A Couple Thoughts on the NFL Players’ “Protests”

The Wall Street Journal ran a couple of pieces on this, one by Matthew Futterman and Andrew Beaton (Behind the NFL’s Frantic Scramble to Hit Back at Trump) and the other an op-ed by Jason Riley.

The former centered on the purported disarray among the NFL’s management, players, players union, owners, and coaches as they tried to figure out how to ride the tiger they’d turned loose with their “protests.”  The latter was a sort of coming-of-age piece wherein Riley went from national anthem sitter to a national anthem stander.

My two thoughts are closely related to each other.  This is my view of the Futterman and Beaton piece:

….players—many of whom say they are deeply offended by the president’s statements….

That’s OK–many of us are deeply offended by players’ attacks on our flag and national anthem.

Goodell had released a statement that Trump had shown “an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL…failure to understand the overwhelming force for good [we] represent in our communities.”

Where is the good in the NFL’s divisive attacks on our national symbols? Where is the NFL’s respect for these?

These Precious Ones claim to protest inequities against minorities. This is nonsense. Were they interested in protesting inequities against minorities, they’d do that instead of attacking our flag and anthem. Were they interested in working against those inequities, they’d go into communities and work the problems rather than kneeling on the safety of the sidelines saying, “There’s a problem. Someone else fix it.”

This is what Riley’s piece generated in my pea brain:

The players have said they are protesting the unjust treatment of blacks by law enforcement….

This is nonsense. If the players wanted to protest unjust treatment, they would protest unjust treatment. Instead, they’re attacking our flag and our national anthem, and they’re insulting Gold Star families and veterans who fought, many of whom were maimed or killed in those fights, for these guys’ right to protest.

The stereotype of “dumb jock” was ugly 50 years ago, and it’s no prettier today. These players know full well what they’re doing; perpetuating that stereotype by pretending they don’t is as ugly as the stereotype.

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