The NFL and many of its investors have long held on to this idea that sports and politics should be separate entities. In the past, we’ve heard such phrases as “shut up and dribble.” But it seems like we only come across the issue of politics in sports when the establishment would rather ignore the issues. When I refer to ignoring the issue, more specifically, I mean ignoring the thing that’s a hindrance to money being made.
So before Colin Kaepernick decided to peacefully protest police brutality against Black people in this country, the NFL didn’t find it financially viable to recognize. This was until they made a stink about the protests, and realized that their stance, in this era, was actually bad PR for them. Insert, the “Inspire Change” initiative.
When our military does flyovers for NFL games or runs a commercial during their timeslot, it’s financially viable. It’s viable, even while those activations are inherently political. Add to that point, the economic aspect is also inherently political. But it’s all good because there’s the prospect of financial gain. You will always notice that in the world of business, having a moral compass seldom equates to amassing the sort of revenue that these huge corporations have. The heads of these companies seldom get caught up in their feelings about what doesn’t affect their earnings.
That brings us to the current atrocities in the war involving Israel and Hamas. The NFL paid tribute to lives lost in an Oct. 7 terrorist attack in Israel that Hamas executed. Before the games of NFL week six, there were moments of silence league-wide. Now let me just say that having a moment of silence for the innocent Jewish folks who were killed is perfectly fine. It’s deserved, and those affected by this loss deserve to be thought of and cared for. However, it has been almost a month since that unfortunate event. And since then, a war has ensued. It’s a war that is not only claiming the lives of Jews but also of innocent people in Palestine.
So, in the spirit of paying tribute to innocent lives lost, I figured we might have the NFL have a moment of silence for all of the atrocities happening in that part of the world currently. But apparently, that has not happened. Apparently, that doesn’t seem to be good for their bottom line. Their lack of support for Palestinian people in this regard is glaring, but the math is mathing. I don’t think Roger Goodell thinks rubbing his investors and his owners the wrong way is worth it. There is a solid contingent of people who believe as Benjamin Netanyahu has said, that these actions are necessary due to the threat of Hamas. Any commentary to the contrary simply won’t get any shine.
Conversely, there’s the NBA, and when they took a moment to pay tribute to those affected in Israel, they also made a point to highlight the loss of life in a macro fashion. See? You can walk and chew gum at the same time. Business for the NFL may carry on as usual, for now. But history will show who were brave enough to be beacons of true allyship of all people. Roger that.