The 2020 North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS) Presidential Address analyzed aspects of the National Football League’s (NFL) current socially conscious marketing to make sense of corporatized racial justice politics following a summer of mass political mobilization triggered by the police killing of George Floyd. The analysis shows that the mass, multiracial racial justice activism forced corporatized sport leagues such as the NFL to respond to popular political pressure. The NFL followed the lead of the National Basketball Association and instead of resisting popular sentiments, it has incorporated social justice language into its marketing. Guided by Indigenous decolonial scholarship and radical Black scholars, I argue that the NFL’s incorporation of social justice language is a politics of recognition and colonial governmentality that insulates it from racial justice politics and helps to stabilize challenges to racial capitalism.
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