Saturday, January 28, 2023

The Damar Hamlin Case and the NFL: A Lot of Religion and a Little Safety

The socially conservative, evangelical Christian culture of the Bible Belt (the Southern and Midwestern states) pervades the world of American football, perhaps stemming from the importance and popularity of the sport at colleges in that region. Also the NFL, whose franchises are spread across the country but the woke culture of California or New York hardly makes a mark (ask Colin Kaepernick, the former 49ers quarterback, who was paroled for kneeling in protest of the deaths of blacks in the league). was done) at the hands of the police, and is still marginalised).

When someone suffers an injury that appears to be serious, teammates and opponents form a circle holding hands or shoulders, some kneeling and praying. In interviews, after a victory, the players, coaches and owners thank God for the victory and thank him for the qualities that have made him the best. After Damar Hamlin, the Bills safety, suffered a cardiac arrest a few days ago, this connection between the NFL and Christianity has extended to the Cube.

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The average player’s career lasts three years and most contracts are not guaranteed.

“Please pray for our brother Dummer,” Buffalo’s star quarterback Josh Allen wrote on Twitter. A call to prayer appeared on the marquee of a theater on Main Street in McKees Rocks, a gloomy town in deep Pennsylvania (Trump-voting) where Hamlin was born and raised, separated from Pittsburgh by a bridge over the Ohio River , where steel and locomotives were previously made, and now nothing, where 18,000 people lived and now less than 6,000, thirty percent poor.

In a live program on the ESPN network, analyst Dan Orlovsky, a former player, said on air that it came from his heart to pray, bowed his head, closed his eyes, and did so: “Lord, this In kind moments, those of us who don’t understand why things happen, we entrust ourselves to you and beg you to heal our brother Asphalt. “Amen,” said his fellow students. United States In America, if someone dares to say he is not a believer, he has not only closed the door to politics, but almost everyone else.

Lots of religion, but little security. Players with guaranteed contracts (that is, they will be paid no matter what) are the only elite, most recently Deshaun Watson, for whom Cleveland has agreed to pay $230 million over five years. One of the group, like Hamlin, who was selected in the sixth and final round of the draft, can earn a little less than a million a year, half that after paying taxes, into his bank account in twenty-six installments. transferred. Even if he has signed, for example, until 2026, he doesn’t get a penny more if he gets injured.

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Uncertainty is the norm in the NFL. Cases like Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers are not ideal. In addition to injuries, the competition is huge (hundreds of players leave the university system every year), and a tough career span of three years on average. Someone like Hamlin, after paying for the people around him and the typical way of life in that world, could make a million dollars if he didn’t waste excessively, just starting a business and supporting himself again. It is enough to try to install from .

NFL franchises are worth about $10 billion, but in the latest collective bargaining agreement, owners managed to cap total disability compensation starting next year, which is now at a maximum of $48,000 per year. Of course, the first thing they do is light candles, put colorful ribbons on trees, invoke God and say lots of prayers.

Criminal Father, Sacrificial Mother and Christian School

Damar Hamlin’s story is that of so many black boys in the United States: life in the ghetto, a father who ends up in prison (in his case, for cocaine trafficking) and a mother who pulls chestnuts from the family fire. (owns) a nursery and a cleaning business). The Bills player studied at the Central Catholic School in Pittsburgh, where, in addition to strengthening his religious faith, he showed outstanding qualities for American football. The Bills selected him in the sixth round of the draft and he has a three-year contract. An insurance policy for an accident like the one you suffered would have cost you over ten thousand dollars a year.

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