Sports are games, but like virtually everything else in this culture, they’ve been transformed by capital into something deeply unfun. [Aaron] Hernandez left high school early to attend the University of Florida, where football is both religion and an industry… [A]n autopsy showed … that he was suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative neurological condition the NFL doesn’t want you to think is the logical consequence of playing football… For his crimes, Hernandez went to prison, where he lost his life. The billionaires who pay men millions to damage their brains for television audiences? They’re the ones getting away with murder.

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3 Responses to “America’s Game”

  1. Ravi Narasimhan Says:

    TNR also has this nice expose of the co-opting of “blue collar” by sports conglomerates:

    What happened to the Native American is slowly happening to a broader chunk of the public. Force something out of existence and then romanticize it.

    “But you can’t enjoy those perks, package the entire thing in stadiums filled with high-priced luxury boxes bought by corporate executives, sell the broadcast rights to it for billions of dollars, and then call yourself “blue-collar.” That’s just piggybacking on the perceived values of working-class people without facing the actual challenges of living as one. This reduces an entire class to a marketing prop or totem of authenticity. It’s a class-based version of stolen valor.”

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Ravi: Many thanks for that link. The paragraph you quote is spectacular.

  3. Ravi Narasimhan Says:

    I subscribed on the strength of it.

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