Ichabod's Kin
A place for politics, pop culture, and social issues


          February, though short in duration, began with the sage forecasts of Punxsutawney Phil, and ended with Presidents Day, to either of which we give little credence or importance.

Between were days of racy, suggestive Valentines and of storefronts are sick with every shade of red. Time to love, because we say so.

          But I offer no love whatever to pro football or its plantation culture, now or any time until it passes muster with those who’ve brought it adoring crowds, insane wealth and the attention of America and the world.

          I speak of certain skin colors within the showy helmets and uniforms that, combined with all the bright hues of reds, whites, blues, oranges and purples, grace the equally bright green gridirons before our tv and stadia eyes. The names of such athletes adorn not only our Sundays and Super Bowls but MVP lists and Halls of Fame. Sadly, while otherwise allowed to touch, pass and kick the football, those of darker skin are not given the coaching reins because—what?

          Surely my dear readers know whereof I speak. Many players of color have bit their tongues whilst suffering loss of such honors, typically the next step up from years of performance under high physical and mental standards. Brian Flores however will no longer shut up, but his case will be a hard one to press forward because the NFL is led by heads as hard as Confederate generals of yore who today still deny equality and by so doing perpetuate modern-day inequality.

          This outrage deserves what the great American Emerson said of the Fugitive Slave Law of his time: “…it is a filthy law and by god I will not obey it.” Nor will Brian Flores put up with this longstanding practice but if there is no incriminating tape or other whistleblowers to step forward and confirm his charges he, like Colin Kaepernick, will be just another casualty.

Today this vestige of plantation-ism is not said out loud. Players’ helmets and uniforms are affixed with words and symbols touting the end of racism in their sport but the real “players” are owners and front offices where actual rules are made and no zebras are around to blow the pea and cost them touchdowns, and money.   

          And the spectacle that begins in late summer now expands into February, furthering embossing its cachet in the calendar. Not even the seasons of major holidays can compete with this lowliest of months that also has more r’s and oysters than any other.

          This year it opened with Flores’ complaint and egg should be on all faces, fans included, who could rise up and stay away for even one game to show owners that there is power elsewhere to shake their foundations.

          And here’s the irony: football is the most macho of sports but also the most cowardly. Many of these manly-men can’t take a needle, let alone have the nerve to confront a sport that needs to know spectators aren’t the only people to be afraid of. Are you listening, Tom Brady?—they can’t hurt you now: you’re the biggest dog in the stadium and even beer-guzzling, pizza-chomping lowbrows would close their tailgates and listen to you.

          When can any sport fall from grace? When the actors—whether owners or athletes—think they’re bigger than the game itself, and bigger than the nation that has given them such wealth and opportunity.

          By the time you read this, maybe the Houston Texans or others will have hired Brian Flores. But until one does, no love here for the NFL.

One Response to “NO LOVE FOR THE NFL”

  1. You hit the nail on the head and heads should roll. The inertia and complacency of the top ranks of major league sports are pitifully behind in regards to race and injury.

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