Arian Foster Credit: Macrodosing Podcast

Jerod Mayo came right out and addressed the elephant in the room of being a Black coach in Boston and the first Black coach in New England Patriots history last week at his introductory press conference. And after Mayo said it was necessary to see color to address racism, right-wing media came out with their anti-woke pitchforks. Former NFL running back Arian Foster deconstructed the term “woke” this week while calling out the outlets who use it as a stand-in for a real argument.

Speaking on his podcast Macrodosing from Barstool Sports, Foster also explained why Mayo was correct to call attention to the racial divides in football.

“There’s no such thing as woke. It’s a facade,” Foster said. “They’re boxing shadows. Anything they don’t like, they just label it as woke.”


Foster explained that when Fox News and other conservative outlets resort to calling something “woke” it no longer means much of anything. The phrase has been overused to the point that it isn’t all that powerful anymore.

“It’s like a flag they can carry against ‘this,'” Foster said. “It’s just never really defined, and it was highjacked from Black folks once again, and they flipped into a pejorative.”

The phrase traces back to early 20th century Black thinkers across the globe as a rallying cry for freedom.

Foster also discussed why Mayo addressing racism in football is important.

“This does go back to the history of football. When we started, they didn’t let Black people play quarterback, so we were kind of groomed to play these certain skill positions,” Foster explained. “I didn’t touch or see a golf club until I was in college. But some of these cats, that’s where they grow up.”

It may feel like pioneers like Tony Dungy or Patrick Mahomes have changed the NFL. But America’s biggest sport is still evolving.

To Foster, dismissing that evolution as “woke” is lazy and misses the point.

[Macrodosing on YouTube]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.