UNC Student: Watching football is 'violent'

Nikhil Umesh, an environmental health science major says football aggravates Americans' "large appetite for violence and displays of male dominance."

The sport's violent nature and large number of black players perpetuate stereotypes about blacks, Umesh says.

A senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill says watching football on a Sunday is a “violent way” to spend the day.

Nikhil Umesh, an environmental health science major, penned a recent column for UNC-Chapel Hill’s student newspaper, the Daily Tar Heel, in which he declared football “a violent and aggressive national pastime.”

According to Umesh, tuning in to Sunday Night Football aggravates Americans’ “large appetite for violence and displays of male dominance” and it’s important for us to question whether that appetite “must be satiated at the expense of women, the LGBT community and men of color.”

Umesh says the sport’s violent nature, combined with the NFL’s predominantly black players, serves to perpetuate stereotypes against black men.

“The impulsive and tenacious demeanor encouraged by the sport plays a role in our imagining of black men as hypermasculine and thus characteristically different from white men and non-black men of color,” wrote Umesh.

“America’s idea of black masculinity is one that reinforces false notions of violence and rage. These traits are admired on the field but can have deadly consequences elsewhere, as in the case of Darren Wilson’s description of Michael Brown as having inhuman strength.”

The NFL’s predominantly white, male fan base contributes largely to “[d]istortion of America’s perception of black masculinity,” according to Umesh, who went on to describe that demographic as responsible for influencing reactions “laced with homophobia” when the NFL drafted openly-gay defensive end Michael Sam in 2014.

As a columnist forthe Daily Tar Heel, Umesh has previously written about “costume racism”, affirmative action, and more recently blamed “unhealthy masculinity” for the sexual assault “epidemic” on college campuses.

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