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Football: The Game of Trumpists

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CHARLOTTE, NC – SEPTEMBER 18: Eric Reid #35 and Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel on the sideline, during the anthem, prior to the game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on September 18, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers defeated the 49ers 46-27. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

I love football, as is well-known around here and of course derided. Well, whatever. But there’s no question that the politics around football are utterly atrocious and have only gotten worse as the game has embraced being a bastion of right-wing extremism that takes advantage of black labor (free at the college level) for white amusement. Compared with basketball, it’s even more outrageous. Just yesterday, we saw the Miami Dolphins threaten 4-game suspensions to players engaging in their First Amendment rights to protest racism and police violence toward black people during the National Anthem, a move so extreme that it got the NFL to back off. And then there is North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora, who claimed that attacks on the safety of college football actually threaten the national security of the United States.

North Carolina coach Larry Fedora said he feels the changes being made to make football safer have been good for the sport in many ways. Coaches are teaching players to tackle differently, from the youth level all the way up to the NFL, and rules are being put in place to prevent head-on collisions.

But Fedora also said at the ACC Kickoff on Wednesday that he thinks the game is under attack, and he fears that one day, football will be “less tough” and “less physical’ and that this could damage the country.

“I feel that the game will be pushed so far to one extreme that you won’t recognize the game 10 years from now,” Fedora said. “And I do believe that if it gets to that point, then our country goes down too.”

The reason for this is that football trains our next generation of soldiers or some such nonsense. This is of course beyond ridiculous, both scientifically and politically. So of course, North Carolina’s athletic director Bubba Cunningham (where do they get these names!) defends Fedora.

North Carolina’s athletic director came to football coach Larry Fedora’s defense a day after Fedora was widely questioned for saying he doubted the connections between football and CTE.

Bubba Cunningham told reporters during a break in Thursday’s UNC board of trustees meetings that Fedora’s point was “poorly communicated.”

“You know, I think Larry was really concerned about the health and safety of students, and I don’t think it came across all that well, obviously,” Cunningham said.

OK.

Fedora must have wanted to followed Trump’s example and say “won’t” instead of his intended “would.”

In any case, the politics of football does leave the progressive football fan sick.

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