The NFL Knee Battle : A Yuge Wager In The Culture War (Edited & Updated With An Op-ed By A Black U.S. Army Officer)
With 1/5 of the NFL having doubled down on Marxist racism, we are witnessing its bet that, in the culture war, patriotic Americans will take a knee.
By interjecting radical black Marxist/progressive politics into the NFL, the progressive left has just accepted — and indeed, doubled down — in a huge gamble in the culture wars. While half of the nation already buys into the poison the progs are selling, the other half has never been faced with the choice of accepting white guilt and pleading guilty to racism (just by being a non-black American) in order to continue to watch NFL games. The means of voting will be by free market economics — spending dollars at a stadium gate or tuning in to watch the games.
Just to recount the contours of this wager and how it came about: last year, back-up QB Colin Kaepernick (2016 salary $11 million+) began taking a knee to protest all of the horrible racism he and his fellow blacks were being subject to in this country. It caused enough heart burn even in San Francisco, the prog capital of America, that he was let go by the Forty-Niners. And Kapernick has been radioactive since; no team has been willing to sign him. (2017 salary $0). As Giants co-owner John Mara explained when it was reported that the Giants considered signing Kaepernick:
“All my years being in the league, I never received more emotional mail from people than I did about that issue,” Mara told TheMMQB.com’s Jenny Vrentas. “If any of your players ever do that, we are never coming to another Giants game. It wasn’t one or two letters. It was a lot. It’s an emotional, emotional issue for a lot of people, moreso than any other issue I’ve run into.”
A week ago, basketball’s Stephen Curry (2017 salary $34 million) made noises about not accepting a White House invitation, ostensibly because President Trump is racist. Trump responded to Curry by withdrawing the White House invitation. Also in the past few weeks, the media reported that “[a] group of NFL players has asked Commissioner Roger Goodell for a month dedicated to social activism in a letter . . . they titled, “Player Activism for Racial Equality and Criminal Justice Reform.” Kneeling is not enough for them.
Then a few days ago in a speech in Alabama, Trump laid down the wager, so to speak:
When people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they are playing our great national anthem – the only thing you could do better is if you see it, even if it’s one player, leave the stadium. I guarantee things will stop. . . .
Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He is fired.”
And over the past few days, many players and several teams in the NFL accepted the wager. A combined total of 23% of all NFL players including the Ravens, Seahawks and Steelers (less former Army Captain Alejandro Villanueva) in toto, either took a knee during the anthem or stayed off the field while it was being played. (Villaneuva has since apologized for standing for the flag instead of standing with his teammates, while the Steelers, after the fact, contend that they stayed in the locker room, not as a statement about the flag, but in an effort to reset matters to 2008, when teams appeared only after the national anthem was played.)
We can say with certainty that not a one of these players has been subject to systemic racism — the oldest players on each roster rarely exceeds 35 years old and thus all were born far too late to have experienced anything like Jim Crow. I’d be surprised if any them had ever experienced more than a smattering of actual racism from some fringe yahoo, if any at all, in their entire lives. They live in a country where they have become millionaires overnight for just signing to play a year of professional sports. They live in a country that supports and idolizes their physical skills, with over 100 million tuning in to watch the Superbowl every year. They agree to provide superb entertainment once a week, and the public agrees to part with their hard earned money at the stadium gate or indirectly by watching their games over the air waves. These athletes are not victims, let alone victims of racism.
And yet almost 25% of these athletes just made overt shows of disrespect to our country and its citizens with incredibly symbolic acts. I am sure a few might have meant it only towards Trump in their minds. Regardless, those of us who pulled the lever for Trump or who do not buy into the toxic narratives being taught in victim’s studies classes are being soaked in the backwash. You might as well have played Hildabeast braying on loudspeaker overtop of our national anthem declaring half of America “deplorables.”
The genesis of these acts by the footballers comes from the heart of Marxist progressive politics, where each person is wholly defined by the color of their skin (or their gender, etc.) and not by the content of their character. It has its genesis in radical black academia where professors inculcate the most vile of ideological excreta into their students, painting a dark fantasy of permanent black victims and America as Selma circa 1952 writ large. All whites — but for the progressive whites — are damned as inherently racist. Racism is still systemic in America, the Constitution is the political instrument of black oppression written by white slavers, and capitalism is the concomitant economic system of black oppression. It is an ideology impervious to facts, as it is founded on post-modernism and the execrable claim that all reality is subjective. All of this is not something taught by fringe nuts on the left, it is the progressive’s bread and butter.
The progs cover this poison with words like social justice, equity, fairness, etc., with the result that few people, even if they have an inkling of what is happening, pay it much attention. Few grasp that they are seeing a deeply radical and separatist attack not only on the fundamental tenets of our nation, but on the character of our people.
In that, it is almost like Rev. Wright of a decade ago, whose anti-American, black liberation screed was preached into the ears of the Obama family for twenty years. If Wright’s screed had come from Obama’s mouth, Obama wouldn’t have been elected President (and certainly not on a promise to “heal the racial divide”). Obama downplayed Wright’s obscenities, and the progressive media was not about to delve into what Obama’s multi-decade attendance at Wright’s church meant, so it was ignored.
Until now, a similar thing went on in halls of academia largely below the national radar. The professors teaching this toxin were teaching it to blacks and other progressives. It has only become a real problem — and the sticks of capitalism kicked in — when their toxic waste spilled out into the national news, as happened with Missouri State University and Evergreen State College.
And sure, we’ve watched the progressive left toss the race card around with wild abandon ever since they found out in the 60’s just how powerful charges of racism could be. It could not only end debates and protect prog policies, it could end careers. But those charges of racism were almost always hurled not at the average American, but at this or that politician for daring to take a position on some topic that the progressive did not like.
But this most recent foray, into politicizing professional sports, is different. One, it is a clear slander landing on average Americans. Two, it could not be more visible. It’s Mizzou and Evergreen to a factor of 100 on the visibility scale.
We don’t pay to have these professional athletes insult us — and I can think of no greater insult to me personally, having lived a life in the highly integrated U.S. military, having never acted in a racist manner nor having tolerated racism, then to be tagged a racist. And given the utter paucity of stories about actual racist incidents in our deeply progressive media, it is safe to assume, in 2017, that the vast majority of Americans are likewise not animated by racism in their lives. But every one of them has been slimed by the almost quarter of NFL athletes taking a knee or refusing to stand publicly for our national anthem as they act out the bankrupt ideology being taught by victim’s studies professors across the length and breadth of our nation.
So now the bet becomes, will the tens of millions of non-black, non-racist football fans meekly accept the progressive charge that they are inveterate racists in order to continue being entertained by people who hold them in contempt? Will some not realize the stakes? Or will a large number realize and vote “no” with their dollars and Sunday time? Or perhaps even take it up a notch and start boycotting those who advertise during NFL games (Hmmm, I wonder who might have a list?).
I think that the ramifications of this vote could be almost as important for this country as the 2016 election itself. It puts the issue of full frontal toxic prog politics — not the deliberately misleading campaign happy talk — front and center in America in a way nothing else could.
Upate: At Fox, a black active duty U.S. Army Officer, Jeremy C. Hunt , has penned an op-ed, Black Army Officer: Anger With Trump’s NFL Remarks Doesn’t Justify #takeaknee. Hunt manages to be apolitical while addressing the entire substance of the toxic radical black ideology. For as lightly as it is written and for all its brevity, it is weighty indeed:
In many ways, the kneeling protest is emblematic of a dark shift in protest politics. Black Americans have a long history of speaking out against injustice, but our indignation with specific issues in America never shook our love of country. In his most famous speeches, Martin Luther King always had hope in the fundamental good of America — even during times when our nation fell short of guaranteeing equality for all. In fact, in 1964, 87 percent of blacks said America was worth fighting for. Now things have changed.
The conversation is no longer about making America truer to its creed. It’s about whether racism is built into the fabric of America. And if it is, shouldn’t we all kneel during the national anthem and discard our American flags? And shouldn’t I resign my commission as an Army officer and quit serving a country that is unequivocally dedicated to white supremacy? . . .
In a few months, America will celebrate the bicentennial of Frederick Douglass’ birth. As a young free black, having recently escaped the bondage of slavery, Douglass joined the ranks of other New England abolitionists of his day who, following the lead of the abolitionist journalist William Lloyd Garrison, believed that the Constitution was inherently a pro-slavery document that undergirded a fundamentally evil nation worth dissolving.
Douglass wrote in his autobiography, “The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass”: “Brought directly, when I escaped from slavery, into contact with abolitionists who regarded the Constitution as a slaveholding instrument, and finding their views supported by the united and entire history of every department of the government, it is not strange that I assumed the Constitution to be just what these friends made it seem to be.”
But after bravely deciding to write his own periodical — a first for blacks at the time — Douglass’ views changed:
“My new circumstances compelled me to re-think the whole subject … By such a course of thought and reading I was conducted to the conclusion that the Constitution of the United States … could not well have been designed at the same time to maintain and perpetuate a system of rapine and murder like slavery, especially as not one word can be found in the Constitution to authorize such a belief.”
It’s not easy to miss the extraordinary irony of the situation. An educated free black disagreed with the great white abolitionists of the day and made a point that America’s founding document was not inherently racist — even at a time when millions of blacks were still in chains. He believed in America. If Frederick Douglass, born into slavery, could sharply criticize the sins of America while still believing in her fundamental goodness, how much more should we do so today?
Martin Luther King Jr. followed suit, often citing the Constitution and the Bible to condemn segregation. Like Douglass, King essentially exhorted America to be more American by truly living up to its creed that “all men are created equal.” But if a call to American values freed the slaves and ended segregation, it can lead to positive outcomes for blacks today.
It’s for that reason that I proudly put on my uniform every morning in service to our great nation. It’s also why #takeaknee is not only disrespectful to the men and women who died for our freedom, but antithetical to black history. If the past is any indication, it will take a higher degree of patriotism and more celebration of American values to truly ensure equality for all Americans.
Bravo. I will also say, this is what I expect from an Army Officer, irrespective of skin color.
Related: Hard Data, Hollow Protests by Heather MacDonald.