Linda Olson-Osterlund hosts Positively Revolting. Call (503) 231-8187 to join the conversation.
In the Washington Post Karen Attiah wrote:
It’s time to cancel the NFL and its plantation-style politics....
If you want a modern example of nakedly racist authoritarianism in America, look no further than the National Football League.
The NFL announced Wednesday that “all team and league personnel on the field shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem” and that a “club will be fined if its personnel are on the field and do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.” If a player wants to not stand for the anthem, he can stay in the locker room until after the anthem is done.
Make no mistake: Forcing players to go inside the locker room or face fines is a blatant attack on the free speech of black players (who make up almost 70 percent of the league). As a reminder, the black players were never protesting the flag or the anthem itself. They were making a statement about the racism, injustice and police brutality in the United States. However, the NFL, like America in so many ways, has shown that it is more interested in silencing the speech of black players than in “advancing the goals of justice and fairness in all corners of society,” as its new policy claims. In attempting to make white America comfortable, the NFL has decided to to deny players the very freedom of speech that our military members have fought for and died to protect. In that, the NFL’s policy is way more disrespectful to what the flag and anthem represent than a player kneeling could ever be. President Trump’s tweets in support of forcing players to stand and his comments about protesting players — “get that son of a bitch off the field” — and that if they don’t stand, they “shouldn’t be playing” — mean that he is on the side of censoring Americans.