The NFL Says Football Is WHAT?!!

(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Earlier today, the NFL released a promotional video on both its YouTube and Instagram accounts:

According to the video, in order football is:

    • Gay
    • Lesbian
    • Beautiful
    • Queer
    • Life
    • Exciting
    • Culture
    • Transgender
    • Heart
    • Power
    • Tough
    • Bisexual
    • Strong
    • Freedom
    • American
    • Accepting
    • Everything
    • For Everyone

Um … really?

Since Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib came out as gay a few days ago, the NFL has bent over backwards applauding his actions. Statements by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Gushy op-eds on the NFL’s website. Great shows of donating to Nassib’s charity of choice. And on and on. Fine, NFL, whatever; you do you. But did you actually think about this video?

I suspect I’m rather like most football fans. I love the sport. I keep up on my two favorite teams during the off-season as well as during the regular season. I’ve shelled out the big bucks necessary to attend games in person. I’ve bought the t-shirt … and the hat, and the jersey, etc. I am a fan. Period. That said, I’d kind of like to simply watch and enjoy the game of football without being incessantly clobbered over the head with this week’s #1 secular hymn “How Woke I Art.”

I don’t care if someone is gay or not. Why should I? It doesn’t affect me in the least. You live your life, I live mine. Simple. Not so simple is the video. Where the NFL has not only shot itself in both feet, but taken time to reload and aim carefully, is in stereotyping and pigeonholing the very people it is trying to attract as fans.

No, football isn’t any of the things listed in the video. It is a game. That is all. It is a sport like every other sport in that the ball don’t care what color skin or sexual preference living underneath said skin is involved. All that matters is how well the occupant of the skin throws, catches, kicks, runs, blocks, or tackles. Again, that is all. The rest is chaff to be blown away by the wind. Football is a game that can be enjoyed on its own merits. It doesn’t need puerile stunts to attract fans.

The gay community should be incensed at the NFL’s blatant, obnoxious, childish pandering. The video isn’t inclusionary. It is cheap, stereotyping, self-worshiping PR designed not to make new fans, but rather insinuate that if you are a member of a given group not commonly associated with football’s fan base, you need pathetic gimmickry to entice you.

How about … oh, here’s a wild hare: promoting the game itself? It’s a pretty good one, with speed and force and power and skill and strategy and all that stuff people seem to enjoy. All people. Regardless of their sexual orientation.

While you’re at it, NFL, care to comment on why you’re not woke enough? What about ethnic minorities? Is football for them? How about religious groups? Whatever his shortcomings as an athlete may be, there’s a whole lot of people who get far more excited about football than is their norm whenever Tim Tebow takes the field. When was the last time you made any effort to promote football to Christians? Or Jews? Or Muslims? What’s that, you say such an effort would be fruitless because there is such a great amount of diversity within these groups? And what — the entire gay community is in lockstep with one another on all political and social issues? Think again, brainiacs.

No, football isn’t gay or lesbian or bisexual, and it certainly isn’t everything. Once more with feeling: It. Is. A. Game. That’s all. One that a lot of people who previously enjoyed are turning away from, and no, it’s not because they are homophobic. It is because they, and one suspects a fair number of people that such exercises in utter lameness as this video are trying to reach, have grown fed up with vapid posturing and pandering. Try not embarrassing yourself in public next time, NFL. And stop insulting us. All of us.