The Pro Football Hall of Fame released a statement regarding a “deluge of calls, letters, emails, faxes, and telegrams” it has received regarding former Detroit Lions superstar and inductee Barry Sanders. Following is the statement, unabridged and unedited.
For immediate release:
In the past 48 hours, we have received a deluge of calls, letters, emails, faxes, and telegrams on the subject of Barry Sanders, who played for the Detroit Lions in the NFL and was inducted into our hallowed institution in 2004. The overwhelming majority of the contacts we received came from states that the president won in 2016. All of them, every single one of them, called Mr. Sanders a socialist and demanded that the Football Hall of Fame immediately revoke his membership.
While we cannot speak for Mr. Sanders, he has never declared himself a socialist, democratic socialist, or even spoken much about his own personal political views. To kick him out of the Hall on mere allegations of what his beliefs might be would go against our core values. Even if he were a socialist, we still would probably not even consider granting any requests to throw him out. Football is an American sport, despite the fact that it stole its name from a much more internationally popular sport that we in this country call “soccer.” Because football is American, we believe it should reflect the American values of freedom of speech and expression.
We did want to take this opportunity to address something tangentially related to the massive influx of demands that we strip Barry Sanders of his Hall of Fame status. We wanted to encourage every single person who wrote, called, faxed, emailed, and sent a Pony Express to our offices in an angry state, ordering us to remove Mr. Sanders to seek medical attention, as soon as possible. This institution is made up of hundreds of former players, and therefore we have become pretty well-versed in recognizing the signs of massive brain injury.
According to recently published news reports, there was quite an uproar among a group that we think dovetails quite closely to the throng of people who contacted us regarding a jersey with Mr. Sanders’ name on it. Apparently, many felt that country music superstar Garth Brooks was showing his support for a presidential candidate when he adorned himself with Lions jersey carrying Barry Sanders’ number and last name on the back. It’s fairly clear to us that it would take some kind massive head trauma and brain injury to presume that Brooks would own a football jersey with a politician’s name on it, and that he’d choose the venue of a concert in which he’d know for certain there’d be plenty of people in attendance who didn’t support that particular candidate to wear such a jersey and declare his support for that candidate.
Make no mistake, we are not making a medical diagnosis. We’re simply putting the clues together. Because, either many of you out there have suffered some kind of brain injury, or you’ve been indoctrinated thanks to a lack of public school funding, and broadcast media figures telling you that critical thinking is a left-wing government conspiracy. There is no other explanation for missing the boat so entirely as you did, when you lost your minds, burned your Garth Brooks CDs, and then fired off angry missives at us about kicking Barry Sanders out of the Hall of Fame.
Please, seek help. All of you. Even if you didn’t send us a letter, and merely proclaimed you’d never listen to Brooks’ music again…seek the help you so desperately need. Maybe it’s not a brain surgeon, but a psychiatrist you need to book an appointment with. One or the other though, SEEK HELP.
The Football Hall of Fame
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.