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The NFL kneeds its fans

This past Sunday there was more kneeling at NFL games than occurred at Catholic churches around the country. Most fans turn on a professional football game to watch, you know, football. Recently, they have been treated to anything but.

What the heck is going on? As a public service and in an effort to promote peace, love and understanding (well, maybe not the first two), here are a few frequently asked questions that may shed some light on the NFL’s most recent trend of “taking a knee” during the singing of the national anthem.

Q: What is this whole “take a knee” business all about?
A: It all started last season when Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel during the national anthem to protest oppressed minorities and people of color in the United States.

Q: Who is Colin Kaepernick?
A: He used to play quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. His salary for the 2016 season was $11.9 million.

Q: That’s a lot of money, is he any good?
A: Well, he won three of the last 19 games he started at quarterback, including one win last year.

Q: Hold on, I’m doing the math here. If my figures are correct, last season he made $11.9 million for each game he won, right?
A: I’m not the greatest at math – in high school algebra my grade was a P, for Pathetic. Nonetheless, even I can do this math and I got the same answer. If anyone was oppressed last season, it was the 49ers fans.

Q: If Kaepernick had a regular job, how long would it take him to earn $11.9 million?
A: About 183 years. He could knock a few years off that if he worked overtime. Either way, he’d probably be dead long before that.

Q: A lot of players are taking a knee this season, are they protesting oppression in the United States or do they have other reasons?
A: They are each hoping to land the next $11.9 million salary or at least get that big Antifa endorsement deal. (They’re talking to you, George Soros!)

Q: I heard the Pittsburgh Steelers chose to remain in the locker room, rather than be on the field during the national anthem. Is that true?
A: Yes, in a show of solidarity, the entire team, save one, stayed in the locker room during the playing of the national anthem and, as it turns out, they remained there for almost the entire first quarter. Fortunately for the Steelers, they were playing the Chicago Bears and only trailed 7-0 by the time they finally took the field.

Q: It sure seems like the NFL allows its players a lot of freedom to express themselves. Is that true?
A: Sure, in much the same way that Kim Jong Un’s inner circle gets to tell him that North Korea’s nuclear program is probably a bad idea. The NFL once fined Kaepernick for wearing the wrong headphones to a postgame interview. The league had an endorsement deal with Bose to be the official headphone sponsor. Kaepernick protested, claiming his headphones were prescribed by a doctor (Dr. Dre), but to no avail.

Q: This “Take a knee” stuff is catching on, will more teams do it in the coming weeks?
A: That’s hard to say, although Cleveland Browns fans will argue their team has spent much of the first three games taking a knee.

Q: Is this controversy hurting the NFL’s TV ratings?
A: The ratings for the league are down substantially. However, it’s hard to say if it is because of this controversy or because millions of Americans had a sudden urge to go kayaking this past Sunday.

Q: Who is in charge of the NFL?
A: Nobody really knows. Roger Goodell is the league commissioner, but he seems about as strong as a runny Jello mold. He’s sort of the Mitch McConnell of the NFL. If you had to pick who you would rather be in a fox hole with, you would choose the enemy over Roger Goodell.

Q: Some teams stood during the national anthem locked arm in arm. What was the point of that?
A: Some teams did it as a show of unity?

Q: Um, isn’t that what standing for the anthem is all about in the first place?
A: Yes.

Q: So, then, what’s the point?
A: Beats me.

Q: One last question, what did Colin Kaepernick do on Sunday?
A: He took a knee…in his living room – to count his money.

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Curtice Mang

Curtice Mang is the author of two books, The Constitution - I'm Not Kidding and Other tales of Liberal Folly and The Smell of Politics: The Good, The Bad and The Odorous. He is a regular contributor of commentary and political satire to multiple websites. He lives in Phoenix with his wife.

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