Monday, August 11, 2014

Dear Football

Dear Football,
We need to talk.  I was raised on football.  Our family would gather on the couch and watch games.  Even after I had moved out, my parents would invite me over to watch the games together. After my father passed away, my mother ended up married to a (horror) Giants fan, but has remained loyal to the Washington team. 
But, well, here we are.  There have been revelations about concussions and that the NFL not only knew about the issues, but colluded to keep important medical information away from players.  The NFL has never has a particularly good record as far as rape and domestic abuse, but this latest ridiculousness, where rendering someone unconscious gets you punished less than an illegal move on the field might, is hard to take.  Despite the large number of female fans, the NFL has done little beyond wearing pink one month a year to welcome them.  In fact, the NFL hates that you might have a purse. (Yes, I know it's supposedly security.  But, given that no one is searching pockets, it just suggests the manner of carrying your things is the problem.) 
And well, the Washington team has always had a racist name.  We could argue that the name is no longer associated with it's racist origins, I know I tried to make peace with it for a while.  These are issues of varying sizes.  But on the whole it makes justifying supporting this enterprise an increasingly difficult set of ethical calculus.  I'm not quite ready to give football up.  But boy do I wish football wasn't making it so hard to justify my loyalty.