I preface this by saying I’m not putting myself on any pedestal because I’m saying this. For everything that I qualify for, I’m as guilty as the next person who does the same. I’m just not afraid to admit my own level of apathy and to call Steelers fans and all NFL fans out for their obscene amounts of fake self-righteousness that only shows up on social feeds and goes no further.
I’m really going to try to make this flow as well as I can…
It is 100% time to stop splitting hairs regarding your support of the NFL.
There’s no time like the present to quit being so blissfully ignorant about your own actions and how in the grand scheme, you’ve been a part of the NFL problem for a long time…
If you support a team, you support the NFL. PERIOD. There’s no way to support a team and not support the league. To put it in perspective and draw some parallels, that would be like saying you support buying a specific sandwich off of a menu, but you don’t support the restaurant. Not possible. You can’t buy a bunch of iPhones and say you don’t support Apple. You can’t buy Shamrock Shakes while somehow miraculously not supporting McDonalds. This is not the a al carte line of life as though you’re in a school cafeteria where you get to pick and choose what you want and have it all your way. NEWS FLASH – everything you so specifically handpicked out and purchased in that line… just supported in funding your big, evil school!!!
If you’re a patron, you’re a patron of the whole system, not just a team or a player(s).
Because that is 100% the case, even though you may not actually want to, you support everything the NFL enables, which happens to include a whole slew of bullies, dog killers/animal abusers, rapists, drug dealers, drug users, womanizers, infidelity, child & spouse abusers, cheaters, liars, drunk drivers, and even a few murderers. You don’t get to buy official NFL team merchandise and tickets to the games and pretend you only support what’s good about the NFL (if that’s even a thing). You can’t. You don’t. You’re not. You’re donating your support to an umbrella organization fraught with crime and controversy.
In the case of Michael Vick showing up in Pittsburgh, Steelers fans don’t get to play “holier than thou” when one of the known bad guys shows up on their team. It was bound to happen at some point with the personnel under the NFL’s employ. But in reality Pittsburgh, the bad guys were always there in some form or another!!! I wont downplay what Vick did, but I’m not going to sit here and continue to vilify him and let fan favorite players off the hook like James Harrison and Santonio Holmes for spousal battery, Hines Ward on DUI charges and Ben Roethlisberger with 2 separate rape/sexual assault accusations. Or how about Charlie Batch, whom everyone in Pittsburgh loves to death, but completely ignores he was brought up on suspected rape charges in Detroit!?!? My honorable mention was getting to physically watch Alameda Ta’amu drunkenly rampage down my old street, plowing into a bunch of cars, running from the scene and resisting arrest behind my house. It doesn’t really matter how you slice it, you’ve been supporting Michael Vick and every other player you’ve claimed to hate and love around the NFL.
You can try to qualify one crime being worse than another, but I certainly wouldn’t if I were you. If you must though, I’d love to see you convince a victim or a victim’s family of anything I listed above and get them to agree that what they have had to experience and endure isn’t all that bad compared to your opinion on dog fighting and animal abuse. I can’t imagine all the raped and battered women in the NFL’s history, especially the ones who saw no justice, are going to take kindly to you declaring what happened to them wasn’t as bad as what Michael Vick did to those dogs.
Stop being so naive to think that all of this scandal inside the NFL is new.
DO NOT FORGET: Every major professional sports league has a security division. This acts as the league’s private police force. It’s known that at least for the NFL, MLB and NBA, their security divisions are staffed with ex-members of the FBI, CIA, DEA, and Homeland Security. There is at least one member of these security divisions assigned to each team/city within the league above and beyond the staff located at league headquarters. They exist to sniff out trouble within their sport prior to it making headlines (or if worse comes to worse, down play any of their athletes indiscretions). They are not in the business of revealing criminal activity, but rather exist to cover it up.
It was never any different back in the day when everyone used to tout “The Steeler Way.” The Steeler Way is a myth, a beautiful legend, a majestic unicorn able to exist in times when it was much simpler to pull the wool down over the public’s eyes. It was the title given to a team because for quite an extended period of time, they proved to be better than most at being able to keep their dirty business under wraps. Plain and simple, it was just a lot easier to hide back then without all of the technology and social media everywhere. The list of “dirty” Steelers past and present is long and it’s no coincidence that you’re hearing more and more Pittsburgh names as social media gets better and better.
Make no mistake about it, this is far from an isolated problem in Pittsburgh. All fans of any team, as a collective, make it possible for all of the controversy and scandal to persist because of dedicated, fervent support for their teams and the belief that just saying “I don’t condone player wrong doings within the NFL!” is enough. Fans shout it from any and every social media platform so everyone knows their immaculate, Christ-like moral stance… then they turn around and buy a ticket to a game, pretending like they didn’t just donate to a system that houses and protects criminals. Who gets a take on that ticket somewhere along the line? The NFL. Want to see some real figures on that? Look up the Green Bay Packers finances. They’re a public entity and their numbers are all public record.
As much as everyone who buys tickets, jerseys, t-shirts, and other NFL official team merchandise is guilty of supporting the National Football League (and Crime Syndicate), I share in the that guilt because I watch the games. That’s where we all lose. We’ll never stop watching despite how sick and twisted the NFL becomes. Fan outrage on Twitter and Facebook means very little when the league turns record profits, year in and year out. This league is not sitting at a point where it needs to embrace a culture of change because it faces no threat if it chooses not to do so. The number people boycotting the NFL in protest aren’t even remotely noticeable to the league.
The problem is mainly us, the fans. We’re the consumers and despite being delivered a product that is far from quality, we continue to buy. We continue to return to the NFL every single season, hands out, mouths open and salivating for more pro football, which is really just a side dish to the main course: This Season’s NFL Rap Sheet. The message we’re sending to the league is that there’s absolutely nothing wrong here, not to change a thing, and in fact, maybe employ some more criminals because our wallets say we’re fine with it regardless of what we post or say.
Do I want Michael Vick on the Pittsburgh Steelers? —- No.
Did the Rooney’s do anything wrong by seeing Vick as an ex-convict who served his time in jail (our national system for rehabilitating criminals), a talent with veteran NFL experience, having some gas left in the tank, and being business-people, making a sound business decision to sign him cheaply as a backup for just in case purposes? —- No.
Are you wrong for still hating Vick for what he did to all of those innocent animals? —- No.
Are you and all NFL fans alike, doing anything real and noticeably measurable to deter the NFL from allowing these extremely talented, extremely characterless human beings from entering and re-entering the employ of the National Football League —- No.
There are a lot of bad guys in the NFL and they’ll continue to be there because of one reason and one reason alone…
You. The NFL fan.