Skip Bayless, Communist Sports Pundit?

Skip Bayless is one of the most annoying sports personalities in the history of television. But are his politics actually good?

The tweet above went viral Thursday morning, resurfacing a 2017 Sporting News interview during which Bayless discussed leaving ESPN for Fox Sports 1. ESPN has come under fire for not letting its on-air personalities express their political opinions, most recently from current ESPN radio host Dan Le Batard.

So, is Bayless actually a communist? He’s a professional troll, so there’s a good chance this is just talk. His entire persona is being the loudmouth contrarian sports fan with awful takes. Bayless has made a lucrative living unfairly bashing LeBron James, fixating on Tim Tebow and popularizing the term “clutch gene,” referring to an athlete’s ability to perform under pressure. It’s pretty much all bullshit and Bayless knows it. The more people he pisses off with his inane opinions, the better he does professionally.

Bayless’ obvious hot takes-for-ratings shtick has turned him into a meme in recent years. Plenty of other sports pundits and athletes have criticized and trolled him right back, some (hilariously) right to his face. But for all of his television bluster, Bayless opines with the assertions and confidence of a common idiot sports fan. We all know someone who still says LeBron sucks and irrationally roots for the Dallas Cowboys because they were good in the mid-1990s. There’s probably more of those people than we’d care to admit. And Bayless doesn’t just amplify their witless voices, he champions them, seizing the memes of hot take production and turning it into big business.

We may never know if Bayless is really a communist. He’s probably more of the “liberal maverick” he described himself as than a guy with Das Kapital tucked under his desk on Undisputed. But when it comes to terrible sports opinions, he speaks with the voice of the people.

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