Cheating, stealing and lying to make a profit is as American as apple pie, and so is misogyny, xenophobia, Islamophobia and racism. All of these are “The American Way.”
So it shouldn’t come as a shock that the Mac
hiavellians (the ends justify the means) leading the New England Patriots — one of the most successful professional football teams — are Donald Trump supporters and they “somehow” found a way to win Super Bowl LI. They are America’s team.
The Patriot organization has been caught cheating on more than one occasion. There was “Spygate” when Belichick was caught filming other teams signals. The team had apparently been doing it for some time before they actually got caught in 2007. Marshall Faulk and a few Rams still swear that the Patriots filmed their walk-through before the 2002 Super Bowl.
More recently, “Deflategate,” in which the league concluded that Brady’s footballs were inflated before a playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts a few years ago. Even the league has given them more than a benefit of a doubt, starting with the need to have a team called the Patriots in the Super Bowl after 9/11 2001, by finding a way to make a fumble, not a fumble in the infamous “Snowjob” 2001 AFC championship game.
And yes, the fix is in. The NFL has admitted as much in court. It was established during the “Spygate” lawsuit brought by a NY Jet fan that the NFL is an “Entertainment entity,” not a sports one. It is illegal to fix a sporting event for gambling purposes, but it was determined that one can fix a sporting event for entertainment purposes.
On the other hand, the Patriot organization is more honest than others. It is at bottom a business. It really does not care about the laborers. When a player’s usefulness is expended, out he goes. Their star linebacker was apparently not living up to Bill Belichick’s standard, so he cut him mid-season and sent him to the worse team in the league.
However, Brady is a spineless, dishonest coward, guilty of throwing rocks and hiding his hands. Those footballs didn’t just deflate themselves and he knew about it. He made a “political” choice not to visit the Obama White House. That “Make America Great Again” cap didn’t put itself in his locker.
But now he claims his “right to stay out of it,” his right to not have to explain himself. But he does have some explaining to do. It’s fair to expect more decency from the laborer than the bosses. His audience, his fan base is not just White men. White women buy tickets to NFL games and so do Black people, Muslims and immigrants.
Brady said in an interview this week, “There’s things I don’t believe [in], absolutely….there’s a lot of things… Not to denounce anything, it’s just that there’s different things that I feel like, you know… I don’t agree with everything. That’s fine, right?”
Hell no, that’s not fine! If he is opposed to racism he needs to say so! If he is opposed to sexism he should say so! If he thinks immigrants and Muslims should be treated fairly, justly and as human beings, he should say so!
No doubt Brady, like other White players, has probably been taken aback by the response of some teammates to their Trump support, even those they consider friends. To befriend a Black person and other folks who face discrimination in the U.S. means you befriend more than a person, but the right of that person and all that look like them “to be.”
Some Whites pretend that that person is simply an individual and that’s all there is. “I can commit to them, but not their struggle.” Not in an honest relationship!
As Patriot fans will tell you, they just want to root for their team. The kind of people that run the team aren’t really important. And the measures they take to achieve success don’t concern them.
They just want their side to win. But winning at all costs actually comes with a price.
Mel Reeves welcomes reader response to email@example.com.
Mel Reeves was the community editor at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder until he passed away on January 6, 2022. He had a long and storied history working at the MSR.
Find more about Reeve’s life and legacy here: spokesman-recorder.com/category/remembering-mel-reeves.