Andrew McGregor, a history professor at Dallas College, decided to target John Madden and his legacy following his death at the age of 85.
The Associated Press reported that the Hall of Fame coach and broadcaster died unexpectedly, but did not provide a cause of death.
In reaction to his death, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones praised Madden saying, “I am not aware of anyone who has made a more meaningful impact on the National Football League than John Madden, and I know of no one who loved the game more.”
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However, not all reactions had such high praise for Madden as Jones did. Andrew McGregor decided to spit on Madden’s grave following the announcement that the Hall of Famer had passed.
McGregor took to Twitter where he wrote, “I have lots of opinions on John Madden The creation of the Madden video game was not a great development for the U.S. It further glamorized violence and dehumanized Black athletes, helping to establish plantation cosplay that has grown worse in the era of fantasy football.”
In a subsequent tweet he added, “The video game distanced the reality of the violent sport from fans, and transformed human behaviors into artificial numbers and simulations.”
“It glamorized athletes, using their name for profits while encouraging fans to disregard the humanity. Madden built a digital plantation,” he tweeted.
Continuing his thread, McGregor wrote, “At every point in his career — coach, announcer, video game producer — Madden profited off of Black athletic labor and glamorized the violence inherent in the game.”
“He became ubiquitous and grew the NFL into the most popular game, and hastened the development of esports,” he remarked.
McGregor continued to denigrate Madden and his legacy, “Sure, there is a lot of significance to his life and his impact. But it’s pretty clear most of his accomplishments were not beneficial or healthy for athletes, particular non-white athletes. John Madden made a life in football, one of the most violent and exploitative sports.”
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The Dallas College professor concluded this thread writing, “When your entire life is based on expanding and profiting off of one the of most violent and exploitative games, veneration is not exactly something that you deserve.”
McGregor would go on to attempt to justify his disgusting behavior in a number of replies.
In one response he wrote, “He sold his name to the game for $150 million. That makes him more than complicit in the violence and glamorization….”
He wrote, “The key here is consumption of the sport as distorted reality. Video games dehumanize players, they create fantasies of super teams and notions of control and management (replicated in fantasy sport) where we control and manipulate rosters and players. It’s deeply problematic.”
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He followed that up claiming that the NFL is “complicit in white supremacy.”
He tweeted, “Madden was the symbol of this and teamed with his media role magnified it more than other games or titles. It’s part of the rise of the NFL, which we have long known as being horrible for health and complicit in white supremacy. You can’t disconnect him from any of that.”
He went on to justify claiming the NFL is complicit in white supremacy by tweeting, “Just cuz they’re getting paid doesn’t mean they’re not still participating in an exploitative racialized system.”
McGregor would eventually claim that all professional sports are unethical and it’s not about race.
He tweeted, “It’s not just about race, imo. As Curt Flood pointed out, being paid less than your value is a form of exploitation. Add to that health risks and other issues, it’s hard to see violent pro sports as ethical.”
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McGregor would eventually post an entirely new thread attempting to justify his attack on John Madden and his legacy.
He began the new thread, “I’m very critical of video games and fantasy sports. They’re at the heart of my critique of Madden because he symbolizes their rise to prominence, and how fans now relate to the game and issues of race, labor, consumption through the prism of roster management and control.”
He continued, “Management and control are at the heart of video games and fantasy sports. Players want to build super teams to win. They build rosters to compile stats and make big plays.”
“Doing it with computer generated players dehumanizes real ones, and augments our relationship to violence,” McGregor added.
Next, he wrote, “Obviously video games and fantasy sports are wildly popular and few people like to critically think about how they relate to race, labor, and consumption of a violent and exploitative sport.
“But I think we need to consider how they’re linked with our actions as fans and to Madden,” he concluded.
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However, while McGregor would lampoon John Madden and his legacy, it appears he actively took part in this exploitation and white supremacy, as he now calls it.
Back in 2017, he tweeted, “The fake kneel down is the exact kind of play I would have used against my brother in Madden. It would have perfectly complemented my fake punt offense.”
McGregor also clearly doesn’t know his history for being a history teacher.
Madden made it very clear back in 2014 that he doesn’t believe children should be tackling or even wearing helmets in youth football.
As reported by The Washington Post, Madden appeared on the NFL Network’s Heads Up program where he stated, “I’m a firm believer that there’s no way that a 6-year-old should have a helmet on and learn a tackling drill.”
“There’s no way. Or a 7-year-old or an 8-year-old. They’re not ready for it. Take the helmets off kids,” he continued.
“Start at 6 years old, 7 years old, 8 years old, 9 years old. They don’t need helmets — they can play flag football. And with flag football you can get all the techniques,” Madden added.
He concluded, “Why do we have to start with a 6-year-old who was just potty trained a year ago and put a helmet on him and tackle? I have no idea. We’ll eventually get to tackling.”
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As for the idea of glamorizing violence, Madden told The New York Times in 2011, “Concussions are such a big thing, it has to be a big thing in the video game.”
He added, “It starts young kids — they start in video games. I think the osmosis is if you get a concussion, that’s a serious thing and you shouldn’t play. Or leading with the head that you want to eliminate. We want that message to be strong.”
As such the Madden NFL 12 game showed players receiving concussions and were forced to be sidelined for the rest of the game.
What do you make of Andrew McGregor’s character attack against John Madden on the day of his death?