To be honest, I didn’t watch many games the last season I watched any football. The collective bargaining agreement that same year turned this once dedicated NFL fan into a doubter. So much money being accumulated and yet owners needed money from fans to build stadiums and when the players asked for more in return, more money, more time off, the fans chastised the players and let the owners get away with theft and money laundering.
That was the summer of 2011 and the last NFL game I ever watched was the Super Bowl that season, February 2012.
Day Drinking and Football Sunday
I remember sitting at the end of a bar earlier that same season discussing the newest CBA with a diehard Steelers fan, his Terrible Towel delicately placed next to his wings and Budweiser. I asked him why side with the owners? His reply “The owners are the ones who own the teams! Why would you fight with your boss? Plus, anyone could be a football player, there’s only 32 owners.”
I reminded him that the reason the owner of the Steelers owned a football team was because of ketchup. I held up a bottle of Heinz that was on the bar and I said, “Anyone can make ketchup”. His reply was “If I had the chance to go out there and play for free I would, these guys make millions and still complain. They’re all prima donnas. Every last one of them.”
— rocky (@Rocket_Man298) August 7, 2017
Suddenly, I understood what he was trying to say. “Oh, so you’re just jealous” I said looking him in the eye. He asked me if I was trying to start a fight on Football Sunday. I left. Where the Fans Went Wrong Football has been granted autonomy over the ones who have all the power; the fans. Instead of supporting the player they admire, they blindly support the owners, giving them the power. Goodell had similar power handed to him in the last CBA, the same CBA that made me nauseous.
Goodell: I’m going to suspend Ezekiel Elliott.
Jerry Jones: Not without cause, Roger.
— DemBoyzNation (@DemBoyzNation) August 11, 2017
Goodell handled it poorly and fans started to give him hell for it. But alas, they couldn’t stay away from the product, the addicting bug of NFL Sunday coursing through their veins.
Throwing Shade and Placing Blame
Somewhere Goodell has a constant smile on his entitled face, Kaepernick taking the heat off him and the owners while they steal a little more, grab some more power, take all of the money, and put the heavy onus of blame squarely back where they wanted it in the first place; right on the players shoulders.
Colin Kaepernick when you came against the American Flag you went too far and Patriotism is not about black and white. You’re a loser!
— Elder Lansing (@ElderLansing) August 8, 2017
Fans of the sport of football should be mortified about players not receiving benefits for life. There should be petitions forcing the NFL to support better research into CTE and how to prevent it with more modern equipment. There should have been a gigantic public outrage when the NFL stole money from breast cancer research and called it their own. There should have been boycotts when it was discovered they charged the military to be there for an “appreciation ceremony”.
But there wasn’t. And there won’t be.
The owners receiving autonomy from the fans means these crimes go unnoticed while each and every player’s crime makes headlines.
I’m not just advocating for players, but for fans too. Take the power back on a sport that you own and hold NFL owners accountable for their actions.
Photo Credits: Grantland
Anthony Norman White is a writer from New York, John Candy Enthusiast, Pi's Dad, Musician, Author of Literary Fiction and Poetry, Hip Hop Fanatic.