Published On: Mon, Aug 16th, 2021

Zeus Would Smite Us

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The Olympics happened this summer. Don’t worry if you missed them, most people did, with the Tokyo Olympics losing nearly half the viewers who tuned into the 2016 summer games in Rio de Janeiro. Pundits are listing all sorts of reasons for this decline in viewership: the significant time difference between the United States and Japan; NBC’s pitiful job relaying to viewers what events were on at what time; an emphasis on driving people to the online Peacock network rather than traditional television; and airing only snippets of events after the fact instead of replaying them in full. Danielle D’Souza Gill, host of “Counterculture,” thinks there’s another key reason at play, however, namely the politicization of the Olympic Games. Nothing is untouched by politics in our modern day, and sporting competitions are no exception. Viewers have been abandoning professional sports in droves over the past few years as athletes take …

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