by Alex Lloyd Gross
With the threat of coronavirus , pro sports are slowly making a return to stadiums but without fans. With the Black Lives Matter protests and riots, many teams and leagues have taken to promoting, some say blindly, the Black Lives Matter agenda. Some fans think it is a great and wonderful thing. They see nothing wrong with players kneeling for the anthem, and signage everywhere. They call it being “woke” and support and participate in the narrative.The killing of George Floyd was the straw that broke the camel’s back. No one says the peaceful demonstrations were not righteous. Everyone agrees in justice for George Floyd.
The agenda for Black Lives Matter has morphed itself into so many different faces, it is not recognizable. It is now about defunding and abolishing the police.. It is about taking away the American Flag and the National Anthem. Some members of this “crusade” say the flag is not their flag. They want a new one and a new anthem as well. That is the conundrum for pro sports. By endorsing this group, they are endorsing the fringe agenda of people who claim affiliation with BLM. When Colin Kaepernick took a knee for the anthem and other players started doing it, a good number of fans stayed home. Some football stadiums were half empty.
As baseball returns, fans watching are seeing entire teams kneeling during the anthem. While some fans are enthusiastic about it, others are not. “I’m not going to see this I’m done,” said an anonymous source , a 12 year veteran of the Phila Police Department He is not alone. All over social media, people have vowed to stay away and tune out of professional sports. Just how many will actually do remains to be seen. According to social media posts of people advocating for the boycott, it has nothing to do with black people. This movement away from pro sports is growing. The interest in sports has ebbed . Younger people are moving away from sports and playing video games or creating their own content via Youtube or other social media. Some sports stations have delved into political commentary.
It has to do with the incessant narrative of getting rid of the police. In the past 30 days, The Washington Redskins were pressured to give up their name which was called “offensive” by some. They are now the Washington Football Team. Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben have been taken off brands, and cartoon characters have been disarmed. People are tired of a vocal minority being offended so an entire society must change. It also has to do with the riots going on in Portland and Seattle. By flying the Black Lives Matter banner, it is an approval by the team of the actions taken by some under the BLM name. Black Lives Matter has done nothing to distance themselves from this lawlessness.
A great analogy would be calling a taxi and having the radio on to a station you don;t like,. A sign in the taxi says all taxis run by this company will have this on for your entertainment. Would you call them again or find alternate transportation? Those people that do not share the narrative of the protesters are finding alternate entertainment. Some are spending more time with their families. Others are taking day trips.
The other part of the equation that people are rising up against is the obscene pay of athletes. As some players complain about not getting their full salary to play in an empty stadium, the stadium employees are out of work. They are not alone. Many jobs are gone forever. Either the place of employment has been closed due to the coronavirus or it was burned down in the riots. Unemployment claims are rising and people do not have money for tickets, let alone $25.00 parking, or $25.00 for one meal that would lost a fraction of that away from the stadium. Out of work people, or people working for a fraction of their pay have no extra dollars to spend and when they do, they want to enjoy it, and spend it on a local, struggling business. Not making the rich even richer.
To add insult to this entire mess, a small number of professional athletes are making Anti-Semitic comments and getting away with it by claiming ignorance. Social media is buzzing about a pro sports boycott. Many see the symbolism as support for lawbreakers. When fans are allowed to return, will police have enough manpower to cover those events? Who will pay for police protection at games? Will those officers be supported by fans in the stands?