Football is designed to be an opiate of the masses, an escape, something to keep people’s minds off the world, off of politics, by providing a caricature of the political violence and identity politics it aims to avoid. Something easier to agree to disagree about. It’s the state religion of America, and people worship the athletes like demigods. Our government heavily subsidizes it, just like any state religion, and attempts to use it for its own purposes. Football has been historically protected from all our raw realities, but not since politics invaded the field. People are pissed their safe space has been violated, that they can’t escape anymore. Many Americans are specifically angry about this aspect, but it seems strangely fitting to me that it has been used to get people to pay attention and have an opinion again.