A professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison took to Twitter last month to claim that Big Ten college football resuming play is a “reflection of racism & capitalism.”
“Let’s talk about how the insistence on returning to college football not only a reflection of racism & capitalism, but also the deep failures of patriarchal culture,” tweeted associate gender and women’s studies professor Sami Schalk.
“So football relies heavily on the athletic performance of Black men for the entertainment & profit of predominantly white men. In the NFL when players protest, they’re told to shut up & play or that they make enough money so they shouldn’t care (racist capitalist perspective),” she continued.
Not stopping there, Schalk explained that NFL owners and teams give her a “plantation vibe.”
The college professor went on to allege that higher education depends on the income from sports to stay afloat financially.
“The Big 10 return to college football reflects the capitalist failures of higher education bc our large public institutions have become too reliant on sports income to function & therefore make these wild unsafe decisions that risk lives & waste resources to try to stay afloat,” Schalk said.
During the 2018-2019 season, the University of Wisconsin-Madison spent around $138 million on its college athletics department, which is about 4.1 percent of the school’s total spending, according to the university’s Budget in Brief.
The revenue that is generated from auxiliary departments like the athletic department can’t be used by other departments according to the document.
Unfortunately, Schalk’s rant did not end there.
“Universities will also have to employ janitorial & service workers to clean up after & feed teams & fans but note Big Ten explicitly said only those ‘on the field’ will be regularly tested. Fuck those other workers right? Capitalist disregard of some lives over others,” she wrote, adding that the culture surrounding football is “racist,” “sexist,” and “harmful.”
“The culture that surrounds football (college & NFL)—a notably specifically American sport—is racist (hi Washington Redskins), sexist, capitalist & harmful. It relies on excessive drinking & heavy consumption of food & goods (tickets, tailgating gear, jerseys, etc.)—purchasing,” she argued.
“Football fans often trash cities. Tailgating creates immense waste. Advertisers encourage unhealthy levels of drinking that increases the risk of harm to fans & those around stadiums bc of fights and/or drunk driving. It creates high levels of income/spending but at what cost,” the women and gender studies professor tweeted.
Schalk concluded by attacking football fans, saying that they should go to therapy if they don’t like life without the sport.
“If you can’t imagine a version of yourself that is happy without football, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate your conceptualizations of happiness,” she wrote. “Therapy is a good start as are self-help books or podcasts.”
With all due respect, it seems clear that the only person who needs therapy here is you, Professor Schalk.
This piece was written by James Samson on October 12, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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