Here is where they stand…
Football season is upon us, and for many, the protest dilemma and its effect hang in the balance. The NFL may continue to experience lower ratings due to the impact of disputes it faces from both sides of the spectrum. Unfortunately for protest supporters, the NFL’s core demographic reminded the commissioner and owners of it being the dominant society.
The white nationalist fan-base did not want to see a dark-skinned man “disrespect” their flag. While the protest was not about disrespecting the flag or troops; they were able to promote that narrative. A narrative employed by the man that sits in the oval office.
The need to provide realism to this commentary is necessary. Last year’s “protest” was not in accord with Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid’s reasons for taking a knee. Last year’s protest was a reactionary effect of the fake president referring to NFL players as “sons of b*tches.” To be rational, I’m sure the instigator-in-chief intended to disrespect the players and not their mothers. In any case, they responded in the most passive-aggressive way by kneeling during the national anthem.
The fix for last season is now the current day resolution. By giving the option for players to stay inside, they avoid the visually stimulating anger of the white nationalist and their minority apologist. Ironically, staying in the locker room won’t put the angry mob at ease. Moreover, players given the option to stay inside the locker room only feel the resolution of a mandate to a choice.
SPEAK UP OR SHUT UP!
Clearly, the NFL infringed on players first amendment rights by not allowing them to protest. NFL players genuinely committed to protesting police brutality need to take a more direct route. There is the staunch approach to give up their paychecks, turn in their jersey, and exit the league. However, the relative path is facing reality: living black in America means being at the mercy of your oppressor. The “shut up and play” narrative wins again.
In the meantime, expect the more conscious players to get a little creative with their protest. I predict we will see a kneel after scoring a first down, touchdown or even kneeling on the sidelines in between general gameplay? A more remarkable display would be both teams meeting in the middle of the field after the game.
No longer will players be forced to stand for a flag that represents slavery, suffering, and death. They are not free from chastisement, but this was the best play in order to avoid another fiscal downfall. I expect the NFL to recover and this uprising to die down after the first few weeks in the season.