Are You Ready For Some Football?
Should African Americans Boycott Fox News?
By: Tony Price
The NFL has done a great job of branding that tag line into the psyche of the American public even the occasional sports fan has heard that infamous line shouted in bar rooms, restaurants and living rooms across the country. This is why it immediately came to mind after receiving a targeted email from a member of an organization called “Color of Change”. The email was detailing the bias of Fox TV and its rightwing platform that allows individuals like Glenn Beck unlimited access to the airwaves and a captive and influential audience, the organization was encouraging everyone including businesses to launch a boycott of Fox TV programming, by simply not tuning into the station. My initial reaction was what a good idea, especially since Fox does not have the best reputation of quality programming featuring or targeted towards people of color.
I wrote back to the organization expressing my thoughts of their initiative, but I cautioned them that this mission won’t be difficult for many people of color during the week due to the above mentioned reason, however the fall equinox is upon us and that signals the start of football season and Fox Sports is a major carrier of NFL games, this is where the challenge of the boycott will be difficult. To put it bluntly people of color are and will tune in on Sundays to watch the games, therefore giving Fox a tremendous ground swell in ratings, therefore nullifying the effectiveness of the boycott, unless the organization can effectively reach , educate and inform the public of its mission event so that might be enough. Let me confess and say it will be a challenge for me not to press the buttons on the remote that is designated to the Fox channel in my area; I’m a huge pro football fan.
Coincidentally as this campaign is starting, across my laptop came news of a recent blowup in the NFL involving the legendary football great Jim Brown and his role or lack thereof within the Cleveland Browns organization, now that Mike Holmgren was brought in to make changes. You have to wonder what the players many of them African-American must feel or think about these recent events or do they even care? after all this is their job and they have families to feed, cars , houses and bling to acquire, for some it may be a case of leaving the political and social agenda’s to others, why rock the boat.
As a passionate fan, I am left in a quandary, one side of me strongly supports the boycott, not because I am a liberal or democrat, (I happen to be an independent) but I do feel that Fox has served as an instigator fanning the flames of bigotry and instilling fear which has led to an increase of racial tensions in the country, and the level of disrespect for Jim Brown does not sit well, though I do not have all of the details of the meeting between the two. On the other side the love of football coupled with my understanding of the First Amendment which guarantees an individual the right to freely express their opinions are putting up a fierce battle. A decision will have to be made soon, as I sit in my favorite spot on the couch armed with the remote in hand accompanied with an assortment of snack foods. Alas what’s a person to do?
Author of the book "An Unsung Coach hears through the noise of a Black Athlete's Dream"
available for purchase @ www.darkershadeofsports.com
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