Monday, September 22, 2014

Time to Boycott the NFL (Part 2)?

By Pascal Dennis

My last post generated excellent feedback – thanks, all.

As I reflect, I fear the NFL is beyond redemption. In fact, a number of readers suggested I was easy on them.

I made no mention, our readers reminded me, of the NFL’s extortionary behavior toward communities hosting the Superbowl, or its blackmail with respect to publics funds for NFL stadiums(?!), or its tax-free status (?!?!).

(Did you know that the NFL is a ‘not-for-profit’ entity?)

Every statement, every action by the NFL exudes hubris – overbearing arrogance and pride. Euripides, Sophocles and Shakespeare teach us this cannot end well.

To regain people's respect and a measure of integrity, the NFL needs to:
  • Dismiss the entire leadership team,
  • Publicly accept responsibility for its failures, and
  • Accept the consequences.

The latter would entail a period of grief and contrition. For example:

"We acknowledge that we've tried to bury the overwhelming evidence of brain and physical trauma in our players. We're deeply distressed that our game has crippled Earl Campbell, Tony Dorsett and so many others. We’re ashamed that we denied this for so long, and tried to avoid just compensation for the damage we have caused. We accept responsibility and will take concrete steps to improve our game and our behavior."

How likely is this to happen? (Snowballs in hell come to mind)

Don’t want to be misunderstood. We humans are tricky, lazy and dishonest (I am anyway).

That’s why the Cardinal Virtues are so important. Like all standards, they make problems visible, so we can try to be a little better.

Our excesses are blunted thereby, and the world becomes a somewhat better place, and that matters a great deal.

Should we not hold the world’s richest and most powerful sports league to these standards?

The NFL’s fall may take a decade. (We’re addicted to the product, are we not?)

But I’m not watching NFL football this weekend or next weekend, or the weekend after that.

I'm playing golf with my little boy.

Best regards,


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