A friend wrote me after reading my blog post yesterday: “Why the boycott of pro sports?” So, here’s what I wrote back to him:
I was disappointed with how the other NFL owners have been treating Tom Brady. I was disappointed how teams were featuring soldiers, and it was later revealed that the U.S. armed forces were paying them to do so out of their recruiting budgets.
I didn’t like how I felt great on Mondays after the Patriots won and how concerned I felt if they had lost.
I met a former soda executive who talked about the extensive stuff they do to get consumers to buy a sugary beverage that they don’t need and which is bad for them. ‘In other words,’ he said, ‘we brainwash people.’
So, I started to think that I was being brainwashed by the sports teams. I was thinking they were ‘my’ team and how it was cool when ‘we’ won. The teams make me want to care for them, but the teams don’t care about me. I’m just revenue to them.
Finally, I started to think about how great I felt after a team won, that, perhaps, it was because I wanted to feel like a winner. Was that because deep down I was feeling like a loser?
So, I’ve spent a lot of time and money on watching and tracking pro sports teams. And, it didn’t feel right any more.
So, that’s what I wrote.
After thinking about the above for a few weeks, I then decided to do an experiment and just drop pro sports for now. I no longer listen to sports radio during my drives to and from work meetings. I cancelled my Sports Illustrated subscription. I each morning do not check and see if the Red Sox won. I no longer click on sports stories. I no longer feel conflicted about watching football as more and more evidence clearly shows the brain trauma that many players experience from collisions.
All this isn’t easy for me, as I love sports. It will be particularly difficult in the autumn, for I truly enjoy college and pro football. I haven’t decided for how long this boycott will continue, but I was feeling disgusted by stuff and wanted to do something about it.
The upside is I feel less anxious now that I no longer listen to anxiety-filled sports radio. I also feel that I have more time, which I am filling with other stuff.
So, Commissioner Goodell, if in the small chance you are reading this blog post, I’m doing one small thing to defend Tom Brady: I’ve tuned out you and your business.