The Washington Football Team has discontinued its cheerleader program after more than 50 years, replacing it with a coed dance squad as part of its rebranding effort.

The team had announced last month that the cheerleader program was paused while it decided what direction the rebranding would take. Petra Pope, hired by the team as a senior adviser focused on creating game-day entertainment, said the goal is to create a “more modern franchise.”


Had the Washington NFL franchise refused to create a cheerleading program 50 years ago, it would have been accused of living in the Stone Age like a bunch of Puritans. Now, getting rid of the program is what you do when you’re trying to “create a more modern franchise.”

This is a perfect example why “right side of history” discourse is ridiculous and no serious person should entertain it. It’s like Screwtape said to Wormwood:

Your man has been accustomed, ever since he was a boy, to have a dozen incompatible philosophies dancing about together inside his head. He doesn’t think of doctrines as primarily ‘true’ or ‘false,’ but as ‘academic’ or ‘practical,’ ‘outworn’ or ‘contemporary,’ ‘conventional’ or ‘ruthless…’ Don’t waste time trying to make him think materialism is true! Make him think it is strong, or stark, or courageous—that it is the philosophy of the future. That’s the sort of thing he cares about.

Author: Samuel D. James

Believer, husband, father, acquisitions editor, writer.

4 thoughts on “Modernizing”

  1. So true! Cheerleaders seem to vary – university teams seem to be gymnasts and respectably dressed whereas others seem to be clearly problematic! I should add it is an American phenomenon – we don’t have them here in the UK.


      1. Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Ben. I would suggest that Clark is using TWSOH very idiosyncratically, and that 90%+ of people who use the phrase do not mean what he means. If the concept were generally understood to refer to the present, its use as a moral threat would be completely neutered, because telling people they are on the wrong side of history would be (in Clark’s thinking) the same as telling them they’re wrong. But the reason this phrase is invoked seriously at all is that it’s not just an observation but a prediction of future condemnation.

        Liked by 1 person

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