Dear Meryl Streep

Photo: Getty

Dear Meryl,

I don’t want to argue politics with you. I don’t really want to argue politics with anyone anymore. Haven’t we done that enough?

But there is one thing I would like to debate.

During your eloquent speech at the Golden Globes, you stated (in a somewhat demeaning tone) that if we kick all the foreigners out of Hollywood, then we’d have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, “Which are not the arts.”

Now, I can’t speak to mixed martial arts, but I can speak to football.

You see, I’ve spent my entire life watching football. And now, I spend my life writing about football. It’s taught me a lot about life – about  patience, about toughness, and about teamwork. Much like making a movie, in football, no one can accomplish anything on their own.

I’ve spent the past few years talking to football players, getting to know them, and listening to their stories. They’re the stuff movies are made of.

Some of them come from backgrounds you could never imagine. But just like you, they had a dream. Unlike you, they had to overcome much more to achieve them. Some had to fight racism and discrimination. Others grew up surrounded by poverty, drugs, and violence. And many suffered unimaginable heartache along the way.

Determined to better their lives and the lives of those around them, they were undeterred. They held onto hope because they had no choice – they were the only hope.

Football is a real game played by real people with real stories – some of which become movies. It isn’t just what happens on the field. It’s the stories of the players, their families, and their journeys. The life stories of athletes inspire art and create roles for people like you.

I don’t really care if you watch football. Maybe it’s not your thing. That’s fine. But don’t turn your nose up at those who do – much less, those who play the game.

You’re right. The world should be kinder, less judgmental, and more understanding.

And so should you.

XO