Get it? “More On Sportsball… Moron Sportsball?” Bah. My comic genius is unappreciated in my time.
In democracies, we the people get the government we deserve. We also get the celebrities we deserve, the artists we deserve, and the athletes we deserve. Because ultimately, we the people get to decide who and what gets our attention, and who and what does not.
The fans of professional football are not powerless – they’re just not yet offended enough to turn the channel. Should that ever change in a meaningful way – if for instance, a percentage of football fans relative to those players who chose to kneel during today’s games, chose to watch something else next Sunday – I can assure you…the matter would be resolved by Monday.
“Until 2009, no NFL player stood for the national anthem because players actually stayed in the locker room as the anthem played,” ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith explained in 2016. “The players were moved to the field during the national anthem because it was seen as a marketing strategy to make the athletes look more patriotic. The United States Department of Defense paid the National Football League $5.4 million between 2011 and 2014, and the National Guard $6.7 million between 2013 and 2015 to stage onfield patriotic ceremonies as part of military-recruitment budget line items.”
The amount spent by the DoD for “paid patriotism” is really small taters in the grand scheme of things, and it’s remarkable just how recently this “tradition” started.
I suspect this will blow over like most other political-moral panics; in a week or two this will be old news. But given how recently it began – 2009 – if the issue has legs I’m sure the NFL will come to regret having taken that small sum from the DoD. Had they not and had the mutants stayed in the locker room during the anthem, I doubt to many people would have cared.