Structural Functionalism In Football

Improved Essays
In a year filled with one shocking and dominating media story after the other; from Donald Trump's’ election and the Russia Scandal to #MeToo, one narrative has become a surprising fixture in American popular culture and media: Colin Kaepernick's protest of police brutality during the National Anthem. Although it has been almost 18 months since the former college standout quarterback and GQ magazines 2017 Citizen of the Year, took his last snap in the National Football League, his iconic protest has taken on a life of its own. The kneeling has evolved from symbolic action to a prominent aspect of African Americans’ modern struggle for equality by starting a national dialogue that is still ongoing. This prominence has also made Kaepernick a …show more content…
A structural functionalist approach to answering this question would begin first with the recognition that all aspects of the larger cultural system are connected (LumenLearing). Therefore, the NFL is not simply a sports league, but rather an extension and driving force of dominant American culture. Tens of millions of Americans watch each week and even more view clips or articles on the internet. Fantasy football is itself a multi-billion industry with television programs, articles and podcasts reaching a widely dispersed audience every day. I say this to highlight the fact the football is more than football, it is what Marx described as a force for “cultural production.” This means that the athletes who participate, do so from a platform ––– an elevated position in society. They have cultural capital in addition to their material wealth. So when Colin Kaepernick decides to kneel, for example, people pay …show more content…
A protest that began as a statement attempting to highlight the excessive use of force by police on African American youth has morphed into a larger conversation about systemic inequality, racial justice and societal dysfunction. The remnants of historical racism continues to impact the lives of many across the United States but many forms of racism such as political disenfranchisement and gentrification are ongoing. Conflict theory provides another lens for analyzing both Kaepernick’s protest and the responses it has engendered. It suggests that many issues in society emerge from fundamental flaws in the way power is structured in society. The unnecessary deaths of African American youths at the hands of police for example, has roots in the historical racism and systemic inequality described above and also demonstrates modern racial profiling, prejudice and social stigma. The perception that men of color are violent and dangerous is still prominent today, and this perception becomes part of social and legal policy. Because police departments continue to be staffed mainly by white men, the racial undertones of the situation are simply unavoidable as the victims of police brutality are overwhelmingly people of color

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Most African Americans are angered by the way police officers treat them. The anger turns into rage against one another and violence erupt. The saying “Black Lives Matter “has become popular saying due to police brutality (give specifics about this hashtag movement…who started it…what was it in response to…how many people has it reached). What makes an officer so angry that he has to beat or kill someone? The government should investigate the cases among police brutality.…

    • 1443 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    So much time is involved with these athletes to get them in shape and teach them the skills they need to know on the football field. Not only does creativity involve the coaches and the athletes, but the people watching them play are affected by this too. The National Football League generates approximately ten billion dollars every year. The National Football League is the worlds most profitable sports league. American taxpayers account for seventy percent of this revenue.…

    • 1660 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Reality contradicts Paine’s hopes; racial conflicts often erupt into violence. While many praise diversity, different mindsets and backgrounds can cause misunderstandings between racial groups. Race has always split American citizens, from literal segregation to ideological differences. For instance, a string of police shootings preceded the Black Lives Matter movement. In several of these cases, white police profiled black citizens, deeming them threatening.…

    • 821 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    Racial profiling is one of the shared methods of police brutality, to stop and search someone when they are in a different skin tone, it also mostly targets the black people and it is a justified act in the law enforcement. As such, black people are stereotyped due to the fact that they are more prone to violent crime and drug abuse, looking suspicious and aggressive (Graef, 1989, p 7). Undeniably, even with laws in place, prejudice still happens today. Debates concerning governance policing and police infringement of human rights has surfaced throughout the years. Governance and human rights are essential issues for police to appease the public and legitimize the actions that they do, to fulfill the basis of policing.…

    • 1723 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The African American community is being targeted considering they’ve been the victim of other racial aggression in the past. This sense of security that Congress wants America to have has inadvertently caused a lot of stereotypes against African Americans. This has led to racial profiling, where race is used as grounds for suspecting someone of having committed a crime. In addition, police stop and search, where police officers stop…

    • 1024 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The reason these events have cause such a stir in the media is because it is seen as racial discrimination. In most incidents the black male does not possess a weapon and is unjustly shot by a white cop. The argument is that if it were a white offender, the cops would not be shooting their firearms however, because black males are the offenders in these incidents, they have been portrayed as hate crimes against black people. As for Du Bois, being an African American man, he specifically focused on white oppression and the unfair treatment of black people (2016:99). During his time, he was treated differently because he was African American and wanted equality, but believed that there was white dominance…

    • 1790 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    These type of facts prove that there is still hatred and racial inequality today. A modern example of this is the police brutality that is happening in the United States. Most of the cases that appear on the news and social medias involve an African American wrongfully killed by a police officer. These type of situations have demonstrated that “the explanations for these racial disparities range from deliberate racial stereotyping… to unconscious racism” (Stubbs 1). What was once prominent in the early colonial times with African Americans and slaves is now shown to be reemerging with a modern version of racism.…

    • 2120 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Today, police officers use deadly, excessive force that leads to inexcusable assaults, beatings and shootings. These violations are seen nationwide to the minority community and are committed by various police officers that fail to receive punishment for their action which caused the forming of riots and starting of campaigns just like the Black Panthers back in 1996. In 2012, a group called the Black Lives Matter movement was formed. This group was created by Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garza. The objective of this movement is to create an America where they feel that black people aren’t systematically and intentionally targeted due to race.…

    • 1212 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Police Brutality Essay

    • 2251 Words
    • 10 Pages

    Since the establishment of slavery years ago, the treatment of black minorities has been unrighteous and unfair. The topic of police brutality has come to light in recent years, but it 's always been an issue. With the establishment of organizations like the Black Lives Matter group, people are paying more attention to the facts that surround the shootings of black men by white cops. America is finally opening it 's eyes to the shield it 's fronted to this topic, and people are ready to start talking about the changes that need to be made. Countless numbers of police shootings of unarmed black males have gone mainstream in the media, creating a surge of unrest and distrust for the people men and women should trust most...police officers.…

    • 2251 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Introduction Police brutality is causing a major fuss with all the current African American sh ootings. People believe that African Americans are being targeted when others believe that it shouldn’t matter. When police officers are trained, they are taught to go into high crime areas and low-level signs of disorder. “Racial segregation this both concentrates African Americans in “high crime areas” in which entire communities are criminally suspect and makes African Americans “out of place” and thus suspicious when they are not in predominantly black areas” (Carbado). Police officers are drawn to the areas that a lot of African Americans live, and because of racial stereotypes officers think that African Americans could be threating.…

    • 1125 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays