As another National Football League season approaches, let’s hope The Post doesn’t report about the Washington team’s games on its front page, as has been the paper’s habit. Stories about more urgent matters affecting our city, nation and world should occupy that space instead.
More than 3 billion people — close to half of the world’s population — live in poverty. Nuclear weapons, environmental degradation and climate change threaten our existence. War and persecution have forcibly displaced 68.5 million people from their homes, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
In our own country, more than 35,000 people die from gun violence annually, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates more than 72,000 people — a record high — died of drug overdoses in the United States in 2017. Compared with these stark realities, an NFL game is inconsequential, and The Post’s weighing our team’s fortunes equally with more pressing concerns is mystifying.
The paper overestimates the enthusiasm for our team. Having peaked at 88,600 in 2008, average attendance at FedEx Field has dropped precipitously to 75,000, compelling management to remove more than 9,000 seats from the stadium.
The move away from the city, the controversy over the team’s pejorative nickname, the local media’s fixation with the team to the near exclusion of our other sports teams, disenchantment with football because of the concussion controversy, and, most of all, unseemly, overt commercialism have alienated fans from the team. That’s why you’re much more likely to see curly “W” caps around town than scripted “R” ones.
With so much at stake, we have more important questions to answer than what Jay Gruden was thinking.
Chris Byrd, Washington