It’s slowly dawning on the sporting press that football is a violent game and many of its most successful practitioners are violent men. Granted, they can’t be too violent or they’d wind up in prison before they hit the big time, but they have to be guys who like hitting people.
Concentrations of violent males can be trouble for the people around them. Fortunately, society usually comes up with ways for adults to conveniently segregate by level of appreciation for violence, especially when they are drinking. Bars typically give off clues in terms of decor, music, and clientele that suggest, say, this is a biker bar, or this is a cop bar, this is a middle-manager sports bar, this is an SWPL bar, this is a high society bar, and so forth.
The NFL comprises a tiny elite of hired gladiators, so I can’t see that as much of a problem for ordinary citizens. Most people who come into prolonged contact with NFL players do so voluntarily because they want to hang out with NFL players and take their chances (e.g., the 20-year-old girlfriend of retired NFL quarterback Steve McNair, who murdered him in his sleep). I can’t recall ever having much of anything to do with NFL players other than, say, walking by a hulking team at LAX when I was a kid.
On the other hand, the recruitment of large violent males for college and high school football occurs on a much bigger scale than for pro football. And that exposes a lot of ordinary kids to large scary players who wouldn’t be on campus if it weren’t for football. Indeed, many colleges have organizational apparatuses in place for covering up the inevitable assaults on nerds and rapes of coeds committed by scholarship football and basketball players. (Here’s a 2006 VDARE story I wrote about the New York Times’ mania for the Duke Lacrosse story, which was a hoax, versus three major crimes committed that week by football players, including future New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, that got negligible national coverage.)
The same happens at many high schools, even though recruiting is usually officially banned (but it happens anyway).
If you’ll recall the Jena Six, another media moral panic over white racism that turned out to be a factual fiasco, that was a case of six fairly criminal black football players who had been allowed to run amok by local football crazy white authorities, until they finally went too far and could have killed a kid that all six of them continued beating after they’d knocked him unconscious.
At the high school level, many private schools in this century have been enthusiastic recruiters of black jocks who wouldn’t get within ten miles of the school if it weren’t for sports. For example, over the course of the 2000s, many private high schools in the San Fernando Valley, Catholic and prep, radically upgraded their football programs.
One high school I followed, St. Genevieve’s in downscale Panorama City, improved at football under a dynamic principal and coach as part of a symbiotic process of bettering the entire school, both in academics and attitude. They became a respectable football school in a low division by training their Filipino and Mexican boys to play good, hard football.
But for most of the wealthier, whiter private schools in the Valley who wanted to follow my old high school Notre Dame’s lead into being football powers, the obvious shortcut was recruiting big fast black kids from South-Central L.A. It’s hard to win it all in high school football with an all-black team, but a mostly white school with some black stars is the most obvious route to a championship.
Of course, this process appears to have caused a number of disasters and scandals in L.A. private school football, but most of the collateral damage to bystander students of unleashing 220 pound young men with 4% body fat amongst upper middle class student bodies has been hushed up.
For example, one of the rich kids’ schools near my house had a mediocre football team in 2007 with only one black player, a very fast but tiny receiver. That team was representative of the local demographics: a lot of screenwriters’ kids, with a few percent of the students being middle class blacks, typically with parents in the entertainment industry.
By 2009, the school suddenly had an awesome football team with a half dozen huge, fast black jocks, plus the tiny receiver. The next season, however, all the black superstars had suddenly disappeared, and only the little wideout who had been there all along was left, and the team was eminently beatable again.
What happened? I spent some time online trying to figure out the story, but only ran into radio silence. I’d guess that an ambitious coach had brought a bunch of South-Central superstars with him to the idyllic campus, but then something Bad happened, about which we shall never speak again. (But I don’t have any proof of my surmise.)
Of course, this was more or less the plot to Tom Wolfe’s Atlanta novel A Man in Full: the coed daughter of the chairman of Georgia Tech’s board of trustees accuses the Yellow Jackets’ Heisman Trophy winner Fareek Fanon of raping her. In response, the entire Establishment of Atlanta, black and white, swings into action to make this problem disappear and keep Fareek eligible.
But since the Narrative tells us that the dominant problem in our society is powerful rich white men constantly conspiring to oppress defenseless black youths, this opposite pattern of powerful rich white men conspiring to allow black football and basketball players to continue to rape and beat white students with impunity is hard to notice since the facts don’t fit the Narrative.
It’s starting to sort of finally register that society has a problem with violent black jocks running amok. But the usual response is to demand that a rich powerful white man, NFL boss Roger Goodell, be fired for it. That may be a good start, but a bigger solution would require admitting that we have a pattern of black athlete on white student violence in colleges and high schools. And nobody is ready to talk about that.