The Problematic Ken Campbell
Updated: Dec 10, 2020
Earlier in the week, a story caught my eye at the Hockey News/SI:
'Mark Donelly sang 'O Canada' Saturday afternoon at a rally protesting provincial health orders and was fired for doing so. Too bad the Canucks didn't take the same approach with Todd Bertuzzi' was the argument starter on Facebook.
I have said it before and I'll say it again, Tony Granato was as much at fault in the Bertuzzi/Moore incident as the participants. Ken Campbell dredging up Todd Bertuzzi's name in relation to a pandemic should be enough for KEN CAMPBELL TO BE FIRED. Once you start cancelling some of the leaders of cancel culture, things will start to even themselves out. How many people in the Canucks Front Office are even around over 15 years after the fact?
What is my beef with Ken Campbell?
Earlier this week, Dan LeBatard & ESPN announced a divorce. Some sources cited ESPN firing a beloved producer from the LeBatard talk show as a final straw. Some sources cited LeBatard's contract. And some sources speculated that Dan LeBatard simply wasn't talking about sports enough, LeBatard had become too political.
Now that's funny. When ESPN doesn't like your politics, they can't get rid of you fast enough (i.e. Rush Limbaugh or Curt Schilling), but if you're political in a way that your target demographic prefers, it takes a lot of missteps to get rid of you (Jemele Hill was with ESPN for over a decade).
But what ESPN has kinda figured out through their own internal research and through feedback from their advertisers is that ALL politics are starting to turn people off. That's why LeBatard is on his way out the door. ESPN didn't care about right-wing free speech, and now they don't care about left-wing free speech. Not because of any overarching philosophies per se, but because of push back from their consumers. (Has ESPN decided to stick to sports only? Not quite, they keep advertising their More Than an Athlete series.)
I think there should be a lot of voices at ESPN. As late as this past summer Dan LeBetard was still attacking former colleague Curt Schilling. Now, for the same reason they got rid of Schilling, LeBetard joins him as a former ESPN staffer. Don't get me wrong LeBetard will land on his feet (or softly on a big pile of money) but it would be ironic if Schilling and LeBetard ultimately found their ends with the network for the same reason.
Let me give you an example of the way LeBetard thinks:
When LeBron left Cleveland for Miami. LeBetard laughed. "Of course he left, it's Cleveland."
When LeBron left Miami for Cleveland, LeBetard whined and cried and wrote nasty articles about LeBron and betrayal. And that, in a nutshell, is how LeBetard rolls.
LeBetard was great on PTI and average, at best, on Highly Questionable. Which circles us back to Ken Campbell. Campbell is a good writer when it comes to the x's and o's of hockey. Ken Campbell also talks about hockey while moving left wing talking points. Those articles aren't so good and are becoming more frequent and predictable.
What happens if the Hockey News institutes a "no politics" policy? Ken Campbell, who championed the firing of Don Cherry, would have a hard decision to make. Just write about hockey while stifling his leftist ideals, or quit and become a free speech martyr?
I predict that Ken Campbell would write about his free speech being abridged, unaware of all of the free speech that he has attempted to cancel.
I'm sorry, did someone say Jemele Hill today?