Have I Mentioned Before That The National Football League Is An Organizational Ethics Dunce? I’m Pretty Sure I Have…[Corrected]

Helmet slogans

…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.

12 thoughts on “Have I Mentioned Before That The National Football League Is An Organizational Ethics Dunce? I’m Pretty Sure I Have…[Corrected]

  1. No “Make America Great Again” or “It’s OK to be White”, either. I’m sure those must have been numbers seven and eight on the proposed list, but were just cut to keep the list short and manageable..

  2. I think I might actually be okay with vague platitudes if they establish something that people can agree on to begin to respect each other. Just so long as people are free to negotiate the specific ways in which we attempt to make those platitudes concrete enough to implement, it could be a decent start. If people aren’t free to discuss such things, then the platitude is still a good thing because people who use it can be called out for not living up to it effectively.

    If you’re quick enough to recognize a motte-and-bailey argument, you can lure people out into the bailey and then catch them the second they make a move for the motte. Or you can besiege them in the motte and do whatever you want with the bailey.

  3. Re: public platitudes
    My town has signs posted out and about “you matter” “don’t give up” and other yard signs that are somehow supposed to help with suicide prevention. On one hand, at least they bothered to do something, I guess. Apparently it’s quite a social media cause. Here’s that story-

    • There are billboards along the freeway near me that have pictures of people spending time with each other and the caption “This is suicide prevention.”

      Those signs always give me pause, because if I were the family member of someone who committed suicide, it would make me feel like it was my fault that I didn’t spend enough time with them.

  4. The English Premier [soccer] League has been plastering these sorts of things all around their stadiums for probably almost ten years. They have a problem in the UK and throughout greater Europe with soccer hooligans screaming racial epithets at players of color. The players (home and away teams) all take a knee “to end racism” (as the TV announcers solemnly intone) right before the beginning of each EPL game. The Glazer family, who own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (reigning Super Bowl champions), also own the Manchester United soccer club, the Yankees of UK soccer. I suspect the Glazers foisted this upon the other NFL owners because it’s been de rigueur over there for quite a while and they probably consider it good for business. So why not try it in the NFL.

    And anyway, who gives a rat’s ass what the fans think. They’ll just shut up and buy their cherished season tickets and paraphernalia and buy over-priced beer and cheer.

    • I am not sure the Glazers wield that much power over the NFL. It’s more about demographics among the players and the media. The heads of the NFL don’t care about fan backlash because they know the fans as a group won’t walk away.


      • Au contraire, John. I think all the other NFL owners want to grow up to be the Glazers. I’m pretty sure John Henry of the Dodgers and then the Red Sox has bought into the EPL (Liverpool or some other big six club). They know it’s all about the advertising money and gambling joint ventures. EPL has been the smart play for all these guys for quite a while. Sports franchises have yielded incredible returns since skipping through TV commercials has become possible. They’re the only show in town betters, er fans, will watch in real time. I think the Glazers are leaders. The others will follow (the money). The Glazers lead by example rather than by exercising leverage.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.