September 17, 2016

FOR THE SEPARATION OF STADIUM AND STATE, as explored by Jonah Goldberg, who writes:

San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick…[has] gone on at tedious and sanctimonious length about the legitimate problem of police brutality and other Black Lives Matter talking points.

I think this is ludicrous on any number of fronts. Kaepernick isn’t being asked to salute rogue cops, or even cops generally. He’s being asked to show respect not just to the flag but to a non-partisan custom. Instead he offers a blanket indictment of America itself and vows to hold his compliance hostage to his personal assessment of complicated social issues. That’s not in a quarterback’s job description any more than it is in a plumber’s.

As Kaepernick’s stunt has metastasized to other teams, the NFL has responded to this lugubrious moral preening and bravery-on-the-cheap with the same rubber-spined resolve we’ve come to expect from most large corporations. And it’s not just happening in the NFL. As my National Review colleague David French has detailed, progressives are “weaponizing sports” all over the place, including North Carolina, where the NCAA is boycotting the state over a disagreement about transgender issues.

My point is not that the issues athletes care about are illegitimate. Kaepernick is right that some issues are “bigger than football” — but that is an argument for keeping them out of football! Religion is bigger than football too, which is why we try to keep it from intruding in public life in a divisive way.

Related Exit Question:

tebow_national_anthem_question_9-16-16

I suspect we’ll find out soon enough; moral frenzies whipped up by the left have a nasty habit of boomeranging in all sorts of ways they never anticipated.

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