I have been increasingly disenchanted by the politicization of the National Football League during the past several years. Sports is supposed to be a diversion — a place where one goes to escape the cares of the world. The last thing I want when investing time and money in sports is more politics.
I could come on here and rant and call for a boycott (a lot of good that would do) and say I’m not spending any more money on the NFL. But I don’t spend money on the NFL, anyway. I haven’t been to a game in two (or is it three?) years. I don’t buy NFL products. I don’t even watch that much pro football on TV anymore. (The college game is much more exciting and much less predictable, anyway.)
These last two years we have witnessed the rise of Black Lives Matter, a leftist movement based entirely on a false (or at least misleading) premise. Naturally, BLM has found its way into the NFL. Two seasons ago, a group of St. Louis Rams players mimicked the “hands-up-don’t-shoot” narrative of BLM — which is based on a complete lie. Earlier this preseason, the NFL forbade the Dallas Cowboys from wearing stickers on their helmets commemorating the Dallas police officers who were murdered this summer by a BLM activist.
And now we have San Francisco 49’ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand for the national anthem because, in his words, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Kaepernick is mixed race. He is guaranteed at least $11M this season. I have nothing against someone earning that kind of money in the private sector, but I’m just not feeling any sympathy.
All these athletes are perfectly welcome to express their opinions. Likewise, the NFL is a private entity and is perfectly welcome to regulate the messages it sends. And as a (disengaged) fan, I am perfectly welcome to show disgust and completely withhold my money from the league and its products, which I fully intend to do.