If you had any doubts about the NFL’s stance on prioritizing social issues ahead of the upcoming season, look no further than the new flag hoisted at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
On Tuesday, the San Francisco 49ers shared an image on social media of a Black Lives Matter flag waving in the wind next to an American flag and a California state flag.
“Indivisible with liberty and justice for all. #BlackLivesMatter,” the former team of national anthem kneeler Colin Kapernick captioned the photo on Instagram.
The 49ers also shared the photo on Twitter, retweeting a post from Levi Stadium.
— Levi’s® Stadium (@LevisStadium) June 23, 2020
Team CEO Jed York said the new flag is about “progress” and is a form of “taking action” four years after then-49ers quarterback Kaepernick decided to protest during the anthem.
“First and foremost, you’re saddened and outraged when you see events take place, especially when they’re specifically violent events that are targeted at African-Americans. We’re focused on taking actions,” he said at a state-of-the-franchise meeting Monday, according to The Mercury News.
“We want to work with people that are experts, so that we can make real, serious change in this country,” York said.
“The thing we do know better than the political aspect of things that need to be changed, we certainly understand education,” he said. “We understand giving people equal opportunities. That’s where we’ve done work for decades and will continue to do work.
“We want to make sure we empower everybody in our organization and out to make the most of their lives and to have what I believe is equality for all and justice for all.”
In the wake of mass protests following the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, the NFL is apparently going woke.
The decision by the 49ers to hoist a flag bearing a weighted political statement comes as players, coaches and officials throughout the league have signaled they are onboard with turning the league into a platform for leftist platitudes.
Get ready for anthem kneeling like you’ve never seen before.
Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien has said he will not stand for the country’s national anthem this coming season.
Texans defensive end J.J. Watt indicated he might be joining them in the divisive protests.
A) don’t speak for me
B) if you still think it’s about disrespecting the flag or our military, you clearly haven’t been listening https://t.co/tnsEq5D9WC
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) June 13, 2020
It’s unclear if longtime anthem-kneeling holdout Drew Brees will stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” but don’t be surprised if he takes a knee.
In an Instagram post earlier this month directed at President Donald Trump, the star New Orleans Saints quarterback said, “Through my ongoing conversations with friends, teammates, and leaders in the black community, I realize this is not an issue about the American flag. It has never been. We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities.
“We did this back in 2017, and regretfully I brought it back with my comments this week. We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform.
“We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history! If not now, then when?”
A great number of NFL fans would prefer it if conversations about perceived systemic racial bias and alleged widespread police brutality occurred off the field, not during a time set aside for Americans to come together to honor their country and those who have served under its flag.
But it is the right of players and coaches to engage in overt political acts while on the job, as long as their employers green-light it.
It is also the right of football fans to find something else to do on Sundays, and many of them probably will.
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