Last summer’s over-the-top NFL social justice blitz in the wake of the George Floyd murder didn’t go far enough? Believe it or not, anonymous player agents called the NFL’s actions BS and nothing more than window dressing. Even though a large swath of fans thought it was overkill and stopped watching the games.
In The Athletic sports blog Wednesday, anonymous agents complained that nothing has really changed since the NFL talked a big game last season:
"Nothing. It’s all bulls---. The NFL does not care. They just want everyone to believe they care. Same with player health. The same people are hiring the same people who will hire the same people."
Another unidentified agent complained as well: "Nothing. I think the NFL operates in a vacuum. Deal with the problem, spend money, move on. People forget."
Prior to 2020, the NFL committed $90 million to the Players Coalition’s social justice efforts. In the past year, the coalition made a major push to get Democrats elected. Urban violence is not even on its radar.
Last season, NFL end zones and players’ helmets were awash in social justice slogans. Commissioner Roger Goodell apologized for not listening to Colin Kaepernick, and accusations of America as “systemically racist” were non-stop.
Prior to the 2021 Super Bowl, the “black national anthem” "Lift Every Voice and Sing" was played along with the "Star-Spangled Banner." The pregame show also featured a sharp-edged video (starting at 1:39:10) on racial oppression narrated by Viola Davis. Part of that video focused on owners conspiring to keep blacks out of the NFL 87 years ago. CBS host James Brown also railed on racism after the video. Yet 70 percent of the players in 2020 were black.
Contrary to the claims of the agents, there was no shortage of virtue signaling and anti-American accusations by NFL players, executives and networks televising the games. Players kneeling and bad-mouthing America as a land of “systemic racism” deeply offended people. Claims by agents that the NFL isn’t woke enough are simply bad jokes about a professional sports league that’s wandered far off the reservation.
Another agent said, “I’m hoping it becomes less about protests and more about actions. What can players do on the education side and community side? Players get engaged, talk to law enforcement and help more (and) became aware who wants to get involved beyond #protest.”
That’s where civic activism belongs – off the NFL’s playing field. The anonymous agents are wrong. The NFL needs less social activism before and during the games.