I was actually a bit hopeful recently, seeing people threaten to boycott the NFL. It’s too bad that it had to be so painfully obvious, but the NFL either needs a wake-up call, or a smaller audience. It is a club of ultra-rich owners, making extreme profit while sharing a fraction of it with the real stars of the show. Instead, they exploit those stars.
The NFL should already be widely boycotted after they deceived everyone for years about the impact of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. The NFL deliberately pressured the National Institutes of Health to stop research on the brain injuries of players. When the NIH refused to stop the research, the NFL withdrew an “unrestricted gift” they gave to the NIH and forced the taxpayers to pay for the research instead.
Why is the NFL trying to prevent research on CTE? Because 99% of brains that were donated for study from NFL players, had CTE! This is why some former NFL stars have killed themselves, but the people who worshipped these players refuse to hold the NFL to account. The NFL spends all this freaking money putting on events to encourage kids to stay fit, but wouldn’t be open about the fact that football causes CTE. That threatens their bottom line, if parents around the country start to know the TRUTH about what football can do to their kids.
This is the same league that pretends the war on drugs is a real thing, giving outrageous punishments for possession of weed. What else do we expect, when the NFL owners are mostly old white guys who lean conservative? They have no problem with the NFL getting over a billion dollars to endorse a beer company, though.
This is the same league that can’t manage to handle one of it’s premiere teams cheating. Enough pressure from enough of the right people, is all it takes to be excused for tarnishing the integrity of the game. Given the group of owners we are talking about, I don’t think that all teams would get away with it. But some will, and have. Everyone is so obsessed with the sport that they’ll look past a lot of troubling actions. They haven’t even managed to align with the rest of the country on how they deal with the reality that some players could be gay.
Now, these illustrious owners can find every possible excuse to avoid signing Colin Kaepernick, because he’s standing up just a bit too much for the marginalized. Kaep doesn’t appreciate the current police state’s treatment of young black men, so he won’t stand during the national anthem. In response, none of the NFL’s owners have a roster spot for Kaep now. This is the league where somebody with no pro credentials like Johnny Manziel gets more phone calls than Kaepernick, who has a Superbowl appearance on his resume. Damn them.
I used to love the NFL so much. I spent so much time playing fantasy football, reading stats, and having heated debates about how much Jay Cutler sucks. After I realized how deceptive they were about the CTE, I was pretty much done. But this statement that the NFL owners are making by avoiding Kaepernick is finally pushing some others over the edge. Sure, plenty of people will ignore all of this and keep watching/paying/debating/playing, but I’m all the way done.