“First Take” co-host Max Kellerman had some harsh words for SEC football fans Thursday morning, labeling them as being “easy to propagandize” and “almost immune to facts.”
Kellerman was responding to his co-host Stephen A. Smith’s assertion that the SEC canceling or delaying football this fall would have political consequences for President Donald Trump. Kellerman disagreed with Smith’s argument, claiming that the southeastern part of the country is Trump’s base and they will allow the president to “shift the blame” to someone, or something, else.
“You made the argument a couple weeks ago, you thought if SEC football wasn’t played that could swing the general election because people in Trump’s base would be very upset that they didn’t have football, which is practically a religion down there,” Kellerman said in the video you watch above. “I disagreed because [Trump] would simply shift blame because the pandemic is raging. They seem to be susceptible to very low-quality information and easy to propagandize and almost immune to facts. Because, as Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s advisor, said, they have alternative facts. If they stay in their propaganda silos — like the Fox News propaganda silo — it wouldn’t matter what happened because they’d say the handling of the pandemic has been great. The handling of the pandemic has been the worst in the industrialized democratic world, by far. By far, in the United States, at a federal level, it’s been a disaster. And as a result we’re dealing with this pandemic. And yet I didn’t think that would affect voters because the blame would be shifted.”
ESPN is a major rights holder for the SEC and owns and operates the SEC Network.
Kellerman added that if the NFL, which cuts across both parties as well as independent and “swing” voters, were to be canceled or halted, whether due to social justice causes or the pandemic itself, that could have “political consequences” for the president.
“It doesn’t just hit one or another’s political base, but insofar as there’s a such thing as swing voters still, it would absolutely affect some of them. If the NFL season isn’t played or it’s interrupted, as a result of social justice issues — and of course we all understand this is against the backdrop of the pandemic,” he continued. “I know we exist in this sports bubble and we have this outsized idea of the effect of sports, but I think that might actually have political consequences in a general election.”