After decades of going out of their way to associate American football with the United States military, one NFL team has decided to buck that trend and honour Conscientious Objectors, including members of Mennonites, Amish, Quaker and other historic Peace Churches. The Philadelphia Eagles will honour pacifist COs this season by wearing a tiny image of Conrad Grebel on their helmets and holding an hour-long ceremony before a special CO game this fall.
“We’ve also set aside all the tickets to section 101 at Lincoln Financial Field for COs and their families,” said Eagles representative Harry Beiler. “We’re tired of this association with violence and nationalism. A football game should be a contemplative place to solemnly reflect on how each of us contributes to our increasingly violent culture.”
Not everyone, however, is all that keen on the idea.
“Oh, come on, everyone knows American Football is not about recreation, competition, amusement, or athleticism. If there’s one thing I know about professional football,” said one Eagles fan, “is that it’s all about militarism, plain and simple. Well, militarism and beer.”
In an effort to show that pacifism is not just passive, the team is also asking fans to bring gently used clothes to donate to the local MCC thrift store. Famed Eagles blogger, Colin Timson, supports the plan.
“Makes prefect sense to me. I’ve always said we should focus more on the game itself and less on the military,” said Timson. “Plus, the Eagles have been playing like a bunch of pacifists for decades.”
(photo credit: James McCauley/CC)