They told us that sports were a reward for a functioning society.
They forgot to mention that sports can also be a mirror. The kind that forces a nation to look at itself, realizing just how ugly things have gotten.
Enter the current state of the NFL and college football.
From the coronavirus to racial and social justice, to even the economy, the game that only America loves has found a way to be attached to every issue that this country is dealing with, and struggling to properly address it.
In college football, things are a mess. Some conferences are attempting to play this fall despite the coronavirus, while others have delayed the season to the spring, or may not play at all until next fall. And in an effort to sway votes and change the conversation, the President – who is the main reason college football won’t be the same this year – got on a call with Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren earlier this week, trying to talk him into starting the season.
As usual, the idiot in the Oval Office doesn’t understand that Warren has no power in this.
Ironically, it’s been rumored that Clay Travis played a part in getting Warren and Trump on the phone. The racist white guy that idiotically believes that sports and social/racial issues haven’t always been joined at the hip, helped get a conference commissioner and the President of the United States on the phone.
If that isn’t an example of what America has become in 2020, I don’t know what is.
As America is dealing with an unstable economy due to the coronavirus, leading to more than 44 million people filing for unemployment over the last few months, this week we saw that trend continue in the football world. The University of Michigan athletics department has eliminated 21 positions, decided not to fill 15 open positions, will evaluate temporary furloughs, and is reducing hours for its staff. The University of Texas will be letting go of 35 staffers, as 35 other vacant positions won’t be coming back. Michigan is expected to lose $100 million in revenue due to the pandemic, while the cuts in Austin are expected to save the school $13 million.
But in the same way that the small businesses that needed PPP loans earlier this year didn’t get them, college athletes still aren’t getting compensated for their work on the court and field.
“I just think it’s time for us to recognize that student-athletes in big-time college sports are getting abused,” Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) recently told Deadspin.
Murphy has joined nine other senators that have co-signed the “College Athletes Bill of Rights” proposal, which would give college athletes more power and a bigger platform in addition to making money off their name, image, and likeness.
And lastly, but most importantly, the NFL has hilariously decided that they can do more for Black people in the country by deciding to announce that the phrases “It Takes All of Us” and “End Racism” will be in end zones all season long.
As if slogans can stop the hate and shut down 400 years of systemic racism. It’s just as dumb as when the league announced they were playing the Black National Anthem before games during Week One.
Mind you, Colin Kaepernick is still without a job. If you really want to help, address that issue of inequality first.
It’s yet another example of how Roger Goodell and the NFL’s owners have no idea how to handle these matters, proving again that they are clueless when it comes to actually doing something meaningful in terms of racial and social justice besides cutting a check.
Americans are about to experience a football season that will be a shell of itself, at best, while the economy is in the toilet, as COVID-19 is still on the rise in some areas.
And when you look at it that way, it all makes sense. Given that Americans are the reason America is in this predicament.
We’ve become the living version of the Spiderman meme.