The best article I’ll read all day, and it’s about sports

Wherein Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) writes an op-ed piece in The Guardian titled “The NFL’s plan to protect America from witches

It begins:

Witches, man. Just when you thought we were safe from their malignant influence on America’s virtue, the NFL has proven we are still in real danger from their dark powers.

It’s a must-read, highlighting deftly the hypocrisy of the NFL, which seeks to diminish the women on the field by talking about protecting their virtue, while also requiring them to wear skimpy outfits and shake their booties. Abdul-Jabbar writes:

Other restrictions about weight, makeup, body hair, tampon use and forbidding sweatpants in public make it seem as if the Saints watched The Handmaid’s Tale and thought, “They just don’t go far enough.” In other words, shut up and jiggle.

His essay isn’t restricted solely to women, however (and I for one did not realize that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was an intersectional feminist); as he talks about how little the owners of teams actually care about the very real issues faced by people of color, whether or not they play in the NFL.

In their [owners’] Pleasantville fantasy, athletes still “Shut up and dribble” (or, in their case, “Shut up and tackle”). That’s because the majority of those athletes who speak up or kneel down in the real world are people of color calling attention to profound life-and-death inequities across the country, daily humiliating and life-threatening inequities that most these owners never have to face and therefore have no personal stake in. Attempts to silence players who refuse to accept their assigned roles fits right in with owners’ smarmy manipulation of the women cheerleaders through discriminatory Jane Crow “laws”.

I could quote it all, but instead, you should go read the original.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Davecwhite says:

    I have read the full article and totally agree about how it is wrong the way the cheerleaders are treated. On the other hand, all of them know it and keep going back year after year. I do not agree with the comments (Attempts to silence players who refuse to accept their assigned roles fits right in with owners’ smarmy manipulation of the women cheerleaders through discriminatory Jane Crow “laws”.). The players are payed a great deal of money to play. I myself have quit watching sports as a whole because most of the players are not worthy to be watched because of the way they act. Be truthful, would you hang it with a friend who beats a women, has a drug problem, who rapes women eat.. ? Then why watch the ones who do on TV ? Nice article Kareem

    Like

    1. Zandy Ring says:

      Thanks for the comment! Glad to see you back.

      > On the other hand, all of them know it and keep going back year after year.

      This is victim blaming, and we’re going to avoid that on this site. In this case, many cheerleaders don’t have a choice about where they go to work. Expecting someone to stop working in order to correct abusive behavior isn’t fair (or realistic!) The really important thing to remember here is that cheerleaders are not the problem. The system that they must work within is.

      > The players are payed a great deal of money to play.

      They really are. I don’t think that pro sports’ – particularly the NFL – salaries are reasonable. On the one hand, most of the league is going to be playing 3 years, and may not be prepared to work in ANY OTHER field (pun). On the other hand, when huge salaries are offered, there is very little incentive to develop other skills in the pursuit for a contract. I do think that this all goes back to the value that owners place on the people who work for them. I think that the players association has programs to help players manage their wealth and figure out next steps, but it’s not enough.

      > Be truthful, would you hang it with a friend who beats a women, has a drug problem, who rapes women eat.. ? Then why watch the ones who do on TV ?

      I absolutely would not! And I don’t watch sports. I don’t think that the machinery that is the NFL is something I should gift with my attention. But I have long questioned why there are cheerleaders, and if they are deemed necessary, why there are not male cheerleaders.

      Like

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