With the controversy surrounding the conduct of NFL players in 2014, many have used the publicity of the scandals to emphasize dilemmas within each controversy, on a national stage.
In response to the pleas for accountability there is arising a strange critique of activism through the NFL. Many commentators proclaim, the NFL is simply a sports league; who cares what an entertainment entity’s stance on social issues are.
The NFL seems to be one of the few entities in the United States still incentivized to listen to the populous. Multinational corporations kowtow to investors and shareholders while American political entities are subservient to those multinational corporations who fund their campaigns.
In a society where the supreme determinates of law proclaim, our constitution dictates money is equivalent to free speech, and our lawmaking bodies seem to have no problem with that proclamation, why should the disempowered masses forego influence in one of the largest multinational, multibillion dollar companies?
Many media entities create a national narrative of rugged individualism and self-empowerment with disregard to overall societal wellbeing. “If I take care of me everything will work itself out.” In a society which tells its citizens the amount of money one makes determines ones political influence, “doing your own thing” doesn’t change public opinion. Public opinion is shifted by people who can afford to pay for advertisements which articulate their political bias.
As more voters are gerrymandered into disenfranchisement and the role of money in politics expands, many of the populous are searching for a way to influence the injustice they observe.
Who says society can’t choose to utilize the fame and publicity of sports leagues to push nationalistic ideals?
What are some of America’s nationalistic ideals? Are they worth pushing?
True American character ideals are: generosity, equality, virtue and individualism. If a new example can be created from the outrage of the actions of a public figure, why should the lay-Americans forgo making their country a better place?
Making an example of Ray Rice’s domestic abuse can be the catalyst for judicial reform. After all, even though there is deliberate video of Rice’s behavior and that behavior is technically a punishable offense, Ray Rice is living uninfringed upon, with limited responsibility for his action.
Making an example of Adrian Peterson and the flawed logic of physical discipline, may influence future parents and reform current parents.
Every entity which a person participates in or facilitates the functioning of, that person should feel some connection to. For if the entity didn’t have your participation, viewership in the case of sports leagues, that entity could not operate; therefore that business’ values are a reflection of its users’.
Change is a fickle, but constant force. Change can result from a heightened awareness, see the Civil Rights Movement, just as change can result from a lack of awareness, see the overturning of Voting Rights Act of 1965. If the populous can use huge multinational sporting organizations as a moral guiding beacon, who is to say that entity is an inappropriate vessel? Especially when sports leagues seem to be the only organization concerned with public opinion.