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Commemorating 9/11 NFL-Style: Insights Into America’s Culture of Militarism

This article explores how the National Football League’s (NFL’s) commemoration ceremonies on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 present a unique instance of sports–media-military convergence through their meticulous implementation across multiple games, broadcasting channels, and geographic locations. Expanding on themes of healing, the valorization of troops, and the sanitizing of war, as well as territorial conquest, I argue that the NFL’s 9/11 commemoration ceremonies are complicit in the silent re-empowerment of the neoliberal state in times of perpetual war. The policing and monitoring of U.S. citizens is hereby legitimated through reasserting hegemonic portrayals of masculinity that firmly frame the subject/citizen in a heteropatriarchal mold, as well as by creating a neo ethnic version of national identity that renders certain ethnic minorities, particularly Middle Easterners, as aberrant.