For many fans of the National Football League (NFL), the past two months have been hell on earth. On Sept. 24, however, many NFL supporters would have preferred a lava-based locale. Why that is, exactly, is because the universe itself seemed to laugh out loud as five depraved cartoon characters ripped the NFL to shreds.
The television series “South Park” is an animated adult sitcom created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. With an emphasis on dark and often perverted satire, “South Park” took a special interest the NFL’s recent string of legal issues.
When Parker and Stone released a short teaser trailer for their season 18 opener, it was obvious that the Washington Redskins were going to be mentioned — but nobody expected what would happen next.
In the recently released “South Park” episode, Cartman and gang decide to create their own business via Kickstarter, an online platform through which enterprising businesses can request monetary support. In true “South Park” style, the gang decides it needs a powerful name for their new business, singling out that of the recently revoked trademark of the Washington Redskins.
In the animated scenario that follows, Washington Redskins’ owner Dan Snyder pleads with 8-year-old Cartman to release his company’s hold the team’s persona. In a below-the-belt jab at the Washington Redskins’ original statement regarding the trademark issue, the “South Park” creators show Snyder attempting to argue that the misuse of his team’s name is damaging a culture and creating an idea of prejudice.
While Parker and Stone make Snyder’s statements seem hilarious, the underlying tone beats the Washington Redskins in the gut repeatedly, painting the organizations logo as being harmful to the Native American culture.
The latter portion of the episode even includes a locker room scene in which Washington Redskins players ask Snyder where they will go, now that they have been displaced by Cartman and gang — a clear reference to Native American history and a heartless punch to the Washington Redskins organization.
But before you start feeling sorry for the Snyder and the Washington Redskins, take heart in the fact that Parker and Stone dealt an even series of low blows to the NFL regarding its alleged inability to solve its many internal problems. The episode skewered NFL commissioner Roger Goodell by portraying him as a robot and dubbing his voice out with audio clippings from his recent press conference.
It is hard to picture how an animated 8-year old could take part in a cartoon that seemingly ripped the foundation out from under a multimillion dollar corporation such as the NFL. But then again, if the NFL continuously manages to shoot itself in the foot, Parker and Stone are well within their rights to shoot them in the other foot — metaphorically, of course.