Sometimes you run across a column that is just so plainly stupid and written in bad faith that it’s hard to muster the indignation necessary to give it a proper critique. How do you even begin to tell the guy eating his own feces that eating his own feces is bad?
Anyway, here’s this fucking column about Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett’s decision to sit for the national anthem, from the News Tribune’s John McGrath, which reads like it was written in 2004. We’re supposed to be done with this shit!
As an accomplished NFL player, he has ample opportunities to serve as a change agent preaching justice for all: Seven months during the off-season, six full days a week between August and January.
But over the three and half hours he’s competing for the Seattle Seahawks on Sundays, his ambitiously virtuous platform should be limited to the mundane matter of winning a football game.
It’s a fair compromise, no? As a citizen of a nation conceived by a protest movement strong enough to achieve independence, Bennett gets every right to voice opinions on issues unrelated to football.
But as part of a roster assembled with athletes from coast to coast, from gated-community neighborhoods to neighborhoods where the only gates are in front of windows and doors, Bennett’s national-anthem stance — or lack thereof — is distracting and potentially divisive.
While no fellow players criticized Bennett’s refusal to join them for the anthem, I suspect at least a few of them were not thrilled by the snapshot of the towel hanging over his head.
It’s one thing to sit down while everybody else in the stadium is standing, and quite another to sit down in a gesture that amounted to exclamation point.
Make the sit-down statement, OK. Making the sit-down statement with a towel over your head pushes the line, and Bennett’s job is to push another kind of line.