Should NFL Stay Out Of Politics?

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Think the NFL is apolitical? Think again. Cenk Uygur, the host of The Young Turks, tells you the political history of the NFL. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

“On Monday, in response to the protests that swept across the NFL the day before, The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board wrote a denunciation that read, in its orotund meatheadedness, a little like the transcript of a sports radio call-in show as hosted by William F. Buckley.

“American democracy was healthier when politics at the ballpark was limited to fans booing politicians who threw out the first ball — almost as a bipartisan obligation,” the Journal editorial sniffed. “This showed a healthy skepticism toward the political class. But now the players want to be politicians and use their fame to lecture other Americans, the parsons of the press corps want to make them moral spokesmen, and the President wants to run against the players.

“The losers are the millions of Americans who would rather cheer for their teams on Sunday as a respite from work and the other divisions of American life.”

This was “stick to sports,” padded out to 550 words — the quietist refrain of the conservative sports fan who pretends as if the NFL were some political DMZ. The Wall Street Journal is especially fond of this tack: It has given Jason Whitlock ample space to blast player Colin Kaepernick and decry ESPN’s supposed leftward tilt.

But it’s a fantasy. Sports is inherently political, and the existence of the NFL as a multibillion-dollar business enterprise today is a direct result of its aggressive political engagement ― a tradition that is, in fact, older than the Super Bowl. The league doesn’t stick to sports; why should its players?”

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Hosts: Cenk Uygur

Cast: Cenk Uygur


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Young Turk (n), 1. Young progressive or insurgent member of an institution, movement, or political party. 2. A young person who rebels against authority or societal expectations.(American Heritage Dictionary)

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