The media in its “reporting” of NFL fans’ reaction to wokeness on the football field lets us know what “good people” should think. Just take a look at a few headlines:
It’s interesting how the fans are blamed for making the opener “about everything but football.” But the fans did not decide to have a Black national anthem and an anthem for everyone else. The fans did not decide to have the following activist message plastered on the scoreboard: “We support equality. We must end racism. We believe in justice for all. We must end police brutality. We choose unconditional love. We believe Black Lives Matter. It takes all of us.” Fans did not decide that players should “display names of victims of systemic racism on their helmet padding.”
Fans paid an average of $163 per person to watch a game and transport themselves from the struggles of everyday life: mortgages, COVID-19, long workdays, and a myriad of other personal challenges. But for $163, each paid attendee was treated to hearing millionaire athletes lecture the audience about systemic racism and cultural revolution. The fans could have stayed home, saved their money, and simply watched MSNBC or CNN for this kind of thing. No wonder they booed.
The media portray the Kansas City fans as Philistines. What right-thinking person is opposed to equality for all people and ending racism? “Never mind the sobering thought that equality and unity,” writes Matt Young of the Houston Chronicle, “is viewed as some sort of divisive political statement.”
Not so fast, Mr. Young. Equality and unity in the context of the current cultural revolution means accepting that the United States is infected with systemic racism, that American is rotten to the core because slavery once existed on the continent, and that equality requires redistribution of wealth and equal results for all.
The players are not simply demanding that laws be applied to similarly situated persons in like fashion or that we show kindness to one another. No. This summer of discontent is about revolution, destruction of the old order, and rejection of American heroes honored for generations. New heroes such as George Floyd and Jacob Blake are elevated to sainthood despite clear facts that they ignored lawful police commands, fought with officers, and declined to deescalate the situations. The “Am I Next?” t-shirts sported by numerous athletes falsely characterize the unfortunate events surrounding the likes of Blake and Floyd as random attacks against Black people that could happen to anyone at any time. Simply put, the NFL is perpetrating a false narrative.
Similarly, ending racism does not mean judging people by their character rather than the color of their skin. A color-blind society is not the goal. In 2020, it means anti-racism. According to Tulane University’s Anneliese A. Singh, an Associate Provost for Diversity and Faculty Development, “Everyone who lives in the United States kind of learns some form of anti-Black racism” that must be exorcised. White supremacy is institutional and “has a visceral, physical impact; elevating white bodies, and bringing trauma to non-white ones.” According to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, our society “privileges white people and whiteness” so that “racist ideas are considered normal throughout our media, culture, social systems, and institutions.” Balderdash. Can any thinking person really believe that our left-wing media are racist in reporting and that institutions such as our universities stack the deck against Black students? Anti-racism offers no hope but a perpetual conflict. Anti-racism guru Ibram X. Kendi teaches that “No one ever becomes an antiracist. It’s only something we can start to be.”
Sports once were something that united us and brought us closer together. The very fact that predominately white crowds of 80,000 plus gathered pre-COVID to cheer on predominantly Black athletes is itself a powerful statement against racism. If America was as rotten as the Left would have us believe, the NFL would be struggling to put behinds in the bleachers. Moreover, four of the top five bestselling NFL jerseys for 2019 would not be worn by black players. (Tom Brady is No. 1, but he is a legend.) Instead, white parents are happy fork over cash to see their sons and daughters cheer for the likes of Khalil Mack or Dak Prescott and don their jerseys.
The 9/11 memorial has a good write up on how sports in the weeks following the attacks brought us together and fostered healing. “This was the comeback season,” the memorial tells us, “reminding a nation that what we have in common is more powerful than what divides us.”
It can be so again. But the major sports leagues need to check their left-wing politics at the stadium entrance and simply play the game. Until they do, fans ought to boo the division sown, and false narrative promulgated, by our sports leagues.
This article is republished with permission from Independent Institute.
William J. Watkins, Jr. is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and author of the Independent books, Crossroads for Liberty, Reclaiming the American Revolution, and Patent Trolls.