Why Aren’t We Done With Professional Football?
Congratulations to [insert corporation-masquerading-as-a-team name here] for winning the Super Bowl™! Now that you’ve got some time off, perhaps you’ll want to spend some of it reflecting.
Okay, maybe reflection is not your strong suit. We’ll start you off with some topics: domestic violence, best practices in denying/deflecting/opposing (no, wait, you’ve got that down) misogyny, the corporatization of everything. No?
How about a good old fashioned soul-search on the theme of profiting from the physical labor of others while hiding the very real physical dangers posed by those labors? Or if that’s too cerebral for you, try Googling the minimum wage and then pondering whether your cheerleaders deserve to make at least minimum wage. They’re just women but…still.
We as a culture might want to think about some of these subjects associated with our favorite sport. Think about what the NFL teaches our children about values, about humanity, about how to behave as grown-ups. Think, perhaps, about what we are condoning as we sit and watch young men sustain brain damage right before our very eyes. Brain damage that leads to domestic violence, stranger violence, depression, dementia and suicide.
Or, if you’re more into reading, think about picking up this book:
“Steve Almond’s blistering book Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto is exactly what it advertises itself to be: an exasperated, frustrated, wide-ranging argument that the time has come to abandon football — particularly but not exclusively the NFL — as a sport built on violence, racism, economic exploitation of poor kids, corrupt deal making with local governments over stadiums, and a willingness to find it entertaining to watch people suffer brain damage.”
— Linda Holmes, NPR
“A devastating multi-pronged attack.”
“A passionate and elegantly written book that finally overpowered any rationalization I could come up with to justify watching more football.”
— New York Times