Roy Exum: No More NFL For Me

Monday, September 18, 2017 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

I watched a lot of football over the weekend. On Saturday I watched a good chunk of five different games but, going into my second year, I didn’t watch a play in the NFL yesterday. While I read where beer sales in the United States increased 30 percent last Sunday on the first day of the pro season, I adore college football and loathe the pros.

When Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the National Anthem last season, to protest police brutality against African-Americans, soon other players did the same thing. Then an 11-year-old child in Detroit grammar school mimicked the players and, when his teacher swept him out of his seat and ordered the child to stand, his parents brought a class action lawsuit saying the child’s rights were violated. The teacher has been suspended.

The National Football League represents some things that are not who I am. A close friend who actually played pro football in the NFL sent me a story that appeared on the Townhall website earlier last week. It was brilliantly written by Steve Shelton and the opinion column, “The NFL Is a Product I Refuse to Purchase Any Longer,” contained six reasons that better reflect my feelings.

Last year I wrote that I respect everyone's right to the “freedoms” guaranteed by our Constitution. I don’t fault what Kaepernick believes but know the way he did it put me in the same legion with this writer, Steve Shelton, and thousands of others across America.

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SIX REASONS I REFUSE TO WATCH THE NFL

(Written by Steve Shelton, Townhall.com, Sept.10, 2017)

NUMBER 1 -- The NFL has become a bastion of political correctness and Leftist thought. It may be a small handful of players opposing their country’s anthem, but as long as it is accepted by the owners and coaches, then they have lost me as a viewer. Yes, in the U.S.A. you have the freedom to express your views however ridiculous they may be. I, too, have a right to express my disapproval of your views through my pocketbook. The NFL is a business that sells a product. I happen to now find that product unattractive, overpriced, and out of style - so I refuse to buy it.

NUMBER 2 -- The NFL has immersed itself in the hip-hop culture. Yes, I know this automatically makes me a racist according to the Left, but I simply don’t like the hip-hop culture and the things it represents that have nothing to do with skin color. I don’t approve of a culture whose music refers to women as “b**ches” and “h*s”, glorifies drug usage and violence, and encourages an illicit lifestyle. Plus, I don’t like the clothing. Pull up your pants, you look like an idiot. When this type of “music” blares out over the sound system in the stadium, as it did when I attended my last NFL game, I’m gone.

[NOTE: A racism claim is lame, since the majority of the college games we love include a majority of black athletes.]

NUMBER 3 -- It’s a game. As I age, certain things become more valuable to me. Time is a resource and I refuse to give it up to something I don’t enjoy. I do still attend some college games and cheer for my alma mater, so it’s not the game I don’t enjoy; rather, it’s the commercialization and the culture. At the last professional football game I attended, I looked around at the people spending $9.00 for a beer wearing their $90 team jersey, and decided I didn’t want to be one of them. I can still enjoy the game by watching my local high school team. I can even walk onto the field afterwards and make a young person feel good by congratulating them on a good game, great tackle, or exceptional run.

NUMBER 4 (A) -- The anthem. I served my country for six years, and the National Anthem brings a tear to my eye every time I hear it. Every. Time. It represents the collective sacrifice of my friends and colleagues and everyone who went before us. It’s the same flag that was draped over my former teammate’s coffin after being killed in Afghanistan. It’s personal to me, very personal. To sit it out, talk during it, raise your fist, or any other form of disrespect is unacceptable to me. Period. I’m simply not willing to look beyond that. There is no pass on this one. If you can’t stand still and respect the flag of this great nation and everything for which it stands, then you and everyone associated with you isn’t getting one dime from me. When Chiefs fans replace the last word of the anthem with the word “Chiefs” I don’t find it cute or excuse the behavior. It’s disrespectful to the millions of brave souls who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that these slobs could swill their $9 beers and scream at players on a Sunday afternoon. It’s inappropriate, disrespectful and I’m not going to participate.

NUMBER 4 (B) -- One aside on this topic: If I understand the argument, those who sit out the anthem think America is a racist country and the National Anthem somehow represents the idea that all cops are racists. Huh? Seriously, your argument is just dumb and doesn’t even deserve a response. I would not disagree with those who would suggest that only a handful of players in the NFL hate America and therefore the rest shouldn’t be punished for that reason alone just like all cops are not racists. To that argument, reference items 1-3, 5, 6. Additionally, we are judged by the company we keep. You want to have an America hater on your team? Then I chose not to support you.

NUMBER 5 -- We all have our likes and dislikes, and I simply dislike the culture that has become sports today. Geez, how much can we talk about and “analyze” a game? Admittedly, I pay attention to politics as much as a sports junkie watches games, but what politicians do affects my life. What’s going on in North Korea matters much more than whether or not Tom Brady completed 50% of his passes. If North Korea lobs over a nuke, you can kiss your sports goodbye, among other things.

NUMBER 6 -- Taxpayer subsidized stadiums. A significant number of sports stadiums are subsidized or are built with taxpayer dollars. Does the taxpayer get to park for free? Do they receive free admission to the game? Are they allowed to use the locker room or weight room during the week? Do they get a free "I helped pay for this stadium" t-shirt? Of course not. Government should not participate in local business other than by providing an environment where business thrives. While I commend the shrewd business owner who increases his wealth from government handouts, I do not approve of the practice and refuse to participate in something that encourages it.

* * *

I totally agree with and commend him for standing up for what he believes. Kudos to you, sir. And while this comes as a personal surprise, I don’t miss the NFL one bit.

royexum@aol.com



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