“They took our power, and incorporated it into their system.”
Does this above quote from ESPN’s Football is US: The College Game Documentary, directed by Jonathan Hock, imply a Marxist perspective of labor power being co-opted for capitalist exploitation?
No, this is (again) a racialist narrative of “black power” being rolled into the “white system.” Rich black people who exploit (as well as poor white folks) don’t count in this distorted equation.
Football is US: The College Game Documentary, is to begin “five months of original content dedicated to recognizing college football’s place in history and society.”
This initial installment focuses heavily on historically black colleges & universities (HBCUs) as institutions of higher education in the United States, established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In college football, they served the same purpose as the Negro Leagues in baseball, giving black athletes an opportunity to compete at a high level, as well as an audience.
When de-segregation was introduced in the 1960’s, the enrollment of top black athletes at HBCUs declined, the same way the Negro Leagues did in the 1950’s, after Jackie Robinson entered MLB in 1947.
Generally among those who are educated & enlightened, these milestone achievements of integration are celebrated as progress, but not for today’s revisionist racialists.
To them, integration (sadly) hurt these all-black institutions, as the “white” NCAA stole their talent in order to re-enforce “Jim Crow dominance” in college football. These deluded racialists instead prefer to idealize the era of the Negro Leagues & HBCUs as mythical representations of “black power.”
The rest of this romanticized documentary is divided into several chapters. It begins with a look at the origins of the college game, discussing the many violent deaths that occurred on the field in its early years, and the formation of the regulatory institution that would later be known as the NCAA in 1905.
What’s missing is any discussion of football’s deep links to gambling & organized crime. Concussions, brain injuries & CTE are also glossed over, while words like “teamwork” & “sacrifice” are thrown around freely. Terms such as militarism, conformity, nationalism, domestic violence & PEDs are never mentioned.
In total, this concealment is meant to make football palatable & nostalgic, in response to those who have been turned off by recent revelations of its true ugliness. ESPN’s whitewash (with black stripes) tells us football is still a beautiful game– an indelible part of our culture & fabric of our society.
Just look at all the vicarious fans who wear football jerseys every weekend! Football is here to stay, because it is as American as Ford cars made by under-paid/over-extended, two-tiered workers, and as wholesome as GMO apple pie. Bon appétit!