Michael Harriot's take on why the NFL rejecting PETA's ridiculous ad is so notable is the best I have read.
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...On one hand, PETA gentrifying the movement for social justice by likening the “human prejudice of fur coats, trained circus tigers and ribeyes” (yes, they actually said that), to the institutional racism that permeates America is despicable but expected. It’s just the next logical leap from Black Lives Matter to White and Blue Lives Matter. We know that whites are always gonna white, especially at the Super Bowl. I’m sure, somewhere in the PETA office, there’s someone explaining that “this is what MLK would have wanted.”
On the other hand, I am not on the NFL’s side either. The NFL might contend that they don’t want to invite such a divisive political statement during the most-watched television event of the year. But you know what else is white as fuck?
The Donald Trump ad claiming America is stronger, more united and more prosperous, which is scheduled to air during the Super Bowl. Or the $11 million Michael Bloomberg ad that will air during the Super Bowl. Or—and I just like to list things in groups of three—perhaps the whitest of them all:
The Super Bowl itself.
So, yes I’m conflicted. I can’t decide if my position of “Fuck PETA” is strong enough to overcome my “Fuck the NFL” stance. It’s like watching that time when white supremacist Richard Spencer lamented that Donald Trump isn’t racist enough. Or if Chris Cilizza played a game of Stupid Jeopardy!
Animals, including a bee, snake, eagle, and fish, all take a knee in PETA's animated Colin Kapernick-inspired ad created for the Super Bowl airwaves. The controversial commercial, which has voices gently humming the "Star Spangled Banner," calls for an end to "speciesism." But, the animal rights organization is reporting that it was blocked by the NFL and won't be showing on TV this Sunday, or ever.
The National Football League (NFL) apparently found our new Colin Kaepernick–inspired ad—with its message of inclusion and respect—too daring and pressured FOX to snub our commercial.
In 2016, Kaepernick put a national spotlight on the racial inequality that plagues the U.S.—and we applaud him for doing so with the simple yet powerful and peaceful act of taking a knee.
PETA worked with a talented group of advertisers and artists who came up with the idea for our beautiful ad. Positively acknowledged by Kaepernick himself, this project pays homage to all movements that remind us to open our hearts and minds and reject all forms of injustice, including sexism, ableism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and speciesism.
— PETA (@peta) January 31, 2020
This jerk at an NFL game doesn't feel folks should protest civil injustice against black Americans by kneeling, but thinks the flag is there to keep his ass dry. Read the rest
Trump's Fascistic, un-American rantings about NFL players kneeling in protest during the playing of the National Anthem are offensive and repugnant. But they're also probably illegal, carrying a possible penalty to Trump of disqualification from public office, fines, and up to 15 years in prison.
There's a specific statute at play, and it's 18 U.S.C. sec. 227. This statute reads:
The first question could be, Is the President covered by this statute? Yes, he is specifically listed as a "covered government person" under (b)(3).
Next, Does the President have the intent to influence an employment decision or employment practice of a private entity? Clearly, he does. The current version of his outrage started when he said, at an Alabama rally in support of his losing candidate, "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he's fired. He's fired.'"
If this sort-of rhetorical question phrasing isn't obvious enough, his subsequent tweets make explicitly clear that he intends to influence the employment decisions and practices of the NFL. He urges flatly, "Fire or suspend!" and "NFL should change policy!"
Next, with that intent, has there been some official act he's taken, influenced, offered or threatened? For a while, that was unclear. Surely when the president presses for an action so strongly and repeatedly, there's some implied threat that he'll use his power to effectuate some official act in response to non-compliance. Read the rest
Oklahoma Senator James Lankford (@SenatorLankford; (405) 231-4941) sounded the alarm about Russian trolls spreading discord about NFL athletes kneeling for the national anthem, citing as evidence a Twitter account called "Boston Antifa" whose "location" field had been filled in "Vladivostok, Russia." Read the rest
Racine, Wisconsin's Reefpoint Brew House is dealing with quite a lot of outrage. Co-owner John Valko's moronic statement suggesting NFL players who do not feel the way he does about our national anthem be killed has not been well received.
Via the Journal Times:
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A co-owner of a popular lakefront restaurant advocated for the killing of kneeling NFL players in a Facebook comment posted Monday, according to multiple screenshots circulating on social media.
The owners of Reefpoint Brew House, 2 Christopher Columbus Causeway, acknowledged the comment from fellow co-owner John Valko in a statement released on their Facebook page Tuesday evening.
In the comment, which has been deleted but appears as a screenshot multiple times in the comments on the statement, Valko advocates for the killing of NFL players who kneel during the national anthem before games, something more than 200 players did Sunday.
“Kill the idiot players,” Valko wrote. “Execute them. They are nothing but garbage. The league is screwed up if they think it is their right. It is their duty to respect our country and our flag. They should go kneel in front of a freight train. Shame on these stupid misfits of society. They need to die.”
When New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz found out that Newtown victim Jack Pinto, 6, was a huge fan, he decided to dedicate Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons to the first-grader. Cruz, the father of an eleven-month-old girl, decorated his cleats and gloves with tributes to Jack, calling the boy his "hero." Normally, writing on uniforms or gear would be cause for a fine in the NFL, but Cruz -- and the rest of the Giants and the New York Jets, who had "SHES" written on their helmets (Sandy Hook Elementary School) -- won't be in trouble. (The Giants' playoff chances? Another story.) Jack's family has been in touch with Cruz since the weekend, offering any needed assistance, and he has promised to try and meet with them in person, even if just for a short time. He's also promised to give the Pinto family the cleats as a keepsake. If the final score of that game wasn't enough to make a Giants fan weep (present company included), then this story certainly is. (via TIME)
In a photographic announcement on her blog, Beyonce let the world in on some important pop culture news: duck-face is alive and well! And she is also going to be the main attraction at the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show on February 3. Actually, that's a pretty good act for the halftime show, what with her widespread appeal among fans of the National Football League. (via Huffington Post) Read the rest
Storytime: Last night, during Monday Night Football's presentation of the Seattle Seahawks versus the Green Bay Packers, an insane thing happened that illustrated exactly why the NFL's referee strike is a very bad thing for the game (as great as it is for ratings). In the last seconds of the game, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw a 24-yard Hail Mary to the end zone, where Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings caught the football half a second before Seattle receiver Golden Tate got his own hands on it -- after Jennings pulled the ball into his chest, establishing possession (aka "MINE!"). What you see pictured is a screenshot of one referee signaling a touchdown for Seattle. The other referee is signaling an interception by Green Bay, meaning the touchdown didn't happen. As a result, the Seattle Seahawks beat the Green Bay Packers, 14-12 -- the Green Bay Packers. After the jump, the insane play, followed by the incredibly bad call. Packers fans (including my Uncle Bobby): my deepest condolences. Read the rest
Rob Bricken of Topless Robot has compiled a list for Maxim Magazine, a magazine that generally has nothing for me to look at. However, this list is a list of NFL players if they were characters from HBO's Game of Thrones. And it's slightly biased towards the NY Giants, so, therefore, I am biased towards this list. It's the perfect combination of nerdery and football! (via Rob Bricken on Twitter) Read the rest
In case you were wondering how some NFL players feel about marriage equality, Chris Kluwe, punter for the Minnesota Vikings, is in support. Vocal support. Very vocal support. He also supports fellow player Brendon Ayanbadejo, linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, who recently voiced his own support for marriage equality. Why? Because this November, there is a ballot initiative in the state of Maryland to legalize same-sex marriage, and Ayanbadejo thought his opinion might interest people in the state for whom he plays professional football. Well, one Maryland politician who does not support marriage equality, one Emmett C. Burns Jr., said that an NFL player expressing such an opinion "has no place" in the sport, and that team owners should "inhibit such expressions from [their] employees." Really. A politician -- a defender of the United States Constitution -- told a football team to "inhibit... expressions" by their players -- expressions that are explicitly allowed to be uninhibited by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Kluwe, writing in a guest post on Deadspin, was not pleased with Mr. Burns' request, and he has responded using some delightfully colorful language that may or may not include the word "cockmonster." Read the rest
As a football fan, it's always painful to hear the increasing number of stories about players sustaining head injuries that range from your standard (but still dangerous) concussions to chronic traumatic encephalopathy. It's easy to let oneself be ignorant of it while rooting for our favorite players during the truly suspenseful and exciting 60 minutes of game play. But at the end of the day, many professional athletes (and their families and friends) are suffering, some of them attempting -- and sometimes succeeding -- to end that suffering via violent means. It's the NFL fan's dilemma, and Travis Waldron at Think Progress articulates it well. (via Think Progress) Read the rest
Condoleezza Rice and I have very few things in common, but here is one thing we can probably break bread over without too much shouting: NFL football. Good gravy, do we both love football. (And from the looks of the jersey she's wearing, we share a predilection for wide receivers.) But even while we may differ on teams -- Rice is a Cleveland Browns fan, I bleed blue for the New York Giants -- at least we both be sure of one thing: the NFL is recognizing its lady fans more and more, like in its latest ad campaign featuring the former Secretary of State and several other notable gridiron girls. I won't say it's been impossible to find women's apparel in actual team colors (rather than pink and/or covered in glitter), because it's quite available and becoming easier to find all the time. But nothing annoys me more than the commercials that perpetuate the stereotypes of by portraying a bunch of dudes "getting ready for the game" while their hapless "football widows" go make them snacks. Thanks, but some of us female humans are actually more interested in watching that game ourselves (and eating those snacks). Like me and Condi. (Good luck with your Browns, LOL.)
So, thank you, NFL, for rolling out this new ad featuring a variety of women who love the game and are ready to wear the team colors in shirts that were made for them. As someone who likes sports and doesn't care who knows, I find this awesome. Read the rest