It was in 2016 that Colin Kaepernick first opted to kneel on the sidelines during the singing of the national anthem in protest of police brutality toward people of color. Since, more players have joined the stance, Kaepernick has been blackballed from the National Football League and those who refuse to acknowledge the real reason for the movement, have twisted themselves into salted pretzels trying to pretend that it's about anything but what it's actually about – institutional racism and the disregard of black life.
Last week, NFL owners unanimously agreed to a kneeling ban which requires players and personnel on the field to stand during the performing of the anthem but gives them the option to remain in the locker room. If a player or other team member violates the policy, the team would be subject to a fine, and teams reserve the right to hand down fines or disciplinary actions to players or personnel at its discretion. In celebration of this blatant infringement of the players' First Amendment right to peacefully protest countrywide injustice – in apparent defense of our flag and military – we thought we'd shine an unflattering light on some other things that much more warrant our disgust. Hypocrisy, anyone?
- Sexual harassment and assault (mostly of women) in the military. In the 2017 fiscal year (ending Sept. 30), the Pentagon reports receiving 6,769 reports of sexual assault, a 10 percent increase from 2015. Call us crazy, but we think the semen of a rapist on the fatigues of a military woman is a more embarrassing stain than a bended knee.
- American flag bikinis. Or beer holders or thongs or jockstraps. If so inclined, you can buy one of the latter on Amazon for $17.95.
- Legal flag burning. No, burning the American flag is not illegal. The Supreme court ruled 5-4 to legalize the display in 1989, citing – wait for it – First Amendment freedom of speech. Plenty of right-wingers took advantage of their right when Barrack Obama was elected in 2008 – fiery flag in one hand, a Curious George doll in the other.
- Homeless vets. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that on any given night, 40,056 veterans are sleeping on the streets. Nothing but respect for our servicemen and -women.
- Roseanne Barr singing the national anthem. Barr's recent thumb thuggin' incident is not the comedienne's first tango with controversy. Nope. In 1990 she sang – rather screeched – the anthem at a San Diego Padres game. She wrapped up her performance by grabbing her crotch and spitting on the field. Maybe you're too young to remember, or you may have suppressed the traumatic event – we understand.