Based on the “Make America Great Again” hats on which “Great” was dog-whistle-ese for “White” and which comprised the opening salvos for our new race war, I think I know where this whole NFL imbroglio is headed.
No not the World Football League, the upstart professional football experiment in the 1970s. And not the USFL, the 1980s equivalent in which Donald Trump owned a team and bankrupted its investors.
This new league will continue the president’s dream to return America to what it once was: WHITE.
Maybe Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball in 1947; and a year earlier Kenny Washington did become the first black American to sign an NFL contract. Yes, three years later it was NBA basketball that was integrated.
Before 1946, professional football was the province of white athletes. For Trump and his ilk, those were the days. Trump wants them back.
Remember please that 1946, despite being eighty years after the end of the Civil War, was an era when Jim Crow laws predominated, when school segregation went unchallenged, and lynchings were common. Martin Luther King, Jr. was merely a teenager, and the Civil Rights Act of 1965 lay almost a generation into the future.
We were a white country; only slowly and painstakingly did we grow past that. Then. nine years ago we celebrated the “The End of American Racism” by electing a black president. That chimerical belief is proved wrong daily, hourly. We’ve all witnessed the race-baiting in Charlottesville, in San Juan, at every Trump rally—with every Trump appointee. Mexicans and Muslims have endured his disdain. Then finally those SOBs in the NFL who knelt for the anthem. (“Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired,” the president said.) All of it has received Trump’s imprimatur.
Trump was clever enough not say black SOBs: he didn’t have to. Even though he won’t admit it, he knows that this protest has nothing to do with the flag or the anthem, and everything to do with the perpetuation of police violence against black people. Trump would like nothing more than to stoke this incendiary situation for another three and a half months, to keep this incipient race war festering. A better man would work to prevent it: Trump is nobody’s better man.
Thus I give you the WFL—the White Football League, where white players will stand and lock arms for, maybe even sing the National Anthem with American Flag stickers on their helmets. Where Jerry Jones calls the shots and the games are played in Middle America.
And don’t worry about any BFL: the wealthy WFL will sue any upstart group and keep it mired in litigation long enough for its players to exceed their playing age.
There may, however, be unintended consequences. Eventually black college athletes, foreseeing no future for themselves in professional American athletics, will turn their attention solely to academics, while their white classmates beat their heads into the turf every Saturday, so that later, if they’re good enough, thy can do the same thing on Sunday.
Dementia, crippling injuries, and CTE will exact a heavy toll on these well-paid white men while Russell Wilson runs for president and fights off Cam Newton and Larry Fitzgerald in the primary. Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady will still be playing at 50, 60, because the proscription against black players has dulled the shine of the WFL and losing old white quarterbacks would spell a ratings disaster. These three, and others, will play until they can longer walk or think.
The cultural shift will be slow but sure, and the dullards who voted for Trump and supported him afterwards will watch helplessly as the white majority becomes hopelessly effete. They’ll wonder where “their” country went but won’t be smart enough to figure it out. At times—on Sunday afternoons—they’ll pine for the days of Odell Beckham and Des Bryant and wonder, “Whatever happened to those guys?”
Maybe as the afternoon wears on, they’ll crack open another beer, pull their “I Made America White Again” hats over their eyes, and with the Red Zone blaring, fall asleep…maybe even dream of the country where they used to live—the one they ceded to a moron in November, 2016.