I love college football. My parents are football fans, and at times had season tickets to both the UW Huskies and Seattle Seahawks, so football in particular and all college football in general was a part of my life growing up. But as I read The System, as I learn even more about how inept the NCAA is while it and the TV Networks make *huge* dollars while kids work for free, how the vast majority of college football teams *lose* money despite huge expenditures at the expense of education, how coaches make millions per year while universities lay off professors, how the players are at huge risk for brain injury despite making no money at all, I simply can’t watch it anymore. I *won’t* watch it any more. I want to, but to do so is to be complicit in it. My conscience won’t let me do it. I can try to justify it, or try to ignore it, but if I do that I am just as guilty as anyone, like Pontius Pilate. Just like I refuse to watch porn since porn is usually exploitation of young human beings, I will not watch college football.
I will watch the NFL for the time being. I think the NFL is in decline anyway, since so many parents refuse to let their kids play football anymore, just like if we are honest with ourselves Major League Baseball is a shadow of its past since many fewer kids play baseball today than decades ago. But President Obama said it best, I think: “The NFL players have a union, they’re grown men, they can make some of these decisions on their own, and most are well-compensated for the violence they do to their bodies.” But, still, many NFL players probably don’t see themselves as having a choice, since often football is all they know, and honestly 95% of them are treated like cattle. It may be that some time in the future I refuse to watch the NFL, as well.
Sources: The System (Benedict et. al.).