Brooklyn Gets Its Own Football Team at the Worst Possible Moment


On Tuesday, Borough President Eric Adams officially welcomes Brooklyn’s new football team, the Bolts, to the neighborhood. The Brooklyn Bolts are a Fall Experimental Football League franchise; the FXFL is hoping to become a development league for the NFL, the way minor-league baseball is for the MLB.

Tuesday also happens to be the deadline for former NFL players and their family members to decide whether to accept the terms of a $765 million class-action settlement with the NFL over concussion claims. (The daughter of the late Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, who shot his girlfriend, then himself, in 2012, for example, has opted in. The family of the late Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson, who committed suicide in 2011, is reportedly still considering the option to proceed with litigation.)

Tuesday comes just five days after the New York Times published a lengthy investigation showing that for years, local police in Tallahassee, Florida, have looked the other way when Florida State University players broke the law. “[A]rrests have been avoided, investigations have stalled, and players have escaped serious consequences,” the paper reports, all while the department was also being paid to direct traffic on FSU game days.

See also: Against Football Author Steve Almond Blasts the NFL and Its Hypocritical Media Machine

This Tuesday, of course, is just another Tuesday during a football season in which the NFL feigned ignorance about a video showing Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice socking his fiancée so hard in the face that she was knocked out cold. (This, despite the assertions of a law enforcement official who sent the video to the NFL, and even provided a voicemail from a league employee acknowledging its receipt.) Over the course of the same season, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was indicted for child abuse, 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence, and Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy was convicted of assault.

…Which is all to say: It’s not a good day to welcome a new football team to Brooklyn. But maybe that doesn’t matter — 85 percent of adults polled in September said the recent news about the NFL would not change the amount of professional football they watch. Three percent said the news made them more likely to watch.

The press conference kicks off at 2 p.m. at Brooklyn Borough Hall; an autograph and photo session starts at 12:45.


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