NFL players taking a knee to protest social injustice in the U.S. There is such a level of irony in that scenario I don’t think anything could best it. Is there social injustice in the U.S.? You bet there is. First and foremost is the injustice of economic imbalance, the predatory economic system running amok. There are those who, while most of the citizens simply worked at their jobs, working to keep their lives and communities on a stable footing, were busily working with the single-minded purpose to acquire more. Often stealthily, behind closed doors, working to see cronies obtain key political positions to shore up their single -minded purpose. Working to see laws passed to aid in the furtherance of their, by default or by design, malevolent advance. Always grasping for “more”. Using force, force of law, or sometimes simply force, to both create their path and protect their rear. All in the name of inordinate gain with very little, if any, return of substance to the public they feed upon.
Kind of like professional football. As a matter of fact, not kind of like, exactly like.
The NFL is quite possibly the number one mascot for the thinking, the spirit, that has created and maintains the economic imbalance in the U.S. They do a lot, quite possibly more than any other recognizable entity, to keep the spirit of “I got mine, too bad about you” alive and well. I can remember when street gangs wore NFL jackets as their “colors”. I can’t be the only one who saw the synchrony in that.
The NFL is a crude microcosm which exemplifies the spirit within the more sophisticated, unjust, macrocosm that some within the NFL’s ranks are protesting. And as such, this renders the NFL a de facto PR agent of that predatory system. Undoubtedly one of the most well known and effective PR agents of that system. The media coverage of the NFL plays to the minds of the young, and older folks alike. The media glorifies the greed rampant within the NFL and entices fans to lust after inordinate wealth. And it glorifies brute force in the process. The glorification of greed which is part and parcel of the reality of the NFL, helps white-wash greed everywhere. So, the irony of NFL players protesting the larger system’s injustices is, at the very least, ironic. Possibly even grotesquely so. But maybe it’s a start?