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COMMENTARY: Politics, sports and the Vegas Golden Knights

There is a reason why ESPN is failing and many media outlets are losing the respect of honest readers.

They have long been in the tank for the Democrats, liberals and social justice “warriors.” Add that to the fact that many news organizations came completely unhinged by the election of Donald J. Trump.

Since Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016, the mainstream media — in collusion with the Democrats, the entertainment industry, academia and the Never Trumpers in the GOP — have been inventing more and more ludicrous offenses to try and damage him and his administration.

It is my adoption of the Vegas Golden Knights this past year as “my team” that had me stumbling across the latest bit of character assassination.

With regard to politics and sports, while I may not know as much as some, I do believe I at least know as much as most.

Longer ago than I care to remember, I spent three very painful years trying to play hockey for a living. Only a complete lack of talent and a bad knee kept me from my dream.

After the required amount of time needed to feel sorry for myself, I ended up in the federal government. Part of that time I worked in the White House for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, at a joint command in the Pentagon and then on three presidential campaigns.

Flash ahead to today. As a rabid Knights fan — I’m going to see posts and penalties in my sleep for a few weeks — I’m just trying to read as much about the team as possible.

So I go to the ESPN website to read some hockey news about an amazing hockey team and what do I see? Only a headline from The Associated Press stating: “Watchdog Says Ryan Zinke’s Speech to Golden Knights Didn’t Violate Hatch Act.” What? Are you kidding me?

To be clear, as an independent conservative, I don’t want Republican or conservative crap in my sports news just as much as I don’t want Democrat or liberal crap. I just want sports. But no. Not with Donald Trump in the White House. Those on the far left have hijacked sports across the board, and they are not letting go — the insanity of the Zinke-Golden Knights story being a prime example.

The story noted how Secretary of the Interior Zinke keeps getting accused of political wrongdoing but keeps getting cleared. Shocking that an innocent man should be found innocent. One of the “wrongdoings” of which he was cleared was giving a motivational speech in June 2017 to the Golden Knights.

OK, let’s see. If I’m Knights owner Bill Foley, I can get some New York Times best-selling psychobabble author to talk to the boys about their “inner feelings” and “accepting defeat.” Or I can get a 6-foot-2 bad ass former Navy SEAL commander who did two tours with SEAL Team Six in combat operations all over the globe defending our liberty. Yeah. I’m going with that guy.

Ryan Zinke deserves better.

And in the aftermath of a truly remarkable and magical NHL playoff run, the Knights should not have their luster even remotely tainted by accusations from political hacks.

Sports has been weaponized by the left, and we are all the worse for it. That sad reality acknowledged, most of us still know the real deal when we see it. That real deal this year being that, no matter what, the Golden Knights are already winners.

Douglas MacKinnon is a former White House and Pentagon official and author most recently of “The North Pole Project: In Search of the True Meaning of Christmas” (Simon &Schuster, 2017). He writes from Florida.

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