The United States Of America is politically split-up. At least, the NFL season opener showed nothing different. Thursday night was not a happy start for the football league. Of course, the NFL board has resorted to a different approach this year, because of the current situation caused by the pandemic. The stadiums are not crowded like they usually are. Only a fraction of the stadium remains occupied, and the capacity has even been restricted by the board. Authorities have ensured that strict measures are put in place to abort chances of tail-gating as well.
The authorities deserve an applause for ensuring that safety protocols are maintained. Unfortunately, the authorities at NFL have been slammed.
NFL players and names have come out in public, spilling the beans on how racism and politics are tearing down the country. It is easy to remember the horrifying scenario when Drew Bees, the New Orleans Saint’s quarterback, was ambushed and beaten up mercilessly. All this for what? Well, the player simply expressed his opinion and propped up with his allies for criticizing the players who denied to stand for the anthem. Of course, Drew has been putting out statements of apology on various social media platforms. However, his apologies are more of a failure, since the patriotic comments are not stopping any time soon.
Last night, the stadium was replete with 16,000 fans, since the COVID-19 scenario. It was an opening match to kick-start the NFL season league between the Houston Texans and the Kansas City Chiefs. Anyway, the game was on a roll. There was a grand beginning as usual and a festive ambiance too. Players of both teams were aligned in a single queue, much like a chain, interlacing their arms with each other. It was to symbolize that unity still exists. Everything was aired live on television to every corner of the country.
The video clearly showed that the audience was clamoring and booing, since a politically influenced message kept popping up on the big screens in the stadium.
What appeared as a breather is that the National Anthem was played and went well without any stumbling blocks. Kneeling was no longer an act. The players chose to stand, signifying unity and solidarity, by locking their arms with each other. It was a much appreciated and well-thought plan. It is appropriate to say that the NFL made a good stance and dealt with the political situation prudently.
Do you remember that the NFL had called the shots and vowed to donate as much as $250 million to the US, in order to support racial indiscrimination? Well, it is now a controversy. The critics have run stories suggesting that the board will now hand out the funds to organizations buttressing “Black Lives Matter”. A proper and detailed analysis was on the table. After going through it, Politifact revealed that the analysis was quite true.
Roger Goodell did not shy away from being vocal about Black Lives Matter in a video. It was to give the audience a quick rundown on the league’s position. Instead of stating facts, the NFL Commissioner screamed and supported Black Lives Matter. “In accordance with the agreements, the NFL has donated funds as much as $44 million to 20 hard-working organizations and 350 grassroot programs,” stated Roger.
The bar has been raised. The NFL has pledged to fund a whopping $250 million. Now, the league is working hand-in-hand with the players and congregating with programs that work for the better of police reforms, criminal justice, educational, and economic reformation act, for the African-Americans.
Since no programs have been declared so far, it is safe to predict that the NFL has decided to allot millions of funds to the foundations supporting BLM.
Most Americans are not convinced or happy with the idea of using the players as bait to promote lobbying in the field of politics. The NFL is a private company. Recently, the NFL has popped up as talking points for both wings of the political aisle.
Colin Kaepernick’s actions have not been forgotten. It has fired an awful Anti-American athletic revolution. NFL ratings are certainly plummeting down. Since September 11th was the day after, the NFL’s measures of speaking about politics and culture were slammed and criticized.
Unfortunately, sports seem to be warped with politics. We are certainly proud of the men and women who had their brave face on, and were front-line responders of the day of September 11th. These people have stood for the unity of America and have battled the odds. Gratitude will never fade away.