A football league that’s been a willing participant in the discrimination and systemic oppression of Black people for over 100 years has announced that it will continue to expand into a continent where football — the global version — is king, which is also the place that Black people come from.
What started last year in Ghana, is now headed to Kenya as “NFL Africa” and the league “continue to invest in growing the game at all levels across the continent.”
The NFL is going to mess this up.
“Growing the NFL globally is a major strategic priority for the League and developing our footprint and fandom in Africa is an important part of this vision,” said Brett Gosper, head of NFL Europe & Africa.
Gosper is white…and from Australia.
“We are excited to expand NFL Africa into Kenya and look forward to creating opportunities for the next generation of African players and fans there to engage with our sport. From NFL Flag inspiring young people to play the game around the world, to building pathways for more international athletes to play in the NFL, there is a place in our sport for everyone.”
According to the league, “the expansion will see the NFL host a talent identification camp and NFL Flag football showcase in Nairobi, Kenya this April (10-15), underlining a long-term, multi-market commitment to developing more ways to serve a growing fan base in Africa.”
Between the white men that run the NFL, Gosper, and the more than 125 players of African descent that play in the league, they will be the ones leading the charge.
“It has always been a dream of mine to bring the NFL to Africa and over the past couple of years The Uprise and NFL have made that dream a reality,” said two-time Super Bowl champion Osi Umenyiora, NFL’s lead ambassador for NFL Africa, in the league’s announcement.
With all due respect to Umenyiora, who was born in England to Nigerian parents, the league is using him as their Black/African face.
“It’s been incredible to see the opportunities it has provided through the International Player Pathway Program, the NFL Academy and Flag football, and this is only the beginning.”
From a business standpoint, a league that’s only popular in one country trying to expand its global reach by venturing into the second-most populated continent makes sense. But, this is a league that has proven that it excels in its mistreatment of Black people, meaning that a decision to go to the “Motherland” guarantees many wrongs will be done.
In case you missed it
In case you forgot, the NFL was still dealing with the fallout from race-norming up until last year — and who’s to say that it’s not over? The league still only has three African-American coaches, along with an ongoing class-action lawsuit against it for its racist hiring practices when it comes to coaches. Just last month we learned that veteran NFL reporter Jim Trotter was going to be without a job after NFL Media conveniently decided not to renew his contract after he publicly questioned Roger Goodell about its lack of hiring Black people at the Super Bowl. And lastly, the league still holds the NFL Combine, which resembles the slave auctions from the Transatlantic Slave Trade that began with enslaving Africans.
A league that’s run by white men has brought on an Australian to help them expand in the Blackest place on Earth without any Black people technically being in charge. That alone is why this is destined to fail if not done flawlessly. Besides, if the NFL couldn’t handle Colin Kaepernick kneeling just a few years ago, they definitely won’t know what to do in a continent that had apartheid.