When it comes to racial shakedowns, few organizations succumb on a grander scale than the National Football League. This tendency was on full display on Tuesday when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and black rapper/business mogul Jay-Z announced a multiyear partnership “to enhance the NFL’s live game experiences and to amplify the league’s social justice efforts.” More plainly, the league is about to entangle itself further with political radicalism. Goodell and company may believe that the pact is good for public relations, but they could not be more wrong.
The NFL for many years has been a prime target of black political operatives in and out of the league. The active player roster across the league’s 32 teams, after all, is nearly two-thirds black. The activism paid handsome dividends when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, newly reborn as a Black Lives Matter activist, instituted a pregame ritual during the 2016 preseason of kneeling down rather than standing at attention during the playing of our national anthem. His purpose was to protest recent fatal shootings by white police officers of “unarmed” blacks such as Michael Brown, Jamar Clark and Alton Sterling. In fact, in each of these cases the deceased individual had violently resisted arrest. Kaepernick rationalized his crusade this way: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” It was a completely false summation, but it won a lot of supporters around the league through 2016 and well into 2017.