If it ends up being true, no one is going to excuse the behavior of these Miami Dolphins’ players accused of hazing/bullying one of their teammates. But the media feigning surprise as a way to turn unsurprising locker room behavior into some kind of cultural NFL scandal, lands somewhere between disingenuous and obnoxious.
Thirty-five years ago, movies like North Dallas Forty, Slap Shot, and The Longest Yard didn’t exactly celebrate the macho culture of professional sports, but they did expose and exploit that culture to entertain the hell out of millions — none of whom rose from their fainting couch to demand change.
But it is the state of professional boxing that proves that this new indignation directed at the NFL by our media overlords is all politics, and has absolutely nothing to do with a sincere concern over injuries or bullying or the players.
Ten years ago, in the wake of 9/11, when the NFL started reading the Declaration of Independence before the Super Bowl, I knew that football had just placed a big target on its back. There was just no way in hell the left and the media were going to allow a wildly popular, culturally conservative institution that celebrates manhood, America, our troops and Darwinian competition to stand.
But if the media and left truly cared about injuries and protecting athletes from bullying and the like, they would have long ago turned their attention to boxing — a sport that is not only much more dangerous than professional football, but as openly corrupt as any institution in America (including the media).
But the media and left don’t care about boxing or boxers because that sport is nowhere near as popular or influential as the NFL, and therefore doesn’t threaten the left’s cultural hold on America.
So, the media says. So what if thousands of mostly poor and mostly black and Hispanic boxers are ritually exploited beyond belief as they have their brains regularly beaten out? “Those people” don’t matter because their sport doesn’t threaten my worldview.
For the record, I’m not calling on anyone to ban boxing. But it sure would be nice to see a media spotlight put on boxing’s legions of liars and hustlers — the sleazy scumbags who shamelessly exploit and sometimes ruin scores of young athletes.