If there was one entity Black America dreamed could take the baton of equality and sprint toward the finish line, it was not the billion-dollar social injustice advocacy collective known as the National Football League. Asking the NFL to help fight racial injustice is like asking Kentucky Fried Chicken to promote veganism.
But on Tuesday (which everyone knows is the perfect day for fuckshittery), NFL commissioner and Kaepernick blackballer Roger Goodell announced that the most profitable sports league in the known universe has come up with the most innovative idea to date on how to end the scourge of racism.
During the Kaepernick-less 2020 football season, the NFL will paint “End racism” and “It takes all of us” in every stadium’s end zones, according to NBC Sports. Evidently, a four-year study commissioned by the 32 billionaire white men (funded with the salary saved by ousting a certain quarterback) determined that racism persists because white people apparently didn’t know they could just stop being racist. Or perhaps they didn’t know that white supremacy was a team sport.
While the stupid idea seems stupid, it signifies the NFL’s about-face on…
Hold up. I think I missed the part of the announcement that said Black Lives Matter. I’m sure it’s there. Especially after the league’s Inspire Change social justice initiative released those two PSAs during the Super Bowl that featured men who were killed by police officers but forgot to mention a single word about police brutality, racism or the disproportionate shootings of Black men.
The words Black Lives Matter must be in there somewhere. I must have received half of the press release. Otherwise, this would be another case of the NFL cowing to its diehard white fan base while performatively pacifying its Black players and fans who are dying at disproportionate rates. Maybe they’re going to paint it on the 50-yard line. I’m sure the phrase “Black Lives Matter” is in there somewhere.
“The NFL stands with the Black community, the players, clubs and fans confronting systemic racism,” said Overseer Roger Goodell, who represents the clubs that definitely did not stand with a player who was also a member of the Black community when that player confronted systemic racism. “We will not relent in our work.”
Although the two meaningless, tap-dancing phrases are at the top of the NFL’s list for Black players to cabbage patch across as they shovel another pile of dollars into the pockets of Jay-Z’s “partners” who haven’t done shit since announcing that we were “past kneeling,” The Root obtained a list of the top 10 rejected phrases that were considered for the racism-ending stencils:
10. “Tackle white supremacy (But don’t lead with the helmet)”
9. “Some of my best friends are cornerbacks”
8. “All scores matter”
7. “But what about the Bears?”
6. “Football: The other Black-on-Black violence”
5. “CTE is a hoax”
4. “Be a Patriot. Deflate racism”
3. “After further review, white supremacy is overturned”
2. “If there is a racist bone, we’ll break it”
1. “What Kaepernick said”
When asked what they thought about the NFL’s hollow, performative effort, “all of us” issued this statement about billionaire plantation owners: