Well everyone, the summer is over and with the start of a new school year comes another season of NFL football and (more importantly) NHL hockey.
Unfortunately, with another NFL season comes the resurgence of player flag protests and kneeling, inspired by the antics of now-NFL nobody Colin Kaepernick. (Think I spelled that right, but don’t care either way).
I have a few thoughts and facts pertaining to this:
1) Beginning in 2009, the Department of Defense began paying millions of taxpayer dollars to NFL teams (including the Green Bay Packers) in exchange for extravagant patriotic rallies reminiscent of “The Triumph of the Will.” Moreover, professional sports teams are incredibly subsidized by both local governments and the federal government.
2) NFL players and owners who kneel are melodramatic and annoying as hell, and I would suspect selfish motivations over altruism. However, some are making the point, in their own words that this is “not a black and white issue” and is more about police brutality, which has become a hallmark of the American post-911 police state.
3) The flag is just a piece of cloth that means nothing. Rights do not come from government, they come from our humanity. It is not because of the government that we have inalienable rights.
5) It has been a very very very long time since an American soldier actually died protecting freedom, or the United States from an imminent attack that was not instigated or encouraged by our own government.
6) Who cares? Football is a GAME. It’s a game, people. Moreover, it is the bread and games of a dying empire, much like the Roman coliseums.
7) The United States military is currently complacent in, or perpetrating, the slaughter of millions across the globe, but particularly in Yemen, where we are assisting in an active Saudi-led genocide, carried out with US aid and weapons.
These are all points that I would make, but my main takeaway from this irritating and downright cringe-worthy melodrama is that professional sports are/were one of the last mutual interests that normal, apolitical people could bond over.
The divide and conquer narrative has now permeated even this (final?) bastion of American cultural identity. Now regular Americans can’t even use football and sports as an escape from the fake and crumbling economy, or the hysterical and grotesque mainstream media.
For all of the NFL’s faults, of which there are many, it is sad that people are now further divided over whether or not to kneel or stand for a piece of cloth.
Don’t step into the trap people, don’t get caught in the hate. This entire annoying affair is another side-show to distract, divide, and conquer. Instead, we need to be coming together to fight against less trivial matters through civil discourse, economics, logic, and compassion for our fellow man.
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