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”
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.