I've always been a very casual fan of the NFL. I live in Chicago and was born in 1984, so I can't even recall when the Bears went all the way and for the entirety of my consciouslife have seen all my family and friends be disappointed year after year by a very sub-par football team. So I don't have a whole lot of skin in the game, but I do enjoy the competition, the fantasy football stat chasing, and getting together with friends on Super Bowl Sunday that I don't get to kick it with that often due to us having wives, kids, and no longer living in the same neighborhood.
That being said, I will next say that now is as good a time than ever to boycott the NFL. By that, I mean not tuning in to games and contributing to it's ratings. Its been made very clear to those who've been paying attention to current NFL events, that the league is a morally bankrupt organization.
Colin Kaepernick, who brought about so many white tears due to his kneeling protest during the national anthem ceremony to make a statement about unarmed black men being killed by the police with no recourse, still doesn't have a job suspiciously the season after he began his protest. So many associated with the NFL...players, ex-players, coaches, commentators...have had so much to say about the alleged disrespect Kaepernick is showing with his non-violent protest, but say nothing about the issue itself he's protesting. Its nothing but selective obtuseness. In other words, people see what they wanna see. Now it's pretty obvious he's been unofficially black balled in the league which explains why he's still a free agent but chain smoking sacks of overrated crap like Jay Cutler have just signed $10 million contracts.
The NFL is 70% African American and is a multi-billion dollar a year industry. Not one NFL team owner is black so to a person like me, the optics are very bad. You can make tons of money off black men and black athleticism, but the second one of those black men stand up and use his constitutional right to speak on a black issue, you all of a sudden have no use for him. He immediately becomes disposable and "not worth the distraction". Distraction??!! As if the issue of sanctioned murder by the police is tantamount to a housefly buzzing around your head at a picnic...How bout we as a country fix the problem so there won't be a reason for players to have to speak up and cause a distraction as they put it??!!?
And in this racially charged climate, ESPN saw it appropriate to air a segment featuring an NFL "auction" to amp up excitement for the upcoming season with the clear support fans of the NFL, the same NFL mainly comprised of black men. When I heard about this, I thought "Maybe everyone's overreacting? Maybe they're unfamiliar with how pro sports drafts are set up?" But then I saw the actual clip with an all white sea of "buyers" putting up what can only be seen as monetary bids on black players in a scene that was eerily similar to the scene from the black body-snatching thriller Get Out. And at the very least it seems eerily similar to a slave auction. Peep it:
Meanwhile, NFL players who cheat, drink and drive, use drugs, murder (allegedly), obstruct justice, and beat women are just fine and have all the job security in the world?! I think now is a more appropriate time than ever for us who care about these issues to stop supporting a league where black lives don't matter, only black dollars.
But there is a glimmer of hope. More and more players have joined in the kneeling protests, most notably Michael Bennett and Marshawn Lynch. Even one white player has recently joined in with kneeling with his black teammates due to, I assume, seeing the bigger issue at hand here. So who knows? Maybe one day the NFL will get it. Maybe one day, they be as progressive of a league as the NBA where coaches, owners, entire teams, stars, heck, even the league commissioner have taken a visible, unmistakable stand on black social issues and social issues period. Until then, maybe we need to start putting our money our mouths are.