Hookstead’s Friday Mailbag: I’m Boycotting The NFL

David Hookstead | Contributor

It’s another Friday at The Smoke Room, and that means it’s time for Hookstead’s Friday Mailbag.

Let’s dive straight into the questions because we have some great ones.

I’m done with the NFL, as it seems many others are. So, do you have any suggestions for a Thanksgiving without the NFL?

Take some time and play a family football game. Absolutely nothing beats a family football game on Thanksgiving followed by some great food. I think it’s literally the definition of America.

What does it feel like waking up and not having any friends or family that have ever told you they love you. Is it rough? 

It’s very rough. In fact, I think I live one of the roughest lives imaginable. I grew up in the Wisconsin countryside, and now I get paid to talk about sports, movies and culture. Just a brutal existence. I often wonder if I’m a hero for being able to make it this far without throwing in the towel.

NFL players are cowards. Many individuals have come out and falsely compared these anthem demonstrations to those during the Civil Rights Movement. There was even a meme put forth that said NFL players protesting during the anthem is like Rosa Parks protesting on a bus. 

Except there’s this fact: Rosa Parks, via civil peaceful disobedience, was protesting state-sanctioned discrimination where it was taking place and directly affecting her and many others. Those brave young individuals who demonstrated at lunch counters were taking on discrimination where it was happening. And all the individuals who protested, marched and gave their lives in Selma, Alabama were on the front line taking on discrimination where it was most raw and potent. 

NFLers taking a knee in the manner for which they’ve done is protesting in a safe space, pretty much displaying the ultimate form of cowardice. Some are the epitome of hypocrisy. By wearing socks depicting cops as the most negative stereotype possible and a stereotype that has a history as a rallying cry for their assassination — pigs — Colin Kaepernick went beyond just dangerous symbolic hyperbole, he squarely set himself apart as the purest hypocrite, as it is cops who provide order and protection, especially for millionaire quarterbacks, for every game he’s played. The bulk of the rest who are protesting understand the power of virtue signaling for their “brands.” 

My question is, where is the appropriate place for pro athletes to protest? Millions of young black teens and working class adults spend exorbitant amounts of money to make guys like Michael Jordan and LeBron James very rich. Should either take a knee at a Nike factory in Vietnam or a Footlocker in their local mall, both of which are keeping millions in economic doldrums? Take a knee at public schools? At court hearings? At a prison? A local field of dandelions is more of a risk than the safe space of a football game.

You hit the nail on the head here about state-sanctioned oppression. The government doesn’t allow oppression, and vigorously prosecutes it when it does occur.

These players don’t even have a consistent message about why they’re protesting. One week it’s oppression, then it’s the national anthem and sometimes it’s Trump. They’re all over the place.

Where is it appropriate to take a knee? It’s appropriate anywhere that’s not private property or while you’re working. The First Amendment doesn’t allow you to say whatever you want at work and get away with it. If I walked into the office Monday and just started screaming stuff, I’d be rightfully told to shut the hell up. Protesting is great when it’s against something that matters, but employers also have the right to say you’re damaging their brand and business.

What are your thoughts on P.K. Subban, (born Canadian) of the Nashville Predators, having more respect and integrity to stand for the national anthem than the American NFL players who protest it?

I already kind of touched on this subject in a previous piece. I think it says a lot more about hockey players as a whole than it does one individual.

Hockey players as a rule refuse to put themselves ahead of the team, and kneeling is a distraction. Don’t expect many hockey players to join in anytime soon.

“When are you going to mention me in one of your blogs?” – Eve Peyser of Vice.

I never include names in the mailbag, but I’m doing it this time because Eve openly tweeted it for everyone to see.

I came across Eve a couple months ago, and was instantly entertained. She was tweeting out some of my greatest headlines. She also had a shockingly accurate prediction of my daily schedule.

Like I said, shockingly accurate.

From what I’ve seen of Eve on Twitter, I don’t think we agree on just about anything. However, she is still a very entertaining follow. I don’t think she takes herself too seriously on social media, which is a rarity these days.

As always, feel free to fire away with questions for next week and send them to [email protected]

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David Hookstead

Contributor

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