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Sports Authority

Kramer: Total (Washington) Football

| Wednesday, August 12, 2020

I interrupt my regularly scheduled programming with an unusual Sports Authority during perhaps the strangest time to be a sports writer in recent memory.

By unusual, I suppose that I mean uncharacteristically serious and political. Since our abrupt farewell from campus last March, the political and social landscape of the nation has drastically changed. No matter your level of activism following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and seemingly countless other BIPOC throughout the extended break from campus, the weight of current and upcoming decisions presented to American citizens invite all of us, at a bare minimum, to get informed, oppose racism and pay attention.

Receiving a considerable share of that attention is the sports industry, not only in how it balances a return to play and health considerations but also in how it implements positive change at the highest level of American entertainment.

This July, the Washington Football Team exposed a history of sexual assault and changed its franchise name to an acceptable interim tag. While I applaud Washington for ending its 87-year period of insensitivity, the amount of thoroughness and consistency in other leagues when removing similarly offensive titles will dictate whether this movement will be remembered as a success.

Racist mascots and traditions continue to be welcomed in several professional and collegiate leagues. Perhaps a little protest music could stir some momentum, eh? The Black Lives Matter Movement has “I Can’t Breathe” by H.E.R. and Beyonce’s “Black Parade.” Creedence Clearwater Revival brought “Fortunate Son” to the American streets during Vietnam. But where should we turn for sports?

Spare me the “this some indie BS” comments as I cast my vote for Parquet Courts’ “Total Football.” The opening track of the band’s “Wide Awake!” album lays the groundwork for an album whose outrage and dread still applies two years later. I took it upon myself to change the lyrics and fit the “angsty sports protest anthem” vibe. Give it a spin and overwhelm your roommate for me!

You are conductors of blood, sweat and brutality /
And I bet you thought your light work could set your league apart /
We are avid foes of mass complicity /
Now we’re back on the streets to push for a change of heart /
You are tactless now /
You are tactless now /
You are tactless now /
On your own /
Owners /
Dealers /
Breakers /
Takers /
Always /
Protected /
Never /
Rejected /
We are troubled by your narrow sensitivity /
But delighted to be anti-everything you have taught /
Are you troubled by our recent activity /
Have your hurt Caucasian feelings left you so distraught? /
Are you quite done now? /
Are you quite done now? /
Are you quite done now? /
Not at all /
Fanatics /
Writers /
Staffers /
Coaches /
Power /
Directed /
To what can be /
Corrected /
Only through those /
Who wake themselves up /
Can an industry /
Be praise-worthy /
It is dishonest /
Nay a wrong /
To stand for any anthem /
That attempts to drown /
Out the roar of oppression /
Roger total football /
Chi-Town total football /
Atlanta total football /
KC total football /
Cleveland total football /
Utah total football /
Ole Miss total football /
“Divas” total football /
Granting basic respect /
Is not losing, but /
Rather /
Emancipation /
From un-civilization /
Collectivism and autonomy /
Are not mutually exclusive /
Those who find discomfort /
In a goal of consideration /
Will be issued /
No apology /
And f— George Preston Marshall!

Disclaimer: The views of this mediocre-at-best Observer writer are not necessarily those in a fire Parquet Courts track.
Now, back to my regularly scheduled programming.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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