I haven’t really watched much of the NFL the past few years. Mostly, I find it hard to watch a league which makes the most money in North American sports, yet pays its players the least, through mostly non-guaranteed contracts, while at the same time asking them to put their bodies and, we now know, minds at higher risk of harm than most professional athletes.
I suppose this relates to what I was talking about last week surrounding gun control: How the results of guns being so easily accessible can be addressed in a way that circumvents the NRA’s “cold dead hands.” — through things like rural suicide prevention and inner-city counseling programs.
How can the NFL appeal more to fans like myself, without attacking their precious exploitative salary system?
A start might be to eliminate Thursday-after-Sunday games, which every team experiences during a season, and drop proposals to expand from a 16 to an 18 game schedule. Maybe more comprehensive drug testing as well; I am not positive the rules and playing field dimensions of football were designed for human beings the size of the medical science experiments currently playing.
Lately, the only reason I have found to pay attention to the NFL is the player protests; as I have talked about in this space before, professional sports can be such an interesting microcosm of society as a whole, a mirror to hold up, a lens with which to view, and all that.
Earlier this week, a proposal that the NFL might ban players from kneeling during the anthem began floating around, from President Trump, to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and out into the mainstream media discussion.
As someone hoping for systemic change within the NFL structure, I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe I should be hoping for the NFL ban dissent and trample rights.
Certainly, that would cause an exodus of fans, of sponsors, and likely some players as well. It seems it would create the kind of climate which would be conducive to fundamental changes in 2020, when the current collective bargaining agreement expires.
More and more during the reign of Trump, I find myself asking if I should, in fact, be hoping for the worst.
It does seem to be an integral and recurring pillar of Trump’s style of governance — to actively and intentionally work towards the worse case scenario.
Consider earlier this week when Trump announced an end to federal subsidies which help insurance companies cover low-income Americans, effectively sabotaging Obamacare, before proclaiming, on Twitter, “Obamacare is imploding.”
Trump supporters would argue that Obamacare is horrific, yet Congress has been unable to make an agreement on a replacement, so Trump is forcing them to come to an agreement by blowing it up.
I also think Obamacare is pretty horrific, so perhaps I too should cheer its implosion.
… it is an easier position to take if you don’t think of the suffering and death of the people without crucial health care in the interim.
Also this week, President Trump further escalated the conflict with North Korea, with the US flying bombers off the North Korean coast, and Trump saying “only one thing will work” with North Korea, and cryptically suggesting we are in the “calm before the storm.”
Additionally, Trump gave an impassioned speech criticizing Iran for infractions past and present, real and imaginary, and threatening to pull out of the nuclear agreement with the country, something which, it has been suggested, would make the US a “rogue actor” on the geopolitical stage, and increase the likelihood of nuclear conflict.
It seems as though Trump is determined to bring about something of an implosion, a military conflict in which opposition is crushed.
Some would argue that countries and regimes we disagree with should be quickly and authoritatively smashed by the greatest military in the history of the earth.
… it is easier to stomach if you ignore the suffering and death which would be experienced by the populations involved.
There is, perhaps, some merit to the argument that our system is so rotten, so broken, that only a dramatic implosion and the opportunity to ‘start fresh’ can solve the problems.
I am not sure whether or not a devastating fire is required to allow new growth to rise from the ashes. I just know that Trump keeps lighting matches.