Another exciting development in what Donald Trump may have intentionally or unintentionally caused to happen in our agreed-upon need to reclaim the American culture.
In this case, the modern Corporate culture.
It’s important to defend one’s turf. We all believe that. But it’s interesting to learn just how narrow and small that turf can be in today’s NFL when it’s supposed to run sea-to-shining sea. The NFL was supposed to reflect America.
There’s a much larger lesson about modern corporatism to learn by looking at the reaction of the NFL and Roger Goodell, as well as the several NFL team owners, vis a vis the growing anti-National Anthem, take-a-knee revolt first begun by Colin Kaepernick, formerly of the San Francisco 49s (and currently unemployed) in 2016.
Colin began his taking a knee as a protest against police violence against blacks, a Black Lives Matter meme, and possibly because he started going with a radio-diva, BLM-symp named @Nessa Diab, who posted an incendiary Tweet about comparing Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens legend and Steve Briscioti, Baltimore Ravens owner, (who was prepared to offer Kaepernick a multi-million dollar job) as a slave and master in Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained”
Bam. Job offer withdrawn.
Does Colin get mad? Does he turn over tables in the kitchen? Break things? Think about it, ladies. Millions jerked out of your man’s hands, and you still keep him? What kind of guy is this?
The Kaepernick NFL revolt is up to a 100, I’m told, now that we’re into Week 3 of the season. Not exactly a tidal wave, but expect it to grow, since, despite largely being millionaires, most of these players are millennials, and probably have no idea what Kaepernick’s original complaint is all about, but only that it may become fashionable to take that knee, i.e., Cool. Don’t expect a lot of critical analysis from the players on the sidelines. Some are showboating; others just joining the new fashion.
But in the locker room? There, a team is made or broken. We’ve known 5-start players to be traded because of disunity. Remember Tim Tebow who drew the mockery of the of the same bad-asses involved in this campaign because he’d drop to his knee and pray.
I think a few coaches get it, especially about team unity and morale. Mike Tomlin, Pittburgh Steeler head coach kept his team in the locker room during the playing of the Anthem to avoid forcing his team to make a public statement. Loving, or not loving America can kill a team, and at least at the field level, the coaches know this.
But one Steeler, Alejandro Villanueva, a former Army Ranger, had to stand up for America, even if alone.
(Note this photo, for it should become a national counter-symbol to the knee-taking, and clear signal to players there is a rising sentiment among fans who don’t look too kindly to politics being brought to the football game.
The League, the owners, and the Union reps have an idea how things are like in the locker room, but in modern corporate fashion, have just tried to wish it away.
The League represents both the owners, not to mention its own individual status as the Corporation-in-chief, with power interests all its own, and the Union represents the millionaire players, with similar cash interests. But ever since Pete Rozelle stepped down in 1989, after 30 years of forging the NFL into a giant in the American culture by creating a romance between fans and football larger even than “I Love Lucy,” what is there today to speak for the fans, who, I repeat, just like taxpayers, pay for everything? Nothing is there for them but a corporate shell of greedy cowards who believe in nothing larger than their own self-interests.
Enter Donald Trump…
…who has taken up the fans’ cause, just as he did the taxpayers’ and the cause of the Flag, the Anthem, and his “Love America First” message he’s been urging on Americans since becoming a candidate. Only a couple of days ago he told the rest of the nations of the world this is how it’s going to be for a very long time. Trump is old enough to remember Pete Rozelle, too.
If Kaepernick has a beef with America there are a hundred ways he can express it better, and more effectively, without disrespecting our flag and national song. The way he’s chosen is childish grandstanding for a fan-dancer.
By not putting their foot down, or maybe not even knowing how to without costing their wives precious invites to all the more fashionable Manhattan soirees, this is becoming a slow suicide at the NFL, where the only real issue before them is to design golden parachutes for themselves as the League slowly dies.
Since this is the same way the government and the Congress have been treating the American people for at least 40 years, it’s only natural that someone (named Donald Trump) would step in on the people’s behalf and call them out.
By calling out the NFL, and even more illuminating, is that Trump has cast a wider light on the general state of global corporatism, for it seems many of its guiding “ethical” principles have drifted into areas of pure self-interest for the front offices.
For around 30 years, global capitalism has redefined workers as little more than units of production, just human enough they can’t hobble them with chains or shoot them for trying to escape. Of course, robots are just around the corner, solving many bottom-line cost problems, but only opening up even more moral complications about what to do about what is beginning to look more and more like a “serf” class in our futures.
Many super-national corporations see the future world in this way, among them Silicon Valley and the Information-Tech sectors, as well as several multi-national producers. It’s interesting that we are seeing the same kind of thinking in the boardrooms and front offices of purely domestic corporations, viewing consumers of entertainment and sport, (and news) no different than the mass world markets of produced goods in commerce.
Workers and consumers alike, they are all suckers. Sheep to be sheared.
I’m old, so I knew Pete Rozelle’s generation. Whatever it is we’re seeing, it’s not capitalism as Adam Smith laid out in Wealth of Nations. American capitalism was always based on ethics and human understanding, always based on shared reciprocity between employer and employee. His generation knew it best because so many of the captains of industry in America then were themselves born in lesser circumstances and even knew what and where the lug wrench was, when they had a flat.
It’s remarkable that Donald Trump also knows this, with $15 billion in the bank. Probably by instinct, I’d wager.
Modern capitalists, including the NFL, for years have signaled that they can be blackmailed even when innocent, just to keep up appearances. They’ve made people like Jesse Jackson rich. Today I am sure there are more Black Lives Matter advocates on corporate boards of directors than representatives of their consumers or fans. If corporations are truly seeking better representation I suggest they cast their nets a bit wider than the fraternity they now belong to. Like Europe’s royalty, it’s reached the end of an incestuous relationship.
I can suggest at least a few hundred who are better, who can bring real spine to the table.
How about Rush Limbaugh?