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[207] Follow the $

You don’t have to care much about football to notice how inconsistent the NFL and its owners have become over players kneeling during the National Anthem. When Colin Kaepernick was the only one, a year, they solved the problem by keeping him out of the league. In a short time, however, multiple Colin Kaepernicks emerged, and the league has been scrambling for workable strategies ever since.

Some owners became sanctimonious advocates of the poor and the oppressed, praising the social concern of the players, all but approving the kneeling. In fact, that great social reformer, Jerry Jones, went on the field and kneeled with his team while the song was being played, although a few weeks later the Cowboy owner put the hammer down and demanded compliance with league rules. Over in Green Bay, players locked arms in unity, apparently with the approval of the corporation–though just exactly what the unity was about was a tad unclear.

Don’t be fooling yourself. None of these strategies are about respect for the National Anthem nor have the owners suddenly become amateur sociologists, filled with a missionary zeal for social reform. No, they are in a panic. Their brand is suffering. TV ratings are plunging, sponsors are pulling ads, and income is down. All this amid dull games and growing evidence of brain injury to players. And there is no immediate end in sight. When facing this kind of economic negative landslide, the only avenue available is to follow—or maybe better—pursue the money by employing anything—even appeasement—to regain equilibrium.

For the faith-and-learning adherent, all this is disgusting. All this posturing is nothing more than living a lie, and trying to sell a lie. That is what raw commercialism is. DC

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