The NFL owners have, in their all-white male autocratic wisdom, laid down a rule upon their (70 percent dark-skinned) employees: thou shalt not disrespect symbols by peacefully protesting when for reasons that make no sense the symbols are displayed and worshiped right before professional football games.
Let us hope that in keeping with the league’s pinched view of patriotism, the players choose to honor the letter but not the spirit of this insulting ban. It might be amusing, for example, to see the owners tied in knots by players who choose to abide by the injunction to “stand and show respect” — while holding black-gloved fists in the air. Or who choose to stand — while holding signs protesting policy brutality. We look forward to many more meetings of fatootsed gazillionaires conducting many more votes on petty rules to ban creative new forms of player protest.
The protests — against the killing of unarmed black people by cops, against racial injustice and for the basic human right to life — are, unlike the flag and (really lousy) anthem, not symbolic and certainly are not empty. And for those of you who gripe about the location of the protests: it’s smart to use widely watched national sports events to make such points and to do it silently and peacefully.
Suppressing and punishing anyone who wants to make such points are immoral and stupid actions.
Damn, the first thing I’d like to say about this is: don’t these ultra-rich guys understand how bad, how ugly they look? Except, no, in the era of Trump, they don’t know, because no matter how rotten they look, how racist, how white supremacist…they could never look as bad as Trump.
And they don’t care. Except for the ones who openly backed away of any enforcement of this new rule — Jed York of the ’49ers, and Chris Johnson, of the Jets, who says if any of his players do protest during the anthem, the team will pay any fines.
So where are Jeff Lurie (Eagles), Steve Tisch and John Mara (my Giants)? Where are owners who’ve previously shown understanding of and some sympathy for the protests?
This action is proof that it doesn’t take any real intelligence to become very, very rich. You can do it and still be a moral and intellectual dimwit.
What is particularly foolish about this new rule is what will happen when the NFL season begins in September.
If I were an NFL player contemplating protest, this would push me right into it.
Reminder to NFL owners: do you imagine for a second that I avidly watch football games for you? The only reason you’re rich is because of the players. It’s their gifts as athletes which thrill me, which have made me a football fan.
I don’t give a fuck about you.