The NFL’s protest of the national anthem has spread to other sports, upsetting and polarizing fans.
An article in Billboard reveals how Major League Baseball is responding to a situation in game 7 of the World Series. In opposition to the anti-police protests, the league had a quartet of LAPD officers sing the national anthem.
According to The Washington Post, Major League Baseball has witnessed only one player taking a knee during the national anthem. The lone protester was Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell. When asked why he was protesting, he told reporters, “I’m kneeling for the people who don’t have a voice.”
In late September, after President Trump’s controversial statement that NFL owners should fire protesters, Maxwell changed his reason for protesting, “This is beyond race, this is about our President speaking out in a vulgar, negative way against people exercising their rights in a peaceful manner. It’s about mankind. To call people who are protesting ‘sons of b*****s’? He feels like he’s untouchable. We’re not dogs. We’re not animals. We’re people. And people in this country need to understand that we are not going to sit around and let a man call us that, no matter how powerful he is.”
Yet Maxwell has found himself without supporters as the other players have remained standing. The media coverage even abated after the protests against President Trump because Maxwell remains the only protester.
Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer said he was thinking about protesting until he asked his teammates about it. “From the feedback I’ve gotten from my teammates,” Archer said, “I don’t think it would be the best thing to do for me at this time.”
However, he shed light on his true feelings on the issue. “I agree with [Maxwell’s] message. I believe in equality. [But] I don’t want to offend anybody. No matter how you explain it or justify it, some people just can’t get past the military element of it, and it’s not something I want to do, is ruffle my teammates’ feathers on my personal views that have nothing to do with baseball.”
This acknowledgment, that the protests are offensive to the military and patriotic Americans in support of the military, could explain why many Major League Baseball players have remained respectful during the national anthem.
The quartet of police officers singing the national anthem at a World Series game 7 also sends a clear message that Major League Baseball does not agree with the original intent of the protests, the false-narrative of systemic racism deeply embedded in law enforcement.
Major League Baseball provides the National Football League with a prime example of how they should respond to the protests without infringing on player’s rights: show support for our men and women in blue. Instead of obligating players to stand or firing protesters, simply show support for who they oppose.
Game 7 of the World Series saw a quartet of LAPD officers singing the national anthem. Will the NFL get the message?
It’s also revealing that the media has largely ignored Maxwell. His protests haven’t generated much of a response from fans or Major League Baseball, so the media has largely ignored him. The protesters are only as powerful as the attention they get. With the limelight and controversy, they are social justice warriors for the Left, but without it, they are merely stubborn, disrespectful players without a base.
If the NFL wants the protests to go away, they need to follow Major League Baseball’s example. They need to show support for the military, show support for law enforcement, and ignore the protestors. The protests might continue for a while, but as the limelight fades, so too will the protesting.