College Football and the NFL: Two Different Americas

Football is back—and so are the fans. America no longer sees empty stadiums on TV, as people return to watching the games in person. But Americans will notice sharp differences between college and professional football, and it’s not just the skill of their players. The pros seem to embrace Biden’s New America, while college ball still evokes the old America. The pros embrace social justice messages, while college ball steers clear.

Unlike other pro leagues, the NFL decided to carry on wokeness for the 2021 season. The NBA famously painted Black Lives Matter on its courts and encouraged players to turn their jerseys into social justice billboards. The basketball league suffered a ratings decline and consequently decided it would be unwise to continue this practice. The NFL also saw its ratings drop, but league officials wouldn’t let that get in the way of their BLM advocacy. 

The endzones will display “End Racism” and “It Takes All Of Us” stencils. Players will be able to put woke messages on their helmets. They have six options: “End Racism,” “Stop Hate,” “It Takes All of Us,” “Black Lives Matter,” “Inspire Change” and “Say Their Stories.” The “black national anthem” is played alongside the Star-Spangled Banner at marque NFL events. The league also started a program called “Inspire Change” that will funnel millions of dollars to left-wing groups that claim to tackle racism and social justice. The NFL also released an LGBT ad that declared: “Football is gay.” 

College football is mostly free of this propaganda. A few teams did engage in BLM activism last year, but they kept that message out of the game. This would not be surprising in the years before George Floyd. But with every pro league turning itself into a BLM advertisement, it stands as a breath of fresh air. 

College football stadiums have turned into rejections of Joe Biden’s America. Opening weekend featured several packed crowds having a good time, without masks or social distancing. Texas A&M got its fans to coordinate and turn the stadium red, white, and blue to honor the victims of 9/11. This is a patriotic display that’s increasingly rare in professional sports. 

Many fans have decided to chant their disdain for the new America. Crowds all over the Southeast have erupted in chants of “F**k Joe Biden” during college football games. The people chanting aren’t your stereotypical conservatives, either. It’s mostly young college students getting into it, demonstrating a level of youth appeal unheard of for most conservative demonstrations. It may not be the most family-friendly way to defy the current order, but it does get the message across directly. It’s unlikely that the NFL would allow such a chant to take over its crowds. That wouldn’t mesh with the messages stenciled on the field.

While professional teams eliminate any team names or traditions that may offend minorities (hello “Washington Football Team”), college teams fight for their traditions. The University of Texas continues to stand by its spirit song that some players and students consider racist. The NAACP has even filed a federal complaint over it, but the university refuses to budge. This is probably due to boosters who would be livid if the school eliminated a proud tradition just to satisfy the woke. If this were the NFL, the change would’ve happened after the first complaint.

College football fans can watch the game at home or in the stadiums and feel like the old America is back. It’s impossible to do that with the NFL. Sure, the game may be the same and so are the players. But any time the camera zooms in on a player’s helmet and the world sees “End Racism,” you know something has fundamentally changed. 

The NFL proudly operates in the post-George Floyd era. For the most part, college football doesn’t impose political propaganda on its fans. That may explain why the crowds seem more hyped up than usual—it’s the only major team sport still offering entertainment without social justice garbage.

I’ve previously written about how conservatives need to boycott sports leagues that show their disdain for them, whether it’s Major League Baseball interfering in state election reforms or the NBA supporting dangerous felons fighting law enforcement. College football certainly has its bad apples and woke activists. But they never affect the game itself. The NBA and MLB postponed games last year to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake, a man who tried to grab a knife in a fight with police. Fans of those sports couldn’t escape from the turmoil in the game—they were reminded of it from the players themselves.

These leagues no longer offer a temporary escape from political conflicts. They in fact engage in these conflicts and force fans to choose their side. With college football, fans don’t have to worry about this. Americans can finally watch a sport without political indoctrination again. If you want to watch football this year, you should stick to college ball. There’s no reason to give your time and money to the woke NFL.

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