But this post isn’t about his typical Jambaroo. It’s about the first part, where Drew usually talks about something stupid, gross, or insane that happened to him or a reader in the past week. This week’s edition, however, was quite serious.
Free agent safety Kerry Rhodes was more or less outed by Media Takeout during the offseason (the pictures that MTO posted of him with another man appear to have been scrubbed from the site). He still hasn’t found a job. This is fucked up, because Kerry Rhodes is good. In fact, by many metrics, he’s very good.
The piece continues on a not-so-subtle path of Kerry Rhodes being backlisted by the NFL for maybe-maybe-not-but-who-cares-we-can’t-take-the-chance-and-even-if-it-doesn’t-matter-because-ew-gross-he-once-had-his-picture-taken-with-his-arm-possibly-affectionately-around-another-guy-but-you-can’t-really-tell.
Magary goes on to mention Chris Kluwe, the former Minnesota Vikings punter who cannot find a job this season either, only a year removed from his high profile gay rights activism.
Friend of the site Chris Kluwe, who is not gay but has been a loud advocate for gay rights, also can’t get work. Statistically, Kluwe was a middle-of-the-pack punter for Minnesota last season. You can perhaps justify teams ignoring Kluwe in favor of seemingly better options. But is it really so hard to see an NFL team looking at Kluwe’s high profile and deeming his activism too much of a “distraction”? (Exhibit A: This ESPN column last year (Ed note: The link Magary posted was broken at time of publishing), in which the writer all but imagines NFL owners cracking their knuckles and saying, “That’s a nice social-justice platform you got there. It’d be a shame if anything happened to it.”….
The last line of that quote makes me shudder and fill with anger all at the same time. Mostly because I find it hard NOT to believe. That seems like a completely plausible thing an NFL owner would do in instances when players try and be anything else other than NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE football players. That may really be the case with Kluwe, but with Rhodes? It’s a laughable oversight.
…in the case of Rhodes, there’s NO statistical justification for his unemployment. It’s football malpractice. He’s good. The numbers say so. And yet there he sits. Pretty depressing shit. Riley fucking Cooper dropped an n-bomb on camera and managed to stay employed, and Riley Cooper SUCKS. The longer Rhodes stays unemployed, the more glaring his absence becomes.
That’s the last few sentences Magary writes, and he couldn’t be more accurate. In the NFL, it’s acceptable to be a less-than-virtuous human being. DUIs, drug arrests, bar fights, performance-enhancing drugs, domestic disputes, murder indictments, and now overt racism are all more or less understandable offenses to a high-profile life. But a (potential) homosexual or a social justice activist in the locker room? Nope, can’t have any of that.
I do foresee the NFL fading in popularity within the next generation or two because of the clusterfuck that is concussion related brain injury. But with more social conservatism popping up like this over and over again throughout the league (and the apparent attempts to quell any views that think/embody otherwise), unless the NFL has a major brand and environmental overhaul, the end might come quicker than anticipated.