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Open letter to the world: Boycott the NFL

Open letter to the world: Boycott the NFL

I am writing today in the hopes that, for reasons expressed below, no country outside of the United States will allow the National Football League (NFL) to gain a foothold on its soil or through its media, as the wrongs the NFL routinely commits and/or endorses outweigh any perceived advantages the league claims to bring.

Reason One:  NFL owners have a notorious reputation for turning their backs on established fanbases.  Although team owners profit richly from their NFL franchises, they incessantly demand that taxpayers, in the cities and states that host NFL teams, pay for improvements to, and/or for completely new, stadiums, often by threatening to relocate if their demands are not met.  Besides the Oakland team, which is moving to Las Vegas, some other teams (not a complete list) that have relocated are the Chargers, from San Diego to Los Angeles, the Colts, from Baltimore to Indianapolis, and the Rams, from St. Louis to Los Angeles.  Due to these machinations, the mayor of St. Louis stated that he never wants the city to host another NFL franchise.  In addition, Daniel Snyder, owner of the team located in Washington, D.C., is purportedly attempting, through his ties to Donald Trump, to have funding for a new stadium "slipped" into a government spending bill.

Reason Two: Lack of concern for player safety.  Former NFL referee Ed Hochuli recently stated that there were times he actually thought players had died on the field due to vicious tackles.  While fortunately this has not happened, the NFL, for numerous years, chose to ignore the devastating impact from repeated concussions players suffered during their careers, leaving many with a condition known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), and driving some players to suicide.  And even though the NFL has implemented a so-called "concussion protocol" and allegedly tried to reduce contact to the head area, the sports network ESPN reported that in 2017 concussions were at their highest "since the league began sharing data in 2012."  In addition, some studies indicate that this so-called "concussion protocol" is useless, since repeated hits to the head, even when they don't result in concussions, can still cause CTE.

Reason Three:  Lack of concern about domestic violence.  As you may be aware, former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick has, despite NFL denials, been essentially banned from the league due to his protests against racial injustice during the playing of the National Anthem.  Yet the NFL has no compunction about signing players who abuse women.  Recently, for example, a great deal of controversy was generated when Snyder's team, which was in desperate need of a quarterback, chose to bypass Kaepernick for inferior players, yet signed a player named Reuben Foster just four days after he was released from another team due to allegations of domestic violence.  In defending this signing, a representative for Snyder's team, Doug Williams, called these allegations against Foster "small potatoes."

Couple this with the fact that the NFL allowed another player, Kareem Hunt, to play almost the entire 2018 season despite knowledge that he had, back in February 2018 (long before the season began), shoved and kicked a woman in a hotel, and that the Cincinnati Bengals signed Joe Mixon despite the fact that Mixon had punched a woman so hard in the face that she required surgery, and it is not difficult to see how distorted the "priorities" of many NFL owners are.

Reason Four:            Overt and shameless racism.  At this point, you may have observed that I have avoided mentioning the nickname of Snyder's team.  This is because it is, according to Dictionary.com and many of America's first people, "a contemptuous term used to define a North American Indian."  Yet Snyder not only adamantly refuses to change this nickname, he has even gone to court to defend using it.

It is certainly not difficult to see the abject hypocrisy in a league that has no compunction about using racist nicknames, but that ostracizes and bans players who protest racism.  Eric Reid, the first player who protested with Kaepernick, was also banned for an extended period, and, according to a grievance he filed, was even denied the opportunity to play for the Cincinnati Bengals (the same team that had no qualms about hiring Mixon) because he refused to agree to end his protests during the 2018 season.  Although Reid was eventually signed by the Carolina Panthers, he still appears to be the target of the NFL's wrath, having been subjected to six (6) so-called "random" drug tests in eleven weeks (he was recently subjected to a seventh).  According to statistician Nick Kapoor, if these tests were truly random, there would be only a 0.169% chance of this happening.  Reid has also been repeatedly fined for alleged illegal hits on players, even though other players performing similar hits have not suffered any fines.

This legacy of hypocrisy and racism was recently reinforced on what is known as "Black Monday"-a day when NFL coaches are traditionally fired for alleged subpar performances.  This particular "Black Monday" saw the firing of four African-American head coaches (a fifth was fired during the season), leaving only two African-American head coaches in a league that is roughly 70% African-American. 

What makes these firings particularly disingenuous is that some of these teams had substandard quarterbacks, yet their owners and/or general managers refused to even give Kaepernick a tryout.  In one instance, the firing was somewhat karmic.  Prior to the start of the 2018 season, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis appeared to be supportive of team owner Mike Brown's refusal to hire Reid, yet Lewis was still fired on "Black Monday," proving the adage that one can never appease a racist.

There is one reason that the NFL acts the way it does in America-because it can.  The league's owners and executives know that no matter how unabashedly hypocritical, racist, and/or corrupt they are, people will still pay money to watch football, and sponsors will line up to support it.  The NFL has become an entrenched infection in American society that will never heal, because there are not enough Americans willing to apply the medicine of boycotting the league and those who sponsor it.  Fortunately, this infection has not spread permanently to other countries yet, and I respectfully request that all people of conscience fight hard to see that it doesn't.

David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report