|This is old news at this point, but the National Football League has a kneeling problem. Or rather, people have a problem with football players who kneel in protest during the playing of the national anthem before games. Or more accurately, Supreme Commander Donald Trump has a problem with NFL players kneeling, he presidentially Tweeted about it, and it caused an ongoing shitstorm including loss of viewership for NFL games, loss of revenue for sponsors, and yet another topic that divides people.
The kneeling has been going on for over a year know, since back when Colin Kaepernick initially kneeled to protest racial inequality and police brutality. He said about Trump at the time, "He always says, 'Make America great again.' Well, America has never been great for people of color and that's something that needs to be addressed. Let's make America great for the first time." Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall said, "I'm not against the military. I'm not against the police or America. I'm against social injustice."
I find these ideas to be pretty simple and reasonable. They're not revolutionary, or anti-American, or even anti-Trump. They're honestly pretty tame ideas. "Things aren't so great for everybody; let's make them better." How are we honestly arguing about this?
But I find it odd how quickly people attacked the players as whiney, entitled millionaires. It's the definition of an ad hominem argument -- attacking the person instead of the message. It's the same thing people said about Al Gore and his message about climate change. It's astounding to me that people can't see past their own prejudices and pre-conceived notions and actually look at an issue honestly.
A worrying trend I've noticed is journalists and reporters keeping track of which individual players kneel in protest at each game. ESPN publishes a story (like this one) literally every week. I don't fully understand what's going on here, but it feels very Nazis-vs-Jews and I don't like it.
Colin Kaepernick, to his credit, played in a Super Bowl and is a somewhat decent quarterback. Yet he's routinely passed over by teams looking for a second- or third-string option on their roster, even late in the season when starters are often injured. People say it's because he's not good, but teams sign and re-sign extremely subpar quarterbacks all the time. Kaepernick thinks it's collusion at a high level. I think it's simply that even if a team desperately needs his talent, they just don't want to deal with the added media attention and locker room drama of his notoriety at this point. I can't entirely blame them, but it's sad that we can't have an honest discussion about something without people burning their season tickets and jerseys. #sports