Andy McKay

Nov 15, 2018

So done with the NFL


I've been an NFL for fan for a long time. It started before university when I rebelled against any sport that was vaguely popular at school (and seemed absolutely terrible). For no other reason than they did well at the time, I became a Washington Redskins fan (yes I'm old).

I started a football team at university, I was involved in it. I even heard Chuck Noll speak once. If there was a Redskins game on TV, I would go up to the local pub in my jersey and watch the game.

Over the last few years I've become pretty upset with what the NFL has become. Well the NFL has always been this way - but I didn't care. I enjoyed the game, the drama, the strategy, the rivalies, and I ignored or excused away all the problems for my own enjoyment.

Finally I realised that I couldn't keep doing this. The problems just kept increasing:

  • The Redskins is a terrible name for a team and is pretty much condemned as a racist. They need to change it, but they won't because the Redskins make lots of money for Daniel Synder (Redskins owner).

  • The treatment of players and the problems with concussions has been terrible. The NFL has swept it under the rug for so long. Yes they've introduced changes, but tried to balance the fundamental problems that constant head contact is part of the game.

  • Cheerleaders.

  • Colin Kapernick.

  • The owners siding with Trump over their players.

  • The NFL is technically taxed as a charity so it isn't a good corporate citizen.

  • The league owners hold regularly hold cities and tax payers to ransom over stadiums.

  • So many adverts.

Daniel Snyder is one such business person and I don't want to support him. I want to be proud of the thing I spend so much time following and I want to be a good example to my daughters. The only way I know how to do that is stop watching the NFL.

It's now over half way through the season, I haven't watched a game, I don't really know what's going. I've unsubscribed from all the football blogs, podcasts and tweets. They were showing the standings on the TV in a pub and it showed that the Redskins are doing quite well this year after years of being crap. But whatever, I don't care.

Perhaps something will change to make me go back, but its not the game being boring, it's the sides that the NFL takes. Somethings got to change.

Footnote: with the exception of the Green Bay Packers who are the only non-profit, community-owned major league professional sports team. Have no cheerleaders, play in all kinds of weather and are just awesome. They haven't solved the problem about treating their players properly or being in a league with other terrible people though.