I’m a football fan.
Because I’m a woman (I think we have a sort of empathy unavailable to men), I was always the first in Giants stadium to notice if a player was hurt. When everyone else was screaming, I was wincing, muttering, “Uh-oh.”
Now that I watch at home, I’m unquestionably faster than the commentators to see that a player is hurt. In fact, I’m faster than the cameras.
Living in football means living with extreme contradictions. I love my teammates (an addiction to football demands physical participation; I can strain muscles while watching a game), even as I decry the ones who do stupid things, or hurt another player.
To be a football fan, you need either to enjoy violence (I don’t) or willfully ban its effect from your mind. It’s denial, to be sure.
Then I read this opinion piece in the New York Times, by Nate Jackson, an ex-football player. No denying that twelve “former National Football league players filed a class-action lawsuit against the league, claiming that the N.F.L. and its teams failed to warn players of the side effects of the drug Toradol, widely administered to players before games to numb pain.”
Jackson’s personalized descriptions of how the drug was administered make me feel awful. No excuses.