In my opinion, bombastic statements are generally a defence mechanism by those who feel put upon by their community. However, as minorities we rarely control society's prevailing narrative. Therefor our comments are often misinterpreted. Professional sports is big business and players who attract controversy tend to scare away sponsors.
Historically, prejudice of any kind could be freely expressed with few repercussions (emotional, legal, or otherwise) so long as there was a reasonable justification. Religion has often served as the justification, and has therefore facilitated an array of prejudice, from racism to sexism to homophobia. Over time, the use of religious beliefs to justify prejudice has tended to decline, but still persists -- especially when it comes to homosexuality.
Give me an F! E! D! and a U! and a P! They're a big part of the game day experience but NFL cheerleaders are no longer keeping to the sidelines when it comes to their treatment on and off the field. Multiple former NFL cheerleaders have come forward in 2014 to tell their stories -- often in the form of lawsuits -- of harsh working conditions, peanuts for pay, and demeaning behaviour rules.
More cookies for the customers. More overeating. Less special, more mundane. And all resulting in more injuries to players in a league already beset with a concussion crisis -- a league purportedly acting with the best interests of its greatest assets in mind -- and injured stars subsequently being replaced by less-talented players. All of which equals a dangerously diluted product.
I find it appalling that the NFL who has a whole team -- I repeat a whole team -- that is named after a racial slur against First Nations peoples, the Washington Redskins, is all of a sudden in the business of "politically correctness." In terms of the Redskins, the NFL finds all kinds of excuses on why they should keep the name.
As the NFL begins its Road to the Super Bowl this weekend, some critics are contemplating the point of it all. No, not the point of the playoffs. Or the point of the game of football. But, rather, the point of the point. You know, the PAT (Point After Touchdown). Which some call the 'conversion'. And others call the 'extra point'. And which esteemed Sports Illustrated scribe Peter King calls "The biggest waste of time in sports."
I'm Canadian. I like sports. I like hockey. I also happen to be Black. That's why it was such a point of pride to see P.K. Subban on the ice; the NHL was finally making good on its intention to court more non-white fans. Then I watched P.K.'s teammate, George Parros, get wheeled off the ice on a stretcher, and I wondered how many new fans thought they just saw a man die.
After months of players changing teams, a shocking amount of crime, and half listening to the ramblings of your Fantasy Football playing friends, the 2013 NFL season is set to begin. There are dozens of storylines heading into 2013 but we're going to highlight just a few here. Keep in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Faking it is part of our culture. Soccer players around the globe have been faking it for years -- that is, feigning most-grievous injury where, in fact, not even a light stroke of contact occurred. And in recent years, even the big boys of basketball have taken to faking contact, flopping about on the court like a fish on a dry dock with Oscar-worthy performances.
Why would millions of kids walk away from sports which are meant to be fun? Well, the reason is it's not fun, not when Mum and Dad are "Yellers". Children are embarrassed by parents behaving aggressively on the sideline of junior sports event, especially their own. Telling a 16 year-old, "you're not trying hard enough" or, "you'll be cut from the team" is bad enough. But telling a 6 year-old is, surely, unacceptable.
Every year on the Monday after the last Sunday of the regular season, the NFL unofficially holds its annual (seemingly drunken) firing fest as the wise people who hired all these apparently inept people in the first place, conclude at once not that they made horrible hiring decisions. And yet, oddly enough, the league seems to do little to capitalize on all this inherent drama.
It seems more than a bit odd that, according to a probing piece in The New York Times, players do not protect those delicate, tender, highly sought-after jewels. Seriously, though: no cups? That's astonishing. I mean, they wear equipment to protect every other area. Why be more protective of the kidneys than the cookies? More protective of the noggin than the nuggets?
The National Football League has reached the halfway point of the 2012 regular season. It affords self-proclaimed "NFL Insiders" an ideal opportunity to rationalize why all their pre-season predictions are miles off the mark, and to make brand-spanking new bold, brash, altogether insightful, and just-as-inaccurate predictions for the second half of the season.
Okay, so the NFL replacement refs are terrible. Missed calls everywhere. Questionable holding penalties that have decided games. Let's be real here: as awful as it's been, it's always been terrible. How many years have you sat on your couch and screamed at the TV because those Foot Locker employees missed an obvious penalty? How terrible are referees, in general, and across all sports?
When Junior Seau's girlfriend found him dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home in Oceanside, California, speculation arose over the similarity between his death and the suicides of other NFL stars. Though a recent autopsy report ruled out brain damage and drugs and alcohol in Seau's death, this is just part of a disturbing trend in recent years with former NFL players committing suicide in similar ways, showing that far more needs to be done.