Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Despite surging pandemic, WI GOP male 'leaders' demand their football fix

[9/10/2020 update] Responsible WI educators made Big 10 football less likely at UW-Madison where classes have just been suspended, along with hockey and football team workouts, due to an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak now setting Dane County records.

Amusement-starved Republican politicians will have to settle for crowd-free NFL football this weekend.
The COVID-19 outbreak in Wisconsin which has produced more than 1,000+ recent cases in Madison 

has led to restrictions so severe that several high-profile older men with time on their hands are demanding entertainment by hard-contact football-playing younger men so Big 10 universities can collect contract payments from TV networks selling commercials aired between what would be players' now-even-riskier blocks, tackles, huddles and scrums.

The obviously bored guys in their early 50's go by the names of Steinke, Fitzgerald and Vos - all Republican State Legislators drawing full salaries while on a months'-long vacation - other than a few recent pesky seconds - of their own scheduling.

Another career Republican politician named Walker chimed in on the matter even though he has no position at all related to Wisconsin's Big 10 campus because he was retired from state government by voters in 2018 after his 26 straight years on public payrolls.

At a recent right-wing event, Walker waded into the matter with his signature patter's familiar patterns - including grinding non-sequiturs, superficiality and self-absorption:

"I have a Wisconsin Badgers mask hoping someday they'll play football again," Walker said to event host Mercedes Schlapp. "They should be playing. I mean, it's just that simple."
Another likely explanation for these Republicans' display of their party's 'we are not all in this together' spirit is that spiritual leader Donald Trump issued to all acolytes  the correct position he expressed to Big 10 Commissioner Kevin Warren from the safety of the Presidential sideline:
The contingent of Republican legislators — all from swing states — are following in the footsteps of President Donald Trump, who spoke with Warren last week about "immediately starting up Big Ten football." 
"Would be good (great!) for everyone - Players, Fans, Country. On the one yard line!" Trump tweeted on Sept. 1.
The Wisconsin Republicans' quick adoption of the Don's demand that players don their helmets - COVID-19-or come-what-may-regardless - reminded me of a line from Thoreau's Walden that has stuck with me since English 101 about the stupidity of robotic imitation:
“The head monkey at Paris puts on a traveller's cap, and all the monkeys in America do the same.”
And in addition to all the regular and now-heightened risks to which a 2020 fall football season could unleash on players, coaches, team personnel - and Madisonian neighbors' health - there is this broader issue in which Republican leaders in Wisconsin are less interested than a coin flip: 
Study: NCAA ‘Robs Predominantly Black Athletes’ of Opportunity to Build Generational Wealth

According to the study, among Division I schools 79% of university athletic directors are white, in addition to 82% of football head coaches and 69% of men’s basketball head coaches. Meanwhile, 49% of football players are Black, as well as 56% of men’s basketball athletes. While students are not compensated, the average salaries of Power 5 coaches, conference commissioners and even athletic directors are all more than $1 million. 

“College-athletes—especially black athletes, who are disproportionately represented in revenue-generating sports—are a massive source of revenue for colleges and media companies, yet they aren’t allowed to share in the enormous value they create," said Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ). "And these injustices perpetuate long after students’ playing days are over in the form of student debt and potentially a lifetime of dealing with injuries. The health, safety, and education of college athletes needs to a priority in any system that continues to profit off their labor and talent. As this report quantifies in detail, this system is deeply unfair and unjust—it needs to change."



Anonymous said...

JAKE TAPPER: "President Trump said leadership is all about confidence."

JOE BIDEN: "Yeah, and that's why we have no confidence in *his* leadership."

*replace* at will with any names of prominent WI elephants mentioned in this post

Anonymous said...

Chaos on the UW Madison campus as all classes go online and kids living in dorms pack up and move home. Becky Blank orders 2 weeks of lockdown for all dorms. Thanks WIGOP for doing absolutely nothing to stop the spread.