The Monocle-and-Martini Set who run the National Football League are outraged with President Trump's remarks in Alabama today. Trump called out NFL management for tolerating the gutter-trash behavior of some of its so-called stars. Recently, some of these punks have doing things like flashing gang signs and giving Black Power salutes on the field, as well as protesting the ceremonial National Anthem.
One might think that a country where semi-literate ghetto-trash can become overnight millionaires and celebrities in the NFL might be worthy of some more respect among this class of people, but not so. The NFL has really become a lot like Hollywood. Both rose to cultural icon status about the same time and both have degenerated long beyond their cultural shelf-lives through a combination of stupid greed, politically-correct pandering, and incompetent management.
But if Hollywood has become a shadow of its former self, the NFL has become a ghost of what it once was. The NFL and its chief corporate media mouthpiece, ESPN, are getting clobbered with declining ratings, revenues, and viewers. This is because the NFL has not only lost touch with its audience; it's lost touch with its very reason for existence.
The NFL was originally about excellence: strategy, teamwork, skill, and sportsmanship. A team represented a community; and thus players reflected the values of the community. This is how football grew to be so symbolic of American values. During the Golden Age of the NFL, teams, players, and coaches usually stayed in one locality and were identified with it.
Today, this attitude has changed completely: championships have become meaningless---because these 'community leaders' have no scruple about running to any other community that offers a higher price. The community gives these teams every dime they have---even building stadiums with tax dollars---and the league establishment thanks them by selling out to the highest bidders and disrespecting values that society believes in.
What has happened to the NFL is the very defect that usually spells the downfall of all monopolistic organizations. In the passing of a century, control of the organization passes from virile and energetic men to effete inbreds who are cynical and resentful. Here again, the comparison to Hollywood is apt.
And generally along with the declining quality of performance, monopolies tend to try and maximize profit by pandering to the lowest common denominator among audiences or consumers. Thus the NFL players today engage in the crudest, most unsportsmanlike behaviors: more like pro wrestling and roller-derbies in the past. The NFL management never tolerated such behaviors before; today they are common. There are numerous players who showed promise once who simply and suddenly dropped out of the league. Usually this was for drug use or some other behavior detrimental to the team or the community's image.
Regarding our postmodern protesting players, there was a famous example of a similar case during the 1970s. Joe Gilliam became the first Black starting quarterback in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers. But Gilliam had political sympathies with militant Blacks, which he publically displayed and often criticized alleged racism within the Steelers and the NFL generally. His behavior led to coach Chuck Noll throwing him off the team and replacing him with Terry Bradshaw. No other team wanted Gilliam despite his skills.
Bradshaw went on to four Super Bowls, eight AFC Championships, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Gilliam died of a cocaine overdose at the age of 49.
The NFL's political correctness is another huge problem. It's recent tendencies towards gender-bending alienates most of its fan base. It's also preventing quality players from looking at professional football as a desirable career option. It's much the same problem we've seen with military recruitment. A football team, like an Army platoon, needs tough men who respect one another.
The NFL isn't likely to change any more than Hollywood will; and ultimately is going to fall under the weight of its own hubris. What we really need now is a new league that upholds the old values.