The NFL Has Yet to Comment on Roe and PFT’s Mike Florio is Very Upset

Mike Florio
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The National Football League (NFL) has, thus far, remained silent about the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade last week, and that has made Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio big-time mad.

On Monday, Florio posted a piece titled: NFL Stays Silent on Elimination of 50-Year Constitutional Right. In the article, Florio talks of the NFL’s attempt to recruit female fans to the sports and contrasts that with their “strange” silence on the decision to overturn Roe. In addition, he speaks of his own site’s effort to contact the NFL for a response as to why they have not weighed in on the abortion issue, a query that was not answered, and some possible explanations for why the league may have avoided issuing a statement on the ruling.

Such as the league deciding to wait to see if they receive pressure to weigh in. Or whether the league’s silence is an attempt to avoid aggravating the two easily aggravated sides of the contentious issue.

But then Florio seems to offer his own explanation for why the league has kept quiet, and this is where things get weird. Florio believes the league has restrained itself from comment because the NFL’s “Shield has become intertwined with notions of God and Country.”

If you laughed after reading that, you’re not alone.

First, why should the NFL be expected to weigh in on an issue that has absolutely nothing to do with its business? And let’s be clear, Florio isn’t seeking the NFL’s endorsement of the Supreme Court. He’s openly seeking a biased and one-sided statement condemning them. So, he’s not functioning here in any kind of journalistic sense. He’s engaged as a political operative trying to solicit condemnation from a sports league over a Supreme Court ruling he didn’t like.

Second, the notion that the NFL is viewed as “intertwined with notions of God and Country” – at least by conservatives and Republicans – is laughable. Sorry, but years of allowing thousands of players and coaches to use the NFL’s national stage to protest the anthem has consequences.

So do the many other anti-American activities the league allowed their players to engage in off the field, such as when they allowed Tennessee Titans QB Ryan Tannehill to say, in 2020, that America was a nation “founded upon racist ideas.”

No league “intertwined” with American patriotic fervor would have allowed that to happen. So, Florio can go ahead and disabuse himself of the notion that the league is viewed as a symbol of American patriotism, at least by the people who would most likely support the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Florio continues, “And the lines between God and Country continue to blur, as our democracy teeters toward theocracy. As our democratic utopia veering farther into authoritarian dystopia.”

Florio then links to a video that he claims “sums it up.” In this case, “It” presumably represents his views on abortion. So what does this video contain? It’s a TikTok video posted by the Young Turks in which the Bible is denounced as a “mythical book” followed and held dear by people who have no right to force their worldview on anyone.

Florio is clearly a fan of the tired old liberal argument that only religious people should be disallowed from voting their values. This is like inviting someone to a debate on the condition that they leave the basis for all their beliefs and values at home.

No, sorry, it doesn’t work like that.

Thinking people have a foundational basis for believing what they believe. Those worldviews could be based on Christianity, Hinduism, or communism. But here’s the important part: neither Mike Florio, the crazy lady on Young Turks, nor me, has a right to tell anyone they have to abandon the reasoning behind everything they believe.

From there, Florio makes his case that the core issue involved in abortion is religion:

For the people who believe that their religion prohibits abortion, they don’t have to have one. For the people whose religion does not prohibit abortion, they should have that choice. For the people who are agnostic or atheist (and every American has the right to not believe in God or to believe generally that there’s a higher power but to eschew the hypocrisies and inconsistencies and raw profit motives of organized religion), they should have that choice.

This issue is rooted in true religious freedom. True bodily autonomy. True ability to make health-care decisions not based on black-and-white absolutes but on difficult nuances and subtleties arising from the many different circumstances that can result in pregnancies and the many different complications that can arise during them.

Though I would argue there are plenty of scientific and secular reasons for being opposed to abortion if Florio wants to turn the debate solely into one involving religion, fine. Now that the states have the freedom to vote on this issue for themselves, those arguments can be won and lost on their merits by the people who live in those states and will have to abide by those laws.

Win or lose, we can all live with that far better than we can with a national mandate claiming a right to an abortion exists in a document in which it obviously does not.

The Supreme Court did not overturn Roe because of religion. It overturned Roe because it’s not in the Constitution. And that’s something everyone should agree with, whether for abortion or against it.

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