Seattle, WA – In a stunning act of silence, philosopher Josiah Crandall had absolutely nothing to say about the growing and disturbing trend of unsportsmanlike conduct by professional athletes. Richard Sherman’s recent post-game rant against San Francisco 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree and his “choking gesture” directed at quarterback Colin Kaepernick is just the latest in a string of professional athletes acting like high school prima donnas. The trend has mothers everywhere very upset. “I’m very upset!” said Melinda Sizemore of Auburn, Washington, “It’s just very upsetting.” Worried about the negative influence on her kids and the risk of “copycat behavior” by her boys, Sizemore started Bringing Our Rage Everywhere Deliberately (or B.O.R.E.D.) as an activist organization with the express goal of demonstrated how angry she and her fellow moms are at this “further sign of the moral degradation” of our society. “What type of a world are we living in when my 6 year old can’t watch grown men knock the bloody hell out of each other on daytime TV without being exposed to smack talk and dirty looks?” she said.
Crandall, a professor of moral philosophy at Washington University, has been been notably silent on the issue. “Really?” he was tweeted as saying to his class of freshmen Intro to Ethics students. He recently published an article for the New York Times in which the conduct of professional athletes was addressed not at all. Instead Crandall chose to write about abstract issues relating to free will and moral action. In an interview on Fox News, he was asked about the influence the poor conduct of celebrity sports figures has on the youth of America and appeared not to hear the question. A noticeably frustrated Megyn Kelly pressed, “Don’t you think something ought to be done? Isn’t it true that public figures like Richard Sherman and McKayla Maroney contribute to the corruption of our Christian youth?” Crandall simply responded with a look of professorial incredulity. “You hate the youth of our country, don’t you?” Kelly finally said in exasperation.
Sociologist Brine Zimmerman of Wazoo Solipsist Academy (located in a state that asked not to be named) said this lack of philosophical interest on issues that clearly affect our culture is a dangerous trend. “Say something, anything.” she encouraged. “Philosophers like Crandall just continue to marginalize the discipline.” she noted. She argues that moms have always had irrational worries about their kids and moms determine what their kids study. If philosophers don’t start caring about what parents care about, they won’t have any students in their classes. This will inevitably lead to philosophy as a discipline becoming less mainstream. “And if Wazoo had a philosophy program, you can be sure as hell that the philosophers who would have taught in that program would probably care about that.” said a wide-eyed Zimmerman.
Despite the overwhelming pressure from parents, Philosophers generally seem non-plussed. Nothing about the issue can be heard in philosophy classes being taught across the country. Instead, professors continue to focus on mundane topics like the meaning of life, what can we know, the meaning of right and wrong, and the nature of existence. In our research, we found a logic website that we thought had finally addressed the issue by creating the “No True Sherman” fallacy but later determined it was a misreading of the more common “No True Scotsman” fallacy. In a clear sign of the times, we found a group of philosophers in the mid-west that had not even watched the NFC championship game and were completely unaware of the Sherman trash talk. “We don’t have a TV.” one said.
Given this deafening silence by the philosophical community, we can only guess that philosophers everywhere would say that parents should protect their kids from bad behavior by turning off the TV, keeping them out of school sports programs, and teaching them the virtues. “Love and hope should be the message we send our children, not pout and ‘choke.'” we can imagine them saying. We asked professor Crandall if this is what he’d say were he to say anything. He has not yet responded to our email.