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October 02, 2017

Will Tonight End the NFL Kneeling Protests?

Here's how I see this going down: The owners tell the players, "My God, you cannot kneel for the flag in the wake of mass shooting, possibly with some terroristic intent." So the players don't. Even the most hyperpoliticized leftwing BAMN asshole will presumably see the sense in taking a break from pissing on the flag for one night.

And then they can't on Thursday or Sunday, either. I mean, this is not a one-day story.

And then quietly, the owners instruct the players that they may get as political as they like on Twitter or Instagram, but when on the field, they'll be held to the letter of the rulebook as far as standing for the flag.

I think that might happen.

I also think it won't matter much. You know, breaking up with a sports league is like breaking up with a person: One minute, you're conflicted, and not sure you could ever really get on without them. The next minute, you decide, and that decision is now firm, and you can't even imagine why you took so long to do it.

(Actually, in my experience, it's women who are really good at this -- the total break, the binary on-off switch, the hard goodbye -- but bear in mind, that's my experience. You have to keep in mind, women feel incredibly empowered and liberated to be rid of me.)

Via Instapundit, two stories about the NFL, because man, that is more fun to talk about than the carnage in Las Vegas:

CNN's Silverback Gorilla, the grunting John King, says NFL owners have data that the anthem protests are in fact hurting the league.

"NFL owners so far siding with their players for their right to free speech, but they're also keeping close tabs on the financial impact and the public relations impact of this confrontation," King said.

He went on to say that the NFL owners have research "clearly showing the president is right" when he claims the national anthem protests are one factor in TV ratings dropping.

"Since the president weighed in, the owners are now dealing with a surge in ticket holder requests for refunds," King said.

Meanwhile, Derek Hunter writes about the slow death of the NFL.

Since I wasn’t a rabid fan the NFL won’t really notice that I’m gone. But I’m not alone. Through my radio show, social media, and life I have heard from scores of people who are diehard fans, and they’re done too.

More importantly for the NFL and the players, they’re beyond angry. Lifelong fans feel betrayed. Anger fades with time, but the sting of betrayal lingers.


The damage to the NFL began when Commissioner Roger Goodell chose to side with left-wing activists over the game in the hope of placating them and absolving himself from his failures to properly address domestic violence by some players.


It has evolved from an organization that fined Jim McMahon for writing messages on his headbands to one that ignored players perpetuating the lie of
"hands up, don't shoot." From blocking the Dallas Cowboys from honoring five police officers who were murdered by a militant racist inspired by anti-police activists to ignoring Colin Kaepernick wearing socks portraying police as pigs.

It seemed like a league held hostage by Kaepernick’s racism; in fear of being called racist itself. Now it's an enabler of ignorance.


There could not have been a worse target for a protest than the national anthem in a sport that has marinated itself in patriotism. Sure, it was paid for [link to article noting that the NFL is paid for its military boosterism] -- nothing in the NFL is free – but they cashed the checks.

When Kaepernick chose to protest during the national anthem all people saw was a protest of the national anthem. That Goodell and his highly paid PR team didn't recognize this fact and squash it like they did DeAngelo Williams’ desire to pay tribute to his late mother by wearing pink to raise breast cancer awareness is a testament to the fear and desire for self-preservation that has marked his tenure.

People only keep on doing something that takes a lot of time, money, or effort if they believe they are getting direct and indirect benefits out of it. Few NFL fans get direct benefits out of watching the games-- obviously all fans want "their" teams to have 11+ wins in a season and make the playoffs (and win at least one game in the playoffs), and obviously, most fans cannot have that. At best, only the fans of four to six clubs feel really satisfied at the end of a season.

That's just the nature of the thing -- 32 teams in a three-quarter-year tournament to determine one single champion must, necessarily, leave a lot of fans disappointed. Obviously you just can't hand out Participation Trophies for Every Team!!! to make fans feel good about watching a team that goes 5-11.

So there's a built-in hard limit to how many fans any sporting league can really please throughout every year.

But you can keep enjoying the NFL if you feel it's providing you with indirect secondary benefits. The idea that this is a national ritual of sorts, a kind of secular communion, something connecting brother with brother, father with son, wife with husband. The idea that this is a truly American thing, something untainted and pure. Something above and outside our daily burdens and bothers, and even something, despite the violence, innocent. Something kids can watch that adults can enjoy even more.

Something that makes us better -- more American -- by watching it.

Obviously you can't have that secondary indirect benefit when you have a bunch of guys protesting the flag itself.

And then, as the league lets people violate the rulebook to protest the flag, it gets harder to ignore the players who rough up their wives and girlfriends, or even straight-up knock them out, and then skate with minor penalties.

The NFL has injected a lot of grimy, ugly reality into a thing we were turning to precisely because we were looking for a four-hour break from reality.

If those in the Escapism Business are no longer willing to provide escape -- if they feel that is now beneath them -- then what is the point of them?

digg this
posted by Ace at 02:30 PM

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