The NFL Protests


Rather than drag the fine discussion about whose team sucks more into a P&R Thread, I thought I’d just start this one. Even though it’s kinda covered on some threads.

When Kaepernick started his protest last year while I disagreed with the medium, I supported his right to do it. One of my FB friends posted about it, I posted something like this: I support his right to do this. While the First Amendment gives people the privilege to say whatever they want (within already established-legal boundaries), it does not shield him from consequences for doing it. If this means he loses his job, well, that’s on him. He made the choice.

A few more players did it this year, and I was still “whatevs.” Most of the time the TV doesn’t even show the Anthem most of the time anyway.

Then Trump opened his mouth. For me, the president saying that did make it a First Amendment issue because he is a government official. I also had the same problem with how Mayor Walsh in Boston stopped the “Free Speech” rally by saying “We don’t want to hear their message.”

Then the world blew up. My Facebook feed erupted with some version of “Fucking athletes should leave politics out of my Goddamn Blood Sport.” Of course, “leave politics out of it,” means, “I don’t want to hear your view, which goes against my view, because I did reshare the athlete who said 'they shouldn’t protest.” That said, I can’t get too pissed off at someone protesting the athletes protesting because that’s even a little to hypercritical and meta for me.

So, this week I’ve seen a few FB friends post “boycott the NFL Sunday.” If they actually post Sunday, “I’m not watching this game,” and actually don’t watch the game, then I’ll be proud of them. But on Sunday they will tune in for two reasons: to see if the protests continue; and because they want to watch the fucking game.

This, however, is one of the things that makes me think my days of using Facebook may be coming to a middle. As much as I hate to quote Trump on this, it’s on both sides for me. I’ve come close to deleting the app. The only reason I don’t is because it is the primary means of getting and sharing info from a gaming convention I run games on. I am going to go in and disable notifications from everyone but my GF and the one convention group.

On the other hand, it is a good way to start proving fallacies in logical arguments.


This guy gets it


What started out as probably a thoughtful protest has now become a circus. There is no longer any thought about what Kaepernick originally knelt for, now it is all about the flag and how the talking point has changed.

Personally while I sympathizing with Kaepernick I never thought it was a good idea. Nobody wants politics mixed in with their sports. It has never been a successful way to make a point. And doing something that brought patriotism and the flag into the argument (however unintentionally and however well meaning) is almost always a loser.


I don’t give a crap about this nonissue either way, but it’s amusing the way so many people line up like trained pigs to express their outrage over this nothing. Here’s my thing: if it really bothers you so much, if it gets you that upset, DON’T WATCH. Sadly, these people seem unable to grasp this.

Trump getting involved is classic Trump – getting his moronic base riled up over something that he gives less than two shits about. Trump probably gives less of a shit about football players ‘disrespecting the national anthem’ or ‘disrespecting the flag’ than he even gave about some tacky confederate monuments that he’ll never see in flyover country, and I’m sure the amount of shit he gave about those monuments was nonexistent.

This is Trump doing the same bullshit that he did his entire campaign. People slurp it up like it’s tasty Slurm.

Football was only politicized in the first place a few years ago - it’s beyond me how all the snowflakes stood it all those decades when players were never on the field for the national anthem.



Pretty much an isolated incident, and when you think of it an event that demonstrates the Jekyl and Hyde quality of America. America loved Jesse Owens, even though he was black.


It’s pointless to discuss the real reason behind the protests. People stop at their own perception and their own concerns. No one changes their mind on the Internet. This is another marketing failure like Black Lives Matter being unable to deal with the All Lives Matter retort.

Thoughtful and considerate people understand the real meaning behind these actions, but that’s irrelevant in modern politics where everything is a new battle line in the culture war. I wish everyone well with this.


As someone who has watched games on TV for 50+ years I confess to not realizing that the teams were not on the field for the national anthem until just recently. I assume it was part of the Pat Tillman effect.




I wonder how many threads that can be posted on.


I’m a military vet. While I don’t necessarily agree with all the reasons for the protest, I fully support everyone’s right to protest. I can think of about a thousand ways people could be more disruptive than kneeling silently on a football field while idiots boo and tweet angrily.

Also, until everyone starts obeying all of the US Flag Code, maybe they should just shut up about disrespecting the flag.


What do you mean by this? I assume this means subverting real ideals by using symbolism and deception to bludgeon and stigmatize opposing viewpoints?


I guess it depends how many times we get the fatuous “don’t mix politics with ‘X’” posts.


Stanford’s David Shaw is one seriously classy dude:

At this point, Shaw was asked if he was bothered about the narrative that athletes shouldn’t have an opinion.

“At heart, I’m a football coach, but also a social psychologist,” Shaw said. “Most people who know me, know that about me. And there is one of the principles that I try to explain and express to our coaches, our players, etcetera, which is there are people that are fans, there are people that are not fans, there are people that are in the media that don’t view us as people. We’re entertainment. I get that, I understand that. In my job, I accept that. I’m fine with that, that’s what I signed up for. I’m not going to be influenced by it.

“But there’s that recognition of, and I don’t want to get completely off topic, when 9/11 hit it was horrific. It was life-changing for most everybody in our country at the time. The initial response from a lot of people was the NFL should play — ‘Go out there play, because we need you to play for us.’ There’s so many people that were hurting that hadn’t heard from their families. Now, it changed very quickly, but the initial narrative, because I remember sitting there, I was with the Oakland Raiders saying, ‘I’ve got family, my wife’s got family, we’ve got players that are from New York that we don’t know if they’re going to come in today. But we should go out and play so that everyone feels good.’

“So there’s that gladiator aspect of our sport, in particular, that says, ‘You’re there to entertain us. We don’t care what your opinion is, we don’t care what your politics are, doggone it go out there and run into each other so that I can have a good day. And you can entertain me for these three hours, then I go back into my world.’

“I’m not complaining about it, that’s just reality. So I recognize that and that’s not going to change. But, at the same, that’s on someone else and it’s not on us. So I continue to express to my players, which is, have an opinion. Be intelligent about it. If you have a question, research it, find answers. And if you want to say something, great. Say something, speak from a point of intelligence, speak from a point of knowledge, say something that you can defend with reason and as much factual evidence as you have, and then continue on with life.


Isolated incidents though! Just a whole lot of them across a series of years. Lots and lots. But totally isolated!


Before all this flared up, I wonder how many people currently bellyaching at football players kneeling during the anthem have thought to themselves while attending a game, “Dammit, now I gotta put down my nachos and beer to stand up for this bullshit!” when the PA system announces the all-rise. I know I’ve been witness to it on many occasions.

Frankly, this whole issue could be easily solved by not playing the anthem at all. We don’t do that for plays, movies, comedy shows, or concerts - at least none that I’ve been to. What makes sporting events so special? And while we’re at it, let’s get rid of America the Beautiful during the 7th inning stretch as well.


Funny thing is I haven’t seen anyone I’ve served with or known to have served to complain at all about this. It seems to be everyone who chose not to serve getting offended on our behalf.

I think Mike Hayden’s response on was pretty good.


Yes, but try convincing millions of perpetually-aggrieved middle-aged white males that demanding that pro sports players accede to their creepy patriotism ritual before every game is the very definition of mixing politics and sports.


And I’ve never really heard anyone give Kansas City fans grief for changing the words of the anthem and yelling “And the hooooome of the CHIEFS!!!” – which is something 50-60 thousand home fans do each game at Arrowhead – during the football season.