…but still I am stunned by how deep the NFL’s lack of principles, craven weakness in the fact of political correctness bullying, and near complete contempt for its fans goes. Still! What the hell’s the matter with me?
Trembling in fear of Black Lives Matter and the strength of a players union with almost 80% black membership, the NFL announced that it will permit players to display progressive and Black Lives Matter propaganda on their outfits. The league is going so far as to provide six pre-approved phrases for players to choose from for display on their helmets during games: “Black Lives Matter,” “End Racism,” “Stop Hate,” “Inspire Change,” “It Takes All Of Us,” and “Say Their Stories.” (For some reason, “Ramalama-ding-dong” didn’t make the cut.) The league will also allow home teams to have one of two phrases written across the end zones of their fields: “End Racism” or “It Takes All Of Us.”
So now the NFL thinks that presenting a sporting event for which fans pay ridiculous sums for tickets reasonable includes partisan, divisive, race-based propaganda as part of the unavoidable experience. If NFL fans don’t push back against this and hard, they are weenies, and not just that, they are aiding and abetting an undemocratic and divisive trend. The one cynical consideration the ethically inert owners and executives may be counting on is that nobody in the stadium can read what players have on their helmets. All right, two considerations: the average mouth-breathing NFL fan wouldn’t care if Joe Wonderful had “KKK” or Man-Boy Love Association slogans on his helmet as long as he throws that game-winning touchdown pass.
The quality of the approved propaganda shows that CTE may be afflicting more than just the NFL’s players. None of the slogans means anything substantive, and several of them are offensive or idiotic. At best, as Buffalo Springfield memorably noted in their 1967 classic “For What It’s Worth,” the signs say “Hurray for our side,” except that the “side” isn’t the actual football team, it’s the “side” representing tribal warfare, group identification, Marxism and censorship. The NFL probably is counting on its fans ignorance here as well: the slogans are all so vague that a fan whose last engagement with the news was “Weekly Reader” in the sixth grade might say, “Stop Hate? End Racism? Who can object to that?”
I particularly like “Tell their stories.” People who blather that mantra don’t want the real stories told, but the fake, distorted, carefully contrived stories, like the false narratives about Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and others. These imaginary “stories” point to the conclusion that whites are racists, blacks haven’t advanced in their status in the U.S. since 1619, the United States is a nest of white supremacists, and the system needs to be taken down, so reparations, eternal race-based benefits for blacks, quotas and restrictions on law enforcement can be installed.
Go ahead, cheer for that, you tail-gating morons. Oh, you probably will….
I will add this: I think the policy can be legitimately challenged in court. All it will take is a player being refused the right to display a non-woke political phrase on his helmet. I’m sure the NFL got a legal opinion before allowing this idiocy, but I think a valid case could be made to challenge it.