NFL fans, it’s gonna be a long season. And, no, it’s not because your favorite team is currently sitting 2-2 (Saints) or because your second favorite team is 0-5 and just lost their best player due to season-ending ankle fractures (Giants seeming a little, well, small at the moment).
It’s because kneeling situation has been blown out of portion by American-loving bigots who want you to respect a country that caters to them.
I know from the title of this column y’all might be confused on my stance. Am I siding with the likes of Jerry Jones and telling players to just stand in the face oppression and let Donald Trump and his public relation stunts man—I’m looking at you, Mike Pence—have their way simply so I can watch a football game?
Last season, when our beloved hero Colin Kaepernick took a knee, it was to the anger of many beer-drinkin’, flag-totin’ football fans. He was ridiculed. Yelled at. His message—to protest the injustices of police brutality in the African American community—was lost among the message that the media and those beer-drinkin’ Yankees/Southerners pushed: he was going against veterans, going against this country, and Kaepernick was just plain disrespectful.
This season, though, it’s a whole different ball game. No pun intended.
When Trump called NFL players “sons of bitches,” they became angry. And rightly so. In protest of his comments, they all started to kneel during the National Anthem. In fact, the San Francisco 79ers, Kaepernick’s old team, posted a team photo of them all kneeling—something they didn’t do when he was there.
Thus, the original message of police brutality injustices, which had already faded, had been completely, totally lost.
This is why I say take a seat:
The point of Kaepernick’s protest was not to kneel about Trump. In theory, our current president is just an unfortunate addition to the racism and bigotry we already face. He is not the engine that pushes it, nor the brakes that will stop it. It’s apparent Trump could care less about anything except his own rotten ego. I could go on, but almost a year into the presidency, and we all get it.
If players are going to kneel just in protest of Trump, they should stand. Continue to hold your fist over your heart because you’ve fumbled the meaning. They’re no longer standing for actual problems this country faces, but they’re standing to defend their own bruised egos.
For those of you that say they kneel for Kaepernick’s cause, let me ask you this: where were they last season? And if they truly, truly, cared about Kaepernick’s cause, why did it take for an insult from Trump for them to kneel?
I sum up my point with this: if players aren’t going to bring light to the fact that Kaepernick, who continues to donate money and promote his beliefs despite not having a job, had an actual reason to kneel, then they shouldn’t kneel.
Don’t do it because you’re mad at Trump.
Do it because you’re mad at America.
[Feature photo courtesy of The Independent]