The image of football on all levels, and the future of football at the youth level, are both worse off today as a result of the NFL’s recent years’ public relations and political campaigns.
The constant barrage of negative publicity about youth football as the NFL advanced its agenda to pass concussion legislation in all 50 states has, to levels not seen before, kicked off the concerns of moms and dads and the media nationwide. In state after state, kids with concussions have been paraded before state legislators, in the company of NFL staff. The NFL has administered a self-inflicted wound, shot itself in the foot, and made FOOTBALL the face of America’s youth sports concussion problem. How the NFL brain trust ever thought this would promote the game of football in America is a wonder.
School-based football today has no greater obstacle to promoting a safe game than the NFL. No brand of football captures the game’s brutal aspects for video more than the NFL. No brand of football celebrates it more. No brand of football CAPITALIZES on it more – so much so that the NFL can donate several million dollars to youth football to buff its “caring” conscience, when in fact it’s a miniscule portion of its multi-billion-dollar business.
Moreover, one of the NFL’s favorite groups for its self-promoted “philanthropy” is USA Football which promotes itself as the national governing body for amateur football in America. One of USA Football’s initiatives is an international championship for high school players, which of course means more hitting out of season for these players. The very activity the experts are telling us to reduce – out-of-season contact – is being promoted by this NFL underwritten organization! And WE get criticized as being against the promotion of football in America when we don’t go along with this backward thinking?