The Leftist Assault on American Football
By Douglas V. Gibbs
I love football. I watched Peyton Manning lead Denver over New England (I was surprised Tom Brady didn’t pull it off, to be honest), and enjoyed the NFC Championship Game, where the Seattle Seahawks finished off San Francisco. I had a few phone calls while watching those games, too. Two of the callers asked me about television shows and movies, and the political messages intertwined in them. I told them, “Of course. The leftists never rest, and they use every tool available to them to silence, and destroy, their opposition. Nothing is sacred. Everything is political.”
Everything is political.
The battle is the same, no matter the name.
Talking heads battle over the virtue of one, or the other. Political parties claim theirs is the ideology that will best serve the nation. Motivational speakers ask individuals to look inward, psychiatrists ask us to dig deep inward, and progressives tell us to abandon what is inward. Voices that claim to be conventional wisdom preach that we must do what is best for the common good, while other voices proclaim that it is best to be self-sufficient, and to take care of one’s own interests. Either we must accomplish goals in our lives, or we must be raised by a village. Either we must compete, or we must be dependents.
Swirling opinions circle our heads to the point that we don’t want to talk about religion and politics. The discussions are too divisive, we utter. Can’t we just come together as a single race of beings? Then, we go to the game, to compete, to cheer, and to talk smack against the other side.
Which is more important? Community? Or our individual selves? Should we be a collective society? Or should we be a society of self-reliant individuals?
Individualism creates strong communities, but collectivism destroys individualism. Individuals compete, and work hard to prosper. Collectivism downplays competition, proclaiming equity, and allegiance to the ruling elite. Individualism cries out for freedom, be it the freedom to succeed, or the freedom to fail. Collectivism calls for peace and safety, which begins with the ruling class attempting to protect you even from yourself.
Competition, therefore, stands in the way of a society seeking progressive paths to utopia. Therefore, competition cannot be tolerated.
In Ancient Greece, and Ancient Rome, sporting events were an important part of the culture. Olympians and Gladiators performed for the masses, distracting them from the truth, diverting their attention from the crumbling pillars and domes of the once great societies. Or was it the opposite? Were those sporting events actually examples of the individuality that reigned in society? Were they not examples of the competitive nature of the civilization the ordinary citizens battled in? What happened to the nature of competition as the empires fell, and the statists gained control of the governmental systems?
Sporting events became training grounds. Children participated in sporting events not only to compete, and be healthy, but because these events served as military training. Ball games, and equestrian events, were common. Many sporting events grew into major entertainments that became both spectacular and bloody.
The fall of the Roman Empire less than 500 years after the birth of Christ led the western civilized world into a thousand year darkness of chaos and barbarity, according to historians. The time period is called “The Dark Ages,” and during this era of disorganization, and lack of prosperity, physical activity, sport, and ﬁtness diminished.
Viewing history, then, the presence of sporting events normally accompany the prosperity of society. The more prosperous the civilization, the more sporting it becomes.
Everything is political.
According to some political thinkers, prosperity emerges when individuals have the freedom to dream, innovate, and seek their own success. Less government regulation, and the presence of a free market, enables competition among the individuals seeking to better themselves through a business enterprise. The success of these endeavors, then, enables an increase of products and services in the market for consumers, while creating employment as the operation grows.
The political thinkers that oppose the free market, and the individualistic point of view, contend that individualism hinders social solidarity and community. The individual cannot become a full adult and a capable person in any sense without becoming also by the same movement social and solid with his fellows.
But how can one become a beneficial part of the community if he does not strive for personal rewards? How can an individual learn how to exist in, and improve, his community if he hasn’t struggled and competed against rivals?
To serve oneself is to serve the community, but to serve the community one denies himself.
The argument should not be an absolute, where you are either an individual, or a collectivist. The argument should be, “which one best serves both?”
To put the community above the individual is to deny individuality, but to put the individual above community is to populate the community with successful individuals, which in the long run, benefits the community.
The greater the challenge, the greater the effort, and the greater the accomplishments of the individual.
So why, in God’s Name, would anybody wish to quell individual accomplishment, and competition?
Which brings us to American professional football.
Progressives place the community, and government, above individuals, individual accomplishment, and above individual competition. Theirs is a world of social engineering, where only the political ruling elite understands what is best for society. If their decisions, and their beliefs, are above all else, then why would they tolerate anything that says otherwise?
Sports is completely antithetical to what the leftists are trying to achieve. Sports allows the individual to be the best he can be, while competing against other individuals. However, as in the free market, when the individual excels, it is good for the community, be it the team, or the league. The team prospers by winning, bringing in more fans, and selling more product. The league wins by cashing in on popular games, and selling more product. All because of some talented individuals, competing to be the best.
On the surface, many progressives may even love sports, themselves. But deep down, sports represents the opposite of what the leftists stand for. It dares to scream in the face of their political ideology, and reveal the truth about individualism. However, the Left cannot just come out and ban sports. They cannot come out and say that you little peasant folk aren’t allowed to participate in competition, anymore. That would reveal who they are, and what their true face is. As with everything else they do, the American liberal left must use the back door, and convince the people to agree with them through a series of attacks against the item in question.
Enter, stage left, the sudden interest in concussions caused by playing football. Writers, commentators and politicians have decided that the risk is too much to take. Studies are being done about head injuries, and the long-term health effects, caused by a lifetime of playing football.
My first thought is, “Yeah, fine, but the players are fully aware of what they are getting themselves into.”
The concept of liberty includes the freedom to take risks, undertake dangerous activities, and even do stupid things if you are dumb enough to do them.
As always, the Left’s main tool in this attempt to punch football in the eye is through the courts. Lawsuits are emerging. A current lawsuit pits former National Football League players against the league for health issues that are, they claim, a result of trauma received during their careers. They assert that they were not aware of the risks involved when they played.
The assault is achieving the desired result. The NFL has put into place new rules to make the sport safer. Tackling is virtually gone in training camps. Players are afraid to hit above the mid-torso, because if they get too close to the head, it’s a huge penalty.
Progressives are jumping on board, working to pacify the game, and change football into a safe and humane sport.
President Barack Obama said, “I would not let my son play pro-football.”
In New York, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto said he will introduce legislation to ban tackle football for children at under age 14, as well as disallowing “heading” in soccer.
In Illinois, the governor has signed into law a requirement for programs to insure student-athletes. This will decimate smaller sports programs, and will probably kill a number of the larger programs, as well.
We must keep our children safe, we are being told. Don’t let them be individuals, and don’t let them play, unless their play is a government approved activity, of course.
And we thought they spent a lot of time on their smart-phones, as it is.
“That’s okay,” the leftists are probably figuring. “The kids won’t be as fit, they won’t be as nimble, and they won’t be as agile. Who are we? Rome? Let’s not let the children be trained to be good soldiers. . . or individuals.”
The violence of sports, especially football, as far as the Left is concerned, must be taken away. We must spare our children from such barbarity . . . and teach them to serve the government through liberal education, instead.
What’s next? If kids start playing football in the street will they be candidates for the school psychologist? If the counseling doesn’t work, maybe the Ritalin will.
First dodgeball (and God help us if they ever try to call it “Smear the Queer,” like we did when we were kids), and now football. Pretty soon, if the liberal left has its way, the kids will be playing with sticks and hoops without any competition whatsoever allowed, like the Amish…but minus the religion part.
We don’t want our kids being aggressive, you know. It might offend somebody.
Muslim suicide bombers will be exempt, I am sure.
Dumb them down, pacify their activities, and teach them to obey the government. Sports teaches individual accomplishment way too much for the taste of the liberal left. The village says no more football, so that is the next goal.
Except, freedom always finds a way. Individuality always finds a way to emerge, and spread its wings.
They may push us down for a season, but in the end, the human spirit of liberty always finds a way.
As the NFL does more and more to appease the forces against the league, passing new rules to keep the players safe, a new league will emerge. Perhaps the Arena League, or maybe something like the XFL league that Pro Wrestling Mogul Vince McMahon tried to start. Believe me, an alternative to return the game to its true self, will emerge. The NFL may eventually sell out, but that does not mean the end of football, contact sports, or individuality.
“The good sense of the people will always be found to be the best army. They may be led astray for a moment, but will soon correct themselves.” — Thomas Jefferson
— Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary
Limbaugh asks, Will Liberal Media Try to Ban Football? – NewsBusters
Destroying Football: The Left’s Endgame – American Thinker
New Rule at NFL Camps: No Tackling. Just Practice – New York Times