Thuggish Stanford "Graduate" Richard Sherman
The big sports news lately is that the largest youth football organization in the country (Pop Warner) has reported a 10% drop in participation over the last two years.
Some 70% of current NFL players participated in Pop Warner football as children.
Forbes magazine's website posted an article entitled: "Why Is Football Participation Declining? The Answer Isn't Concussions."
In the article, the author argues there are a three reasons football is declining in popularity among American youth:
1. Increased Sports Specialization: If kids aren't exceptional at a sport they move on until they find one they might excel at.
2. No College Opportunity: Football is so saturated with talent it's unlikely a kid will earn a collegiate scholarship.
3. The Growth of Lacrosse: Lacrosse has sucked higher income kids away from football, and employers like kids who've played elite ivy league sports.
Although I agree with these three suggestions, I think the primary reason is more basic: white flight.
Basketball and boxing were once huge sports in America. However, as African-Americans steadily became majorities in these sports whites moved on to other activities.
Within recent memory, football was majority white. Today, however, it's dominated by blacks. A simple look at the starting lineup of the top college teams (Alabama, Ohio State, and Florida State) reveal they're almost entirely black.
In addition to this, football has taken on a thuggish character. During post-game interviews, many of the star players reveal their incredible inability to speak proper English. It's hard to imagine many of them could pass college level course work.
Personally, I've heard from Tuscaloosa students that many of the players on Alabama's team are totally illiterate.
It doesn't surprise me.
Most of the quality players are covered with tattoos (think about Terrell Pryor).
The attitudes, showiness, and brutish culture that surrounds modern college football players is enough for any parent to say: "I'm not sending my kid into that locker room!"
Making things worse are the immature NFL players who always find new ways to get arrested or look like idiots.
Just as whites fled Detroit, South Africa, and other areas when blacks began to intrude, so football is experiencing a white flight out of the sport and into more classy suburban middle/upper class havens which still retain a respectable culture.