A day or two ago, while I was teaching a class of 2nd graders, I broke up a heated (for kids) argument among the students who were attempting to play football during recess. I took the football and said “We’re going to play a different game” 6 of the 7 children thought this was great. They recommended to me a game to me that was similar to one I played as a kid with some minor rule variations and we played that. Once the game got going and started to take productive shape, more kids joined in. Alas, 1 child thought this was horribly unfair and he wanted to tell me about it. He was upset about more things than he could properly verbalize. That the routine got messed up, that no one was playing football, that no one even really seemed to care about football in the first place, that I had that kind of power and was using it so capriciously (<— that especially), and, to be honest, I think he liked the fighting more than he liked the game but that’s just my opinion. I told him, if the students “can’t play football together nicely, then we’re going to play a different game” and yes that is to fair (I didn’t say that last bit, not going to get into an argument about “Fairness” with an 8-year old). In my own bumbling capacity to speak to small children, I tried to talk about respect for others and getting along. It probably didn’t work, but by this time the kids starting to score points in the game I had picked out and he was more interested in that than me.
NFL players. You can’t play nicely with others, you can’t play football. You outweigh me and I’m kind of a wuss so I can’t take your football away from you like I can 2nd graders. However, if you can’t be bothered with a modicum of respect for other players, get off the field. No one deserves to play football. There is no God given, natural law, civil freedom, that gives you the right to play football. It’s a privilege that far too many players waste. Not only that, but our country wastes far FAR too much money on this nonsense game for you to be a part of it in that capacity.
Most football players are probably great guys. Any group that has several thousand members in it are going to have some bad apples. Some heinous, murderous, rapey, despicable, better-left-in-jail, apples. I think it’s high time we institute a moral requirement into the football leagues. Most, if not all, professions have a strict code of ethics. It’s time football gets one too. Sure, we can arrest a foul-mouthed, alcoholic, Superbowl winning loser if he gets a DUI, that’s no problem. But short of actual law breaking? I see no reason he can’t get fired. It’s in MY contract that I can get fired for just about anything my bosses think might tarnish the image of the company. In fact, it’s a disturbingly broad clause. Watch how fast I get fired if I use the N-word or any other racist/bigoted things. Respect is a critical attribute in Adulthood. Micheal Sam is gay and he’s joining your team. Let’s see who measures up this this incredibly low bar of civility.
PS. Read the political winds boys. Do you want to be on the same “Team” as the guys who made Jackie Robinson’s life a hell?