Professor says Madden game dehumanized Black athletes

Professor says Madden game dehumanized Black athletes
John Madden (Photo credit: / s_bukley)

A White professor is making headlines after he shared his thoughts on the late John Madden.

Madden died at 85 on Dec. 28. He was a former NFL coach and commentator, and the popular NFL video game franchise “Madden” is named after him. When condolences poured in over social media, Dallas College professor Andrew McGregor held back no punches on Twitter.

“I have lots of opinions on John Madden,” McGregor tweeted. “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.”

Since making the post,  McGregor has placed his account on private after receiving hundreds of responses that didn’t agree with him.

McGregor continued his thread, as screenshotted by Bounding Into Comics, claiming the video game distanced the reality of the violent sport from fans.

“[It] transformed human behaviors into artificial numbers and simulation,” he tweeted. “It glamorized athletes, using their name for profits while encouraging fans to disregard the humanity. Madden built a digital plantation.”

The professor concluded his thread by clarifying that Madden’s exploitation of Black men isn’t limited to his video game, either.

“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 tweeted.

According to his WordPress website, McGregor is a history instructor whose research focuses on American culture, politics, race, and the history of sports. Before placing his account on private, he responded to a user who disagreed that the NFL exploited Black men.

“Just cuz they’re getting paid does mean they’re not still participating in an exploitative racialized system,” McGregor responded.

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