At the NCAA, Intimidation Is the Name of the Game


A football sits on the field. (Photo credit: Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

In case companies hadn’t noticed, now isn’t exactly a good time to drop a bombshell about radical politics. Either the NCAA hasn’t been paying attention to the massive uproar in Georgia, or they don’t seem to grasp the intensity of the pushback. Either way, most Americans (including the moderate ones), are fired up about the abuse Republicans are taking over election reform — and this time, they don’t mind saying so. That’s bad news for a woke collegiate sports association that’s used to dangling a few championship games in front of states and getting their way.

When the NCAA first tried this stunt — way back in 2016 — it was meddling in the North Carolina privacy bill. Now, five years later, they’re upping their extremism by joining the fight against girls’ sports. In a statement Monday, the association reminded everyone that their loyalty isn’t to women’s rights but to “transgender student-athletes,” the smallest fringe group of competitors in America. This commitment, they claim, is “grounded in our values of inclusion and fair competition.” What it’s not grounded in, normal people will argue, is science, morality, common sense, or true equity.

In what are meant to be ominous tones, the NCAA warns that it is “monitoring” the states that are taking a stand against this wildly unpopular agenda and vowing only to host events in the places that share their absurd views on gender. To their surprise (and thanks, in large part, to the awakening that’s happened after Georgia), most legislators have had one response: good riddance. Whatever power the NCAA thinks it holds over these elected officials has been dramatically diminished the more entitled and radical Left’s policy demands become.

To ordinary Americans, it’s illogical to force girls to compete against biological men. Once you step outside of the Washington, D.C. bubble and talk to people in both parties, they’ll agree. As polling across the spectrum shows, it’s one of the strongest areas of bipartisan consensus in the nation. Some surveys, like Scott Rasmussen’s Just the News Daily Poll, show Democrats agreeing with Republicans by a 50-25 percent margin. On the Right, it’s no contest, almost everyone (81 percent) wants their daughters to be able to compete on a level playing field for titles, scholarships, and opportunities.

Even more liberal outlets, like Politico in its Morning Consult Poll, pointed out that this is a culture debate that isn’t really a debate. Across gender, party, and generational lines, protecting women’s rights makes sense in most people’s minds.

“So let’s dispense with the notion that transgenderism as pushed by corporate media, Big Tech, Hollywood, and corporate America is somehow ‘mainstream,'” the Federalist’s John Daniel Davidson insisted. “It’s not even close to mainstream.”

Of course, if the NCAA had been paying attention to the sweeping condemnation of South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) for vetoing her state’s sports bill, they might understand why leaders didn’t take too kindly to the association’s warning.

“The NCAA likes to threaten Florida and other states. Well, here’s a threat to the NCAA,” Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) thundered back. “The American people are not going to allow biological males to compete in women’s sports. It’s not going to happen. If you keep threatening the public with your woke elitist psychobabble, the NCAA will not last much longer. Florida cannot be replaced, but you can be replaced.”

In places like Kansas, where bills are racing through the legislature to protect girls, Republicans are putting the NCAA in its place. State Sen. Ty Masterton (R) fired back, “Republicans in the Kansas Senate will not cower in the face of such intimidation and inflammatory rhetoric. We will not back down in defense of fairness in women’s sports. We will not sell out decades of progress by women for a few days of a basketball tournament. We will continue to engage in this debate with scientific facts, civility, and respect.”

No one, Texas’s Valoree Swanson (R) suggested, is going to fall for these intimidation tactics anymore.

“This is about fairness and common sense,” the Lone Star rep insisted. “I am proud to stand with our female athletes in Texas, and I refuse to abandon them. Biological males are free to compete in sports in Texas, but not in sports exclusively for girls.”

One Florida legislator turned the tables on the NCAA, calling out their horrible treatment of girls in the latest collegiate tournament.

Maybe they should learn to treat their own athletes with “dignity and respect,” state Rep. Chris Latvala (R) argued. “The women’s basketball tourney had subpar facilities and COVID testing and the volleyball tournaments wasn’t even going to have announcers for the first two” rounds.

But hypocrisy from these Big Business hostage-takers is exactly what Americans have come to expect, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) pointed out on “Washington Watch.” Just look at how these same sports leagues and CEOs act in China, she argued. They’re boycotting Georgia for making democracy safer and happily operating in countries that don’t have democracy or human rights.

“The MLB, the PGA, the NFL, the NBA, all of your sporting leagues should do what they’re there to do: play ball…the activism like this is just astounding.” And frankly, she said, “It’s not good corporate governance.” No one — least of all an America sports association — should willingly put female athletes at a disadvantage. “We should all [be able] to say this is not right,” she insisted. Girls deserve “the right to compete and excel.”

Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council.

Editor’s Note: This piece originally appeared on Family Research Council.



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Candy Jarred: Nestle, Mars Join Woke Wars


A protester from the environmental group Greenpeace looks out at a colleague from a Nestle ‘Crunch’ bar outfit to protest the alleged use of genetically modified (GM) ingredients in the popular chocolate bar and other Nestle products. (Photo credit: PETER PARKS/AFP via Getty Images)

Some companies just can’t resist touching the hot stove.

Despite all of the grassroots pushback in Georgia–all of the boycotts and outrage and public opinion polls–two major U.S. brands have decided to wade into an even more controversial debate by launching a massive pro-transgender push for minors.

In a stunning op-ed for USA Today, branch chiefs for Mars and Nestle announced Wednesday that they’re coming for your kids in any state that’s fighting for girls’ sports or age limits on gender transition. We will “us[e] our influence,” they warn, to crush fair competition, protections for children, and even religious freedom. And they’re calling on every CEO in America to join them.

“We must move beyond only public statements of support for LGBTQ+ issues,” Mars’ Brad Figel and Nestle’s Molly Fogarty write“These bills are bad for families, for communities, for businesses and for the U.S. economy,” they argue without citing a single scrap of evidence. They gush over Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s (R-Ark. ) cowardly veto of Arkansas’ SAFE Act and urge other states to follow his example. It’s “draconian,” they insist, to outlaw gender mutilation for kids or stop biological boys from competing against girls. If states don’t agree, then they think companies need to get in the political trenches and fight them. Then, when they’re done with that, they can move on to wiping out freedom altogether by advocating “for the swift passage of Equality Act.”

With that much activism, who has time to sell candy? And in this heated climate, who will buy it? Considering the backlash against Coke, Delta, Major League Baseball, and Patagonia, this is an incredibly tone-deaf move for the makers of Twix, Starburst, and M&Ms. The American people have made it quite clear that they’re fed up with corporations picking sides in politics. Just this week, three-quarters of the country said companies should stay out of politics, and a solid majority (64 percent) said they’d consider walking away from the ones who didn’t. Obviously, that message didn’t make it to Kit-Kat headquarters.

But the message that this doesn’t sell chocolate might. On Wednesday’s “Washington Watch,” Stephen Soukup, who just wrote a book called “The Dictatorship of Woke Capitalism,” said no one should be under the illusion that these are smart business decisions. The data doesn’t suggest that it’s profitable for these companies to go out on a cultural limb, he points out. “I don’t think there’s any reason for them to believe that.” Over the past 20 years, he’s watched political correctness chip away at these big brands and said that most of the CEOs he’s talked to fall into two categories: the true believers (the honest woke) and a much larger group of executives who don’t buy the radicalism they’re embracing — they’re just terrified.

“They’re scared of their employees. They’re scared of outside activists, and they’re scared of some of their more prominent and larger activist shareholders. And that’s primarily what motivates them — their fear that if they don’t do something, that they’re going to suffer the consequences.” A lot of these large asset management firms, he says, have made it a “very public priority” to push corporations “either to change their behavior or [to] use their leverage as large shareholders to change executives, to change boards of directors, and to change bylaws of the company.”

Over the last several years, these activists have quietly managed takeovers in “media and entertainment and education and mainstream religion. Now they’ve finally reached the last institution that had been resistant to this, which is Big Business,” Stephen explains. And the bolder and more outspoken these CEOs become, the bigger their fault lines with the Republican Party, Politico warns. The GOP “wants to make woke corporations pay — literally.” And if the uproar in Georgia is proving anything, it’s that old alliances don’t matter. Republicans aren’t going to shy away from hitting businesses, regardless of their shared economic agendas. This aggressive pushback “is putting corporations in the uncomfortable position of having to straddle both the Left’s calls for social justice and the Right’s unexpected threats to their bottom line.” Russ Vought, Donald Trump’s former OMB director, insists this strong GOP response “is the successful playbook for how these fights will be won moving forward.”

As for everyday Americans, Stephen says, there’s plenty they can do. “There are two different strategies — an immediate and a long-term strategy. The first is to understand what’s going on, to learn who’s responsible… and then to take back what’s yours. Take back the capital that you’ve invested in your retirement fund, in your 401k and your IRA — and use that more specifically to invest in funds or in corporations that don’t promote political ideas above shareholder value.” He suggests looking over your quarterly statements and making sure you know where you’re investing. “If you see BlackRock or State Street or even Vanguard,” beware. “They are directly contributing to this idea that corporations should be overtly political.” (Hear how in his interview.) “Likewise, take back your consumer dollars and spend them where you feel comfortable.”

The second strategy, he insists, will take patience. “It’s not going to be easy…but we’re going to have to make the long march back through the institutions. We’ll have to take these institutions back that the cultural Left took over the last century — and that’s going to take probably several decades. So it’s not something that we can anticipate starting now and being done with it the next couple of years. It’s going to be a long, hard slog.” But worth it.

In the meantime, make sure you’re voicing your opinion with any company that’s stepping outside of their lane to attack your values. Email Nestle and Mars or tweet them @Nestle and @MarsGlobal and tell them to stop this deadly game of transgender activism for children.

Tony Perkins is the president of the Family Research Council.

Editor’s Note: This piece originally appeared on the Family Research Council.





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From Antitrust to Anti-Tax Breaks, Conservatives Are Pushing Back Against Anti-GA Election Law Corps


Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred Jr. speaks at a press conference on youth initiatives hosted by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. (Photo credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The 2021 baseball season isn’t even a week old, and it’s already over for some fans. Why? Because, as National Review’s Andrew McCarthy so efficiently put it: the Left ruins everything. Sports, entertainment, toys, snack cakes, you name it. Their wokeness is a cancer, and it’s taking every enjoyable, unifying, non-political piece of American life and destroying it. In Georgia, their crusade against the state’s election law is built on a house of lies. And for once, GOP leaders aren’t letting them get away with it.

If Major League Baseball wants to alienate half of the country and pull the All-Star Game from Atlanta over a law that makes our elections safer, let them, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) argued. It will only show the rest of the country who they are: cowards who cave to “fear, political opportunism, and liberal lies.” In this moment, he told Americans, we need to make a decision about what we’re going to tolerate as a people. If we don’t, “facts and truth won’t matter.” The far-Left will come for “every aspect of your life,” and there won’t be a single patch of everyday America when they’re done. As for me and my administration, he warned, “I will not back down. Georgians will not be bullied. We will continue to stand up for secure, accessible, fair elections.”

Over the weekend, the uproar over Commissioner Robert Manfred’s decision to relocate the game reached a fever pitch. Conservatives, who were already well past their boiling point on cancel culture, were ferocious in their calls to boycott companies like Coca-Cola, Delta, Home Depot, Patagonia, and so many others who — like Joe Biden — had to resort to outright fiction to justify their phony outrage.

“Shame on him,” Georgia State Rep. Todd Jones (R) said on “Washington Watch.” “Shame on his staff. I expect the office of the presidency to be informed. And I expect him to be a leader of our country no matter what party they’re from.” The idea that this bill is racist or curtails voting is “pure fallacy,” he argued. “And it’s built on the fact that folks just want a false narrative to provide…I’ll offer to every Atlanta Braves player or any professional athlete a sit down with me and Chairman Fleming, who was the primary author of this bill, and we’ll walk them through the bill. And I’m convinced that they would after that talk realize…this is a bill that made Georgia better.”

The idea that showing ID at the polls is somehow a resurrection of segregation is absurd. And frankly, African Americans — and every minority — ought to be offended at the suggestion that the Left thinks they’re too uninformed or oblivious to follow Georgia’s election protocol. If anything’s racist, it’s presuming that an entire people group are too ignorant to vote lawfully.

“Those of us whose families lived under Jim Crow segregation decades ago, and also who in modern times have the everyday experience of pulling out photo identification for all sorts of common activities like checking into a hotel or getting medicine, find that comparison appalling,” FRC’s Ken Blackwell wrote in Breitbart. Not to mention, he pointed out, black Americans support things like voter ID by a 42-point margin.

“Jim Crow doesn’t get those kind of poll numbers in the black community,” he jabbed.

If these CEOs had actually read the bill that they’re willing to torch their profits over, they’d have noticed that one of the things Georgia does is make every ID free.

“We even,” Jones pointed out, “appropriated money to ensure that people would get transportation if they needed it to [take advantage of] that idea.”

Funny how that’s “lost in the conversation,” he fumed. “I would expect the CEO of a Fortune 500 company to be informed,” he went on, before making a serious allegation that Georgia is disenfranchising their own black employees. “That’s just not the case. When you look at the law and what we tried to do, we absolutely looked to empower not just African-Americans, but all Georgia citizens to ensure they can get to the polls, get to the polls easily, but also know that their ballot would be secure.”

The Left’s problem — apart from all of the obvious ones — is that it’s using an old playbook. Their strategy of picking a state to make a national example out of, isn’t going to work here. The American people, and even the majority of business leaders, are disgusted by the wokeism, the corporate hypocrisy, and corruption of Big Business and their cronies in the Democratic Party. And they’re ready to exact a price. Already, Republicans are moving quickly to make this decision hurt. In the Georgia House, legislators made it clear that if Delta doesn’t have a problem asking for photo ID to board a plane, then they shouldn’t mind it at the polls. Until then, leaders have fired back with a partial vote to strip the airline of its generous tax break. In Congress, conservatives in the House and Senate are getting their ducks in a row to pull the MLB’s anti-trust exemption, a threat that should certainly get Manfred’s attention.

In the battle over national messaging, Republicans are landing plenty of blows — pointing out baseball’s incredible double standard where its New York headquarters and Chinese business deals are concerned.

“It’s jaw-dropping to see powerful American institutions not just permit themselves to be bullied,” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) argued, “but join in the bullying themselves. Wealthy corporations have no problem operating in New York, for example, which has fewer days of early voting than Georgia, requires excuses for absentee ballots, and restricts electioneering via refreshments. There is no consistent or factual standard being applied here. It’s just a fake narrative gaining speed by its own momentum.”

Even detractors of Georgia’s bill can’t believe that corporate America would pick this fight when they have so much of their own political baggage. When it comes to sermonizing about racial and social justice, most of these CEOs don’t have a leg to stand on.

“Delta, Coke, Major League Baseball, they all work in China, a country now committing genocide. What standards do we hold people to?” New York Times’ David Brooks pointed out.

In Coke’s case, they aren’t just selling in China; they’re selling China to the world.

“We’re fully behind China,” the company’s president said, pushing back on pressure last year about the communist regime. And “we’re here for the long-term.” There’s just no shame.

It’s time for American corporations to stop their radical activism and get back to business. Nobody is asking these CEOs to fight on our side — we’re asking them to stop fighting on social issues period. If you sell hamburgers or chicken sandwiches, sell them. But don’t take our money and use it to preach wokeism to us. In the meantime, there are plenty of things we can do to make ourselves heard. We can boycott them (and we should). We can disconnect from them. We can join coalitions to stop corporate tyranny. But there’s something else we need to be doing that’s just as important: We need to confront them. The Left is only controlling these companies because liberals are loud. They’re in the minority — but they’re loud. So we need to write letters, make phone calls, share the truth on our platforms, and spend our dollars rewarding the brands that stay in their lanes.

Silence won’t win this war. Standing and speaking out will.

Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council.

Editor’s Note: This piece originally appeared on Family Research Council.



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Fans Intentionally Walk After Baseball’s Activism


Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred Jr. speaks at a press conference on youth initiatives hosted by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. (Photo credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The 2021 baseball season isn’t even a week old, and it’s already over for some fans. Why? Because, as National Review’s Andrew McCarthy so efficiently put it: the Left ruins everything. Sports, entertainment, toys, snack cakes, you name it. Their wokeness is a cancer, and it’s taking every enjoyable, unifying, non-political piece of American life and destroying it. In Georgia, their crusade against the state’s election law is built on a house of lies. And for once, GOP leaders aren’t letting them get away with it.

If Major League Baseball wants to alienate half of the country and pull the All-Star Game from Atlanta over a law that makes our elections safer, let them, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) argued. It will only show the rest of the country who they are: cowards who cave to “fear, political opportunism, and liberal lies.” In this moment, he told Americans, we need to make a decision about what we’re going to tolerate as a people. If we don’t, “facts and truth won’t matter.” The far-Left will come for “every aspect of your life,” and there won’t be a single patch of everyday America when they’re done. As for me and my administration, he warned, “I will not back down. Georgians will not be bullied. We will continue to stand up for secure, accessible, fair elections.”

Over the weekend, the uproar over Commissioner Robert Manfred’s decision to relocate the game reached a fever pitch. Conservatives, who were already well past their boiling point on cancel culture, were ferocious in their calls to boycott companies like Coca-Cola, Delta, Home Depot, Patagonia, and so many others who — like Joe Biden — had to resort to outright fiction to justify their phony outrage.

“Shame on him,” Georgia State Rep. Todd Jones (R) said on “Washington Watch.” “Shame on his staff. I expect the office of the presidency to be informed. And I expect him to be a leader of our country no matter what party they’re from.” The idea that this bill is racist or curtails voting is “pure fallacy,” he argued. “And it’s built on the fact that folks just want a false narrative to provide…I’ll offer to every Atlanta Braves player or any professional athlete a sit down with me and Chairman Fleming, who was the primary author of this bill, and we’ll walk them through the bill. And I’m convinced that they would after that talk realize…this is a bill that made Georgia better.”

The idea that showing ID at the polls is somehow a resurrection of segregation is absurd. And frankly, African Americans — and every minority — ought to be offended at the suggestion that the Left thinks they’re too uninformed or oblivious to follow Georgia’s election protocol. If anything’s racist, it’s presuming that an entire people group are too ignorant to vote lawfully.

“Those of us whose families lived under Jim Crow segregation decades ago, and also who in modern times have the everyday experience of pulling out photo identification for all sorts of common activities like checking into a hotel or getting medicine, find that comparison appalling,” FRC’s Ken Blackwell wrote in Breitbart. Not to mention, he pointed out, black Americans support things like voter ID by a 42-point margin.

“Jim Crow doesn’t get those kind of poll numbers in the black community,” he jabbed.

If these CEOs had actually read the bill that they’re willing to torch their profits over, they’d have noticed that one of the things Georgia does is make every ID free.

“We even,” Jones pointed out, “appropriated money to ensure that people would get transportation if they needed it to [take advantage of] that idea.”

Funny how that’s “lost in the conversation,” he fumed. “I would expect the CEO of a Fortune 500 company to be informed,” he went on, before making a serious allegation that Georgia is disenfranchising their own black employees. “That’s just not the case. When you look at the law and what we tried to do, we absolutely looked to empower not just African-Americans, but all Georgia citizens to ensure they can get to the polls, get to the polls easily, but also know that their ballot would be secure.”

The Left’s problem — apart from all of the obvious ones — is that it’s using an old playbook. Their strategy of picking a state to make a national example out of, isn’t going to work here. The American people, and even the majority of business leaders, are disgusted by the wokeism, the corporate hypocrisy, and corruption of Big Business and their cronies in the Democratic Party. And they’re ready to exact a price. Already, Republicans are moving quickly to make this decision hurt. In the Georgia House, legislators made it clear that if Delta doesn’t have a problem asking for photo ID to board a plane, then they shouldn’t mind it at the polls. Until then, leaders have fired back with a partial vote to strip the airline of its generous tax break. In Congress, conservatives in the House and Senate are getting their ducks in a row to pull the MLB’s anti-trust exemption, a threat that should certainly get Manfred’s attention.

In the battle over national messaging, Republicans are landing plenty of blows — pointing out baseball’s incredible double standard where its New York headquarters and Chinese business deals are concerned.

“It’s jaw-dropping to see powerful American institutions not just permit themselves to be bullied,” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) argued, “but join in the bullying themselves. Wealthy corporations have no problem operating in New York, for example, which has fewer days of early voting than Georgia, requires excuses for absentee ballots, and restricts electioneering via refreshments. There is no consistent or factual standard being applied here. It’s just a fake narrative gaining speed by its own momentum.”

Even detractors of Georgia’s bill can’t believe that corporate America would pick this fight when they have so much of their own political baggage. When it comes to sermonizing about racial and social justice, most of these CEOs don’t have a leg to stand on.

“Delta, Coke, Major League Baseball, they all work in China, a country now committing genocide. What standards do we hold people to?” New York Times’ David Brooks pointed out.

In Coke’s case, they aren’t just selling in China; they’re selling China to the world.

“We’re fully behind China,” the company’s president said, pushing back on pressure last year about the communist regime. And “we’re here for the long-term.” There’s just no shame.

It’s time for American corporations to stop their radical activism and get back to business. Nobody is asking these CEOs to fight on our side — we’re asking them to stop fighting on social issues period. If you sell hamburgers or chicken sandwiches, sell them. But don’t take our money and use it to preach wokeism to us. In the meantime, there are plenty of things we can do to make ourselves heard. We can boycott them (and we should). We can disconnect from them. We can join coalitions to stop corporate tyranny. But there’s something else we need to be doing that’s just as important: We need to confront them. The Left is only controlling these companies because liberals are loud. They’re in the minority — but they’re loud. So we need to write letters, make phone calls, share the truth on our platforms, and spend our dollars rewarding the brands that stay in their lanes.

Silence won’t win this war. Standing and speaking out will.

Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council.

Editor’s Note: This piece originally appeared on Family Research Council.



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