Football — The Last Melting Pot in America

In an increasingly stratified world economically, politically, and socially, football might be one of the last few places where you’re going to work closely with someone who doesn’t look, think, worship or live like you do for a common cause.

And that’s why it might be considered an essential service.

Unlike most other sports there is real physical harm that can come to your teammates if you don’t do your job well — If you let your vision of the team’s goal or common good get clouded.

Our chances to rub shoulders (or elbows nowadays) with people we do not look like, do not sound like, do not believe like, or do not even like like have dwindled to near nonexistent.

Politicians preach we are all in this together as we sequester away in isolation from each other, work remote, go hybrid in school, stop going out to the movies, stop attending worship physically. Philosophy professor Michael Sandel of Harvard University calls this “we’re all in this together — in isolation”.

Sports at least held some shade of hope as a place where young people could still interact with their peers for the common good, cooperate, compete and overcome adversity with people from all walks of life. And, while football has been OK’d in some states for competition, others hold out.

And, while I personally find it ironic that it is perfectly OK to gamble in a crowded casino, go to Home Depot with 500 other people on a packed Saturday afternoon or fly on a packed flight but 22 relatively healthy young people cannot play football outside on a 100 yard patch of turf in these hold out states, I hope that not just football but all team sports might be treated with the same priority that the government has assigned other “essential” industries during this time.

The locker room is one of the last functioning melting pots you can find in America.



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