Friday, August 04, 2017


I wrote this open letter to the NFL a while back. I revisited it briefly here.  I love football.  It is tied to a lot of childhood and college memories, to say nothing of my having found the perfect sports bar.  (The sports bar, is, in my opinion perfect because it is mostly a soccer bar, and so there is a small but dedicated group of American football fans.) One of the early things I did with this blog was post my football picks
It's always an interesting thing, to me, to see where you hit the line.  Where you look around and say, I put up with, excused, ignored a number of things, and I hoped the following things would change with time.  And where you look around and say, yep, I can't support this any more.  Part of the reason I had switched to the sports bar was because I figured some small changes I could make included - not purchasing or wearing NFL gear, not attending games in the stadium, and not contributing to the ratings.  It was a tiny thing - the ratings part at least - but I figured these changes I could make. 
But I can't ignore that the NFL has continued to allow and pretend neutrality when it comes to racist team names that support and encourage racist fan behavior. And I cannot ignore that every time a football player breaks the law or cheats, we have to wait and see if they will be punished at all.  And yet, the clearest most obvious punishment is being doled out to a player who simply made a political statement. 
The NFL's treatment of Colin Kaepernick is just utter unexcusable crap. Even if the NFL had a leg to stand on as far as player morality, it would be crap. Teams have ditched quarterbacks that weren't working in their system before, even ones that had won Superbowls.  I am well aware.  (And yeah, I am still a little mad at the Ravens for that.) But actual low and underperforming quarterbacks have gotten chance after chance after chance.  The fact that the Ravens have an injured quarterback and and playing the we'll see if it won't make people mad game, is further irritating. The Ravens stood behind a player who stood up for marriage equality, even when a politician wrote to them to stop it. Behind countless players who committed crimes.  But apparently speaking up for the rights of black people is somehow too much?  You have to be kidding me. 
So, it turns out this is where I am drawing the line.  This is where I reached the too far moment in my head.  The NFL is a business, and they are free to not hire people.  Just like I am free to decide their pretense of separation from politics is crap, and choose not to watch.