Andrew McGregor either is having the best or the worst week of his life.
McGregor, who in 2017 received a PhD in American history from Purdue University, is a history professor at Dallas College. In his Twitter bio, he describes himself as a “sports studies influencer” — whatever that is. McGregor claims to be an expert in researching the many ways in which sports, race and politics collide.
That’s all well and good, but his John Madden takes stink out loud.
McGregor on Tuesday leveraged the death of Madden, an NFL legend whose impact on football can be neither overstated nor quantified, by firing off a series of takes about how Madden ultimately caused more harm than good. Basically, McGregor believes the “Madden NFL” gaming franchise is the root of all evil in football, or something.
He since has changed his Twitter handle and protected his tweets, making it difficult to go back and read all the stupidity he pumped out moments after news of Madden’s death broke. But the internet is forever.
“I have lots of opinions on John Madden,” McGregor wrote in one tweet. “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.”
And here’s another: “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, (particularly) non-white athletes. John Madden made a life in football, one of the most violent and exploitative sports.”
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more universally negative reaction than the one McGregor has seen since submitting a strong contender for the “Dumbest Twitter Thread of the Year” award. New England Patriots fullback Jakob Johnson, a Black man from Germany, was among the many who called out McGregor on Wednesday.
“Aye Andrew,” Johnson wrote, “you could have kept all your opinions to yourself. PhD in clout-chasing.”
Again, it’s possible that McGregor is having a really tough time amid all this backlash, so we don’t want to dump on him too much. However, something tells us that he’s loving the attention.
By the way: In a later tweet, McGregor said people simply aren’t “ready” for the work coming out of the “powerful” field of critical sports studies. OK, pal.
Anyway, we’ll leave you with some remarks Patriots head coach Bill Belichick delivered about Madden on Wednesday.
“He was a great champion for minorities and minority scouting,” Belichick said of Madden. “And some of the great players that they had with the Raiders, you know, from some of the smaller Black colleges, that he and coach (Al) Davis brought into the organization.
” … John did a lot for player safety. I know he was on several committees in the league, advisory and so forth, in studying safety of the game, player safety.
“He was instrumental in a lot of those changes and improvements to help player safety.?