Weaponizing the NFL

There exists a movement in our country whose support of race and identity politics has turned so toxic, that reopening old wounds rather than attempting to heal them has become their measure of success. They disingenuously clamor for “unity” but despise the one thing that actually unites us: begin American. This they define as a form of racism, bigotry, and “dangerous nationalism.” Their actions reveal that they prefer racial tension to harmony, chaos to order, and war to peace. They leverage strife as weapons to increase their power. The massive politicization of everything has now recently infected the sports entertainment industry, with players kneeling during the national anthem in protest of what they define as police brutality and systematic racism.


Players claim that they are protesting injustice and racism, not the flag, our heritage and our national identity. This, they claim is an unrelated, obtuse conjecture by fans. Yet, the demonstration takes place during the national anthem and involves them turning away from the flag. Most Americans can see it for what it is: dishonoring one’s country.


And why shouldn’t they? The government educational system reinforces an incorrect history which teaches that America stands as the root of all problems, not as the beacon of hope. Within that context of incorrect history, the intellectual and political elite (who continue to proliferate anti-American lies) deem their actions as acceptable. The current president, who espouses American values, has in their mind joined league with that great imperialist, power-hungry history of exploitation and victimization. Police officers, people of faith, business owners who believe in self-reliance over government subsidies and patriotic Americans have all inadvertently become part of this class of enemies.


“Resist” initially implied resisting President Trump, hoping to obstruct and derail his presidency in any way possible. Yet the group has somehow combined America, American values and American heritage with President Trump. To resist him, is to resist America, because in their mind, they are one in the same.


Most Americans have lived through at least one president that they didn’t like. But this didn’t mean we hated our country, our flag and our heritage, did it? All countries inherently have flaws. All national leaders have flaws. The pages of history flow with great achievements, and dark epochs, with beauty and with the grotesque, with love and with hate. This we accept as the human experience, and yet we still attempt to leave the world a better place through our actions.


These protests, however, use a different logic. Whether it is the Women’s March or the NFL, protesters seek universal compliance to their ideology by creating chaos with little or no interest in helping to fix the problem.  Consider the Hollywood elite who decried the possible de-funding of Planned Parenthood which receives over $528 million per year in federal, state and local taxes.  Not one of the millionaire celebrities offered to privatize Planned Parenthood with their own money. They would rather force the government and its citizens to comply with their ideology.


The NFL protests have worked in a similar way. Multimillionaire players “protest,” blaming the government and the American people as the sum of all problems without publicly seeking to give more of their time or millions to help urban areas through after-school or mentorship programs.


David Brown, former Dallas police chief who presided over the racially-charged shooting last July which took the lives of five Dallas Police officers, spoke with great wisdom, following the shooting, asking demonstrators to “serve your community; don’t be part of the problem.  We’re hiring.  Get off that protest line and put your application in.”


The massive viewership loss of the NFL reveals that in a free and fair market, identity politics lose. While toxic identity politics and anti-Americanism have been incubated in higher education for decades, these ideas did not have not had their day in the court of public opinion until now. While carefully groomed academics, politicians and Hollywood elite have attempted to tell the American people “the is about race, not patriotism,” the people see this a just another lie, and recognize the NFL demonstrations as a display of anti-Americanism, without a desire to bring a useful solution to the problem of race relations in this country.


Rather than allowing Americans to enjoy the game, some have transformed it into a weapon for controlling the news narrative. The kneeling protests at recent football games seek to “advocate” for racial injustice, but incorrectly protest our country and heritage as a whole. If football players truly care for the issue, they should use their millions of dollars to help rebuild and revitalize urban communities, and start foundations that advocate for criminal justice.


In addition to turning off the TV, shareholders can “divest” their Disney stock (majority owner of ESPN) knowing that money talks and executives listen. Most importantly, we must recognize this and other divisive protests as the toxic demonstrations that they are and learn to rise above those who seek to divide us.

Originally published as “The NFL Protests and The Loss of a Good Game” on Patriot Post, October 19, 2017.

Image credit: arekmalang/Bigstock



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