The NFL is “like a loveless marriage now”
“every aspect of our life is put through these political litmus tests”
I appeared on The Michael Koolidge Show on 1440 WROK Talk Radio on September 26, 2017.
We discussed several of my posts about the NFL “take a knee” protests:
- NFL picked sides in the culture war, now it has to live with the consequences
- Dear NFL: I’m not “boycotting” you. I just don’t care anymore, about you.
- If you love how sports were politicized, just wait for your next visit with Dr. Progressive
Here are some excerpts from the interview:
“The NFL was the one place where you didn’t have to deal with politics. As somebody who writes about politics all the time, I really appreciated that. That I could just watch the game and enjoy it. That’s gone. It has become so politicized, with kneeling down during the National Anthem, and players joining together doing it, making political statements on the field.
And what we know, of course, the NFL doesn’t allow all political statements. When the Dallas Cowboys wanted to wear stickers on their helmets honoring the Dallas policemen who were killed … they wouldn’t allow that…. Not all political messages are acceptable in the NFL. The only one that seems to be acceptable in the NFL now is one that is Black Lives Matter, left-wing, to some extent anti-American, not completely. The whole thing has just sickened me….
As if most people on their job are allowed to hold a protest. Can you imagine if you’re working in a restaurant, and the waitresses and waiters get together and say, “We’re going to hold a protest in the restaurant.” Or if you’re working in a supermarket or a department store. That doesn’t happen to real Americans, it only happens in the NFL and other major league sports with multi-millionaire spoiled athletes who are pushing a left-wing agenda. And that’s what’s so disgusting.
For me personally to see the Cowboys do it like that, and they tried to play it cute, which is even worse. They tried to play it cute by doing it before the National Anthem, so they could say “we weren’t protesting the National Anthem.” Long story short is I don’t care. You injected politics onto the field in a game. That’s it.
It’s not even that I’m angry. I just don’t care about them anymore…. I’m just indifferent to the NFL now. Emotionally I’m not connected to it anymore. I’m not boycotting it… I’m just done with it. I’m sick of it. I don’t care anymore.”
I then discussed whether there is a “legal right” for the players to make their protest. I made the point that “freedom of speech is not freedom from criticism,” and we have as much right to criticize them as they have to make their protests. I also made the point that while they are on the job, the employer has the right to preclude protests:
“Probably not a legal right, unless the employer approves. And the employers approve.”
We then turned to the topic of my post about the Doctor:
“The progressive movement, left-wing, whatever you want to call it, insists on pushing politics into every aspect of our life. You can’t watch a football game anymore….
We are headed towards a society which resembles, in many ways, Eastern Europe under communism. Where every aspect of your life was political. And you could not express a view that was contrary to the prevailing political view, and you were monitored. Except now the monitoring isn’t necessarily being done by the government, it’s being done by your co-workers who are going to Out you on social media. It’s just a very depressing direction we’re heading, when every aspect of our life is put through these political litmus tests.
I think that’s why people are reacting to the NFL. Because that was a place where we thought we could get away from it. And now we’re being told we can’t….”
And then my summation:
“The NFL to me is emotionally dead. It’s like a loveless marriage now. I really don’t care about it. And I think that’s worse for the NFL. If people hate it and are angry and upset, they’re still going to watch the games and still get emotionally involved. I’m not emotionally involved with the NFL and that’s contrary to my entire life. Most of my life growing up, the NFL was such a critical part of it. Now it’s just something I’m not interested in.”
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God, Family, Country. The left want’s to destroy it all. Don’t let them win.
They have already permanently destroyed much of the country – does anybody think California can be stopped from turning itself into the Soviet Union on the Pacific?
It is time to realize that the left in this country is thuggish, brutal, intolerant and can never, ever compromise.
Either you crush them, or separate from them.
Kurt Schlicter has it right. Let them form their own People’s Republic and let it rot.
You mean Democrats are Fascists.
Professor, make that “a loveless marriage with a very abusive spouse.”
But we’re not giving up, and we’re not going to sit back and just take it. Militant normalcy is the result of normal people roused to anger and refusing to be pushed around anymore. We prefer a free society based on personal liberty and mutual respect. But if you leftists veto that option, that leaves us either a society where you rule and oppress us, or one where we hold the power. So let me break this down, both for the left and for their fussy Fredocon enablers:
You don’t get to win.
Excellent observations, Professor. Many of us feel the same way. Isn’t it interesting that all liberal organizations seem to go out of their way to insult their customers? I think that tells us something about their motivations.
Our office had had an NFL weekly pool for over 30 years. The guy who has run it all those years is passionate about the sport and his team.
He told me he doesn’t know if he can do this any more. He just doesn’t care.
There are millions who feel the same way. Very sad.
The religious conflicts of the past were ultimately about which values, rituals, customs, and ideas should be imposed on everybody. Traditional religion may be receding in many parts of American culture, but politics is taking on a decidedly religious flavor — and religion is becoming increasingly politicized.
People are growing intolerant of any dissent from their idea of what everyone should believe. Agree with me and you’re one of the good guys; disagree with me and you’re not just wrong, you’re my enemy, a heretic, a traitor, a bigot. Opportunists recognize that exacerbating this polarization redounds to their own benefit because at least for now, doing so helps raise money, ratings, clicks and poll numbers.
We are a long way off from putting beliefs of the mind to the judgment of the sword, but that is the logical destination of the path we are on because we have lost faith in the utility of upholding the right to be wrong.
You’ll be smarter if you read the whole thing.
Last November Professor Jacobson published an article that was a Q&A with Anne Sorock. Here is the last question and the first portion of Anne’s answer.
WAJ: You predicted Trump more than two years ago. What’s your next prediction?
Anne: I’ve been focusing my work these past few years to studying the attraction of mass movements on the left. The problem is that the left is provides through its mass movements the fulfillment of deep human needs. Sense of purpose. Meaning in life. A community of like-minded individuals. A sense of belonging. Etc.
Meaning in life, senses of purpose, community of like minded individuals fulfillment of deep human needs… When I read this I become convinced that for young leftist, well all of them really, that politics is their religion.
What I see is older people cynically hunting for confused youngsters, and then manipulating emotionally to accept logical, philosophical, and economic errors. We have seen this, before, and it was well-documented in both Russia and China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and the Middle East.
We are watching adults create cannon fodder.
The marketing people have a shorter version of that same explanation.
They explain that mobs such as the Fascist Democrat Party get “psychological flow” engaging in their arguments and their violent actions. Management explains it as “psychic income.”
This is an excellent post.
There are very strong religious overtones to leftism these days, and more than overtones. For some of them, including for many of their media leaders, leftism is their religion.
Conservatives need to be careful to avoid the same problems.
My problem with the NFL protests is that it’s being done on the job. If these guys want to march, post on Facebook, and attend political rallies on their own time, I support their playing football even if I don’t agree with them. But where else can people get away with pushing their political beliefs, with or without religious fervor, while on the job?
NFL was a religion for many of us, a habit, more than a habit. We followed players, some of us even bet on it or attended very expensive games.
But it became toxic. The cognitive dissonance of seeing those players rebelling against US, clearly intransigent, and the owners joining them, made us think of the NFL teams as the enemy, not in the sense of a sports opponent, but a war enemy.
We did the sane thing. Those of us fully in control of our faculties don’t usually need a 12 step program to quit a toxic addiction. We can quit it, and we have, short of fighting.
Let’s hope it stays short of fighting. But we won’t be falling off the wagon. We’re gone as fans of these sports.
Sunday morning, I divorced myself from the NFL sharia-style:
I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you.
I’m over the NFL already, and have plans for a more active life on Sundays. (I did the same thing when my ex and I split – I continued working out, birding, and other interests, but I took up archery, road cycling, and iaido, using the new-found time to become more active – and never looked back.)
Although I am not 100% in sync with him, I find Jonah Goldberg’s work to be very well thought out and well written. There are occasions where he becomes more emotional and opinion driven like I expect from a talk radio personality, for example.
The article you link is one of the former not the latter, and it really highlights a few of the key ways religion and politics have blended. Sadly, it is true of the right, but perhaps to a lesser degree.
I see the current culture as inevitable but fixable. It is inevitable because of the winner take all approach now prevalent in politics. It is fixable perhaps only after some further loss and pain, however. It may not take a war to have people become a little more rational and tolerant of “the other.” But I won’t be surprised if we have a lot more violence and destruction to come before that transition. After all, the violence of the left is WELL FUNDED and that funding is growing.
Will we start to see Soros or other donors carrying the NFL on their backs, paying to drip the poison into our homes and communities as they do with their other cultural pollution?
I’ve long held (for decades) that the “religious right” is simply a reaction to the concentration of government power in what should be the least powerful and least involved of our levels of government. They saw the drive by the Collective to co-op all that power, and they simply had to engage.
For a radical (going to the root, or radius) thinker like mysef, the answer seems apparent; devolve power back to the people. Decentralize the power base in the Federal government.
It is simple, true, and difficult. Power, once obtained, is never relinquished without a stiff fight.
But the rewards of that fight are immense, and would accrue “as the dews from heaven”. Very like the magic of markets. It would happen without a lot of fuss and muss, once the root issue was dealt with.
Would there always be people who sought to impose by power what they thought “right”. There have always been. That’s why the Framers…very keen students of human nature…sought to give us a very powerless (in all but a few areas) central government. IF that model again obtained, people with strong ideas about how we should think and behave are reduced to their rightful role of persuaders, rather than potentates.
I agree with most of this, but I’ll point out that without the Left there never would have been a “religious right”–it didn’t exist until the Left had been ascendant for years.
My 11:36 comment was a reply to your 7:51AM, and I don’t know how it ended up here.
This is an awesome comment, Rags. You win when you take the time to explain your ideas and flesh out your arguments.
More of this, please.
You strive to make it sound as if this attitude is found on both sides of the political divide, and it’s not.
The left has been marching relentlessly for decades, and the right has silently endured.
This is coming to an end.
Well, if you found me “striving” in that direction, you read something I didn’t write.
The point was that power, centralized in DC, is the root problem. Everything…as we’ve been discussing for months now…becomes a cage-match over who controls the power. Everything is about politics, because politics has come to control everything…or so much. It isn’t just the law, our courts, or the executive. It pervades everything, and (I contend) amplified and made more awful by social media.
And, yes, it is largely a matter of equal culpability. That’s just human nature, and we have bad people on the “right” just as we have on the left.
I think you’re mistaken. It isn’t ending. That’s not the trajectory. That was the point of Goldberg’s historical reference. Christians killed each other for decades over who had the power to impose their branch of Christianity on other Christians.
The way we end it is to take back the power from DC. In most cases, all the way to ourselves, so that, again, if I want to influence you, I only have the power of persuasion, not the power of coercion.
I’ll add that, if you meant that the drive to centralize power is much more central to Collectivism, yeah. That’s true.
It isn’t true that you’ll only find it on that end of the spectrum, however.
And actual conservatives fight it, and always have.
I echo you, Professor Jacobson, and Rush Limbaugh- I just don’t care any more. I’m tired of the politicalization of football, of EVERYTHING. I used to watch television, movies, football for a respite, to be entertained. Now, I turn off the tv and only go to movies when I’m pretty sure I will just be entertained. If I want preaching, I will go to church or a political event. I have a real life, with real joys and real problems; I don’t need to create problems for myself.
The intentions of the anthem protesters does NOT matter when they know, or should know, how deeply offensive their action is to so many people.
This can be compared to a white person using the N word – it doesn’t matter if it was intended as a joke, or a term of endearment, or even a casual reference in a discussion – since a white person using that word is something that I know would likely offend many people, I just don’t do it – even though it is my first amendment right to speak that word at any time.
So likewise, it does NOT matter whether or not they mean to cause offense by kneeling or doing anything political during the anthem – what only matters is that they are doing this knowing that many of their fans will be offended, and yet they do that anyway.
They found the equivalent of saying the N word to their fans, and worse, have not shown any remorse.
I know that when I open carry it offends some people who see a gun on my hip. I don’t care about that. It’s my right. If I only practiced those rights that gave no offense, do I still have the rights I (voluntarily) can no longer practice? Of what value are they if I don’t practice them because I feel I can’t?
The NFL problem is completely different. To the question, “Do NFL players have a right to freedom of speech?” Answer: A resounding, “Yes!” But does anyone have freedom of speech at a workplace when they volunteer (by applying for and accepting work) to take a job that includes agreeing to be bound by the workplace’s rules? No! The game of NFL football is a job – players are employees. If they want to express themselves on the field, they must get permission (regularly denied to most by the NFL) to use the owner’s property (the football game and its broadcast) as a podium from which to declaim a personal message. The NFL player has no more right to express his personal political views on the sidelines of a game than I do to put up a Trump sign on a Hillary supporting neighbor’s front lawn – no right at all. The NFL player also has a players’ association he can complain to if the NFL denies his request. The association can sue the league if necessary. And in this situation, the league could have, quite properly and probably successfully, defended its decision by saying it has a right to maintain and control its image.
And this is where the commissioner failed the NFL and the fans. He should have enforced NFL policy against Kaepernick as it had been enforced against others, and, at a minimum, Kaepernick should have been forced to use the procedural remedies available to him as a player. This was not done for fear of the Leftist shitstorm that would have resulted, including highly organized calls for boycotts of the NFL’s sponsors. So Goodell allowed in infection to spread through the league because of cowardice. Trump forced the NFL to come out on a side, and I think the NFL chose poorly. A leftist boycott of sponsors would have been met by fan support of those sponsors. But now, with the accelerated erosion of fan support, sponsors will either leave or the NFL will extract less revenue from them, – all the damage of a sponsor boycott without the boycott the league was so desperate to avoid. The league has damaged its image beyond repair; it will never recover from this self-inflicted wound.
I had a thought just this morning.
“In the net, am I better off knowing Dr. Gu’s a nutter?”
As Doyle once had Holmes muse, a reasoner could deduce the existence of the oceans from a drop of water.
I expect any of us can deduce the existence of any of the almost infinite expressions of human foibles or human virtues. I sure can.
This is more an observation than anything.
We shit on the left (rightly) for being a bunch of sycophants and nannies. We says facts trump feelings (rightly). We make fun of the lefts idea of diversity which only includes skin color (rightly). We say that we aren’t like them.
Yet we down vote this comment not for the comment but for the person that wrote it. How is it that we think that we can hold the moral high ground when we do the very things we say we detest?
Perhaps it is this sentence: “I expect any of us can deduce the existence of any of the almost infinite expressions of human foibles or human virtues. I sure can.”
The commentator tends to start calling people names during discussions. I suspect that too many of us are tired of being called “liars”.
I get that. Rags has gone after me on multiple occasions, but going after the person and not the point of view is childish. I disagree with Rags on particular things, but I also agree with him on more. I don’t find his debate style to be very … well let’s say adult, but he makes points and that is important. We shouldn’t fall into the trap of the left and brand everyone that doesn’t agree with us 100% as a heretic. This leads to some real comedy on the left. Let’s pop our own popcorn and laugh at them, not have them laugh at us.
but he makes points and that is important.
Wrong on both counts.
If you examine enough sheep’s entrails, you might eventually be able to read some portents in them. That slight possibility does not make the business of reading sheep’s entrails worth doing.
Golly, Tom, does this mean we’re not friends any longer? Because if I thought you weren’t my friend…I just couldn’t bear it…
Looking forward to the next time you get your ass whooooped with “sheep entrails”. (Which, when properly treated, make a fine bull-whip!)
Tom .. you can’t seriously believe that he never makes a point. I think that you need to get some thicker skin and apply some butt hurt cream. If you think Rags is tough wait till you step out of our little echo chamber here at LI and deal with the absolute fucking self induced ignorant self righteousness of the left. Grow up, your life will be easier.
Liz, there’s always the simplest solution to being called…or identified as…a liar.
And, as an aside, what does your observation have to do with what I said?
Do you agree? Or disagree? Is the verity of the observation dependent on how you feel about me?
Rags, let’s settle on a definition of “lying.” You appear to think a lie occurs when someone says something with which you disagree.
But how does your definition of a “lie” differ from your screeching “heretic” or “fascist” or “burn her!”?
Use logic and reason, Rags. Your weird emotional outbursts and defensive mud-slinging are off-putting.
In the meantime, we’ll all define “lie” by its actual meaning, not by your ever-changing, shrill, emotional, bizarre hysterics.
Fussy, that’s bullshit.
My definition of lying is when someone tells an untruth, either of their own authorship or authored by someone else.
But, if you propose a uniform definition of lying, propose one, and stuff your passive-aggressive ad hominem.
I’ve never bought into analogies that compare sentient human beings to inanimate objects that are essentially collections of molecules. Those collections’ behavior is often easily modeled mathematically. Humans are nowhere near as predictable.
I know a general practitioner in a poor section of an urban center. She is evangelical and has very traditional views on almost all social/cultural matters. She is often somewhat vocal about the erosion of the family and its impact on the culture she sees every day. She was strongly opposed to gay marriage. Etc. However, she is a strong advocate for universal health care. In her view, there should at least be a “free” and well funded solution for the part of society she serves every day.
I wonder which “drops” of her “water” I might sample to predict all of that?
In her view, there should at least be a “free” and well funded solution for the part of society she serves every day.
But this is not remotely what Bernie the Red et al are pushing. Theirs is not a plan to provide a safety net for those at the bottom of the health-care system; their intention is to force everybody into their idea of a health-care system. And they pretend that they don’t know perfectly well that that means that everybody will be at the bottom.
Socialism. Even in theory, it’s no more than a race toward the lowest common denominator.
“…that means that everybody will be at the bottom.”
Well, except for the pigs like Bernie that are more equal than the other pigs.
Soon enough we should be hearing from the big advertisers of the NFL and maybe advertisers of the individual teams. All must be nervous.
Anheuser Busch responded to a customer tweet by saying they would be talking to the League.
I’m wondering if USAA will wise up. Given that they are a financial services company for military, ex- and retired military, and their families, their sponsorship strikes a sour note.
I left a Post-it on the Bud cooler that said “You take a knee, I’ll take a Coors.”
I’m not a huge Coors fan, but I will adapt. I will never buy another product that supports the NFL. Ever.
It’s 5:52 pm, 9/27/17. I was just listening to Sean Hannity’s radio show (on the left coast, so possibly delayed), and he had a caller who claimed be a ticket agent for an unnamed NFL team. He said that normally on Monday, they (the ticket agents) are stoked, because they work on commission and do gangbuster business after a good weekend. He said this week, they have received hundreds of calls from disgruntled fans, most asking for refunds (including many season ticket holders). He said he personally has not sold one ticket all week. He also said the team told the agents not to tell anybody about the debacle.
If what he said is only partly true, it’s going to be interesting to see what happens to attendance over the rest of the season. The agent also mentioned that at this time they are not giving refunds, so it’s possible that many ticket holders will not want their tickets to go to waste and so will go to the games. The real toll might not be noticeable until next year.
All the monied interests are holding their collective breath, waiting to see what happens next, re: depth and breadth of fan opposition, ratings, merchandise and ticket sales, ad revenues, etc.
Things like this remain in motion and do not stagnate as is. When/if the money is sufficiently affected, the NFL will end this one way or another. If there are insufficient negative effects, they won’t. Enough fans will tolerate it and it will end on its own with a large yawn.
As much as we’d like to believe that this will end only with a victory of either the pro or anti America combatants, in fact it will be decided by the money.
The Professor is correct in identifying this situation as a “loveless marriage” in that the emotion is gone but some will stick around for financial reasons. They already bought the season tickets and the TV packages so there might be some attention paid to the games.
If we continue seeing the half-empty stadiums and the cheap prices at the ticket reselling sites along with some other product boycotts, then I think one could say that there’s been a move towards trial separation.
Next year, the divorce will be final.
There are many apt analogies one could make, and the ‘loveless marriage’ is one of them. Continuing that theme, I’m suggesting that once over the initial emotional shock and disgust, fans will be drawn back if protests remain at a few players kneeling during the anthem. Many other fans will be like the newly divorced spouse who soon realizes he/she isn’t missing the ex anywhere near as badly as feared. I quit watching the MLB in the ’90s and I’ve never looked back. I was a life long Tigers fan at the time. Today I couldn’t a single Tigers player. I also must note that the MLB has not suffered a bit from my absence, lol.
“… couldn’t NAME a single Tigers player…”
I’m not a fan, myself. But I assume that fans are interested in watching some decent football game, not necessarily an NFL football game.
If consumer demand can be met by some other provider than NFL—that is, the NFL doesn’t have a monopoly on football of watchable quality—then its position is economically perilous.
Unfortunately there’s probably not enough talent to go around. I never watched college football because the quality of the game play is not consistently high. When replacements were brought in during a strike, they were barely watchable. When CART split into the Indy Racing League and whatever what was left of CART was called, the level of driving in both series was not up to snuff, but for a handful of drivers, because the depth is not there when you’re talking about people who are “world class” in their sports.
“We are headed towards a society which resembles, in many ways, Eastern Europe under communism. Where every aspect of your life was political. And you could not express a view that was contrary to the prevailing political view, and you were monitored. Except now the monitoring isn’t necessarily being done by the government, it’s being done by your co-workers who are going to Out you on social media.”
Very salient observation, Professor, and, all too true and demoralizing. Substantial swaths of the U.S. citizenry do not appreciate the infinite blessings that we, as Americans, have bestowed upon us, to grow up, live and work in this country, which, with all of its imperfections, remains a bastion of opportunity, freedom and prosperity, especially when compared to some of the sundry wretched totalitarian hellholes and failed states that litter the globe, e.g., Somalia, Afghanistan, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, etc.
To put it in their own words, the leftists should be deliriously happy, because they have taken away one of Ameria’s beloved safe spaces. After their victories in ruining the safe spaces in our colleges, they have taken aim at the hated bourgeois. That’s us, the big, normal bunch of people who love our country for its ability to foster wealth and protection for our families.
People try to find a reason for things such as this type of protest. The problem is, there are many.
The participants in these protests actually have little or no understanding of exactly what they are protesting. There is NO evidence that blacks are targeted for violence, by law enforcement, at a higher rate than whites, under the same circumstances. So, that eliminates that as a valid reason to protest. And, many of these protestors do not really care about the people that they are claiming to protect from this non-existent threat. They go along with the protest because of a desire to identify with the group protesting or to be part of the herd.
Then you have the people who commit these acts simply for attention. They are usually people who feel that they are not getting enough attention through their normal activities. So, they attempt to gain stature by wrapping themselves in the shroud of martyrdom.
And, in this case, you have team solidarity because white quarterbacks do not want to have disgruntled black offensive linemen step aside and allow equally disgruntled black defensive linemen to pound them into paste. They go along out of a sense of self preservation.
Professionalism has left the building, as far as the NFL is concerned. It has become a bunch of whiny little girls who want to feel important, while getting paid exorbitant salaries. There are very few men, and more than a few women who would gladly play tackle football, without pads and helmets for 2+ million dollars a year.
Essentially, some NFL players haved joined the ranks of Hoolywood entertainers in terms of protesting for protests’ sake, with only a vague grasp of the why. Note that these protests are completely risk free, under cover of the NFL main office, same as the Hollywood studios cover lefty TV and movie stars’ outbursts, and even punishing their members on the right.
However, ‘Hollywood’ is a collection of independent entertainment corporations and studios; there is no overall authority or organization. The NFL rules over its 32 franchises and the players.
Ergo, my sense that the minute the NFL bottom line is sufficiently impacted, they will end this quick, i.e., “follow the money”.
48 years a steelers fan …. The whole family … You werent allowed to be anything else …. Im done
NO MO BRO!
Yeah, I’ll just change the channel. Cool, a murder mystery. And the real killer is… yep, an evil corporation, nailed it.
The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.
Lots of former fans video taping themselves burning the team paraphernalia they’ve accumulated over the years. I saw one video where the guy burned his season tickets.