January 28, 2018
Vince McMahon, CEO of the WWE, will reboot his failed football league from 2001, XFL, in 2020.
Previously, the XFL’s gimmick was presenting elements of WWE’s Attitude Era (ie hot chicks, violence, general gratuitous excess, etc). Now, the gimmick is “simpler rules”, faster gameplay, but most importantly, no protesting and no one with a criminal history is allowed.
This announcement comes at a time when the NFL has declining ratings and conservatives have been screeching about how their feewings are very hurt when players kneel. The declining ratings probably have little to do with the kneeling, but since conservatives are “protesting” the NFL about it, that is the narrative.
McMahon also has gotten a lot of billionaire conservative investers, and, before McMahon even made the announcement, people had been speculating McMahon would bring back the XFL for a conservative base.
The interesting thing though, is rather than it being catered to MAGA chuds who love to trigger libs, it is instead being marketed as a simple, non-political alternative to the NFL.
This, honestly, is worrisome. My main issue is obviously this new XFL has so many echoes of dangerous conservatism, but by marketing it as non-political, it is a tangible example of how the Overton Window continues to shift right.
It contributes to a common trend in right-wing people—a belief that corporate entities, even though being in the service of capitalism, are leftist entitiea, because of artificial social or cultural reasons. CNN being seen as leftist fake news, and news sources like Breitbart being normalized is a similar parallel to the NFL being seen as a leftist sports league, and something as absurd as the XFL banning protesters and people with criminal history being normalized.
Of course, the XFL will definitely fail. But it reflects this same type of right-swinging movement.