By Dean Kalahar
September 29, 2010
The National Football league (NFL) plays a distinctly American game that is modeled after the very history and heritage of the United States. In Sal Paolantonio’s book: How football explains America, historic connections with football include: Manifest Destiny, The Battle of Midway, post war America, as well as the volatile 60’s. According to Paolantonio, the NFL mirrors the lives of Americans like Davey Crockett, Jackie Robinson, and Daniel Boone.
American football is indeed a living metaphor for freedom, capitalism, and republican government. It reminds our nation of the fundamental principles that make America great. Some of these include: rugged individualism, self determination, competition, equality of opportunity, teamwork, and the rule of law.
The NFL is currently promoting a campaign recognizing National Hispanic Heritage Month. It may be admirable for the NFL to recognize a month focusing on a particular group of Americans; but watching the “Jets de nueva York” play “Fútbol Americano” might leave you wondering how a game, that models the social fabric of our nation, has anything to do with promoting a selective celebration of a single ethnic group.
Why is football being devalued by the NFL’s current experiment in feel good therapeutic nonsense? In short, political correctness and a self serving attempt to increase revenue. Hopefully both reasons will backfire because Americans should be angered and saddened by the transparent attempt to pander to and capitalize on a specific ethnic group. Greater yet, Hispanic Americans should be embarrassed and outraged that the NFL feels they can be so easily manipulated.
The NFL aptly divides itself into the National Football Conference (NFC) and American Football Conference (AFC). The league has no business dividing Americans into selective ethnic groups in a cheap and veiled attempt at “sensitivity” to “diversity.” The NFL is the league of all Americans and should shy away from labeling and separating the Americans that made it great as well as profitable.
If this analysis is wrong, will the NFL promote the nine other nationally recognized heritage celebrations, and if not, why?
Asian-Pacific Heritage Month in May
National Italian American Heritage Month in October
Jewish American Heritage Month in May
National American Indian Heritage Month in November
Black history month in February
Women’s history month in March
Caribbean-American Heritage Month in June
Irish-American Heritage Month in March
National Bourbon Heritage Month in September
The cost of this myopic program, promoted under the auspices of multiculturalism, is the erosion of our American heritage and further corruption of our cultural capital. If the nation continues embracing a methodology of division, then misguided thinking will continue to rot the fibers that hold us together until we are broken as a nation. At which point the battles waged on the gridiron will pale by comparison to the wars we will wage for existence. Can you say Balkanization?
NFL Commissioner Goodell, and all other organizations that traffic in divisive nonsense, stop shamelessly promoting yourself under the disguise of tolerant compassion, and go back to the principles of managing the game that is made in America, played by Americans, and cheered for by Americans, no matter what their heritage.