The NFL has launched another edition of its rugby for fairies show. During the rehearsals, people went and got their panties in a bunch over a number of players- first, and most (in)famously, Colin Kaepernick- not following protocol during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. He was protesting what he perceives as the maltreatment of minorities or somethingorrather.
On opening weekend, likely as much in response to the critics of Kaepernick's actions, other players took up the protest, some solo, some communally. If nothing else, it compels those who would brush off the stance of a back-up player, a rather disliked player at that, to consider the underlying issue.
Bokolis, whose prevailing philosophy has always been fuck tha police!, was originally going to incorporate a rant about the police forces trending towards militaristic since 9/11, about how cops seem to be confused as to whether they're out to protect the people, or protect the state- if the latter, since any state is understood to be corrupt...
While I maintain that cops should always operate with the understanding that they are not always right, I don't know how sincerely Bokolis can squawk fuck tha police! these days. Because of some combination of knowing a few words, not looking like a pushover and resembling one of them, my dealings with police fall in line with the vast majority. All manner of media provide us with extreme examples- on both sides- of police behavior- from those doing the bravest, even the sweetest things for people, to those who treat suspects of marginal infractions as if they were insurgents. I've never been one to bite at either. My guess is that scumbag cops were scumbags before they were cops and are scumbags in most aspects of their lives. The opposite also holds. In other words, how they are as cops is likely pretty much how they are as people.
This isn't even about whether Kaepernick's stance has merit, because that doesn't matter to Bokolis. This is about people yet again trying to impose their value system on the rest of us.
Bokolis finds it odd that people, in criticizing Kaepernick, take the old think of the children! lament and apply it to veterans, to conclude that Kaepernick is insulting everyone who has ever fought for this country. Leaving aside that it's not necessarily the view of many veterans, to decide and aggregate the view of an entire group is a special kind of insult. We've done it with many other groups, but we're breaking new ground by doing it to our veterans. I'm not sure whether this patronizing represents the rest of us projecting guilt for not having the guts to serve in the military, but not serving doesn't mean that we're not fighting the war at home.
Further, while the rest of us are all too eager to cede protocol for addressing the anthem and flag to our servicemen/women, who aren't even asking for it, the anthem and flag belong to all of us and are nobody's to give away. If it's not impeding our ability to honor, how each of us chooses to address them is not subject to our sensibilities or our tastes. Teach your kids how to act; keep your fucking mouth shut about the next guy.
Bokolis can't fully define that for y'all, even if I know that's what everybody wants. If some joker 15 feet away wants to keep his hat on and play pocket pool during the anthem instead of standing at attention or with right palm on heart, while it's distasteful on several levels, it's no one's place to call him on it...well, you can, but you may find yourself facing an 'existential' question. On the other hand, should you have your ability to honor impeded, I would encourage you to do as Rick Monday.
There is a modified view, for those who condemn the protest but don't have the guts to stand as such, that the ball game is not the place for it. The reasons include that it is a distraction that disrupts team unity and that this should not be done on the boss' time (or dime).
Teams almost always become disjointed because of differing intensity levels. Differing (social, political) views could- ...could...c'mon, this ain't the first team to have a guy voice his views- cause this, but only with an accompanying lack of related discourse/communication. In this case, Kaepernick stepped to his team and addressed it. If anything, that would help team unity. Besides, given the ADHD of present-day humans, the modern athlete in particular, who is always in a less than suitably-focused state, a butterfly could provide at least as much of a distraction.
Then there's the feeling that your views shouldn't be expressed at work, that everything is awesome. Well, as part of the asinine idea of maximizing shareholder value, we've drifted into territory where the moment your views are shown to not directly align with those of the corporation, whether you're the CEO or work in the mail room, you will get clipped with the quickness, with your ability being little to no factor. It's like the saying, that a benevolent dictator is your best friend until you disagree on something sufficiently important so as to incite murder. Employers have not only acquired the ability to restrict free speech while you are at work, through monitoring social media, they have acquired the ability to restrict it round the clock. To extend employers this privilege is to render the worker a slave, or at least a serf.
Professional athletes are in a unique position where they have leverage to, like Joe Pesci in Casino, tell their owners, I'm what counts out here, not your fucking country clubs. This is important, but always lost on the public, which, at each work stoppage, tends to whinge more about the players' greed, even while expecting it from the owners (there's that shareholder maximization idea again). After all, the owners, even Jerry Jones, can't throw a football. If the owners are able to shove a shit CBA down a bunch of millionaires' throats, your bosses will do far worse to you.
As for it not having a place on the ballfield, if you ask Bokolis, neither does most of all the other bullshit they do. To a public weary from being ridden all day/week/life, we'd like to perceive sports as an escape from all the bullshit. Bokolis has news for you: the bullshit has crept into sports and taken root, and you've eaten it right up.
Take the singing of God Bless America as part of the 7th inning stretch in about half the ballparks. You've eaten it right up and yell at people to take off their hats. Soon after its incorporation after 9/11, the PA announcer's introduction has invariably included a salute to our troops, who protect...our way of life. It all sounds great and virtuous on the surface, such is the power of propaganda. The call for continued support of our military is intended to combat war weariness, hugely necessary when the nation would be at war- if you'll recall, the tie-breaking vote was cast by a guy who was going to profit by how the war was conducted- for so long (and on a bullshit premise) that it has had to constantly amend its redeployment policies to do the equivalent of sending concussed players back on the field. They are so desperate to condition us that the ballgame is used as a vehicle. As for the part about 'our way of life,' it's a neat way to say, we have appetites, and those appetites necessitate acquiring resources. It those muthafuckas don't want to give them up, well, we'll just have to take them without wracking us with guilt.
aside- This is not Bokolis playing holier-than-thou. There are far too many people in the world and, with American appetites making such demands on resources, we are essentially telling the Brown world that it has no right to exist and/or no right to live as we do. So long as corporations are telling me that this and that are on hand, I'm going to want them, and turn a blind eye to how many had to be killed so I can have it. To boot, corporations are leveraging our armed forces to domesticate these people and put them to work, which eventually cheapens the value of our labor, all the more reason to want to exterminate....fucked up, right?
See how this game is played? But wait, there's more.
For its part, the NFL brings out flags- as some celebrity it has procured sings the anthem, after the new album has been plugged- as big as the field without the slightest regard that this might be overdoing it. They bring out servicemen/women to hold these flags. The fans eat this shit up. Bokolis is a bit ignorant on the specifics, but I believe they hold a salute to troops on the games nearest to Veterans Day, when they hit us over the head with it, because wearing a poppy like the Brits wouldn't be enough. 'Military appreciation' promotions are done throughout sports. Bokolis would give more examples, but I tire. Regardless, this is the same NFL that force-feeds its preferred causes to its players, yet fines the players for pushing their own causes; Soviet communism lives on.
Again, this is not to say these things don't have redeeming value or are somehow evil. Of course the human-interest aspect is compelling. When that little girl threw out the first pitch and the catcher took off his mask to reveal that it was her dad returning home from duty and she ran to him and jumped into his arms, even while my pet cynic wondered why he would sacrifice any time with his family just to pull the surprise, Bokolis quivered.
Nonetheless, there is an element of propaganda involved, however subtle, and it needs to be called out. It blinds from the larger picture, one that shows the state combining with the NFL to intrude into the sanctuary of sports to present the military, the flag, the nationalism, all of which are associated with the right. It doesn't take Bokolis blathering on to realize that this country has moved considerably to the right in the last 35 years, the people seduced by the proselytizers and by the promise of a relatively low income tax burden when they inevitably strike it rich. In the process, we've been swarmed by hyper-pragmatic assholes who fashion themselves ass-kickers, yet these chicken hawks can't kick any ass, with the possible exception of a few those they term 'weenies.' Along the way, they've jabbed us to pieces with use taxes to the point that we effectively pay socialist tax rates, without the accompanying government services.
We are so far along that, if godfather Reagan were around today, he'd have to go back to being a Democrat, as he couldn't get put on a Republican ticket to run for recorder of deeds. When the slightest lean to the left is met with howls of 'socialism,' it should say a lot. To criticize it all renders one a jerk, as people don't like to admit it and certainly don't like to be bothered. But it is as necessary as it is unpopular, lest we wake up one day and wonder whatthefuck we have done.