Full disclosure, we don’t care about football. Could not care less about the NFL. We think Division 1 (at least) college football should be stopped, let the NFL set up a farm system so the kids who are playing for a supposed “education” can get paid, and give them tuition assistance so they can go to school if they want to. We’ve got lots more to say on that regard, but that’s for another time, we just want you to understand that we’ve got no dog in this fight.
That said, we did once live in and around Boston for a long time so we have a soft spot in our hard, cold, heart.
Anyway, we were amused by the “cheating scandal” that raged for weeks prior to the game. Especially because the people who were screaming “scandal” the loudest, those who wanted the Patriots kicked out of the SuperBowl, those who want an asterisk put next to their performance, those folks were by-and-large the same people who will tell you that the Obama administration is the most scandal free and the most transparent administration ever.
Case in point, one David Zirin, a race-industry writer who passes himself off as a “sports writer” at rags like “The Nation” and the “International Socialist Review.” Zirin is actually just a guy trying to work off his “white privilege” by pointing out that EVERYTHING is racist. Including being a Patriots fan.
Yep, that’s right. If you weren’t rooting for the Seahawks to win last Sunday, you’re a racist. To the core.
To put Zirin in perspective, here’s a snip from a pregame article he wrote for The Nation.
When I started writing about the intersection of sports and politics in 2003, a countless number of sentences started with two words: “if only”. “If only” star athletes used their hyper-exalted-brought-to-you-by Nike platform to actually say something about the world instead of just trying to sell us more crap. If only they stood up to tired sports media that for decades had treated outspoken athletes with a sneering and, in the case of black players, transparently racist contempt.
He establishes himself from the get-go as a tried and true member of the race-industry. He’s a political writer who has a bone to pick with the white privilege found in sports, and he’s looking for a revolution led by sports figures. He’s also upset that all he’s getting is an “evolution.” You know, that white privilege that keeps black athletes in sports like basketball off the floor and broke.
He’s also apparently no friend of the military and he’s apparently a big fan of a huggy locker room.
Well the evolution is here, and they’re coming straight outta King County with a posse on Broadway. They are the NFC Champions going for back-to-back Super Bowl wins. They are the Seattle Seahawks.It helps that they are led by Pete Carroll, that rare football coach who does not think he’s the reincarnation of General Patton.
He’s probably offended that the Superbowl trophy is named after Vince Lombardi. Just in case you think we’re over-the-top on Zirin, chew on this.
We can understandably shake our heads over the fact that the NFL—a brutal, damnable sports league—is now intimately connected to how we discuss issues ranging from violence against women, to workplace safety, to the movement against police brutality.
He’s got his issues, the race-industry issues, he wants pushed, and he sees the Seahawks as the people to do it. After all, they’ve got a black running back who’s a star. And, a black quarterback who’s a star. It’s time for the Patriots (sounds like a Tea Party movement doesn’t it?) to check their privilege.
It turns out that Zirin isn’t quite so in love with his Seahawks today. They lost. And guess what, that last call? The interception? When all the black quarterback had to do was hand the ball off to the black running back and they’ve got a twofer? That last call was racist. It was made by a white dude on the sidelines to keep the black man down.
Coaches setting certain favored players up for glory is as old as football itself. In addition, the politics of race, respectability, public relations and what’s in the best interest of a $2 billion corporation all played into this. That’s the theory.
I contacted someone inside that locker room and they said to me as if on repeat: “Can’t believe it. We all saw it. They wanted it to be Russ. They didn’t want Marshawn to be the hero.”
Hands Up Don’t Shoot. Maybe they’ll replace that bit of fantasy with “Sit Down Don’t Run.” Where is Al Sharpton when you need him the most?
We don’t live in a “racist society,” that we tolerate people like Zirin and his ilk is proof positive that we live in a stupid society.