Clay Travis warns against covering athletes like political figures

Sports journalist Clay Travis warned against covering high-profile athletes like political figures in an interview that aired Tuesday on "Rising."  

"I think media has actually made it worse," Travis told Hill.TV's Buck Sexton when asked which figures have politicized sports. Travis is promoting his new book "Republicans Buy Sneakers Too: How the Left is Ruining Sports with Politics." 

"The question that I ask in the book, and I think it's an intriguing question, is do we really learn anything when Steve Kerr, or Gregg Popovich, or LeBron James, or Steph Curry, or Colin Kaepernick pop off about politics?" he continued.

"What I don't think needs to happen is for all of those guys to be covered as if they are great political analysts and figures. Nothing that any of them has said is different from what you might hear on television, or what you might read in the newspaper, or hear on the radio," he said. 

"I don't think the sports media has an obligation to cover their opinions about sports and about politics as if they're great political figures," he added. "Why is Gregg Popovich's opinion on Donald Trump or LeBron James's opinion on Donald Trump legitimate news that needs to lead a telecast on ESPN?"

Multiple athletes have made headlines in the past two years for their criticism of President TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — State Dept. employees targets of spyware Ohio Republican Party meeting ends abruptly over anti-DeWine protesters Jan. 6 panel faces new test as first witness pleads the Fifth MORE, as well as other political statements. 

Kaepernick was the first athlete to take a knee during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality and has since signed a promotional deal with Nike. 

— Julia Manchester