AND Magazine Menu

The Political Football

Robert Cleveland
Senior Conservative Editor

Pretty soon it will be the NFFL: the National Flag Football League.



On the cover:

Tim Tebow

Let The Fans Decide

Barack Obama, QB

President Barack Obama takes a moment to pass the football at the White House. | Photo: White House | Barack Obama, President, Democrat, Football, White House, Sports,

Let The Fans Decide

Robert Cleveland
Senior Conservative Editor

124.2K

Views/Shares

[Comments] It seems that we can no longer avoid the intersection of politics and professional sports. We saw it in the Congressional hearings into steroids in baseball - a waste of taxpayer dollars if ever there was one. Now, with political correctness pervading our society to ever greater lengths, it seems that the intersection of politics and professional sports isn't going away any time soon.

It's really rather amazing that in this day and age, with Russia acting like it's moving toward a new Soviet Union, Islamic radicals committing genocide in the Middle East, Ebola on the march in Africa, and a mysterious respiratory virus spreading among children in the Midwestern United States, anyone really cares that a few people may find the name of an NFL team offensive.

Of course, these days, too many people in America seem to be looking for ways to be offended. It's reaching the point where it doesn't matter whether or not anyone actually is offended, just the mere suggestion that someone may find something offensive is enough to bring the PC police out in force. And once that suggestion gets a little media attention, it's virtually inevitable that an offended party will show up.

When audio was released of Donald Sterling making racist comments, the nation was enthralled in a national conversation about what a horrible human being he is...but it had been semi-public knowledge for a long time that Sterling was a horrible human being. No one seemed to care that he was part-owner of a professional sports team until the audio was released and the media turned it into a nationwide frenzy. Even the President of the United States weighed in during his trip to Malaysia.

For many Americans, professional sports are a means of escape. It's a way to sit back, relax, and be entertained - even if there isn't so much sitting back and relaxing, and more cheering on your favorite team.

For the fans, it's all about entertainment. For the owners, it's all about money. For decades, there have been a variety of scumbags playing professional sports, but these days the media seems intent on turning sports into a vehicle for social justice - partially because political correctness is such a big deal in the media these days, and perhaps because, back in the days when America's sports heroes were respectable we turned a blind eye to criminal behavior in professional sports, it allowed the scumbags to rise in the ranks, until now too many of the scumbags are America's sports heroes. As the organizations - particularly the NFL - lose their veneer of respectability by turning scumbags into headliners, it becomes that much easier to criticize them for anything - or everything - else.


Brendon Ayanbadejo

Oladele Brendon Ayanbadejo, born September 6, 1976, is an American football linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League. He was signed by the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent in 1999. He played college football for the UCLA Bruins. In 2009, Ayanbedejo publicly advocated legalizing same-sex marriage. | Photo: NFL | Brendon Ayanbadejo, Football, Baltimore Ravens, Gay Rights, Free Speech,

I think it's pretty much a given, in this day and age, that fans of the Washington Redskins aren't going around making fun of Native Americans. In fact, names like Redskins, Indians, Warriors, and Braves celebrate Native Americans, honoring the Native American warriors of the past. The fact that "Redskins" is very un-PC today doesn't change that.

We don't need Congress telling the National Football League that players aren't allowed to play rough. If that trend continues, pretty soon it will be the NFFL - the National Flag Football League. We don't need the government or the national media determining what names teams can and cannot use, or commentators giving politically-charged social commentary instead of sports analysis. How about letting the free market decide? If people were so upset over the Washington Redskins' name, the organization would have changed the name long ago under pressure from fans who stopped attending their games.

Is it too much to ask that Americans be allowed to keep their escape?


Robert Cleveland

Robert Cleveland, Senior Conservative Editor: Robert Cleveland is the IT Director for a document management services company. When he isn't working on computers and scanners, he's spending time with his wife and kids, or writing about just how jacked-up Washington politics is. He is a strong believer that hard work and freedom are what make America the greatest nation on the planet, and it is of the utmost importance that we never lose those values. Robert's other writing can be found at his blog, more...)