Its time to rethink anthem protests


If you try to link arms with me during the national anthem at the next sporting event as a show of unity, I’m slapping the shit out of you.

Somewhere in between Colin Kaepernick’s initial low key protest and Jerry Jones kneeling with his players before, but not during the national anthem, this whole thing jumped the shark.

Now, it’s turned into this strange pseudo-rebellious “protest” against what many NFL executives believe to be the first and only example of 45’s divisive language.

Maybe they feel this way because saying all NFL players demonstrating during the national anthem should be fired comes off as a direct order from a bunch of rich old dudes who weren’t about take orders and weren’t about to have the president mess with their money.

Ironically, the same reason owners felt comfortable locking arms against 45 is the same reason no organization wants to sign Kaepernick: protection of the bottom line. Jerry Jones will stand arm-in-arm and kneel with you as long as it’s in defense of his profits. If it’s in defense of black rights, then he’s a little less enthusiastic.

Since the the act of kneeling was meant to be a way to show respect to the military and the act has been considered disrespectful enough to inspire a rule change proposal, it’s time to ditch respectability politics altogether. Kneeling, black power fists, and sitting have all been ruled as anti-American, so as long as mostly black protesters are getting told to stay in their place, I have come up with a few suggestions since white folks decided they were gonna be mad anyway.

Call your side  piece

Maybe it would be a good idea to not be as reckless with it as a certain Dolphins offensive line coach but hitting up the side piece during the national anthem could be an appropriate option since America has treated black people like the side chick it’s embarrassed of for so long.

When I hear the first words of the national anthem, I wanna see the padding of the goal post lift up like a Joe Horn touchdown celebration.

I want to see sidechicks getting Facetimed, Snapchatted and iMessaged while planes fly over the stadium and the NFL pretends to care about the sacrifice of veterans. Lucky for the players who are dating more than one woman at a time, the song will end right before she starts asking when you’re going to come through and see her again.

Shoot Dice

The noble act of rolling them bones has already made an appearance this football season in the form of the best touchdown celebration so far but as long as you plan on disrespecting the flag, why not also look for a way to make some quick cash on the sidelines?

As the opening scene from The Wire shows, an illegal game of craps is just as American as apple pie, baseball and racism.

(I would like to take a moment to apologize for fitting the stereotype of the black sportswriter by referencing The Wire to prove a point. I promise to stop as soon as it stops being one of the dopest shows in television history)

Sing a song that actually slap

The fact that the “Star Spangled Banner” hasn’t been remixed since Francis Scott Key wrote that shit behind bars in the  1810’s has long loomed over this country. One of our foremost modern musicians also shares this sentiment.


Deciding which song to recite as a team during the national anthem will take some compromising but anything that gets Marshawn to dance like this is probably a step in the right direction.


Here’s hoping we can get a solid chorus of baritones on the team to hum those DJ Mutsard baselines.

Crip Walking 

The proper example on proper technique can be seen on full display here after Queen Serena Williams brought home the gold for the Red, White and Blue in 2012.


Look at this proud patriot representing her country with a traditional American dance move. Some have called the Crip Walk the Salsa of Southern California. It was a great moment of cultural enrichment in front of an international audience. (This bit of dancing may not be bool in bertain social bircles that you run in, so tread lightly depending on what hood your mamma stayed in growing up.)

It doesn’t matter what football players or athletes from any other sport do on the sideline. The notion of showing unity without clearly declaring what they’re united against is toothless at best and insulting to all those who were trying to bring attention to systematic racism at worst.

With new rule changes being proposed by the NFL to stop peaceful protests, it’s clear that all gestures that point out injustice will receive the same backlash. If that will remain the case, I hope to see players cut loose during the anthem since America will find a reason to be mad anyway.

It’s like when your parent would threaten to “give you a reason to cry” before the whoopin. Black people have 400 years’ worth of reasons to cry. I think we can tolerate some white tears if the Raiders decide to shake their dreads during the anthem.


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