With 2017 over it’s now time for me to address one of the issues that riled me up the most in 2017: The NFL Kneelers and their various supporters.
Throughout the season some players knelt during the National Anthem, others just stood locked arm-in-arm and, on at least once occasion, a team simply refused to leave the locker room. This all started last year when Colin Kaepernick and his radical leftist girlfriend decided to jump on the “police are murdering black people” bandwagon. You may recall he wore socks depicting police officers as pigs, made his admiration for murderous criminal Che Geuverra known and ultimately said he refused to respect the flag of a country that is rife with social injustice going so far as to make the reckless and false claim that the “streets were lined with bodies” who were victims of police shootings.
This year as the kneeling continued, without Kaepernick who is now out of the league, President Trump threw gas on the fire by declaring that NFL teams should fine and/or release players who did not stand for the anthem. In response more players kneeled the following weekend and in unison, gee almost as if someone had given them talking points, they declared Trump to be the Great Divider. All they wanted, they declared, was to shine a spotlight on an issue that doesn’t even exist; namely the murderous rampage they believed police to be on where the primary victims were young black men. They wanted to bring people together not tear communities asunder like Trump was doing. They would unite people where Trump would divide them!
While the notion that these brain-dead players honestly thought that by disrespecting the flag and annoying half the country they would “bring people together” may seem laughable to normal people their cause caught the attention of the usual suspects in Hollywood. Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny Tweeted a picture of themselves kneeling in solidarity, for example, and on and on it went.
One of the major problems with the movement is this: If NFL players really wanted to see people off all stripes and colors united, even if for a moment, all they had to do was turn around. Turn around and take a good hard look into the stands, into the faces of the people shelling out a good chunk of their hard-earned money to applaud them each Sunday.
I have been to a dozen or more NFL games in my life and one thing has always been true of them: In the stands there are no skin colors. Nobody’s religion matters, no ones ethnicity matters, sex, disability, none of it matters outside of the team colors you’re all wearing. You sit next to people you’ve never met and instantly you’re part of a temporary community that accepts everyone.
Go to a game and look around. I’ve seen it at these games. Black guys, white guys, Asians, and handicapped people. All of them cheering in one voice, high-fiving each other and “Can I get you a beer while I am heading that way” to one another. Totally united and enjoying each others company. The sports itself was the great uniter. White people wearing the jerseys with the names of black players on the back and vice versa, nobody caring what color anyone was.
Even those fans who were rooting for the invading team were, for the most part, members of this temporary community albeit while being subjected to plenty of ribbing and teasing.
I’ve sat in those stands, on one occasion next to black guys I have never met who did not care about our skin color and both of whom literally hugged me when victory appeared imminent. If you’ve been to an NFL game you have seen what I have, probably experienced what I have, even if you didn’t make note of it. Diversity and harmony like the radical left always says the WANT to see but then ignore when it happens.
And what was it that took these diverse, united people and drove a wedge between them? Kneeling. The players who called Trump the Great Divider had taken a fan base that has been made up of all the different kinds of people that you could possibly imagine, a fan base that was united for decades, and tore them apart. Suddenly it was no longer one temporary community of diverse people every Sunday. It was two. Suddenly it wasn’t everyone wearing a Bears jersey in the stadium became part of an instant family, it was Bears fans who support kneeling on one side and those who don’t on the other. It was a clear divide on the issue among racial lines, lines that didn’t exist among those fans two short years ago.
Colin Kaepernick and his sycophants did not achieve some sort of racial harmony, they took the fragile and budding racial harmony that did exist, if only for 3 hours a week, and destroyed it. Instead of building on the color-blind comradery that existed in each stadium they burned it down.
And it didn’t have to happen that way. To see some of the racial harmony they wanted all they had to do was turn around.
And now even bigger and more powerful celebrities want to champion the cause of a man who is actively destroying the league that made him a millionaire. The league that gave him the platform from which he shouted “racists” at his legions of fans.
Beginning of the second half. Traffic to the stadium must’ve been bad today. pic.twitter.com/7h4O1Fz5nr
— McNeil (@Reflog_18) December 17, 2017
And the dividing didn’t stop in the stands. The wedge they drove, whether they admit it publicly or not, extended to the locker rooms. Locker room that had previously, much like the stands, been color-free zones. Everyone in a locker room, black white or other, is part of a team. A family. The players often refer to each other as “brothers” in regards to their teammates. And yet look at any picture of the kneeling players and see the divide. Some standing, some kneeling. A wedge. Discord primarily along racial lines where previously there was harmony. When the Pittsburgh Steelers decided as a team to not even take the field for the National Anthem one player, Alejandro Villanueva, came out and paid his respects. For a moment he had the top selling jersey in the NFL but then, as often happens, social justice warriors shamed him into an apology with some teammates piling on and being “disappointed” that he chose to break ranks.
Just look at the polls to witness the divide. A September poll by CNN found 59% of whites thought kneeling in protest was wrong while 84% of blacks said it was the right thing to do. Overall most people felt kneeling was wrong and while the NFL tried to ride out the storm instead of dealing with this issue fans made their displeasure known with Twitter accounts popping up to show pictures of half-empty stadiums.
At the end of the day the kneelers who accused Trump of dividing the country were the ones sowing the seeds of discord all along. It was they who took a united and diverse group of fans, seeking to escape political messages and daily stresses for a lousy 3 hours on Sunday, and divided them once again into racial categories. These protests did far more harm than good and may have dealt an irreparable blow to the NFL’s reputation but even worse, they may have set race relations back even farther.