Another Column on Anthem Protests, and Why Everyone is Missing the Point

Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

People say that NFL players shouldn’t protest during the National Anthem because they just want to watch football without the political messages.

yeah, okay, but…


That’s how you get someone’s attention.

They want you to be uncomfortable.

Jesus Christ, how hard is this to understand?

No protest ever worked because some guy sat in the corner and said, “gee, I don’t want to make anyone angry.” Rosa Parks didn’t say, “well, I don’t want to upset folks at the front of the bus.”

The NFL anthem protests aren’t demonstrations against the flag, or the military, or the white man. They’re meant to shed light on social injustice in the United States of America. Colin Kaepernick decided to use his platform as a prominent athlete to bring awareness to the issue. His position as a successful and well known black man provided an opportunity to reach more people than, say, some guy who might feel the same way but works a run-of-the-mill, nine to five office job.

That’s it. That’s the protest. He wants people to be aware of the treatment of minorities in this country, and he understood that it might cost him his job.

But Kaepernick didn’t help himself when he went foot-in-mouth with a couple of hypocritical and dumb choices.

When you wear socks depicting the police as cartoon pigs, then you lose credibility. When you wear a shirt with the image of Fidel Castro (a Communist mass murderer), then bullshit your way through an explanation, you lose credibility.

Now, on the other hand, you’ve got Malcolm Jenkins doing all of the community related things that Kaepernick does without the pig sock/Commie routine.

You understand why some people take one guy more seriously than the other?

Anyhow, when the Eagles safety raises a fist before the anthem, it’s not some Black Panther, “kill whitey!” routine. There might an anti-police element to some fringes of the social justice movement, which became bastardized in the same way that “Occupy Wall Street” somehow morphed into a catch-all protest for anything and everything. But just because someone is pro-black doesn’t mean they’re anti-white.

Sunday’s protest had nothing to do with social injustice. The reason NFL owners took part is because they were telling Donald Trump to piss off. Most of these billionaires are Republican Trump voters anyway. They didn’t join the protest when it was solely about social injustice. They joined the protest as a rebuke to the President of the United States telling them what to do. This was the NFL pulling a Lavar Ball and telling Trump, “stay in your lane.” This message of “we’re together!” didn’t do anything to advance the cause of minority mistreatment.

Shannon Sharpe absolutely nailed it on “Undisputed” this week:

“While some might be moved by the conscience of these NFL owners, it wasn’t their conscience that moved them. It was the cash. Because, see Skip, what we know about people with money, they don’t like being told what to do. They don’t like being bullied.”

“When (Trump) was looking down upon everybody else, the owners never had a problem with that. It wasn’t until he came for the NFL that their conscience was shocked. ‘How dare you tell us what we should do! You think you can tell us that we should fire somebody?'”

Watch the clip below but ignore his co-host:

Not that anyone cares, but I’m a registered independent and not some self-loathing liberal. The extreme left and extreme right are both divisive and useless, just like Congress. I think the late Lemmy Kilmister had it right when he said, “I think all politicians are assholes.”

Now, white privilege DOES exist. If you’re a Caucasian and can’t understand how minorities might have a more difficult path to success than we do, then you’re a moron. That doesn’t mean you didn’t work your tail off to get to where you are, it just means that the average white person had a different starting point than the average black person or Latino.

White guilt, however, is laughable. No one should feel guilty about something they can’t control. We were all spit out of the womb as innocent human beings.

Sorry for being white! I couldn’t help it!”

I grew up in Boyertown when the district featured one black kid, two Asians, and an Indian (not a Native American, a guy from the country of India). The other 475 people in my graduating class were all white. How much exposure did we have to different cultures and different ideas? None really. We weren’t bad people, we were just insulated.

I went to college in West Virginia, where the only black men and women on campus were athletes. It was a little more diverse, but that’s not saying much when Berks County is your frame of reference.

Things really became clear when I moved to Augusta, Georgia, a town that was 60% black and 40% white. For the first time in my life, I was the minority.

And guess what?

It didn’t matter! Nothing changed!

I went to work, played in a band, walked around, and did everything I’d normally do in any other city. In a way, the Deep South was more progressive than the sticks of Pennsylvania, simply because people were exposed to different cultures and different people at a younger age. The Mason-Dixon line means nothing in 2017.

I’ve lived long enough to know that douchebags come in all shapes, sizes, and skin colors. Idiocy knows no boundaries. If you pay your taxes, don’t act like an asshole, and treat people the way you’d like to be treated, then that’s good enough for me and it should be good enough for you.

These protests are supposed to make you uncomfortable and bring the topic of social injustice to the forefront of public discourse.

That’s the whole point.

Whether or not this actually results in change is another topic entirely.


68 Responses

    1. Kevin- No one is missing anything about these racist naggers and this “protest” that is 100% based on proven lies. I hope you and Kyle are a victim of the nightly black violent crime. Maybe then you’ll pull your heads out of your a$$.

    2. Exactly what are they protesting? The 2,200 shootings of Black people in Chicago by racist white cops last year?

  1. Finally a sensible and coherent point. Unfortunately it is going to go unnoticed and the trolls/crazy righties will go nuts about this and call you a liberals like it’s some negative phrase. Fact is anyone who sees a problem with these protests are either is too ignorant to see the real message or they do see it and are afraid that maybe life isn’t going to be handed to them because of skin color anymore. So before the trolls get a hold of this comment section, good job on a well-written article.

    1. “maybe life isn’t going to be handed to them because of skin color anymore” you mean like how blacks are handed spots in colleges even though their test scores are not only worse than whites but also other minorities?

  2. Y’know, sometimes I come to this site for the latest breaking news they have about Philly sports but this is the FIRST well put together article I have EVER read on this site!! I must commend you ‘Crossing Broad’ and say Bravo!!!

    1. Nothing to think about. It’s already obvious that the Left and naggers are the most racist people in our society.

      1. Coincidentally it was the democrats who were the party of slavery, so ironically you’re dead fucking right

        1. Yup. History made a quantum leap from 1860 to 2017. Nothing happened in between. Like, say in 1968.

  3. Starting out I thought this was going to be another white guilt garbage leftist piece, but shockingly this came together and is sensible. However, IMO these guys are still at work and I am a paying customer and really really don’t like politics of any kind being shoved down my throat whether it is politics I agree with or not. If they were mock smoking joints for weed legalization I’d still be opposed. Do your job, entertain me the paying customer, say and do whatever you want on our free time.

    1. With all due respect, it’s not like they are standing in the middle of the field at the 50 leading a demonstration and chanting. They are silently holding a fist in the air or kneeling. If you don’t like it, stare at the flag for those 3 minutes and then poof it’s over and the game begins. I still can’t understand why this riles people up so much

      1. Stop with the do it on your free time argument. You’d still whine if Malcolm Jenkins waited till Monday afternoons to demonstrate. You’d tell him to practice or get to NovaCare or something.

  4. Well said, Kinks. People seem to forget Muhammad Ali was pretty hated and considered a menace to society by the old guard of his day, hell, even his own government. The morons and regressive racists will end up on the wrong side of history, once again.

    1. The only racists are the Left and naggers, you [email protected] moron. All we want from them is to be good citizens, pull their own weight, and not commit crimes. On the other hand, they want us all dead and are murdering people in the street every night. [email protected] off.

    2. Do you even understand what Ali was protesting? He didnt want to serve due to religious beliefs, which has nothing to do with today.

      Also, remember, every racist segragated law that existed was enacted by democrats, so yes, democrats were on the wrong side of history.

      1. Yeah I do, and that was seen as hugely anti-patriotic, kind of like today? It was the same people claiming he was anti-American and people hated him for it. He’s revered today. As for your “democrat” comment, that is the most ill-informed, overused and laziest rebuttals concerning the subject. It is tired and redundant to argue with someone who doesnt know the difference between the parties during the damn Civil Rights era. Get real. And I’m not a Democrat. Has nothing to do with parties.

  5. does anyone know what happened to the Michael Bennett arrest story? I mean it seemed like they were all over the story until the video came out. Why isn’t it such a hot story anymore?

  6. I’ll start kneeling for the anthem if my African American neighbors stop leaving their trash all over the yard to blow away to litter the street.

  7. Good post. As an owner where would you go from here though? You allowed and supported your players in this platform but also have alienated a part of your fan base who has also every right to protest in their own way in the form of a boycott. Do you let your players continue this and risk more finacial backlash or risk losing your players and dealing with the union by telling them to stop?

  8. Of course people have the right to kneel but why? Just to show you disrespect the core of the rights the constitution provides. Just terribly weak.
    Go march in front of city hall or at police stations. Pay for tv commercials and protest there. There will be cameras there guaranteed.

  9. It sounds like the crybaby players will decide on a weekly basis, depending on current events, whether to kneel or not. The suspense will be incredible for us mere mortals. NFL players, thank you so much for bringing us into your world.

  10. Well, there is a major flaw with your argument, and I grew up in a town pretty similar to what you did. Oh wait, who am I kidding, even people from Souderton look down on people from Boyertown. Good God, you people are a bunch of creepy hicks. But that’s not here nor there. The problem with your argument, and about the whole being uncomfortable thing, is that you act like everybody needs these protests to see that bad things are going on. Speaking for myself, I didn’t need Colin Kaepernick or Malcolm Jenkins to teach me the fact that there are police shootings that are completely unjustified and the cop has gotten off. Maybe you do, but i, and a lot of other people, somehow figured that out on our own.

  11. this is a fucking joke. the NFL received $$ from DOD to have the teams on the field for national anthem to make them seem more “patriotic.” stupid fucking sheeple fall for “divide and conquer” every single time. all the world is a stage. wake up assholes.

  12. I don’t have an issue with the protest. It is a right. I get it. I do however take issue with players giving the black power symbol. Can you imagine if a white play scored a touchdown and gave the white power symbol?? I long for the day Riley Cooper gets another job so we can find out. I am also sick of this racial injustice garbage that people are spewing. Statistics show that more whites are killed by police than blacks, but there is no story there. If African Americans are so concerned with racial injustice, and their people getting killed, I recommend the start within their own ranks. I would suggest that Chicago is a good place to start. You see, you can’t cry about “innocent blacks being shot” then have blacks dying at the hands of other blacks at a record level.

  13. You don’t get to tell me what my reaction is to their “protests.”

    If I go up to you and give you the middle finger to your face and say “Oh, me giving you the finger means I support prostate cancer awareness! If you don’t agree with me then you’re pro prostate cancer!”

    Colin Kapernik wore socks with police as pigs on them. Malcom Jenkins raises his fist in a racial supremacist salute. ESPN is learning, quickly, and a multi billion dollar empire is collapsing. The NFL better learn, and quickly.

  14. The protests are about pointing the other direction instead of pointing fingers at the real problems affecting certain segments of society.

    The fake outrage from our President and lemmings is to point the finger away from his failed campaign promises (same thing applies to North Korea).

    Both sides of the issue are faking outrage to deflect attention to their own internal failings.

    Seems pretty simple to understand if you don’t have an agenda.

  15. You’re missing the point. They brought politics into the game, fine. So then our politicians comment on it (crudely), but he only commented on it because they made it political. They asked for a political response and are now butt hurt because they didn’t like it.
    Also, I have no problem with uber rich famous people using their platform to work on things they care about. Just don’t do it at work. If I start a business meeting with a political protest/statement because I have a captive audience, I will get fired. People don’t have 1st amm rights at work (just as anti gay baker if they can mix business and 1st amm). These guys can use their platform with twitter, or just popularity to do things. This is why Malcolm is acceptable. That is what he is doing behind the scenes (black power fist aside and that is an anti white statement historically and how most people see it).
    There is a very simple solution that no one is thinking of. Pick some random month and call it social justice or equality month. Pick a color that represents awareness of that. Tell players that sitting for the National Anthem is disrespectful to a lot of people even if that is not their intent. Allow the players to wear equality colors during the game. Think pink cleats during breast cancer month but for equality. Everyone is happy. Players bring awareness using their platform and there is no more need to make anti-American gestures.

    1. Well written post by Kevin and a very good response “Simple Solution”. The problem with this whole thing is that the players have not chosen a great platform in order to get their message across. The National Anthem is as sacred of an event as they come. There is a reason that the display of the flag partnered with an excellent performance can bring chills down your spine or a tear to your eye. The key element to having an effective message involves having an effective platform. Therefore, although I do not disagree with the message, I do disagree with the platform. Protesting “or whatever you want to call it” during the National Anthem is just creating more of a divide. It is something that people are so passionate about that the “real” message is not gaining any traction. Everyone is focused on the protests and not the issue at large. I’ve heard a lot of talk about the inequality issues during all of this, but have not heard that elaborated upon or how I can step up as an individual and help combat it. Like discussed in the above comment, creating a marketing platform around the issue is where this all can be truly effective. There needs to be a platform that brings people together. Especially since the issue is already about the division in our society.

  16. This is the best thing I’ve read on this website. Nice work Kevin – don’t let the negative comments stop you from writing pieces like this as this issue develops. This is a nuanced issue and people on all sides have (some) legitimate reasons to be upset, but you did a nice job of cutting to the real issues at play here (including the unfortunate mistakes Cap made along the way). Measured takes like this will hopefully help people who are upset by these protests calm down long enough to understand why this is happening and not feel so offended.

    My hot takes:
    -It’s very dangerous in this day and age to discuss “white privilege” when everyone is suffering from stagnating wages, limited job opportunities, and growing income inequality. If I’m a white guy living paycheck to paycheck, working my ass off to feed my family, living on the razor edge of a tight budget, I don’t want anybody telling me I’m privileged, especially not millionaire athletes.

    -But guess what, white people (like me) are privileged. It’s just a fact. Nobody looks at us and pre-judges us on the color of our skin. Our families were not segregated into inferior schools for decades. Our grandparents always had the right to vote. It’s just a fact.

    -Here is a stat (not an argument, but just facts): in 2015 police killed 100 unarmed black people; and average of two per week. Statistically, a black person is 21x more likely to be killed by a police officer. Again – not argument – a statistical fact, just like Rhys Hoskins batting average is a statistical fact. There are a MILLION arguments as to how or why we got here, and what needs to be done to fix this problem. The solution isn’t saying “all cops are racist” – and Cap was a total idiot for his pig socks because he probably lost millions of potential sympathizers with that gesture – but let’s at least admit there is a problem. Then we can get back to football.

    -Trump loves this debate because it keeps fanning the flames that got him elected. He, like Fox News, wants white people to be scared of all non-whites. They are coming for your jobs, your safety, and now they are ruining your favorite sports and offending the flag. Fellow white people – please stop getting angry so quickly and take a moment like Kevin did to break down what is really going on here.

    1. Nice try with the “facts”, but how much do you think the fact that blacks statistically commit a larger percentage of crime than whites, therefore exposing them to more encounters with police than whites??

  17. The issue is these are team sports. When 1 or only 2 players on a team protests they make this about them and it’s selfish. If they want to stage a protest the whole team should be involved. Don’t make it about yourself.

  18. You don’t have a reason why you’re mad. Separate sports and politics? You can’t do that when the president calls for your job at a rally. Disrespectful? Ok, let me ask you something then. Do you stand at attention whenever the anthem comes on the TV? Are you not looking at your phones or yelling during the anthem at games? I hear plenty of yelling on TV during the anthems. Where’s that outrage? If you are military and you’ve served this country, I have no problem with you having an issue. You have done more for us than I could ever do. And I respect your right to have an issue with it. But if you’re just some person that can’t handle anything interfering with your precious football game then I ask, why? The most popular sport in this country is the perfect place to give attention to real issues in this country.

  19. If the NFL did not bring politics into the game in the first place the president wouldn’t be commenting on it. Like, that’s seriously your argument?

  20. I have no problem with a protest at all I welcome them all freedom and your rights. I fought for them myself and I am a 100% disabled Iraq vet. However do not sit or kneel during the playing of this Great Nations Anthem that I fought for and then tell me to suck it up I am protesting something else. Men and women have bleed and died for those stars and stripes, for those words in that song. So stand the heck up and respect there sacrifice whcich gives you the right to protest. So it in a respectful manner that’s all I would ever ask. Never would I say stop. I stand by your choice to protest and hope to see it continue just not in a disrespectful manner to the fallen.

  21. So Trump says something stupid and the whole league has a temper tantrum… got it

    Let’s look at the NFL’s stellar track record shall we

    * Domestic abuse …turn a blind eye.

    * CTE. 110 out of 111 brains have the symptoms. Move along nothing to see here.

    * How many players have been arrested for various crimes. USA Today had a good article on that. 800+ since 2000. That’s roughly 50 arrests per year.

    * Players wear shoes commemorating 9/11. They get fined.

    * Tim Tebow prays. He gets shut down.

    Clearly the NFL and Rodger Goodell do not represent or stand for traditional American values.

    This is has serious problems….

  22. Remember when I took a knee???

    Yeah, I was mocked, jeered and ran out of the league.

    I wonder what’s different this time around?

  23. and what dont you understand that the majority of NFL fans arent interested in their wittle protest. NFL players should stop because its destroying their own brand. Viewership down 15% and falling.

    Any other employee that causes their employer a 15% loss would be fired on the spot. how hard is that to grasp you dumb fuck?

  24. Thanks for the information your article brings. I see the novelty of your writing, I will share it for everyone to read together. I look forward to reading many articles from you.

Comments are closed.