WARNING: This is not an article about football per se. It is a critique of social issues that NFL front offices along with its media partners perpetuate. This essay is more interested in football players as people than as players. There will be zero analysis here in regard to X's and O's or athletic talent or any of the minutia that goes into winning and losing. So feel free to tune out if you do not wish to go into a political realm.
I know some of you may feel this is a football website, and we are only supposed to talk about that. But it is the NFL and its media partners that bring these issues into the game, not me. To ignore them IMO is to be as robotic as they expect players to be.
(end of disclaimer)
For years I have been disgusted by the way professional sports has been used as a propaganda tool used to promote a certain kind of social order. The recent arrest of Greg Reid is what prompted me to speak out on this matter, because it is 100% hypocrisy and 98% nonsense. (I will speak more on GR below.) The scope of this topic is much broader than GR; it includes the obsession on character, where the NFL and its media partners get to define what good character is.
But who are they to define good character? The people running the NFL only care about money and profits. Despite the recent revelations regarding the dangers inherent in the game, they want to add two more games. That demonstrates much more hideous character that anything any athlete has done lately. Over the years they stand to make billions and all they have to do is pay off the occasional class action lawsuit for pennies on the dollar. Meanwhile lives are ruined and in many cases ended.
In their world, it is perfectly okay to create a culture where their corporate partners can sell 500 dollar sneakers to kids on food stamps. They are in bed with the alcohol industry. They have no problem partnering up with every kind of bad food company there is, like McDonald's or Pepsi, who never want you to stop killing yourself with their products.
Before you say I am a prude, go count the 400 pound ladies at your local Walmart.
Meanwhile guys like Greg Reid are talked about as if they were the scourge of the world. Well just what did Greg Reid do?
According to Jim Thomas, who btw obediently plays along, Reid was arrested for a probation violation.
The probation resulted from an arrest for misdemeanor possession of marijuana a couple of years ago. According to Lt. Aaron Kirk of the Valdosta (Ga.) Police Department, which made the arrest, violating the probation was either a result of missing a meeting with the probation officer or not paying fines from the original marijuana charge.
I am sure that sounds bad to many of you, but is it really? A history lesson is in order here:
Back in the 1920's the economy was booming, and we needed cheap Mexican labor. When it crashed there no jobs and lots of Mexican's still competing for those few jobs. To get rid of them they created Refer Madness on the state level. A few years later when prohibition ended, a huge institution within the government feared losing power, so they went all in on Refer Madness, creating the propaganda film where pot smokers raped and killed people before going insane. This was just the tip of the ice berg as the government spent the next seven decades creating new fears on the horrors of this plant.
Not much as changed. Today the drug war is a industry employing nearly a million people. Privatized prisons and cops are fighting hard to keep the myths alive so they can continue to profit and keep their power. Sports has become an extension of their PR.
Most people do not know that the USA has more prisoners than any other country in the world by far. (Because the mainstream media never bothers to tell you) Here in the land of the free you are 7 times as likely to be arrested as you be in England , France, Canada or any other 1st world nation. Only we use our poor people as a growth industry.
Even China with 5 times our population only has 60% of our prisoners.
Black people take the brunt of these horrible stats. I realize a lot of people will say, if they don't do the crimes they wont do the time, but this simply isn't true. The fact is if you are a black person it is much easier to end up arrested, and once arrested sentencing is outright unequal by multitudes. That is an indisputable fact.
But yet we never get this education of facts from our media. Instead we get distracted from real issues.
Johnny Football doesn't act the right way so we villainize him. He seems to enjoy himself too much so they call him immature. (He is a 21 year old College kid)
Riley Cooper used the N word so we they make a public example out of him. I'm not condoning that word at all, but if you want to help blacks, instead of freaking out about a word, why not educate the public about the hard facts that matter?(See above) Making a big deal about the N word is just going to result in black players being penalized and fined so all us white folks can look down on them.
The media organizations that serve as the mouthpieces for the litany of hysterical distractions are downright evil, and are the last ones who should be preaching. They do everything they can do to keep people in the dark about all sorts of things that happen in our society. (Think superfluous wars, banking scandals, corruption in industry, etc) They don't lie, they just distract and omit.
Reid is a distraction. He got caught with a little weed a few years ago and was on probation. His violation was probably not paying his fine, probably because he had no money to pay his fine. People with the money to pay these fines rarely get popped in the first place.
And tell me, why is it that a cop would even ask to see his ID to find out about his status? He was in the backseat of a car that was pulled over because the driver wasn't wearing a seat belt. If you are African-American, that is normal. Cops know if they check they will probably find something; and they are conditioned to fill jail cells.
Last I heard Reid was still in jail five days later for this heinous crime. Taxpayers pay the bill, CEO's get paid. Why are we not talking about that?
It is time we as sports fans stop behaving like mindless consumption machines that get so easily diverted from reality. We need to stand behind Greg Reid. He may have broken rules, but admit it, so have you.
Yet we look down on people like Greg Reid with a feeling of superiority.
When we go along with this charade it ultimately makes us all weaker because the rights we get from the constitution are failing, and this failure is being expanded to include people of all colors.
I know it is just football; but the powers that bring us this game should be held as accountable for their actions as any player.