#kneeling

Self-imposed slavery on the sporting field?

We couldn’t help but notice the kneeling across global sporting codes over the weekend. In Australia, players of the AFL and NRL codes all took the knee. No one stood.

The football leagues across Europe did the same thing.

Have we just witnessed acts of modern day slavery?

No, we are not trying to draw an equivalence to those that suffered at the hands of real slavery more than a century ago. Let’s be absolutely clear.

However it is not hard to see capitulating to the mob by surrendering constitutional rights out of a fear of exercising them as a reflection of the bleak dystopian future that is rapidly approaching.

We can be absolutely sure that failure to publicly submit to causes like BLM will lead to vilification and worse. Best to fall in line (literally) to avoid being attacked and face the inevitable backlash from the verbally violent apparatchiks on Twitter.

Is it fair to assume that every player believed in the cause of kneeling for BLM? Or were some pressured to do so? Did they feel their contracts might come under threat for non compliance?

Worry they might. LA Galaxy star Aleksandar Katai was recently sacked for something his wife tweeted about BLM without his knowledge. Career over. Shouldn’t the incendiary tweets of a spouse live and die there? Should companies have the power to sack us for the free speech exercised by our own husbands or wives in their own time?

Do employers have rights to enforce behaviors of employees completely unrelated to their jobs especially if not bound by legal contracts?

Did woke sponsors threaten to withdraw support if they didn’t make the virtue signaling gesture? Or did the same sponsors fear secondary boycotts and demand players got on message? Will players and officials kneel at every match from now on?

Are police officers – who attend every sporting match for player and fan security – so in need of being vilified each game for things the overwhelming majority haven’t committed?

Let’s not forget the long list of disgraceful crimes committed by many sports celebrities including rape, murders, shootings, animal cruelty, prostitution rings, assault, robbery, illegal gun possession, DUI and resisting arrest to name a few. Are these the types of role models the sports bodies think should lecture the rest of us?

We don’t doubt that most players believe in the lives of black (and all) people but was there any resistance in the locker room beforehand? Did they fear an Israel Folau style social media lynch mob which might drag their own family members in the line of fire for failing to fall to their knees?

The NFL in America marks the next step for the rest of the world’s sporting codes.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made a woefully cringeworthy and cowardly apology for ignoring the cause started by Colin Kaepernick, who will now get to name his price. Watch Goodell make him a race liaison for the NFL. Forget that Kaepernick was an average quarterback when he played. Just sign him ahead of far better players in order to avoid censure. A multi-year lucrative multi-million dollar participation trophy awaits.

Goodell said the NFL condemns systemic racism. Really? Who knew? Why would the NFL have to publicly announce the bleeding obvious? c.70% of NFL players are handsomely rewarded African Americans. Hardly a league guilty of oppressing minorities.

Goodell promised to spend $250 million over 10 years to combat systemic racism. Put that $25m yearly stipend against the $8bn in annual revenue, that is a token 0.31% of that. So it’s hardly a sum relative to the self loathing video made. Still it makes for good headlines. Will the NFL subsidize Kaep out of that sum?

Will fans be subject to a ditching of the flag and an end to the national anthem at the game? Will it be replaced by a minute’s silence where law abiding, open minded and tolerant citizens of all races are required to watch propaganda on police brutality broadcast on big screens to martial music before kick-off?

What is worse is that Goodell skipped over the fact that his fans more than likely already condemned police brutality well before his forced confession reminiscent of an ISIS hostage video.

Is Goodell’s memory so short? Don’t fans just want to unwind from the stresses of family, work and politics by watching their team play a great game?

The NFL might feel encouraged that it’s viewership may have made a tepid recovery from the lows of 2017 but it shouldn’t test the loyalty of fans this way. They don’t pay good money to be lectured over things they already repudiate.

The Australian Wallabies rugby union team is another franchise which succumbed to pandering to identity politics over serving the needs of paying customers. Self-inflicted wound. It will take decades to recover, if ever.

The AFL and NRL should watch their step too. Overplay politics at games where fans go to escape it and they might find they walk away leaving them where they are now – cardboard cutouts in the stands and canned crowds. Don’t mistake any bump in ratings as anything other than a short term COVID19 induced boredom escaping aberration.

To think if the players hadn’t submitted to bondage in the first place, they would have no need to get on their knees of their own volition and beg their ultimate paymasters for mercy.

Does kneeling lead to healing?

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Does kneeling lead to healing?

Around the world, we have seen images of law enforcement officers kneeling to protest police brutality in the wake of the inexcusable murder of George Floyd. It begs the question if the UK police officers in the picture above don’t practice brutality themselves, why are they kneeling for the actions of a small band of police officers in a different country? The same goes for the majority of honest cops in America who put their lives in harms way to protect and serve us.

At what point in society do we acknowledge such vacuous virtue signalling as anything other than an act of cowardice and an insult to the very people they claim to be apologizing to?

A bigger question might be why weren’t these British cops kneeling when police across the country were outed over the deliberate and documented 20-year cover-up of child grooming gangs on the grounds they didn’t want to be seen as racist by targeting the overwhelming majority of the known perpetrators – Asian (Pakistani) men?

We summarised the outcome of the Rotherham Inquiry here. It is shocking beyond belief and 19,000 of these identified white girls will never recover from the psychological scars. Their skin colour shouldn’t matter. It is what happens when identity politics clouds common sense. How could anyone condone arresting the fathers who were trying to break their underage girls out of rape dens? Because that is what happened. Minors were doused with gasoline and threatened with being set alight by their captors if they told anyone about what had happened.

Where were these same BLM-in-name-only protestors in the UK calling for justice for these poor girls when it became public knowledge? Are demonstrations merely determined by the most fashionable social justice issue du jour? Is systematic rape based on ethnicity on one’s own doorstep deemed less contentious than systematic racism in America?

Kneeling is nothing short of submitting to mob rule. Pure and simple. Furthermore, how does getting on one’s knees heal racial divide and conquer police brutality? We’ll get to that.

We were struck by a video of a Trump rally several years ago where the organizer invited the President of BLM New York up on stage to allow him to talk to those assembled. The outcome was not what the prevailing sentiment would have guessed before viewing the clip.

The problem with BLM is the way it seems to convey mixed messaging. BLM remains silent when so many blacks are dying in Chicago from gun violence not at the hands of police? When a 77yo former African American police captain in Louisville was shot and killed by rioters over a TV last week, BLM said nothing. It was too busy lashing out at white liberals abusing the #BlackLivesMatter Twitter hashtag to advertise their wokeness by putting black squares on the social media avatars.

And if cops truly felt so disgusted about George Floyd’s demise wouldn’t they have been better to strip off their blues, resign on the spot and trample on their badges to show how much the cause means to them?  It is hard to see the kneeling as anything more than a hollow gesture to rack up social woke points.

Why are they apologizing for things they haven’t done? If they have been privy to witnessing police brutality, did they speak up? Or were they ignored by politically-aligned police chiefs bent on seeking their next promotion by suppressing negative behavior under their watch to please city mayors?

That is not to say police officers don’t have a right to express themselves as private citizens but as public servants on the job they should not be succumbing to acts of appeasement.  They should be reprimanded for such displays of weakness. How can they keep public order by such acts of surrender? What message do they send to crowds?

Throughout history, kneeling has been a token of submission. The height of self-debasement. The term “die standing or live on your knees” derives from that.

Earlier in the week, we wrote of a YouTuber Smooth Sanchez who was claiming to represent Black Lives Matter (BLM). He was asking white women to get on their knees to admit their white privilege, apologize and pay reparations. Some complied. Some refused, only be taunted with vile abuse in the form of “racist“, “bigot” or “Neo-Nazi.

What is it with the idea that ordinary law-abiding citizens who happen to be white must atone for the sins of people they are not related to and weren’t alive at the time much of the oppression was committed? How will self-loathing whites kneeling and asking for forgiveness help black people in reality, especially if they haven’t done a thing? How do we stop racism if we constantly seek to define everything by it? Surely by making skin colour the basis by which we function as a society, then racism can’t be effectively stamped out.

In 2017 we wrote about four Ann Arbor councillors taking a knee during the national anthem ahead of session. Given these people were in a position to influence policy why didn’t they head down to the Ann Arbor Police Department and study the data about police brutality, the extent of the problem (if any) and what steps were put in place to mitigate it?

Ann Arbor is a city of 360,000. Crime versus the national average of cities it’s size revealed that burglary and motor vehicle theft were at rates at half the national average. Murder 1/5th. Robbery at less than half. Assault in line. Rape, marginally above.

Taken in isolation, Ann Arbor PD killed one African-American woman who attacked them with a knife in 2014. Since then a clean slate. If new measures to weed out bad apples were put in place, shouldn’t those councillors have promoted the successful program that they implemented instead of joining a chorus which threw its own law enforcement it sets the guidelines for under the bus?

Wouldn’t it be better to have city mayors incentivise police chiefs to proactively manage their officers in ways which would lead to the types of outcomes the public wants? We doubt the wimpy response of Ann Arbor politicians is an isolated event. That is the problem. Making a public statement to appear virtuos but fail to follow up with meaningful policy achieved what exactly? Their actions were as useless as draping one’s social media avatar with whatever cause is fashionable to show one is against the bleeding obvious.

The fish rots at the head. No amount of kneeling will fix problems unless the raw data is openly discussed and the brutal truth examined. The Minneapolis PD was subject to a federal review of procedures in 2015. The statistics revealed that few officers were fired or suspended for claims made against them. The majority were either reprimanded or given extra coaching. Yet MPD still continued to see complaints pile up. This appears to be a senior management issue.

Bad (insert profession) deserve to be weeded out of any organisation, especially where public order is at stake.

Pointing the finger at the majority of law-abiding citizens who aren’t racist will do absolutely nothing to solve this crisis. As Mark D Robinson said, the majority is “the first ones taxed, the last ones considered and the first ones punished.

Having whites declare their white privilege on their knees will solve nothing. It is actually an insult to blacks for whites to think that apologizing for things they haven’t done just to feel better about themselves rather than seek to find solutions through constructive free speech which acknowledges history. It is the same mentality as pushing gender politics. Do these same people think telling capable, educated, intelligent and ambitious women that they need special treatment?

Having whites kneel will not lift one single black person out of the oppression so many Democrat lawmakers highlight when it is decades of their policies that have perpetuated the problems in the first place. It is actually racist to push this kind of tribalism, as many of our narrative busing videos of everyday African Americans attests to. 

In closing, if we want to take stupidity to the next level, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti publicly said he wants to drastically cut the police budget in coming years. One can only assume that stifling the one body that can keep communities safe will only enforce the very stereotypes that the death of George Floyd was supposed to stop. 

Kneeling does not lead to healing. Lets not pretend that it does. Bold leadership that avoids political correctness and identity politics is required.

Nike & Colin Kaepernick

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Ultimately consumers will vote with their feet (no pun intended) after Nike’s use of original kneeler Colin Kaepernick as its latest “Just do it.” campaign face. Arguing over who is right or wrong over this has become somewhat irrelevant. The kneeling debate is over 12 months old.

Nike is free to market how it chooses but must bear full responsibility for the firestorm it creates for itself. There is no doubt the social media impact will be huge and the marketing department might wax lyrical at the attention gained all it wants but the question is will the majority of it be positive? Virtue signaling for corporates is a dangerous game. More often than not it backfires.

CM has always held that corporations should stay out of politics because as much as they might profess a united face on certain issues, there is no way they speak on behalf of all those that work for them. The risk is creating an unfair working environment to those who do not wish to participate in the manner the corporate desires, even if they might privately agree. Coercing staff to openly tow the party line is tantamount to making them slaves if forced against their will for fear of repercussions in the workplace.

Don’t think for a second it doesn’t happen. Think of the same sex marriage (SSM) debate. If you had a rainbow flag screen saver you would have been cheered by the internal apparatchiks. Had you a “Vote NO for SSM” screen saver it is likely you would have been hauled in front of your manager and HR to explain your inappropriate workplace behaviour. The matter was a vote of democracy. What place is it for corporates to enforce one type of opinion on changes to the Marriage Act? Let’s not forget the results of the 2011 Census where 0.03% of the population identified with being husband and wife in a same sex relationship. Yes. 1,338 people only. All that fanfare for less than 1,400 people.

We are already seeing people in the US burn Nike products to protest the company’s move.

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In much the same vein as Democrat Party activists boycotting In-N-Out burgers for donating to the GOP, there is no real sense in die-hard NFL fans pushing to #boycottNike. What is the obsession with boycotts? Surely disgruntled fans can make up their own minds whether they’ll choose to buy Nike products or not. It is just more of the oppression obsession.

Nike will ultimately survive. The NFL has already seen ratings take a proper beating. The question is does this help? Probably not but Nike want to make a statement.

Knee jerk reactions where people burn football jerseys, season tickets, Superbowl pennants or Nike sneakers have become less and less about the subject protested about (Black Lives Matter) but more about people getting sick and tired of political correctness and social justice rammed down their throats on an almost daily basis. Even Buzz Aldrin is sick of the politically correct overtones in ‘First Man’ that went out of its way to delete scenes of an epic moment in America’s history – planting an American flag on the moon. Don’t forget Buzz punched a reporter who disparaged him in public. He said he is a “proud American

Sadly, many Americans feel their patriotism is under fire. That they should feel guilty for displaying Old Glory outside their homes. Maybe those loyal fans want to go and watch a NFL match to leave the financial, relationship, work, marital stresses behind. They pay money to unwind, not have political messaging paraded in front of them. Even if they think Black Lives Matter is a worthy cause, kneeling every match won’t make it sink in any deeper but dilute the message, as has been displayed by making Kaepernick the poster child.

Not all NRA members are cold blooded murderers. Those people that voted Republican in the last election aren’t all white supremacist, bigoted, racist Nazis any more than all those people that voted Democrat aren’t all whining, virtue signaling liberals.

Open debate is what is needed. Kicking people out of restaurants through open harassment, burning runners or boycotting businesses won’t fix a thing. Listening and debating the issues based on logical reason is the only way forward.  The only thing worth boycotting is the boycotters themselves. Sadly the lesson is unlikely to be learnt.