PLEDGE NOW
A Fan’s Argument Against Football

With guest host Jane Clayson.

One outspoken fan’s reluctant manifesto against  football, and the big push to reform the game.

Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Jarvis Jones (95) recovers a fumble by Carolina Panthers quarterback Derek Anderson (3) in the second quarter of the NFL preseason football game on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 in Pittsburgh. (AP)

Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Jarvis Jones (95) recovers a fumble by Carolina Panthers quarterback Derek Anderson (3) in the second quarter of the NFL preseason football game on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 in Pittsburgh. (AP)

American football is a lot of things.  A beautiful ballet of titans, men who have no business being that graceful and fast at their size.  A chess game on the gridiron.  A roaring war rally in the stands.  But one big fan has thrown down his gauntlet and is challenging everybody to stop and think about what the game has become:  A meatgrinder that any given Sunday chews up bodies and minds.  A big tax ripoff by the NFL.  A breeding ground for wife-beaters, racists and homophobes.  Is he going too far?  Or has the game gone too far?  This hour On Point:  A call to fix football.

— Jane Clayson

Guests

Steve Almond, essayist and short story writer. Author of the new book, “Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto.” Also author of “Candyfreak” and “Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life.” (@stevealmondjoy)

David Steele, columnist for Sporting News. (@David_C_Steele)

Nate Jackson, writer and former tight end for the Denver Broncos and the San Francisco 49ers. Author of “Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile.” (@NathanSerious)

From The Reading List

Los Angeles TimesIn the matter of USC’s Josh Shaw, a leap of faith falls flat — “USC screwed up. If its athletic department wants to break stories like journalists, then it needs to act like journalists and fully check them out. The local sports media, including the Los Angeles Times, also screwed up. We also didn’t act like journalists and, goodness, what’s our excuse?”

Denver Post: Wes Welker sustains concussion during Broncos vs. Texans — “Wes Welker accepts the violence, understands the danger. The Broncos receiver never considered retiring after suffering two concussions last season, but the fragility of the sport found him again Saturday night”

Village Voice: “Against Football” Author Steve Almond Blasts the NFL and Its Hypocritical Media Machine — “In late July, word leaked that the National Football League was going to mete out its punishment to the Baltimore Ravens’ star running back, who was alleged to have assaulted his fiancée in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino in February. Surveillance footage, leaked online, captured Rice attempting to remove the insensate body of the woman — whom he subsequently wed — from the elevator. To this task, he brought all the empathy of a hog butcher tugging at a carcass.”

Read An Excerpt of “Against Football” by Steve Almond

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 24, 2016
U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Vietnamese Communist party secretary general Nguyen Phu Trong at the Central Office of the Communist Party of Vietnam in Hanoi, Vietnam, Monday, May 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama’s in Vietnam and Japan. The G7, Hiroshima and his pivot to Asia are all on the table. We look at the big picture. Plus, President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima.

May 24, 2016
Activist and author Gloria Steinem. (Carly Romeo / Courtesy Gloria Steinem)

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem explores how violence against women drives global instability in her new show, “Woman.” She’s with us.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 23, 2016
Robin Wright, right, attending the Emmy Awards in 2015 with Kevin Spacey. The pair star in "House of Cards" on Netflix. Wright recently shared that she fought to have an equal salary as Spacey. (Alex Berliner/Invision for the Television Academy/AP)

The pay gap between men and women is much greater in white-collar than blue-collar jobs. We’ll look at why, and what should be done about it.

 
May 23, 2016
A long line of travelers wait for the TSA security check point at O'Hare International airport in Chicago. Some major airports are currently seeing wait times exceeding 90 minutes at peak hours. (Teresa Crawford/AP)

The latest on the EgyptAir crash, and the latest on the TSA and security in the United States.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Gloria Steinem Explains Her ‘Bernie Boys’ Comment
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Feminist activist Gloria Steinem explains why her apparent diss of female supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders was anything but.

More »
Comment
 
‘Best Of’ 2016 Commencement Speeches
Monday, May 16, 2016

Excerpts from a few of the best commencement speeches delivered to the graduating class of 2016.

More »
Comment
 
Caller: Trump is a ‘Yankee moron,’ but I support him
Tuesday, May 10, 2016

“I’m a working man. I’ve worked 13, 14 hours every day. I got two jobs. I got three kids. I got a wife. You know, I’m not a misogynist.”

More »
Comment