Members of the San Francisco 49ers kneel during the national anthem as others stand prior to an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
As the NFL continues to languish in controversy, a new theme is beginning to emerge.
NFL players are about 70% black so you are seeing more and more push from the fringe for a mass walkout of the players over the kneeling protests. With Jerry Jones now saying he’ll bench any player who kneels, the stakes have been raised. The mostly liberal sports media are going nuts over the prospect and clutching some serious pearls.
The legal truth is that an employer has a right to set guidelines for representation of the company on the job. Few of us can go to work today and protest while continuing to be employed tomorrow. This really shouldn’t be controversial. When the players are on the field, they represent the league. The owners are the league. Rodger Goodell exists because the owners appointed him and Goodell’s job is to make the fans happy. It’s not to champion social causes. Trying to turn every escape and formally neutral playground into a political weapon is exactly why this country has become as divided as it has.
That brings us to Sean “Puffy” Combs suggesting on twitter that black Americans should start their own football league.
I did have a dream to own a NFL team but now my dream is to own our own league!
— Diddy (@Diddy) October 11, 2017
Of course, this will never happen because the one thing NFL players care more about than social justice is money. Any new league would pay absolute peanuts compared to the NFL. This tweet in response to Combs about sums it up.
Everyone’s favorite suspended ESPN analyst also responded with a reality check.
There’s also the issue of how such a league would even be legal. Answer? It wouldn’t.
The impracticality of such a new league aside, the thing that struck me the most about Mr. Combs’ tweet wasn’t anything he said but rather the responses. The dominate opinion being expressed paints a bleak picture for a united country in the future and exposes some serious issues. Here’s a few to give you an idea.
THAT'S RIGHT BROTHER!!! IT'S THAT TIME!! THANK YOU FOR HAVING THE COURAGE TO SAY THIS!!!
— Rizza Islam (@IslamRizza) October 11, 2017
Please do and get these players off the plantation
— C. Noble (@cn0bles) October 11, 2017
Imagine your precious NFL with all white players. That's an image I'd love to see.
— My Crack Tastes Like Ribs (@iiHYP) October 11, 2017
Yeah, that’s not racist at all.
Actually, calling for a segregated “blacks only” league definitely makes segregation “the matter” in this case.
You get the idea. There are literally thousands of responses along these lines to Combs’ suggestion.
I’ll be honest. This is disturbing on many levels. Many black Americans lost their lives fighting to end segregation and we now have a serious movement wanting to re-establish it. What universe have I fallen into?
We’ve already seen examples on college campuses where black students want whites to leave the campus and they want to have blacks only safe spaces. I also have a feeling that this newly championed segregation is a “have it both ways” kind of deal.
It’s tough to talk about this topic without having certain factions call you racist for even broaching it, but there needs to be some reality injected into the matter regardless. The NFL is not oppressing black players. Black players (and all players) get to make millions of dollars a year for playing a game and they have more freedom to freely express themselves than almost any other sector in the country. A CEO that’s paid $20 million a year can’t stage political protests without the board removing him. A doctor at a hospital can’t politically protest in the ER and stay employed. The idea that there’s some kind of oppression going on because the league simply wants to avoid alienating fans during the games is insane.
In the bigger picture, America still has issues to work out in regards to race and probably always will as you can’t change all human behavior. That’s not an excuse to push for re-segregation while completely misrepresenting and overstating the problems.
Having a sense of proportion leads to finger pointing and charges of racism. We’ve seen this in the argument over police. The statistical truth is that police are not committing “genocide” against blacks. Shootings are rare, unjustified shootings are rarer, and racially charged shootings are like finding a unicorn compared to the total number of encounters. In the rare cases that a police officer does screw up, it’s usually due to bad training and overreacting to a situation, not racism.
Are there bad cops? Yeah, and there always will be because the police are human beings and human beings are flawed. If you are looking for perfection, it’s unattainable.
That’s really the issue in the end. We’ve gotten to a place where no middle ground can’t be found or even discussed. If you don’t believe that America is a terrible, racist laden hell-hole that gives blacks no chance, well then you are a racist yourself. And don’t you dare point out the cultural and societal issues within black communities and families that are logically much more of an issue to advancement than police shootings.
The real question is what does “justice” even mean anymore? It’s gone from fighting for real equality, which includes the equal right to fail, to morphing into a nebulous catch all that allows anyone (except white males) to always blame their problems on someone else. Are you a woman? Hispanic? Black? Muslim? Illegal Immigrant? Well, you are automatically assumed to be oppressed no matter the individual’s real world circumstances and must fight for “justice.”
The fight against real oppression has been rendered meaningless because it’s become so broad and void of facts. When you have a college student (who was receiving free tuition no less) claiming oppression for seeing a shoe lace in the hallway, we’ve gone off the rails. When it’s considered oppression for the NFL to ask it’s employees to not politically protest during games, we’ve gone off the rails.
That leaves us where we are and where we go from here. I honestly don’t know. Nothing I’m seeing lends me to believe there’s going to be any real logic applied to our divisions at this point. I’m struggling to even imagine what a coming together would look. What would even be the common ground?
We are continuing down a dark path and where it leads won’t be good.