How 5 Years of NFL Controversies Have Changed the World

September 6, 2016   ·     ·   Jump to comments

We used to turn to football to escape our everyday problems. Now we look to football to explain our everyday problems. 
For five consecutive years, the opening of the NFL season has come saddled with some major legal or sociopolitical controversy, the kind fans couldn't ignore no matter how hard we jammed giant foam fingers in our ears. Instead of turning on the games and turning off our minds, we selected our fantasy starters, ordered jumbo nachos, and then held solemn referendums on topics that would be better suited for political settings…if only our politicians were better suited for political settings.
These kickoff controversies follow a now-familiar path: a football player, team or executive involved in an incident that is related to a major societal capital-I Issue. The player/team/executive then becomes the subject of a proxy debate for the Issue. Instead of asking, "How could we let domestic violence fester for so long in society?" we ask, "How could Ray...

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