By Mpande Sibisi ’20
Football is most certainly a representation of corporate structure, but in order to come to this conclusion, one must look at the entire football organizations as opposed to the game itself. Ethan is right to say that the game of football doesn’t represent corporate structure; people create a culture on the team which is contingent on more than just a singular player, thus no one man is more important than any other.
However, once football reaches the collegiate or professional level, the sport directly mirrors corporate structure. This most obvious part of my argument would be the board of directors that professional football teams have. The CEO/head coach comparison would be the next most blatant comparison as both are the face of their team and make decisions they view as best. As Ethan said in his definition, “After the CEO, corporations split into either different companies or branches that spread power down a chain ending at the general employees of the company. This spreading of power down the chain thins it, and gives almost no power to the general worker.”
After the head coach is a number of coaches who subsequently decrease in overall power and are lower in the chain of command. Players could be seen as “general worker” or even investments with no power. Players have very specific schedules and rules that are intended to control them and maximize profits for each team’s brand. Football is extremely cutthroat, players retire early, and– unlike basketball– not all money is guaranteed even though you take perhaps the sport where you take the biggest risk.
All actions are taken in favour of the brand just as a business would take whatever course of action that would generate the most profit or positive PR. The reason Colin Kaepernick does not currently have a job is not because of his lack of skill, he had a higher QBR (quarterback rating) in his last year than Cam Newton, Eli Manning, Ryan Tannehill, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Blake Bortles, Case Keenum, and half of all back-up QBs, but because of the PR explosion, loss of profit, and loss of viewership that his presence would cause.