Here is another thought on the Super Bowl Challenge posed by Bishop O’Neil of Colorado and me this last week. Kathy Albert, a member of St. Andrew’s, Seattle, shared this with me and I felt it only right to share this side of the equation as well. As I told her in reply, I disagree with very little of what she states here. Our intent was to take what notoriety was going to be present anyway and try to make something good come of it. . Again, I thank those of you who so chose to make that good come. Perhaps her thoughts will spark a larger conversation.
I do appreciate your thoughts in sending the bishop’s statement to me. I find his message a nice gesture which still falls short of demonstrating an understanding of the depth of violence that professional sports now generates in America. The huge profits generated at each and every game are just the tip of the iceberg. The teams receive very large tax breaks while many Americans are going hungry. The game of football does extensive violence to its players, whose life spans are shortened by about 20 years due to the brutal treatment their bodies take on the field over time. Football also generates violence among the fans, sometimes leading to destruction of property and injury to others at the game and afterwards. NPR recently reported on the concentration of prostitution that accompanies large football games in the U.S. And every time a new stadium is built, often against the will of taxpayers and yet at our expense, major environmental damage is done at the site. So I cannot be content with the bishop’s gesture, and assert that there are far greater actions that we as Christians are called to take in response to the activities of professional sports here in America. A response true to the non-violent roots of our tradition would be to boycott the games and make public statement as to why we are doing so.
Thank you for your thoughtfulness, Cherry. You’ve shown your understanding of my perspective and have provided a means by which I can respond to the bishop and let Pete know more of my thoughts, as well. I thank you!