The NFL Takes a Step Back ..Then Trips
Once again the NFL seems to be incapable of getting out of it’s own way. We’ve come to expect yearly overreactions from the NFL in the form of rule (has anyone figured out what a catch is yet?) and policy changes, but it’s been jarring to watch the NFL continuously choose the wrong side in this national anthem protest conversation. They’ve paid lip service to both sides on this issue but their actions have shown their only interested in protecting the feelings and generated revenue from, frankly, racist fans. With their latest policy change, the NFL has accomplished their goal of placating these racists at the expense of human beings who have the nerve to not support police brutality.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recently announced policy changes pertaining to the national anthem performances that occur before the game. You can read it here if you haven’t seen or heard the news.
The statement may look reasonable enough to some, but a closer look reveals this memo to be full of lies, misdirection, and additional grandstanding for the crowd of people hiding their racism behind perceived disrespect towards the flag, law enforcement and the military. The first three paragraphs read like a PR statement attempting to ensure people they care about the issue of police brutality, while the rest of the statement completely wipes that premise away.
We see the first inconsistency when Roger says “It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic. This is not and was never the case.” This is the NFL acknowledging the fact that the protest do no disrespect the flag, law enforcement, or the military in any way. Colin took a knee because he wanted to hold America to it’s promises and could not stand and salute the flag of a country that regularly allows police officers to get away with the unlawful abuse and murder of its citizens. The NFL admits this is the case, then continues with “This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.” This is what I mean when I say the NFL is talking out of both sides of its neck. How can you acknowledge that the protest do not disrespect the flag, then turn around and require that everyone stand and show respect to the flag as if kneeling is showing disrespect?
The easy solution to this problem would be to tell everyone who feels the protest are disrespectful that they’re wrong and allowing the protest to continue. I don’t see what’s so hard about calling out these people hiding behind this excuse, that is, if you genuinely don’t believe the protest to be unpatriotic. A lot of people will say the NFL would lose money by rubbing those people the wrong way but that leads me to question why the NFL does not seem to care about losing money by alienating fans in support of the protest?
The NFL lies again when they claim this policy was unanimously agreed upon. They claim they are working with players for solutions but didn’t even consult the Player’s Association before implementing this new policy. Early reports, along with the memo, implied that all 32 owners agreed with the change and it was later revealed that at least one organization actually abstained from voting because they disagreed with it. The NFL can try all they want to frame this as a compromise but we can clearly see the league only cares about stifling the protest and did not care about the opinion of anyone who was opposed to that. I’m not saying that have to care, but if they’re going to choose to appease these people hiding behind a false notion of disrespect than we have to call them out on it.
Yall Thought Yall Had Something With That huh?
I don’t think we’re done seeing protest in the NFL at all. I think the NFL has opened up an even bigger can of worms. Banning protest during the anthem is going to force players to find more creative ways to get they points off. I’m already laughing thinking of the excuses people will make up for why their offended when the flag and national anthem are no longer involved. It’s going to be really hard to continue hiding their true feelings and it’s going to be hilarious watching how far they reach for reasons to be mad. I can’t wait to see these new protest either. There’s plenty of loopholes in this policy that will allow for protests to continue. For instance, the policy only bans protest until after the national anthem is performed so I don’t see any reason why players couldn’t kneel directly after the song is finished. This policy doesn’t ban standing and lifting a fist in a show of black unity during the anthem. Also, with the touchdown celebration rules being loosened up a bit last year, we may begin to see demonstrations happening there. I can’t wait to see who will be the first player to score and proceed to sing the national anthem while his teammates kneel around him. That’s sure to cause a four hour tweetstorm from the head tangerine in charge.
At the end of the day I’m not surprised at all by the NFL’s decision. They chose what side they were on when they refused to sign Colin Kaepernick. The fact that they are trying to convince us that they’re truly interested in helping rid the country of police brutality and systematic racism while having multiple open suits for colluding to keep players out the league for protesting is insulting. It’s exactly like how they pretend to care about player safety while continuing to have games on Thursday. It’s exactly like how they lied about their CTE findings. It’s exaclty like how they have a ban of marijuana but allow their players to abuse opiods, pain shots, and smelling salts. It’s exactly like the NFL has always operated and I don’t expect them to change anytime soon.