Occupy National Football League

Where are those who protest the inequality of the 1% now that Aaron Rodgers landed this week?

Aaron Rodgers is the highest-paid player in the National Football League for a second time in his career, and if he plays at the same kind of level Tom Brady is pioneering at 41 years old, it won’t be the last time he gets a big payday.

Rodgers and the Packers agreed to a four-year, $134-million contract extension that can be worth up to $180 million if he hits all his incentives, per ESPN. Rodgers gets $67 million in guaranteed money by the end of this calendar year, and he’ll eventually make $80 million total by the start of the new league year on March 17, 2019.

That would seem to put him securely in the 1%. That should mean that a lot of Americans should be very resentful of Mr. Rodgers. (I am but on the grounds of rooting for the Eagles.)

When some Christians write about wealth and poverty, they think taxes and usury, not professional football:

When it comes to the details of how magistrates should succor the poor, of course, Calvin gives few details (he did not preach political sermons per say), but the details he does give are significant. He indicates at one point that magistrates should provide for the poor by building poor-houses, hospitals, and even schools (Comm. Is 49:23). He is harshly critical of forms of usury in which the poor are taken advantage of, and yet he insists that the alternative to usury is not refusing to lend to the poor, but ensuring that the needs of the poor are met (Serm. Deut 23:18-20). In his sermon on Deuteronomy 15:11-15 he defended a prohibition of begging for the sake of “common order and honesty” and on the basis of “nature”, but then insisted that such a prohibition is only just if the government ensures that the poor do not need to beg. Part of “keep[ing] order and policy,” he suggests, is establishing “hospitals … for such needs.”

But why no commentary on the way Americans spend on all the goods and services that pay for the broadcasts, advertising, and salaries of the people who wind up on television? Wealth of the kind that professional athletes have is akin to global warming. If I recycle will that possibly stop rising temperatures? If I don’t watch football on Sunday, will it possibly make a dent in Rodgers’ salary?

And why pick on the bankers if you object to wealth? (Why not protest President Obama also?) I am no fan of the financial sector in part because I lost a job in 2008 and mainly because I believe the story told in The Big Short. At the same time, as an athlete growing up and a big sports fan, I am loathe to criticize sports and the industries that get rich around it. Plus, if media companies are going to make lots of money from sports, so should the folks who perform on the field.

But still, the inequalities inherent in professional sports are staggering. The kids who play JuCo football for Jason Brown go to college mainly to play for the NFL and not to learn something that might help them with the life they are going to have because they won’t make a squad. Professional football is almost a winner-take-all (especailly for quarterbacks) where the folks who get in make huge sums and the folks who don’t and spent almost as much time trying to qualify, receive nothing.

It’s unequal.

And some folks object to “Jacob I loved, Esau I hated.”

8 thoughts on “Occupy National Football League

  1. I can see where evangelicals might root for the Eagles to win on the sabbath. But do “others” devote time and attention to sports as members of confessional covenant churches or only “as men under the common law given to Noah”?

    James Jordan—God says that He will require the blood of His people from the hands of those who slay them, specifically from the hand of “every man’s brother” (9:5). This is a direct allusion back to Cain and Abel in Genesis 4. God did not require Abel’s blood at the hand of Cain, and protected Cain. God allowed Cain and the unbelievers to remain “inside” the covenant grant before the Flood, but now things are going to be different. No longer are murderers protected. Instead, they are to be cut out of the world, removed from it by means of execution. Now, in a Christian theocracy we would also put to death anyone who murdered an unbeliever, but this is part of the “spillover” of the covenant. The covenant and its provisions are actually addressed only to believers. God says here that if the courts do not act to avenge His saints, God will do so Himself:

    James Jordan–God says that His people may eat the flesh of any animal, clean or unclean, except that they are not to eat the blood with it (9:3-4). Of course, unbelievers after the Flood ate meat also (and perhaps before the Flood as well), but this grant is not specifically made for them. The unbelievers are not entitled to eat meat except insofar as they are under the “spillover” of the Noahic Covenant.



  2. Maybe a better means of protest is watching Steve Spurrier in the new AAF league.

    It may be small, but that just makes it like the OPC of professional football! (And did I mention it has less commercials than the NFL?)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The real harm with the salaries of professional athletes is the personal philosophy they are taught to practice: to seek as much for oneself as one can while giving no thought to how that might affect others. So, as Spock from Star Trek takes a mulligan would say: D.G.’s logic here is sound (i.e., he is making a good point).

    However, the 1% of the NFL do not practice other sins as the 1% do in our economy. The Declaration of the Occupation Of New York City offers specifics on that (see http://www.occupywallstreet.net/policy/declaration-occupation-new-york-city ).


  4. Curt, “However, the 1% of the NFL do not practice other sins as the 1% do in our economy.”

    Wait, so I’m guilty of systematic inequality but the rich guys get to pick and choose how far the system goes.

    This thing is rigged.


  5. D.G.,
    The entertainment people really have little power over our economic system. But that doesn’t imply that they have economic sins. Rather, they have the sins of followers, not leaders.

    BTW, who said you were guilty? I express agreement with your post and you still feel persecuted?


  6. D.G.,
    Where authoritarians always project their failures onto others. You can own that.

    Rather than judge whether made you feel guilty in my comments on this thread by my associations, why not determine whether I made you feel guilty by the words in my comments in this thread?


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