With all four of the NFL divisional playoff games coming down to the final snap and one ending with a touchdown in overtime, football fans would be hard pressed to find a more exciting weekend of gridiron action than this past Saturday and Sunday.
However, the NFL’s penchant for leveraging racial strife, along with it adopting other “woke” policies, has turned off a lot of fans this past year, including me. In fact, I may have watched as much professional football this past weekend as I did all season.
But in the midst of dipping in and out of all four games, two of our boys noticed the social justice messages on the back of player’s helmets – the result of a decision last year to “show solidarity” with those protesting, among other things, the death of George Floyd.
“Stop hate?” our 11-year-old asked, pointing to a close-up shot of a Kansas City Chief’s helmet. “Who’s hating who? Who supports hating?”
It’s a fair question.
Other slogans on NFL helmets include, “End Racism,” “It Takes All of Us,” “Black Lives Matter,” “Inspire Change,” and “Say Their Stories.”
Back in the fall, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy called the program “an opportunity to highlight messages that are important to the league, players and personnel and our communities.”
If the NFL is truly concerned and interested with highlighting messages that are important to the broader community, I’d like to suggest the following slogans for next week’s league championship games and the upcoming Super Bowl:
- “End Abortion” – Given that nearly 60% of NFL players are black and the fact that abortion disproportionately impacts the black population, how about encouraging an end to this deadly scourge? While just 12% of the population, approximately 38% of all abortions involve black women and their babies.
- “Marriage Matters” – Studies confirm that being married confers numerous physical, emotional, social and spiritual benefits. But marriage isn’t just good for individuals – society reaps its advantages, too, making for more stable, happy and prosperous communities.
- “Dads Make a Difference” – Over a quarter of children in the United States live without a father in their home, making these kids more likely to abuse drugs, break the law and drop out of school – to name just a few of the many downsides of fatherlessness.
- “Think Critically” – Of all the skills mom and dads would be wise to impart to their children, the ability to discern truth is high on the list. It was Aristotle who said, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
- “Trust God” – In poll after poll, a majority of Americans report believing in God. But it’s one thing to believe and another thing to trust. When we turn our lives over to the Lord, we’re acknowledging His power and His sufficiency. “The more you believe and trust God, the more limitless your possibilities become for your family, your career – for your life!” writes pastor Rick Warren.
A substantive national conversation would breakout across the country if the NFL made any of these five slogans available for player helmets. I won’t hold my breath – but it would certainly be good to see if they did.
Photo from Shutterstock.