Opinion

NFL culture sports exclusionary image

Last fall, the NFL became embroiled in a public bullying controversy. The league’s news made the jump from ESPN to CNN, and for a few weeks, the product on the field was overshadowed by the culture off the field.

The Dolphins locker room, a haven for bullies and racists (the media said), plagued the league’s image. The once-gleaming NFL shield was fractured as it defended football’s culture from accusations of barbarism.

A proposed rule banning the use of the n-word in games (which was ultimately taken off the table last week) was meant to “save” the league’s image, but a closer look shows that the rule would have unevenly addressed other elements of racism in professional football – a league that uses its athleticism to distract paying customers from its intolerance.

NFL executives say the league “isn’t ready” for Michael Sam, a football player hoping to become the league’s first publicly gay figure – homosexuality is too problematic for the dynamics of a locker room.

Dan Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins franchise, calls his racially charged team name a “badge of honor” that would “never” be changed. Historical subjugation of Native Americans is a sign of “strength, courage, pride and respect,” he said.

And the NFL’s governing board, composed of a white commissioner and white majority owners, wants to wield its white-paternalistic power to tell its league of mostly black players what words they can’t say because it offends them.

The NFL’s moralizing effort is merely self-serving. Its exclusive focus on the n-word implicitly condones other racial epithets and discriminatory language that falls outside the parameters of the new rule.

Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman called the proposed rule “almost racist.” Maybe he’s right – because what the NFL’s rule doesn’t say speaks much louder than what it actually does.

Corey Janson is a senior majoring in psychology and political science.

March 23, 2014

Reporters

Corey Janson


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

James Jones, who starred at Hialeah American High School, the University of Miami and was a part of ...

A classic good news/bad news scenerio arose for Miami Hurricanes football at the recent Atlantic Coa ...

The University of Miami football players are not the only ones getting preseason accolades. The guys ...

Defending national champ Clemson led all Atlantic Coast Conference schools Wednesday with five playe ...

This was a neat idea that Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback website rolled out just as NFL tra ...

Gomez, an expert on human values and attitudes in post-Castro Cuba, will serve as interim director o ...

The University of Miami announced the appointment of Cindy Munro as the new dean of the School of Nu ...

Read the latest entries from UM students who are spending part or all of their summer visiting diffe ...

University of Miami’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement harnesses technology to seek affordab ...

UM female scientists share some insight on women in science, science in Hollywood and how Wonder Wom ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.