In the lead up to the Super Bowl (which I shall honor by watching a mystery show or two*), Peter Certo points out that those who bemoan the “politicization” of pro football conveniently forget who promulgated said politicization.
Here’s a bit from his article; I commend the rest of it to your attention:
In fact, professional football has been deeply politicized for years. Maybe you didn’t notice before Colin Kaepernick took a knee, but the fact that one guy on one knee sparked a national firestorm highlights the politics of the stage on which he acted.
It wasn’t until 2009, for example, that NFL players were even required to leave the locker room for the national anthem, much less stand for it.
That year, the Pentagon was gearing up for a major troop surge in the Afghan war, which even 10 years ago was already old, unpopular and largely forgotten. It needed recruits, and it needed a compliant public.
*I’m not sure what turned me off first: the blatant corruption of the NCAA or the brutality (think CTE) of the NFL. Whichever it may be, I can no longer enjoy watching large men run into each other at high speed.