Adam Benovic and Zachary Doleiden
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The NFL And Porn: Are The Two On A Collision Course?

Aug 19, 2014 4:55 AM EST

If you’re reading this article, it’s more than likely that you know just how dominant the Internet has become in today’s society. Whether it is research, communication or just straight up entertainment, most of us are constantly connected through this seemingly endless path of electrons – anything we could ever want is right at our fingertips.

Obviously, the reason we’re mentioning this in this forum is because this instant access to information is quite relevant to football. The NFL has started streaming numerous games online throughout the season so that the fan experience doesn’t have to be limited by sitting in front of the boob tube.

So why does this matter, you ask?

Well, The Daily Dot recently ran an interview about team sponsorship that people should definitely read. For the lazy, the article talks about the adult film industry, particularly the website YouPorn, wanting to directly sponsor an eSports team (for those of you who are unaware, examples of eSports include professional League of Legends, Super Smash Bros., etc). The interview makes some bold claims about the nature of advertising pornography.

When asked about YouPorn sponsoring an eSports team over a physical sports team, the website’s PR and Marketing Manager Matt Blake mentioned that it was a sign of the times, citing his thought that members of this digital audience are more open-minded to change.

“Traditional sports organizations have a certain presence in the collective conscious that they’ve established over many years, while eSports is more of a fledgling institution finding its voice – which in the digital age, is constantly shifting and adapting with the times,” Blake said.

Could this be true? Would the overarching “traditional” fan base be opposed to ads for adult entertainment during their game? What would be some pros and cons?

Well, lucky for you, Zach and I are going to discuss this titillating topic.

Zach: Porn is always a touchy subject in today’s world. It is viewed as crude and degrading to women, and by all accounts it kind of is. But this article from The Daily Dot really got me thinking – with professional sports franchises gaining popularity and increasing in value with each passing season, how far off are we to seeing a company emerge from the shadows of the adult industry to try and purchase a professional team?

Just think about it. The Buffalo Bills are currently receiving bids for new ownership. Could you imagine if a company like YouPorn managed to purchase the team – even at a minority stake if it had to be part of an ownership group? Sure, the cheerleaders would be hot, but I can’t fathom Mr. Smith taking little Johnny to YouPorn Stadium to see the Bills play. It is just unsavory.

Adam: Think of it this way Zach. Porn doesn’t have to be a touchy subject. It doesn’t have to be crude and degrading to women. That’s just what the public mentality of porn is. Yes, many popular sites focus on the idea of the sexy girl paying for her pizza with something other than cash, but is that all porn is?

Even a quick search online will show you that there are videos of couples just enjoying sex together. There’s no crass build-up. No focus on degradation or power. There are even entire websites dedicated to “couple” or “female-friendly” pornography.

If we had YouPorn Stadium, or whatever website that decided to enter the fray, couldn’t it be used to emphasize that porn isn’t all raunchy? This could be a legitimate effort to reform the adult film industry. Like it or not, our views on sex are shaped by porn, so wouldn’t this just be a chance to shape things in a positive way? Where sex isn’t seen as a bad thing but instead is a creative output?

Mr. Smith taking little Johnny to YouPorn Stadium is an opportunity to not only enjoy the game with his son, but it opens up an avenue for conversation about sex. Most of us have or will do it, so wouldn’t this claim sex away from taboo? It’s okay to talk about sex. More important, I’d rather our childrens’ opinions be shaped by open dialogue as opposed to playground rumors.

Zach: Adam, my friend. I see where you’re coming from, and I’m not saying that children should be afraid to talk about sex with their parents, but they should have the choice of when they’d like to discuss it. Fans shouldn’t have to worry about spending a day at a football game and having sex thrust upon them (no pun intended). Perhaps the company buys into a team and doesn’t rename the stadium after itself, but don’t think for one second there won’t be some form of advertisement bringing awareness to their business after such an investment.

This whole situation would just expose a younger audience to pornography. I can’t imagine Mr. Smith being too thrilled at the prospect of little Johnny searching for YouPorn online after attending a football game or viewing a television commercial or looking around on the team’s website. Kids are having sex way too early as it is in today’s over sexualized society, so why take away one of the only forms of entertainment out there that does not rely on sex to keep viewers coming back for more.

I don’t know about you, but some people are tired of having sex forced down their throat at every turn. Porn and professional athletics just can’t coexist – well, from a business standpoint at least.

Adam: Well, let’s look at it this way. As you said, there are already cheerleaders for most teams. Why are they there? For the sex appeal. People barely even notice them. I mean, I’m a Detroit Lions fan. They don’t have cheerleaders, and I can’t say they are worse off. But many teams still do. They feel that by having that draw of sex, they will have more people attend games.

Now, keep in mind all of the scandal that we had this year with the NFL cheerleaders. We saw sexism, poor business practices and the overall degradation of cheerleaders’ humanity in general. Think of how the adult film industry would improve that situation alone. It brings the mentality of having “sexiness” on the field through on-field advertisements. Either that or cheerleaders who are treated fairly.

Keeping in mind the article that you posted, I want you to really look at that list. We see multiple names repeated. It’s not that porn stars and athletes can’t mix. It’s that these relationships just didn’t work out.

Plus, when were we factoring in the athletes’ personal lives. But if we are to bring that up, let’s look at the messages athletes send. By definition, they are celebrities. Some are great role models; some are poor. But what we hear about are those like Ray Rice – an athlete who hit his significant other, yet got less punishment than someone who smoked marijuana. How do you think people would react if players were taking a “sex positive” approach to sex as opposed to hiring prostitutes? I think people would actually listen if enough did. I mean, look at how many people supported Michael Sam and how that is working out.

And to address your point about little Johnny and Mr. Smith, think of it this way. We live in a culture where sex is both taboo and celebrated. It is neither as good nor as bad as people make it out to be. But like you said, kids are having sex at a young age. Why, though? Yeah, it is partially because of our society, but not in the way you think. It’s because kids see all of this talk about sex, but they don’t understand it. They don’t understand the consequences. Bringing it to the surface, taking away the taboo – it’s not one of those, “I’ve done this super-secret thing.” It becomes a dialogue. Parents can talk with their children when they’re ready, but they’d have a perfect gateway at YouPorn Stadium.

Perhaps there is too much overt sex in society. Heck, it seems like the Internet was invented exclusively for porn nowadays. Not to mention I saw ads like this one at least once during every football game last season. If we’re going to use sex to sell, shouldn’t we take the time to embrace it in a positive step? And wouldn’t bringing the adult film industry into the public eye be a good first step in doing that?

Zach: You make some valid points Adam. At the end of the day, I think it’s just one of those things that doesn’t have a singular, clear-cut answer.

Luckily, Football.com is a public forum where ideas and opinions are encouraged. What do you all think? Should the adult entertainment industry try to buy into a professional NFL team?

Sound off below!