Last night as I was writing my Hot Takes post, I couldn’t get over the rage I felt at the headline that NFL owners were considering adding a rule that requires players and personnel to stand during the anthem lest they get a penalty at the top of kickoff. And while the NFL didn’t go with the 15-yarder, they have in fact agreed to add the rule, punishable by a fine. This was done as an update to the NFL’s game operations manual. By doing it in that way, the owners were able to bypass any need to discuss this “rule change” with the NFLPA.
We are a day removed from reports on Sterling Brown being tased for parking in a handicap space. Think about that. Milwaukee police fired a taser at an NBA player because he (very wrongfully) parked in a handicap space at a fucking Walgreens. The fact that one of my (and probably your) first thoughts was “I’m surprised it was only a taser” should not be lost on anyone. It’s this type of systemic racial profiling that encouraged Colin Kaepernick to start kneeling in the first place. And your response is going to be making a rule that says the players must stand and “respect” the flag by not bringing their Rightful protest and the conversation it brings into the Anthem?
I am so unbelievably disgusted at this. The NFL is an overly violent sport that has only ever cared about one thing: it’s bottom line. At first, I thought they were just oblivious to player safety, and I could kind of rationalize that because in some degrees, its what these players sign up for. But now you want to silence your employees because their concerns about this country we all live in make some people uncomfortable?
The players used to joke back when things like touchdown celebrations were banned that the NFL was starting to stand for the No Fun League. How long until that changes to the No Freedom League? How do you think that’ll affect your bottom line?