November 14th 2015
Football Players in Society
Football is a sport which has played an exceptionally large part in American culture and is arguably the most popular sport in America. Football clubs, rituals and tailgating all stem from the popularity of this sport. In the sport’s biggest event, the Super Bowl, millions of spectators nationwide are sure to watch the game whether they are fans of the teams or not. During the regular season, diehard football fans will even go as far as worshipping and idolizing their favorite players and teams. There is a myriad of ways in which football players have affected people nowadays. There isn’t a place a person can travel to and not discover some form of football culture. In our society and culture nowadays we fail to realize the true effects that football players can have on our daily lives. The artifacts we’ll address will show the effects of football players off and on the field, as well as the negative impacts they have on our society.
In today’s culture there are also the negative effects that football players have on our society. For example this last decade the NFL has beaters and abuser’s such as Ray Rice, the Baltimore Ravens running back caught on video knocking out his future wife; Adrian Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings running back indicted on a charge of injury to a child after striking his 4-year-old son with a switch; Greg Hardy, the Dallas Cowboys defensive end prosecuted on charges of domestic violence(Cohen, 2014). All these cases were unacceptable and all three of these players got suspended from the National Football League for it. The media attacked these three players in every way possible. Helping our culture to view NFL football players as just a bunch of thugs and criminals
Other negative effects that football players have had on our culture are the multiple drug, dui, and gun charges that players in the league get on a regular basis. This is a disgusting matter between men that do horrific things, but this shouldn’t label all football players today. There are more good people in the game than bad. A New York Times study written by Neal Irwin from 2014 showed that one in every 40 NFL football player’s get arrested in a given year (Irwin,2014). This study took the amount of arrests over the past 15 years and took the average mean of them. The results showed that 2.53 percent of football players had a serious run in with the law. This may sound bad but this arrest rate is actually lower than the national average for men in that age range (Irvin). Our society and the media focus primarily on all the bad things, but fail to acknowledge the other 97.47 percent of role models that impact our culture in a positive way. In an overall stand point, football players effect our culture in A more positive than negative aspect. Helping to show why passed players mistakes shouldn’t label the NFL in a bad way.
(Cam Newton QB of Carolina Panthers at play 60 organization)
Besides that there are plenty of positive effects that football players have had on our community. One of those effects is from an off the field organization called play 60. The play 60 organization emphasizes childhood obesity rates that is at an all-time high: today, nearly one in three kids and teens in the United States are obese or overweight (Lindeman, 2014). A lot of football players help to show that physical activity produces overall physical, psychological social benefits, that show how inactive children are likely to become inactive adults. That’s why the American Heart Association and the National Football League have teamed up to create the PLAY 60 Challenge, a program that inspires kids to get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity a day in school and at home. It also helps schools become places that encourage physically active lifestyles year-round. By leveraging the American Heart Association’s health expertise and the NFL’s commitment to physical fitness, you can help them achieve their goal of getting kids physically active for 60 minutes every day. When kids see their favorite football player or role model having fun and being active with kids. It helps encourage them to get off their feet and actually play outside for 60 minutes. As you can see in the picture it’s showing Cam Newton the quarterback for the Carolina Panthers having fun playing outside with the kids. He also has A commercial with the organization that consists of him playing around with the kids at the park. Helping to show and give the youth an example of what the they should be doing on A daily basis. Helping to influence our culture from getting off the social media sites and to start playing outside and getting fit. This is playing huge effect on our culture because childhood obesity has been at an all time high over the years.
(Russell Wilson at Seattle’s Children Hospital)
Another football player that effects the community in a positive way is Russell Wilson the quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks. The Seattle’s children hospital came out with a journal saying,” Russell Wilson visits us every Tuesday to visit the children with severe illnesses. The reason he does this is because he said,”I believe God has put me on this earth to serve others” (Russell Wilson). As you can see in this picture listed above he forms a unique bond with the children and family. Its some of these kids dreams to meet Russell Wilson and he makes those dreams a reality for all of them. By going and spending time with them every Tuesday. This effects so many families lives and helps better our society as a whole. When parents and kids see this it makes them want to be like the many athletes who help out like Russell Wilson. Helping to have kids grow up where they support the community and others. Showing the true effects that football players can have on changing our culture in a positive way.
(Remember The Titans cast that portrayed the true story)
Another way football players impact our society is by changing our culture, and that is what this team did during the 1971 season. The T. C. Williams High’s football players and their coaches confront not only the internal pressures of integration, but also the external pressures of political unrest due to the Vietnam War. To become champions despite formidable odds against them is a tribute to the character of T. C. Williams High, its football team, and their coaches. It is also a testament to the power of the human spirit in overcoming the most extraordinary obstacles imaginable. Back than there wasn’t such thing as whites and blacks working together or even being friends. This special team put everything besides them and learned to love each other no matter what the color of their skin was. Whats amazing is that these football players went against their culture, society, and what their parents believed. These bond of brothers didn’t care what society had to say and formed a bond that couldn’t be stopped. This team didn’t only change the popular culture but they changed it forever. This is why football players are so impactful when it comes to our popular culture over time.
Looking back over all the artifacts I found out that their can be different portrayals and characterizations of football players in pop culture media. Of course there are some negative portrayals of the football players like the ones listed previously. However, the culture we are in doesn’t let us really hear about all the positive effects that are happening around the world. Social media these days only like to report and spread news that make athletes look bad or that can make a great story. This is wrong because society is stereotyping football players and giving them a perception of being thugs and delinquents. Society needs to open their eyes and realize that there are more positive affects when it comes to football players than negative ones. For example If that 1971 football team didn’t change the culture who knows how the aspect of life would have been. If that team never happened than there could be a chance that our culture never would have changed to how it is nowadays. When you look at the world nowadays for the most part you don’t see that type of racism anymore. Lastly is the lost perception that football players have. Theres a ton of people that don’t realize what Russell Wilson does every Tuesday but, they sure no what football players are suspended or prosecuted for something. In all I feel like our culture is changing but I want to see society, to start viewing football players for all the positive aspects they bring to our popular culture media.
One of my biggest learning moments this term was when we had to write a blog post on if our view of community has changed over the term. This was impactful to me because it got me to change my whole view of what community truly met. Before this class I felt that community was an in person type thing where you can only form a bond if you personally form a connection. For example football because a team is all on the same page trying to accomplish the same goal hence, having a strong community. After writing that post it got me to realize that our group A blog post is a community as well. We all our trying to address that certain topic, while others are giving suggestions on how to better our points. Showing that their can be a form of a community online over a computer. This helped me understand that there are a multiple of different meanings when it comes to community.
Another learning moment I had was when we learned about the history advertising has had on our culture. This helped me realize the true powerfulness that television and social media have on our society. When people see an advertisement it affects everyone in a different way. I realized this when I was reading all my groups discussion post and saw all the different responses that everyone gave. Helping me to actually look at commercials and realize the true affects that advertisements can have on our society.
Cohen, R. (2014, September 19). How the NFL Reflects American Culture. Retrieved November
16, 2015, from http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-the-nfl-reflects-american- culture-1411149452
Irwin, N. (2014, September 12). What the Numbers Show About N.F.L. Player Arrests. Retrieved December 1, 2015, from http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/13/upshot/what-the-numbers-show-about-nfl- player-arrests.html?_r=0
Lee, B. (n.d.). The Heroes We Idolize in Sports. Retrieved November 16, 2015, from
P., A. (2014, September 4). NFL PLAY 60 Challenge. Retrieved November 16, 2015, from
Russell Wilson: I Am All In. (2014, December 1). Retrieved November 16, 2015,
Scott, A. (2010). Remember the Titans. Retrieved November 16, 2015, from