The other day, a friend of mine said I was in “the sunken place” because I still watched the NFL and wasn’t boycotting it.
This idea that “not watching the NFL” is going to induce the change originally desired by Colin Kaepernick when he decided to take a knee is lazy and ineffective, nor does it make those who continue to watch part of the problem.
And what are these so-called woke people doing instead of watching NFL games on Sundays? Skipping a Giants-Cowboys game for boozy brunch or binge-watching Black Mirror doesn’t exactly make you a Freedom Fighter.
I’m not saying that you should watch the NFL if you truly don’t want to. However, not watching NFL games is the extent of your protest, you shouldn’t be ridiculing those who choose to watch. You’re no different than Android users who think they’ve made a statement because they don’t have an iPhone.
A popular move from this crowd in social media is to compare the “Don’t watch the NFL!” movement to the protests of the Civil Rights movement. I have actually seen someone insinuate that those who continue watching the NFL “would have kept riding the buses” during the Montgomery bus boycott.
The Montgomery bus boycott was an extremely well-executed protest strategy (organized by people far braver than most of us) that lasted 370 days. If I told you that Colin Kaepernick would become an NFL starting quarterback again if you didn’t take the train or bus to work for 37 days, would you do it?
If you really want to affect change, why not find the sponsors of teams that clearly should have considered bringing in Kaepernick (either as a starter or to compete for the job) and boycott those teams? Boycotting Packers games because they won’t sign Kaepernick when they have Aaron Rodgers is short-sighted. Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Colts looked at this guy all preseason and thought he was good enough to start while Andrew Luck was still injured. Not even giving Kaepernick a sniff may have torpedoed their season and every Colts fan should be outraged.
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and president Dick Cass all but admitted they discussed signing Kaepernick with team sponsors and premium season ticket holders before the team passed on him. (Full disclosure: I am a Ravens fan.) They basically told you that dead presidents drove their decision to not sign Kaepernick. Meanwhile, you probably shopped at Safeway (who is sponsoring this event) for your NFL Boycott Barbecue you had last Sunday, stopping at an ATM owned by M&T Bank (who holds the naming rights for the Ravens’ stadium) to get cash on the way.
If you don’t live in an NFL city (or you do but your team has a quarterback that’s arguably better than Kaepernick), there’s a midterm Congressional election next year. Why not take part in a voter registration drive (especially in a #MAGA state) and get people who oppose the rhetoric of the President of the United States registered so they can remove those in Congress who align themselves with him. (More voters will also help prevent his re-election in 2020).
A good friend of mine has been close to AWOL from anything NFL-related to this point in the season (including having his team auto-drafted in our fantasy football league). Why? Because he was volunteering for a local political campaign.
What were you doing?