The justifications being issued for why to continue supporting the NFL despite the recent decision to force ‘patriotic’ speech are nothing less than Orwellian newspeak.
To be fair, I haven’t really watched professional sports in a decade, so my decision to boycott the NFL isn’t really any great sacrifice. And yet as I watch my friends scramble to issue justifications to continue supporting an organization that is in absolute opposition to their stated principles, I am overwhelmed by the sketchy logic and unwillingness to sacrifice mere entertainment in defense of their beliefs.
Of course most of their arguments are being supplied by media pundits with a direct interest in the continued success of the NFL. And the justifications constructed by these professional obfuscators are no less dazzling for all the bullshit they are constructed from. Here is my favorite one:
“Boycotting the NFL would be limiting that organizations free speech, and isn’t this all about free speech?”
Somehow we are supposed to believe that defending the right for a corporate entity to force individuals it employs to participate in speech against their will is a defense of free speech? Holy mental gymnastics, Batman!
The other rhetorically loaded justifications I have seen are all almost nearly just as bad. They all involve some kind of role reversal where somehow supporting the NFLs decision is tantamount to supporting free speech and the American way. It is the sort of doublespeak that would make Orwell shrug his shoulders and say ‘ I told you so’ if he were alive today.
This is not difficult. Forced speech is the opposite of free speech. And if you tune in to watch the NFL you are helping them to profit from their oppressive coercion of individuals. That is how they make their money, by having an audience. This isn’t rocket surgery, ya’all.
It is disheartening but not surprising that so many people who identify as progressive are willing to throw their own moral compass under the bus rather than give up watching a violent activity that has no redeeming value outside of entertaining the masses every Sunday for four months of the year. The hand of hypocrisy has been called upon to rise and its numbers are legion.
“Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things:
bread and circuses.”
– Juvenal from Satire X