writers America’s Team united as an organization and took a knee with the explicit purpose of promoting equality, and some respecteddeemed it meaningless because it right before the national anthem. That was confusing as shit. Martellus Bennett drafted a statement for fans to join in locking arms during the anthem, and these same writers decried unity as ‘maddening and gutless’. What?
Listen, I’m as down as the next guy for ending [or at least scaling back] the pregame anthems. The ceremony has become diluted, fabricated and outdated. That being said, if we want to see reforms, it might be time to take a step back and understand why our simple peers are not getting the message.
Millennials are the first generation to come of age unaffected by World War II. We’re two generations away from true wartime in general. Sometimes, people who grew up in vastly different times have vastly different (non-racist) perspectives in life. If you grew up in a family with veterans, especially deceased veterans, you were taught the anthem as a sacrament. Trust me on that – I speak from personal experience [as do heroes like Drew Brees].
Nationalism is pointless and counterproductive in this era of globalization, but most Americans lack the experience or education to understand that like urban millennials do. National anthem protests are non-starters for them. We got their attention, but now it’s time to get them to actually listen. Why not switch things up to do that? It’s easily the most harmless political compromise we could make with these people; why can’t we jump on it?
I don’t condemn what Kaepernick did; he’s a patriot in my eyes. And when the president threatens your constitutional rights with a racially tinged tirade, you have to react exactly how NFL players and owners did on Sunday. It was the proudest I’ve ever felt being an NFL fan. However, going forward, maybe we’ve reached a point in this movement where the message should take precedence over the method.
Some cynical people condemn the newfound owners’ participation as a marketing scheme. Maybe true, maybe not. If they help the movement, does it really matter? Shit, if they’re finally propagating the movement because our wallets started speaking loudly enough, then we’ve got ourselves a paradigm of great American capitalism.