20 New Things I Know About You If You're a Black Man Still Watching the NFL

Chicago Bears fans tailgate prior to an NFL game between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on November 22, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan.
Chicago Bears fans tailgate prior to an NFL game between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on November 22, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan.
Photo: Dave Reginek (Getty Images)

What if Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones walked onto his insanely gaudy field on game day Sunday and openly whipped a black player’s naked back? Or, what if Washington’s football team owner announced that he was finally going to succumb to accusations that his team’s name was racially insensitive and would now refer to his team as “My Niggers.”


I’m fantasizing about what it would take for black men to cut the cord on the insanely racist leadership of the NFL that continues to show that it not only doesn’t give a fuck about black rights but it really doesn’t care about women’s rights, or any rights that remotely don’t look like ownership.

As it stands, attending games, watching the games and wearing NFL gear is akin to attending a Donald Trump rally. And, before you scoff and claim that the two aren’t even remotely comparable, think about this:

$7.75 million of Trump’s presidential donations came directly from NFL owners. NFL owners get their money from television revenue, ticket sales and apparel.

As it stands Washington’s football team is not only willing to have an accused domestic abuser on their team, but they shunned a desperately needed quarterback who had the audacity to protest for black rights. Sure, they tried to claim that not going with Kaepernick was a football decision but that shit is starting to sound a lot like white police who claim that the black unarmed assailant was going for his gun.

At some point, I thought the protest from black men was going to be so loud that the football gods would have to self-correct. But as it stands, teams are willing to lose games with possible playoff implications in order to keep a black man with a winning record off the field because he kneeled for black rights.

I’m ashamed.

I’m ashamed that Washington, D.C., my birthplace. hasn’t turned this city to ruins over this obvious white-balling of a black man in a city that was once so black it used to be referred to as Chocolate City. I’m ashamed that not one player on the team has come out and said publicly “WTF are we doing?!” I’m ashamed that generations of black folks with protest in their blood have become complacent enough that even the idea of turning the channel during a football game is too much to ask. Most of all, I’m ashamed that on Sunday black men will crowd the stands willingly to root for a team that has publicly said “fuck all y’all” we are going with Mark Sanchez.


And even worse, I’m ashamed that they will lie and say that they support Colin Kaepernick. That is impossible. If you watch the NFL you are actively supporting the people who ousted him. It is perfectly fine if you have made that choice, but you have to own it.

It’s very likely that Colin Kaepernick will never play another down in the NFL.

And I know you’re cool with that.

So here are 20 more things I’ve learned about you if you’re black and still watching this bullshit


1. You like sugar on your grits.

Would you put salt on your cereal?

Sure, it tastes disgusting but I know you are willing to consume things even though they are distasteful.


2. You would have dropped a dime on Harriet Tubman.

You are one of those people who act like they’re down for freedom but are really working for the opposition. You would have told Massa about the Underground Railroad and then went to the plantation’s Big House and watched the Cowboys.


I know that’s anachronistic and doesn’t make any sense, but neither does saying you want Kaepernick to play in the NFL but you still support it.

3. You have rented a high price car and flossed that bitch like it was yours.

You’ve all seen these bamas that spend $1,000 for a four-hour rental only to drive to every club in the city and stand outside in front of said rental acting as if they just pulled up in front to talk on their cellphone, which is definitely prepaid.


Because, like the owners who say Kaepernick “isn’t the right fit,” you’re fake.

4. You have a contentious relationship with your mother.

No self-respecting black man who loves their mother unconditionally would cheer for the cabal of domestic abusers in the NFL.


5. You end phone calls with unconventional sayings.

“Bless up”



“All Lives Matter”

6. You wear a cellphone earpiece.

Just in case there’s an emergency like someone needing a token negro to excuse their racist act.


7. You have something from the Steve Harvey Suit collection.

Like a double-breasted, Lemonhead-yellow, pin-stripe suit that hangs down to your knees. You only wear it during Easter and when you go meet with your white friends because you’re pretty sure Harvey and Patriots owner Robert Kraft also wore a similar suit when they went to visit Trump.


8. You’ve ordered a haircut using the haircut picture board.

“Yeah, let me get a 14 in the front and a number 11 in the back and don’t fuck with my sideburns. Every time I cut them, the Redskins lose.”


9. You love to be contrarian in public.

“Brett Kavanaugh did not do anything other than love this country...and he loves beer! Who doesn’t love beer?”


Or, your favorite: “If black lives matter, then why don’t we talk about black on black crime?”

10. You’ve never protested anything in your life.

Except for that Dez Bryant catch.

But you did it quietly, by writing a sensible letter to the referees. For some reason, they didn’t respond. It’s almost like they don’t care what you think.


11. You wear pleated pants outside of church.

And a gold necklace over your tie that has a Steelers logo on it.

12. You watch mad amounts of porn.

But only interracial. Your favorite kind is when the busty white blonde uses the n-word.


Like an NFL owner.

13. You go to a white church.

And clap on the off-beat. And the choir sings selections from hymnals. And it sounds like everyone is singing soprano. And you don’t care because they get out of church early and you can catch the first quarter of the Packers game.


14. You talk about black issues with white people.

Because if we don’t talk, how can we understand each other? We have to respect the opinions of others. Especially the brave troops who fight for our freedom. Is that what Martin Luther King Jr. would have wanted?


15. You wear really long basketball shorts and slides with ankle socks. And sometimes you wear a visor.

Because you’re the cool black guy.

16. You’ve asked your mom why she threw your white girlfriend’s dish in the trash at Thanksgiving.

Amber worked so hard on that quinoa cranberry stuffing.

17. You think black people can be racist.

Black people can be racist sometimes. For instance, when your mom threw out Amber’s macaroni just because she made it with brie and gouda. Shouldn’t all cheeses matter?


18. You’ve sung all the lyrics to “Baby Got Back” with white co-workers at a non-drinking work event.

But truthfully, all that badonkadonk makes you feel a little inadequate. It’s intimidating, like an afro or someone who reminds you of injustice while you’re watching your beloved Eagles.


19. You have some kind of extra-ness onto your car, which is most likely a Chrysler 300.

With big rims or neon lights. And your license plate is C0WBYS4L1F3

20. You use the word “woke.”

You read think pieces and pay your NAACP dues. You own a Black Lives Matter T-shirt and think what happened to Trayvon was a shame. You retweet news about police killings and speak out... On Facebook.


But you ain’t gonna do shit about it because you have a good job and...

You’ll explain later.

The game is about to come on.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.



Let’s be real: the people who are the loudest about black people still fucking with the NFL, didn’t watch that much football to begin with. I include myself in that group.

But high horse be damned: watching football is boring. Watching with people who are really into football is exhausting. Watching football at a stadium is exhausting, noisy and expensive (unless you can resist beer and nachos, which I cannot). Fantasy football is exhausting and the definition of aggressively nerdy. This isn’t limited ot the NFL either. College football is trash and damn-near as criminal enabling as the NFL; high school/pee-wee football is concentrated trash, with trash parents who usually ruin the experience for everyone else.

Honestly, almost everything about the sport of football - excluding playing flag football - is fucking garbage.