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Thursday, October 29, 2020

EDITORIAL: For Luis Moreno Jr., principle is more important than profit

The corporate world of professional sports is a sad place these days. And perhaps it has always been so, but now the public is better attuned to the hypocrisy with which decisions are made. The National Basketball Association and Nike, for instance, are happy to provide a platform for the ugliest critiques of America, while happily ignoring the genocide their financial overlords, the Chinese, currently carry out on the Uyghur population.

Every American professional sport, seemingly across the board, is bowing in one way or another to the woke mob. Recently, it came for Luis Moreno Jr., the decade-long radio analyst for the Carolina Panthers, an NFL team worth $2.3 billion dollars. Mr. Moreno Jr. (and his uncle and co-host, play-by-play commentator Jaime Moreno) was no ordinary broadcaster. His all-Spanish show was immensely popular with the local Hispanic community, and brought the energy of soccer commentary to the game of football.

Mr. Moreno Jr. also has a special backstory. He moved to the United States when he was 14 and only last month became an American citizen. His love for his new country seems to shine through everything he does, everything he says. And recently, he had been using his personal social media account to tweet pro-Donald Trump messages. As a contractor — not an employee of the Panthers — this was all permissible.

So, and as detailed by the Charlotte Observer (“Panthers’ Spanish-language broadcaster walks away from job over his support of Trump”), when Panther management asked him to pull his affiliations with the team from his personal social media accounts, he was shocked, but obliged. But when management called again, this time requesting he meet with the Panthers vice president for communications and external affairs, Mr. Moreno Jr. felt he knew what the conversation would be about, and he was not interested. Late this summer he parted ways with the Panther organization.

To hear Mr. Moreno Jr. tell it is heartbreaking. Again, as he describes to the Charlotte Observer:

“Basically what I told [management], I said, ‘Listen I’m not even under contract right now. I am not willing to participate in this project anymore if I’m going to be censored. So unless they call me, I’m not going to do it anymore. Because I am not OK with them censoring my freedom of speech in support of the president.’

“This has nothing to do with how good I am at what I do. I’m one of the best, and I’ll put myself against anybody in the country when it comes to what I do in Spanish. None of my support for the president was done on any of their social-media pages, it was never done on any of the airtime — whether it was a podcast or a broadcast or anything related to the Panthers. This was solely on my personal time on my personal accounts.”

Mr. Moreno Jr. is now at home with his two children, aged 2 and 4. To make ends meet, he bartends.



Washingtontimes

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