch players play and teams win, lose, come from behind,” Favre said (via USA TODAY). “I want to watch all the important parts of the game, not what’s going on outside of the game, and I think the general fan feels the same way.
“I can’t tell you how many people have said to me, ‘I don’t watch anymore; it’s not about the game anymore.’ And I tend to agree.”
Last week, MLB decided to move the All-Star Game away from Atlanta in response to new voting laws passed in Georgia. After the death of Daunte Wright, an unarmed 20-year-old Black man who was shot by a police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, the Twins, Timberwolves and Wild all postponed their games.
Earlier, the NBA had “Black Lives Matter” written on the court last summer during games at the Disney World bubble. Players were allowed to kneel during the national anthem and messages for social justice causes could replace names on jerseys.
To some, those decisions cross too far over into the realm of politics, creating an aversion to sports.
According to a YouGov/Yahoo News poll released in March, about 56% of people say they watch the same amount of sports regardless of political or social messaging. But about 11% of people say they watch more sports now as a result of political and social messaging, while another 34.5% of respondents say they are now watching less sports.
There’s a clear breakdown along party lines. The poll states that 53% of Republicans watched less sports after social justice messaging increased in prominence, as opposed to 19% of Democrats watching less sports. About 39% of Independents say they watched less sports.
Favre was an outspoken supporter of former president Donald Trump during the 2020 election. When asked why it was more controversial for the former NFL star to support Trump than for athletes to kneel during the anthem, Favre said kneeling has “created more turmoil than good.”
“It’s really a shame that we’ve come to this,” Favre said. “Something has to unify us, and I felt like the flag, standing patriotically — because Blacks and whites and Hispanics have fought for this country and died for this country. It’s too bad.”