I believe I have found the most obnoxious sportscaster/writer in America. I know there are plenty of contenders for that title, but, if you’ve seen this guy on You Tube, I think you’ll agree. It’s Rick Strom of The Young Jerks . . . er, Young Turks.
Some sportscasters have been criticized for being too “woke.” Strom is wokeness personified. Not only that, but he will attack anyone, even fans, he doesn’t consider woke enough.
He reminds me of Bill Maher in that I’d like to smack that smug, superior look off his face. Unlike Maher, however, Strom doesn’t seem to have much of a sense of humor. He also takes himself way too seriously.
When the National Women’s Soccer League resumed play this past summer, the Chicago Red Stars all wore Black Lives Matter jerseys and most of them kneeled for the National Anthem. Casey Short, who is black, broke into tears and was comforted by teammate Julie Ertz.
Strom asked if we could feel Short’s pain. He said, given all that’s happened with the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, it was cruel of the NWSL to force this woman of color to have to listen to an anthem written by a slave-owner for a country where many people won’t even say, “black lives matter.” This country has said her life doesn’t matter.
When Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal recently suggested on TNT that Breonna Taylor’s death was not in the same as category as those of Arbery and Floyd because her boyfriend fired at police officers, Strom slammed them both. He said they should retract everything they said because they were justifying the murder of this black woman. They needed to apologize to Taylor’s family. He added they were supporting a system that is corrupt and racist and needs to be reformed or abolished.
Strom claimed the “Thin Blue Line” and “Thin Red Line” flags are racist. “Blue Lives Matter” and “All Lives Matter” were created as racist, mocking responses to Black Lives Matter. He said the Confederate flag has been forbidden in many quarters, especially NASCAR events. As a result, the Thin Blue Line flag has become the new flag for racists. He noted these flags have been seen at white supremacist rallies. Anyone who flies these flags is, by definition, a racist. Anyone who says “Blue Lives Matter” or “All Lives Matter” is also, by definition, a racist.
I suspect that, if you just want to watch a sporting event without all the politics, or just want the scores, Strom would say you’re a racist and you’re denying the athletes’ humanity.
I have a feeling the great sportscasters of the past like Red Barber, Mel Allen, Ernie Harwell and Harry Caray are turning over in their graves.
I’ll take Al McCoy covering the Suns and Greg Schulte covering the Diamondbacks any day.
Maybe that’s why Strom is working for The Young Turks. No one else wants him. I can see why.