A week after Carl Nassib became the first active NFL player to come out as gay, the NFL released a video on Monday declaring “Football is gay.” In the 30-second clip, the phrases flashing across the screen also included “football is lesbian,” “football is bisexual,” “football is queer,” “football is transgender,” as well as “football is accepting” and “football is for everyone.”
If you love this game, you are welcome here. Football is for all. Football is for everyone.
The NFL stands by the LGBTQ+ community today and every day.
— NFL (@NFL) June 28, 2021
If that’s really the case — that football is queer, lesbian, etc. — then why do NFL teams only draft muscular, athletic men? Why haven’t they drafted people like Megan Rapinoe?
The common-sense answer is obvious, of course. It’s not easy to find a woman who can make an 80-yard throw, much less play defensive tackle. But if the NFL really wants to be inclusive, they should put their oh-so-exorbitant amounts of money where their virtue-signaling mouth is.
Rapinoe — the subject of an effusive documentary on HBO Max about her equal pay lawsuit that a judge has already dismissed — would be a natural fit. Identifying as queer, she’s a vocal LGBT activist who would be instantly recognized as representative of the movement.
What’s more, as the co-captain of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team, she’s not athletically incompetent. Sure, she’s trained in the wrong kind of football, but in a world where anyone can be anything, why would that stop her?
Furthermore, it was just announced that Rapinoe would model for Victoria’s Secret as the brand revamps away from its infamous “Angels” toward a more practical line. What a statement that would be, to have an NFL player who doubled as a Victoria’s Secret model!
So why won’t the NFL draft Rapinoe? Because they care a whole lot more about keeping up fan revenue than backing up ridiculous social justice theatrics. Even their marketing executives know fans wouldn’t watch a league full of female players (at least, not for the same reasons). They follow their own ideology only with words, not actions, because putting that ideology into practice would ruin their industry, which is based on a reflection of human nature that their political ideology opposes.
For a host of biological factors that start with upper body strength, women don’t make the best football players. In the world of college football, Vanderbilt University proved this by using female athlete Sarah Fuller — a remarkable athlete in her own right — in a stunt of tokenism when they ceremonially made her a kicker on the football team.
It’s easy for the NFL to parade 30-second videos about inclusion to a fawning Twitter audience, but don’t expect to see teams signing Rapinoe or any other person who isn’t a large and athletically talented (or at least competent) male. That kind of lying about reality would have too great a cost.