In September 2017 members of the NFL; National Football League protested by kneeling on one knee during the playing of the National Anthem. Although originally precipitated by player Colin Kaepernick as a protest against "oppression of people of color", the September protest was exacerbated when U.S. President Donald Trump made a passing comment at a rally in Alabama.
"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners say, when somebody disrespects our flag; 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He's fired.'" -- Trump
The media claimed the comment was racist and soon many more players and owners were kneeling during the playing or singing of the anthem. They even claimed they were doing it to show unity.
While the original reason for Kaepernick's protest was against supposed racism and police brutality against African-Americans; the National Anthem is perhaps a misplaced thing to protest against since in essence Kaepernick is saying America and the founding principles of America are racist. If this is true, then how did the NFL become 70% African-American; where most players are paid multiple millions of dollars. After all "equality" to leftists like Kaepernick means equality of the classes of people rather than equality of individuals. This means, the NFL should have an Affirmative Action like process where each race/class of people is represented on the field. This would mean no more 70% black players as in America, black people are about 25% of the population. But that kind of "equality" and "fairness" isn't really what these protesters want. They really want revenge. Revenge against real and imagined oppression. After all, Kaepernick himself along with most of his fellow players are hardly the examples of people who are being oppressed.
Some of the new protesters say they did it to support those already doing it. Really? What a mob mentality. Others said they did it to protest Trump. Uhhh, the National Anthem isn't Trump. The National Anthem is America's musical statement of liberty and the struggle to achieve that liberty; not just for "white people" but for ALL Americans no matter what class, creed, gender, or race.
The reality is, stirring up division and discontent is a staple of the leftist; especially the Democratic Party. The Democrats need an "oppressed" group to exploit for every election. The Democrats have been using this tactic to get votes ever since in the 1960s they figured out how to get black Americans to forget that the Democratic Party actually created the KKK and imposed the "whites only" Jim Crow laws on them for nearly 150 years then pretended to be the champions of civil rights by repealing their own racist policies. Malcolm X himself said:
"The white liberal differs from the white conservative only in one way: the liberal is more deceitful than the conservative. The liberal is more hypocritical than the conservative. Both want power, but the white liberal is the one who has perfected the art of posing as the Negro’s friend and benefactor; and by winning the friendship, allegiance, and support of the Negro, the white liberal is able to use the Negro as a pawn or tool in this political “football game” that is constantly raging between the white liberals and white conservatives.
Politically the American Negro is nothing but a football and the white liberals control this mentally dead ball through tricks of tokenism: false promises of integration and civil rights. In this profitable game of deceiving and exploiting the political politician of the American Negro, those white liberals have the willing cooperation of the Negro civil rights leaders. These “leaders” sell out our people for just a few crumbs of token recognition and token gains. These “leaders” are satisfied with token victories and token progress because they themselves are nothing but token leaders." -- source
WHAT ABOUT FREE SPEECH?
When people have expressed opposition to the kneeling stunt, pointing out how it is disrespectful to the flag and the concepts of America; the answer is typically that the players have free speech. While this is true in the personal life of most Americans; NFL players have signed contracts that specifically say they must conduct themselves a certain way on and off the field. They also are on the job when on the field and just like with most jobs could be fired for what they say and do even if they are expressing their freedom. As a matter of fact, the NFL has limited players freedom to support the police by wearing blue stripes on their helmets or support the lives lost in 911 by wearing shoes that have images of support.
There are plenty of ways the players can express their political and social views, but on the field isn't an appropriate place. Most people watching do so as an escape from their daily lives. A relief from the cares and concerns, including political and social concerns. The irony is, the black players in the NFL are probably being exploited more by the NFL than by anything else. The NFL uses these players as sort of "slave" property to make them money and draw in people to the stadiums; not much different than how the Romans would use gladiators to "entertain the masses".
Again, there is a reason that many American sports are disproportionately dominated by black athletes; often by men that have little scholastic aptitude. If anything is racist, THAT is.
ADDRESSING THE ISSUE
Is there a real issue of oppression and racism? Indeed, but hating on the symbols of America will not bring us together. America was founded and designed specifically to avert tyranny; both of the political tyrant AND the mob tyrant. There is a reason our founding documents speak so often of individual rights. When Americans speak of rights, it should be for the individual as a person; not as a class or group. We should not be talking about black vs white or male vs female or rich vs poor or any other type of division. We should be highlighting humans as individuals as independent of any class or group. Then we will FINALLY be moving toward TRUE equality.
Racism will always exist as long as we look at a person and see a race. Yet, it is simply human nature to feel more comfortable with and around people that look like you and think like you. It doesn't mean you hate other people not like you. This is true of people of ALL colors. HOWEVER, institutionalized racism such as the type imposed on black Americans by the Democratic Party should be a thing of the past. Further, we need to work to diminish and eventually phase out race-based policies and organizations, especially within the government. Affirmative Action is an insult that basically says one person isn't smart enough excel on their own merits without assistance that artificially puts them in the front of the line. Groups like the Congressional Black Caucus only perpetuates the very division by race that it claims to fight. There is no Congressional White Caucus. No white Miss America. No white college fund. No white expo. It is time for true integration of black Americans as Americans -- just as the Civil Rights Act of 1866 intended and was well on the way to accomplish until the Democratic Party used the KKK, poll taxes, and "black laws" to intimidate black Americans into abandoning their participation in America for nearly 60 years. (see #1 and #2 and #3)
The reality is, many people do feel alienated in America. They feel like they can't succeed. But I doubt that is the case of a football player making millions of dollars. The alienation could be due to the upbringing of the person or their inability or unwillingness to assimilate into American culture. But more and more that alienation is NOT because they aren't white. Most of the protests are protests for revenge not for rights. And if you're a multi-millionaire football player, you could just as easily choose some other country to call home...if you think America is oppressing you.