New Football Season Means New Controversies and New Ways for Lions to Disappoint

Detroit News sports columnist John Niyo and iOne Digital Senior Culture Editor David Dennis, Jr. talk about the new season on Detroit Today.

The NFL season is officially underway, as is college football.

Each new season recently has brought its own batch of controversies and political dust-ups. But one constant each year — the Lions will find new and exciting ways to disappoint.

When it comes to the storylines so far, there is plenty to talk about. 

Last month, the NFL announced Roc Nation — the entertainment company founded by rapper Jay-Z — is entering into a multiyear partnership with the NFL to enhance the NFL’s live game experiences and to amplify the league’s social justice efforts. That has sparked backlash from supporters of Colin Kaepernick, who say Jay-Z is doing an about-face. The rap mogul has long been critical of the NFL’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick and players who want to kneel during the national anthem. Now, they say he’s promoting the league and giving it cover.

“It’s clear what they were trying to do, they’ve been scrambling for three years now, they’ve been trying to get around this issue and this is what they came up with,” Detroit News sports columnist John Niyo says on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson.

“I thought there was a possibility that Jay Z had this grand plan to change things but that faith has gone away very quickly,” says David Dennis, Jr., senior culture editor at iOne Digital.

Also in the news, NFL free agent Ryan Russell announced that he is bisexual. Few American football players have come out as being LGBTQ, and the announcement renews conversations about the league’s macho culture and whether it is welcoming to players who aren’t straight. 

The conversation about players’ wellness was also stoked before the start of the season when Indianapolis Colts star quarterback Andrew Luck announced his retirement at age 29.

Click on the player above to hear Detroit News sports columnist John Niyo and iOne Digital Senior Culture Editor David Dennis, Jr. talk about the new football seasons and the conversations around them.


  • Detroit Today
    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.