08/15/2014 12:13 pm ET Updated Aug 15, 2014

Tough Talk

Rob Carr via Getty Images

The NFL is so popular, and plays such a charged role in American culture, that it has become a large paradox. The league is a mirror of society, reflecting our difficulties with race, class, sexual orientation, and gender. But the league is also an escape from society, offering a fantasy of liberated violence and untrammeled, almost superhuman power.

Read more on Grantland