Urban Meyer Gets First NFL Win, But the League’s Potential Crises Loom

The National Football League has endured a slew of issues and crises in the past five years.

These include controversy over concussions and their long-term effects, a story that’s revived when retired footballers die young and/or suffer brain injuries for prolonged periods.

Perhaps related to football’s violence and repeated head trauma, current and former players also experience issues with domestic violence.

The league’s lack of minority ownership is a consistent source of angst, especially since some 70 percent of its players are Black.

An infamous wardrobe malfunction during the league’s main spectacle in 2018 caused a hubbub. Similarly, last year’s Super Bowl halftime show, featuring pop singers Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, resulted in more than 1,000 complaints to the Federal Communications Commission.

Yet some critics contend the league crosses the line weekly, as cheerleaders, gyrate suggestively on the sidelines, often for low wages. Moreover, some cheerleaders allege a culture of subjugation and sexual misbehavior (more on this below).

Perhaps the game’s best-known controversy and one that transcended sports, dates to 2016. That’s when a star player, Colin Kaepernick, chose to kneel during the national anthem prior to a preseason game. Kaepernick intended to highlight racial disparities, including police brutality against Black people.

The public’s and the president’s reaction to Kaepernick’s action was yet another issue that divided the country.

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