Last weekend, we were treated to a bunch of kneeling by NFL players during the national anthem. The Steelers didn’t even come out on the field because they could not decide what to do as a team. Unsurprisingly, this caused a lot of division (what else is new these days?); stadiums across the country booed the players, and social media exploded with people denouncing the players as unpatriotic or defending them as brave people taking a stand (figuratively speaking). For people who just want to watch sports without having people trying to shove their political ideologies down their throat, the whole thing was only worthy of eye-rolling and annoyance.
As you may remember, the kneeling started with former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who, despite having a few productive years for the 49ers, only became a household name because of his kneeling stunt. He said he was protesting systemic racism among police against blacks. While he got a lot of publicity, there really was no movement started, so although the media kept the narrative alive because they claimed he was blacklisted by the NFL due to this, most of the country didn’t care that much. Why? Because he’s just a guy playing with a ball (and he’s not even that good anymore), and given his interviews, he’s also not particularly great at forming coherent arguments.