Monday, September 15, 2014

Boycott the NFL

Many a time I get upset, angry, frustrated, downright furious.  In rare cases I get introspective.  In February of this year, once again, we were audience to another popular athlete taking it to his girlfriend/fiancée/woman.  The incident took place in a casino in New Jersey and the two were arrested and charged with assault.  They were both arrested.  Sources in the NFL, at the time, claimed that the NFL, the most powerful sports group in this country, couldn’t get the video from inside the elevator, but the one outside the elevator.  In retrospect, that video should have been enough, but it wasn’t.  As is often the case in these things, the truth came out.

Fast forward to last week.  The football season was finally back and all was forgotten, except it wasn’t.  TMZ released another tape, this one with the actual shot of Rice not only hitting his girlfriend, but also seeming utterly unaffected by the fact that she was unconscious on the floor.  The video of him dragging her out of the elevator becomes that much more damning given the fact that he, a huge man, didn’t have the decency to lift her in his arms and see if she was okay until a security guard came on the scene.  The entire incident and the NFL and Ravens’ handling of this debacle proves what many of us already know but refuse to accept: women are less than second class citizens in this country and in the world are viewed as worthless.

Strong statement?  Yes, absolutely.  Yesterday morning I watched the Sports Reporters on ESPN (one of the few things I will subject myself to on that biased network) and listened as the group assembled talked about how foolish the fan bases were for supporting their suspended players (Adrian Peterson for beating his kid, Hardy from Carolina for beating his wife and the list goes on).  Instead of outrage and comradery for a fellow woman, many are apathetic and disinterested in noticing what is really going on.  Do I blame Ray Rice, etc., for what happened?  No.  He is a victim of the lifestyle and culture that plagues this country.  No matter your colour, the message is still the same, women have no value.  Just this morning I had to listen to my mother, once again, tell me I was basically a failure at life because I hadn’t found a man, because my life can’t have value unless I have a man.  Is this what we want little girls to grow up to think?  Do boys deserve to grow up with this pressure either?

I’m beyond disgusted and appalled and I am sure I’m not the only one.  I read a lot of different news sites and Deadspin and Jezebel are great resources for actual facts as opposed to the views as spewed through filters on ESPN.  I don’t usually blather so much, but my basic message, plea, really is to stop.  We all need to stop.  We need to stop supporting these brands.  The only way people in this world are going to change their view is if we all take a step back and realise what we’re saying, how we’re acting, speaks volumes to those who are the most impressionable.  If you think for one second that kids aren’t seeing this and seeing what you can get away with, what is socially acceptable behaviour, you’re being obtuse.  If you support the NFL, you are a hypocrite.  Right now, the NFL, just on its stature in this nation, makes it the largest, most effective target and I am imploring everyone to stop and realise what I have come to realise.  Supporting the NFL sends a clear and concrete message that we are all too quick to satisfy our needs rather than doing what is right.  For the second weekend in a row, I haven’t watched one NFL game, one NFL highlight.  Nothing.  I am not going to waste my time on their company and if we, as women, as a whole, do the same, we can affect a change.  Many people don’t care about anyone but themselves, but this is never going to stop, never going to end unless we catch the attention of the world, if we don’t stand up and say, no, beating women is not a culture we should support.  If I don’t give one dime to the NFL this year, I hope many of you can match that challenge.  Don’t wear the jerseys, the t-shirts, don’t support one team.  

Join me in my boycott.  If you can’t manage the entire season, the then entire month of October.  The month is supposedly dedicated to breast cancer awareness, to women.  Well, then let’s make a statement.  Take your kids out and do something else, anything else, for a couple weekends.  The only thing people in this capitalist country respond to is not making money.  Let’s make the NFL a lot less money.

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