I think everyone has the freedom to protest, they also have freedom of speech, these are two fundamental things that make America amazing. But thinking rationally about what is going on with the NFL, therefore, I have an unfavorable opinion of the league, and the players, not their right to free speech, but their motive and execution of it. Constitutional freedom to protest ends at the workplace door too. It’s not about rights anymore. Anyway, here are the main reasons I find the dumb as hell.
1. Why do people love sports?
You used to be able to go to a football game (or baseball or basketball) and escape the stress of everyday life, whether it's economic or political, people have common ground at a sporting event. Democrat, Republican, white, black, rich, poor, religious, not religious, whatever, we are wearing the same jersey and cheering for the same person, it gives us a moment to realize we have more in common than not. It was an escape. Now, it’s a political grandstand? Now, you have half a home stadium clapping and half booing. The escape is lost. That is one thing that makes this completely ineffective as a protest. It’s not the right forum. It’s OK for sports figures to be as political as they want! To protest, to do whatever. But people aren’t watching them to have an agenda shoved down their throat. It's bad form.
2. What is the message?
Go ahead, ask ten different people what these players are protesting exactly. You are likely to get ten different answers about WHAT exactly is being protested. Some will go with the original reason for the kneeling, “police brutality” (a factually unfounded issue). Someone else will say, “social injustice!” Well, this is a little vague. Another will say “TRUMP, they are protesting Trump”. Someone else, “racism”. And what I have seen more than any of these, is people protesting the fact that people are critical of their protest, how absolutely stupid is that?
So really this whole “cause” is completely nebulous and lost. That doesn’t lend to it making a difference or working in this realm. Is there a specific policy they are protesting? A law? Nope, it’s just general outrage and if you aren’t outraged as them at whatever they FEEL is wrong, well you are clearly a racist!! People are tired of that narrative. It’s the narrative that put Trump in the white house. What we call “the left” is completely detached from people in America.
Most fans are smart enough to see the hypocrisy. Basically, these players kneeling is virtue signaling on the highest level, that is bad enough, but people are aware most of these guys are complete scum bags! NFL players are notorious for being arrested for heinous crimes, including abuse of women, abuse of animals, drugs, DUI’s. The hypocrisy is another element that you cannot deny drags this whole thing down. So you have middle Americans who make up swaths of NFL fans, some may be like these guys, but others maybe fought in wars, and live what would be considered good clean lives. Again, it’s a total misfire of the message.
Average people know what a real hero is. Sure athletes are entertaining, but most rational people believe that someone who puts on body armor and goes into battle is a hero, not an entitled, wife, abusing the person who plays a game for a living.
Most average American understand these players have their right to protest. But the message is poorly delivered and poorly received. Does the NFL think they are sticking it to racists? All they are doing in angering and alienating their fan base. To most Americans, this country and things that represent it like its anthem give these idiots their lavish lifestyle. The message is a slap in the face to average Americans, NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE RACIST, but because of the sum of all these things I am mentioning. They don’t want this put in their face at a game, they know its virtue signaling, they know the anthem has nothing to do with whatever it is they think they are protesting. They just look like a bunch of ungrateful babies throwing a fit.
It does not offend many people, many of them vets who fought, but I am telling you there are a lot of them are, like seriously offended. They don’t see it as a political protest when the NFL is letting these players make a scene “on the clock” so to speak.
If you stand back and look at the effect, it’s a total failure. Its dividing people increasingly who would otherwise have no reason to be divided. That must tell you a lot about what this is accomplishing. Not directed at anything, it’s done in an intentionally insulting way to the wrong people, it’s a total failure and I hope the NFL loses their shit over it for being political. I personally haven’t watched for years, but I hope the stands are empty and the sponsors leave.