An NFL Cause Worth Publicity: Combatting Fatherlessness

At this point it’s hard to find anyone who isn’t tired of hearing about the protesting, anthem-kneeling, fist-raising, social justice-crusading, Trump tweet-reacting players of the National Football League.

This is partially due to the fact that it has dominated the news cycle for weeks when there are far more significant issues in the world. And it’s partially due to the fact that it has become painfully obvious to most everyone (as I wrote about previously) that the protestors really don’t have any solid idea what they’re protesting anyway.

Is it police brutality? Is it white privilege? Is it social inequity? Is it criminal justice reform? Is it Donald Trump? Is it free speech? Ask the right player at the right moment, and you’ll get a yes to each of those.

In other words, it’s not a cohesive “movement,” it’s a haphazard grievance spectacle that just annoys people and causes needless division – except in the world of sports media where they seem to truly believe Colin Kaepernick will one day be regarded as Martin Luther King, Jr.

But while current NFL players seem committed to increasing awareness for an issue no one can specifically identify, a former NFL player is doing something profoundly meaningful. The name, Ed Tandy McGlasson, isn’t recognizable except for the die hard football fan, yet the former offensive lineman for the Los Angeles Rams, New York Jets, and New York Giants, has released a video series with accompanying workbook that can be utilized in homes, churches, as well as civic and community groups, focusing on the troubling trend of fatherlessness in the United States.

McGlasson, whose own father died in plane crash before the football veteran’s birth, calls his work “Blessing of the Father for Families.”

“God has made every one of us to be loved and blessed by our fathers,” McGlasson said. “But if fathers aren’t around or aren’t loving, we suffer from wounds inflicted by them. Ultimately, you have to look to God for your blessing. It doesn’t matter if you had a bad dad or a great dad. God has an amazing plan for you.”

Can you imagine for a second if this “cause” was given even a fraction of the air time, publicity, and free press that sports writers have showered upon the anthem kneelers? With the devastating sociological effects of fatherless families crippling our country (and particularly our inner cities), it’s hard to imagine a more noteworthy or newsworthy cause.

After all, a dad in the home greatly decreases the odds of a host of social ills, including but not limited to, teenage pregnancy, suicide, drug abuse, homelessness and poverty, and even domestic violence. Look at that list again and recognize how powerful it could be if current NFL players, popular NFL players, dedicated themselves to generating attention for a man and ministry devoted to combatting those problems.

There’s no question that the NFL has a public relations nightmare of its own making on its hands, and that’s unnecessary and ultimately too bad since there are so many good people that are a current or former part of the league and do amazing things for their communities. McGlasson is one example – and yet he’s getting zero press and no public support from the NFL.

That’s sad, but extremely revealing. If you’re interested in helping spread the word about a cause far more meaningful than silly social justice posturing for the cameras, you can find details about McGlasson’s ministry right here.

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Peter Heck

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