I’m not a woman who watches football for fun. I mostly just watch when I’m high, and then start thinking of other things—of gods and men and war, how games are like modern-day battles, with athleticism, grit, fervor and pain all on glorious display, like Grecian epics (or tragedies, in the case of last night’s Buccaneer’s kicker, who couldn’t make the field goals that would have altered the entire trajectory of success or defeat).
In my slightly stoned state last night, I began comparing the rampant concussions in the NFL to ancient fighting pits, pitting warrior against warrior in front of crowds of blood-thirsty fans, hungry for victory but hungrier still for their enemy’s defeat.
It’s such a guy thing, I thought. War. Sports. I can only seem to get into the game when I imagine it to be something else, when I ascribe some meaning that may or may not exist. But then again, how could there not be meaning to such a large and lucrative pastime? It means something when its players take a stand against injustice, when they use their time in the spotlight to illuminate issues that are bigger, that go beyond.
Maybe that’s what snapped me out of my stoner reverie and put me firmly on my high horse of indignation. I had just finished watching Cam Newton’s apology—heartfelt, sincere, beautiful—when I turned to my husband. “Was what he said really that bad,” I asked, not yet knowing the details of his press conference remark, in which he said—sounding quite stoned himself—“It’s funny, to hear a female talk about… routes.”
I tuned the rest of the game out and instead focused on the reporter, Jourdan Rodrigue, the Abigail Fisher of the Charlotte Observer, a woman who once Tweeted of her father, “He’s the best. Racist jokes the whole drive home,” but couldn’t quite stomach the condescension of Cam Newton’s remark, especially after confronting him and still not getting an apology.
Such grievous offenses will not go unpunished, as Dannon Oikos Yogurt reminded Newton when they yanked their endorsement deal. Just imagine if he’d said he wanted to grab her by the pussy! Oh wait. We all know the NFL doesn’t give a shit about women. And yet it seems to care greatly about the cheap, intellectually lazy power politics of a white woman scorned.