I did not play football in high school. I was too busy with track, soccer, music and theater. Over the years, I never developed the habit of watching sports on television. Work and my other interests took precedence, and I’d much rather participate in athletic endeavors than watch others. There’s not much physical or psychological benefit in that.
I’ve never been fond of the emphasis Americans put on professional athletics, and as an educator, less fond of the often irrational emphasis and portions of education budgets spent on high school football, and to a lesser degree depending on location, basketball.
I’ve been aware of some coaches and players who appeared to be men of character, even, in some ways, people worthy of emulation. And I’ve never begrudged them their salaries. They earned what the market would bear, and if we’re to embrace capitalism, that’s included in the embrace. We’re not in a zero sum game, and a dollar they make is not a dollar denied me or anyone else.
But in recent years I’ve become concerned by the growing lack of character, seemingly in everyone involved in big-money professional sports. Too often, players seem uneducated, arrogant thugs, and far too often, behaved as criminals. Equally often, their coaches and team owners let them get away with it.
It seems, even so, I’ve been thinking too highly of them, as Blue Lives Matter reports:
Four NFL players submitted a 10-page memo to the league’s top officials asking for ‘overt league support’ and a month of anti-police activism.
The 10-page memo was obtained by Yahoo Sports and was endorsed by Seattle Seahawks’ Michael Bennett, Philadelphia Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins, Eagles’ Torrey Smith and former NFL player Anquan Boldin. The memo was sent to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent.
Bennett has sat during the national anthem during games and raises a fist on the field after making plays in protest of the police.
Regular readers will, no doubt, recall my recent article on Mr. Bennett: Michael Bennett: Close Call In Las Vegas.
The memo asks for the league to make the month of November as ‘activism awareness month’ such as the league does with breast cancer.
The memo also blames police for the shooting of Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed in 2012 by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, not the police.
‘Since 2016, police have shot over 300 men and women in this country. Some of the names and stories are familiar—Jordan Edwards, Trayvon Martin, Alton Sterling, but hundreds of others are not,’ the memo says.
Regular readers will also recall the police had nothing whatever to do with the shooting of Trayvon Martin, a drugged gangster wannabe, who was shot in lawful self-defense while in the act of an unprovoked, deadly and brutal attack on George Zimmerman. The SMM Trayvon Martin case archive is available here. I have not written on the Jordan Edwards and Alton Sterling cases, but just to illustrate the current events/political illiteracy, and potential lack of honesty, of the players involved, Sterling was killed while trying to draw a handgun during a life and death struggle with police. Local and federal authorities declined to press charges against the officers. In the Jordan Edwards case, the officer that shot Edwards was fired and has been charged with murder. The outcome of that case is pending as it works though the criminal justice process. These cases do not exactly cry out for actual justice, but even a hangnail is sufficient cause for social justice.
To be clear, we are asking for your support,’ part of the memo reads, according to Yahoo Sports. ‘We appreciate your acknowledgement on the call regarding the clear distinction between support and permission. For us, support means: bear all or part of the weight of; hold up; give assistance to, especially financially; enable to function or act.
We need support, collaboration and partnerships to achieve our goal of strengthening the community. There are a variety of ways for you to get involved. Similar to the model we have in place for players to get involved, there are three tiers of engagement based on your comfort level.
To start, we appreciate your agreement on making this an immediate priority. In your words, from Protest to Progress, we need action.
In his recent contact with the Las Vegas Police, Bennett also defaulted to the usual social justice lies about Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, etc. His, and his fellow’s, invocation of such false martyrs suggests they are either ignorant of the issues about which they profess to care so deeply, or knowing they are lying, have so little character they want to use their wealth, prestige–for whatever it’s worth–and public notoriety in the cause of furthering racial division, a fully owned subsidiary of Social Justice, Inc.
They, and the NFL–private persons and entities–are free to do as they will. If they choose to damage their respective brands, and enrage half or more of their potential audience, it certainly does not, as Thomas Jefferson said regarding religious liberty, pick my pocket or break my leg. I won’t be watching them on TV, nor will I be attending games.
I would merely observe I prefer to see a little humility and humanity in those so well paid and held up to be role models to American children. I prefer to see an appreciation for the system and nation that made all of their good fortune possible, and for the men and women that, day in and day out, risk their lives that arrogant, ungrateful, uncivilized adolescents in steroid-infused adult bodies might virtue signal over issues about which they know little, and likely care less. They are not about altruism and upholding the rule of law and all that is best in America. Rather, they stand, perhaps as nothing more than useful idiots, with those who commit violence against the innocent, work every day to destroy the Constitution, and work–and chant–against the very existence of America. They make common cause with criminals, socialists, communists, racists and similar vermin.
Obviously, the NFL’s owners and coaches lack the moral fiber to demand adult, honorable behavior. It therefore falls to actual Americans to exercise their rights under the Constitution, and to teach them the realities of capitalism, by not only exposing them to the shame and derision they so richly deserve, but by withholding viewership, the price of tickets to games, and by refusing to buy NFL branded merchandise, or any product associated with the NFL in a sponsorship relationship. Official beer of the NFL? There are plenty of beers. Why should we enrich those that spit on us, and on all we hold dear if we are to remain free women and men? Why should we support, in any way, those that would racially divide us, and roll back decades of civil rights progress? Honor, duty, gratitude and country obviously mean nothing to them. Hit them where it hurts–their pocketbooks.
Who knows? Perhaps instead of watching football, more of us could read? Perhaps we could spend time actually talking with our spouses and children, holding their hands and telling them how much we love them. Perhaps we could devote that time to improving ourselves, our communities and the lives of those that know and care about us.
Maybe, just maybe, our time would be better spent with people that matter rather than people playing children’s games who could care less about us, and who brand us racists.
I’ve never been fond of such people. How about you, gentle readers?
Update, 09-23-17, 0001: This, from Rasmussen Reports, isn’t surprising:
As the National Football League struggles to explain this season’s downturn in viewer ratings, 34% of American Adults say they are less likely to watch an NFL game because of the growing number of protests by players on the field.
Update, 09-24-17, 1315 CST:
As readers are aware, I’m sure, President Trump has been not only criticizing football players that dishonor our flag and national anthem, but has been engaged in something of a Twitter war with a few of them. Rational people know the politicization of sports was entirely a creation of the athletes, ESPN, and the media. The usual suspects have, of course, cried that Mr. Trump’s is a racist because many of the athletes engaging in juvenile protests are black. Of course. Donald Trump has never criticized a white person, has he?
And then there is this: