NFL – Now Failing Liberty

If you follow the efforts to end the institutionalised racism present in US society, you’ll be well aware of Colin Kaepernick and the campaign he started by taking a knee to take a stand. The objective was to use his position of privilege in a peaceful manner, as a protest at black people dying at the hands of police. His actions were soon copied by other NFL stars and the movement spread to other sports. It was a non-violent yet very public way of getting attention for an important cause, yet thanks to some skewed ideas around patriotism, Kaepernick and his fellow kneelers drew heavy criticism from certain quarters (Trump and Pence, to name a couple of culprits).

Now, the NFL has revealed itself to be a tool of the current political establishment, issuing directives that tell players they cannot kneel or otherwise take any action during the national anthem, otherwise they and their club can face fines. In other words, respecting the flag and anthem is judged more important than raising awareness of the ongoing failures of US police forces (and other institutions) in respect of race. Not only that, it’s an enforcement of a policy that actually contravenes the First Amendment (which concerns freedom of expression).

It’s far from the case that every American shares the NFL’s bleak approach to this situation, but if you are American and reading this, ask yourself a few questions – are you upset that black Americans are kneeling during the anthem? Does this upset you more than the disproportionate response of law enforcement when dealing with black Americans? If so, why? Does it upset you that these athletes are using their fame to draw much-needed attention to this cause? If so, why? Does it upset you that their First Amendment rights are being squashed? If not, why?

4 thoughts on “NFL – Now Failing Liberty

  1. I heard some frothing-at-the mouth commentary when I was getting my trillionth cup of tea yesterday morning (dad was watching FUX again), talking how important the flag is and how it needs to be respected and all.
    Well, there are a few things I have to say to that, because it’s a bit ridiculous that a piece of flying fabric is supposed to mean far more than the people it’s meant to represent. But for the “‘merica!” crowd, I have to say a couple things.
    1. Regarding the flag and it’s place, I highly recommend the book “The Soiling of Old Glory” by Louis Masur (i think that’s the name), about the famous Boston photograph of the black man and the american flag being swung at him. It’s a great little book about truth and photography and what the flag’s represented in our country all these years, in art and society–and of course the events that made that photo.
    2. If this ‘Merica! crowd that’s howling about what a sacred symbol the American flag is and how it must be honored and such, because it represent us and yada yada yada, I’d like to ask them if it’s such an “American” thing, then why are no American flags actually made in the U.S.? I look at the labels and they always say made in China, or Vietnam, or Singapore, or something.
    Why are we harping on a symbol of our country that’s never even MADE in this country anymore? …wonder what they think of that.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Addendum: come Flag Day, I actually found a few “made in the USA” flags in the grocery stores. Guess I wasn’t the only one griping about that (hee hee). I still see plenty of made in Asia versions, especially the cheap ones.

      Liked by 1 person

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