Of course, there was controversy and backlash from social media, especially journalists of color who were outraged at the fact that fans would boo a show of solidarity against everything that is evil in this country.
Good morning to everybody — except the people who boo displays of unity cause y’all 🗑..
— Elle Duncan (@elleduncanESPN) September 11, 2020
Unfortunately, instead of the tremendous opening night game, a 34-20 win by the defending Super Bowl champs, players had to address the same subjects they have been addressing for four years and clarify actions that no longer need clarification.
Mahomes says he didn’t hear much booing until he watched videos later: “We wanted to show unity and we wanted to show we're gonna come together and keep fighting the good fight, and I hope our fans will support us like they do on the game every single day.”
— Michele Steele (@ESPNMichele) September 11, 2020
Certain fans initially had a problem with players kneeling during the anthem. Once NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted that the league took the wrong stance against peaceful protests, the anti-social justice fans moved the goalposts and are now upset about moments of silence and displays of unity as well.
We spent so much time talking about the anthem and trying to accommodate fake narratives surrounding why players are kneeling during it, that some have suggested scrapping it altogether.
All the talk about national anthem protests begs the question — Why do we even play the anthem before games? Why do we have to honor our country before we play a game? We don’t play the anthem before movies, plays etc. It makes no sense. Let’s end the practice and just play.
— Stan Van Gundy (@realStanVG) September 11, 2020
That’s not the answer. Its deeper than the anthem
It could be that a unified country, where people of color are important, threatens the entire foundation that this country was built on. Some people just like feeling superior to others, no matter how baseless that feeling is and the sad truth is that they don’t want social justice, unity or equality.
And they definitely don’t want to see Black people unified, informed and using their platforms to call out the evils in society.
In the case of the booers, I don’t feel like all of them are racist. Some just don’t feel like dealing with a problem that they don’t think is theirs. It’s more selfish than anything else. The inability to put themselves in someone else’s oppressive shoes and support what is right, rather than what they would like.
For some simpleminded people, displays of unity and kneeling for the anthem simply detracts from the entertainment value of the moment. You hear them say it all of the time, “I understand the fight for social justice but let’s not mix sports with politics.”
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) September 11, 2020
The fundamental problem with that statement is that the constitutional right to be treated fairly and equally in a country that claims that every man is created equal, shouldn’t be considered political.
I realize that we can write and rationalize until our faces turn orange, but most people don’t care enough about the people in their own families to listen and be open-minded to their gripes. So they definitely aren’t going to embrace a social justice movement in sports — something that they perceive as an intrusion upon their escape from real life.
Booing players who take stands against social injustice and then cheering them when they score TDs isn’t right. It’s exactly whey players take these stands of unity because too often their cries have been ignored by those who don’t want to acknowledge Black athletes as real people.
The amount of money they make and the celebrity of being a pro athlete is supposed to be enough for them to keep their mouths shut.
This entire movement of players speaking out against injustice is still hard for a lot of white people to grasp. For some, it is too sudden. We know this fight started 400 years ago, but that’s because we acknowledge history. Most fans believe they come to a football game to forget all the bad things in the world. Also, bury all of the sins of their forefathers by cheering for a Black man when he scores a TD or makes a great play.
Some believe that’s enough. They don’t believe that they should take up someone else’s cause. Many of them are having a hard enough time in their own life trying to make it and can’t sympathize with any Black man, especially one making millions of dollars. They honestly can’t understand why he would feel oppressed in any way.
But what I see is really selfishness. An unwillingness to extend a hand to another human and understand what they are feeling. Those might be elements of a racist society, but really I see a bunch of flawed human beings who are so self-obsessed and closeminded that they can’t understand that their actions will only result in a bleak and weak future for our country.