[Warning to American football lovers, you may not like this blog post. Also, this post is about American football, not the football known in America as soccer]
Growing up as a baseball fan, football was never really part of my life, until 2004 when I joined a fantasy football league. Through the years I grew to become a football fan, and then I left the football fan club. Through that process there were several stages my relationship with football went through.
I knew nothing of football. I watched zero football.
My approach to football changed when my brother asked me to join his fantasy football league. Growing up, we always did things together. So as 29-year-olds when my brother was participating in a new pastime, I became very interested in joining.
In the 2006-2007 season, our home-town team the Chicago Bears had a great team. We even got to the Super Bowl! As I became more experienced in fantasy football, the stats became an addiction. In addition to crunching the stats of the players, I would also create all sorts of interesting charts based on how the teams in our fantasy league performed. I was one of those guys who would come up with all sorts of trivia on the history of our teams in the fantasy league.
As we got older, everyone in our fantasy football league started to have kids. People didn’t have time to tend to a fantasy football team. In 2014 we dissolved our league. I participated in fantasy football for nine years. I loved the stats. It gave me a reason to watch football on Sundays. But now without a fantasy players to follow, I stopped watching. My Sundays opened up for other activities. I largely forgot about football.
Football is no longer forgotten. It’s no longer an accident that I don’t pay attention to it anymore. I’ve intentionally made the decision to not watch or follow.
Now my choice to ignore football has gotten deeper with actual reasons to not follow or promote football. Too many negative things has been happening in the NFL. Two major reasons why I purposefully boycott the NFL.
- Head injuries. Football is a dangerous sport that causes brain damage on many of its players—not just NFL players, but kids in high school. Overall, football seems a rather stupid sport to play if your risk for brain damage is very high. I don’t want our youth to damage their brains. Plus, football is just a violent sport. I’m not a fan of violence, thus I choose to ignore a violent sport.
- Colin Kaepernick being blacklisted. We can’t say for certain that is happening. But it seems rather odd that no team has hired this quarterback who expresses his opinion on how African Americans are treated in America. The fact that no team is hiring him is just wrong. I don’t want to be a fan of a sport where racism is so apparent.
Yes, any sport is going to have serious injuries. And every sport is going to have some degree of racism. But in football, these two areas are being shown to their extreme.
Perhaps my dislike of football comes from my original position of never watching the sport, and now I just find excuses to not like it.
People make think I’m a jerk for having these opinions about a beloved sport. But I continue with my stance of boycotting football. It’s a sport we don’t need—both for the nature of the game (the head injuries) and for how the NFL is being run today (with the racism). If I’m wrong about the racism part (which very well could be possible), then I continue my stance based on the head injuries alone. I don’t see how we can perpetuate a sport that is scientifically proven to cause serious injuries to a large percentage of those who play. It may be the player’s choice to risk their brains. We should allow them to make that choice. But I also make my choice to not support this dangerous sport.
At some point I might enter the protesting stage. Perhaps with this blog post, I am.