The saga of the NFL kneeling controversy continues, with the league's "Let's Listen Together" campaign. The $89 million effort will spotlight players' contributions in the area of social and racial justice. USA Today's Nancy Armour thinks it's a great idea, describing the move thusly:
"(The campaign will) highlight the work players have been doing on social justice reform and racial equality, and draw further attention to the problems that prompted the protests in the first place."
But isn't "draw(ing) attention to their protests" the problem? Not to Armour, who greets with open arms the announcement Tuesday by the NFL and the Players Coalition, which is comprised of a group of protestors who appear to be shaking down the NFL. Perplexingly, amid the declaration, no apology was offered for repelling fans or insulting police officers and veterans.
According to Armour, the announcement reveals a wonderful re-focused effort on the part of social justice football players. Apparently, men who are paid to toss a ball around in the grass have been charged with the responsibility of changing the world by speaking out regarding injustices they know nothing about.
Regarding the league's coming together with the Players Coalition, Armour says the "campaign shows there’s a lot of promise in the partnership." There is much to be learned: President Jonathan Kraft, for example, has recently realized that 7-year-old black children can be arrested for misbehavior in school. Armour notes:
"That is how change happens. People of economic, racial and social privilege realizing that their view of reality is a limited one and wanting to change that."
To Armour, the greatest need is for everyone just to listen:
"If you listen, really listen, you might learn something. And who knows what can happen from there."
We guess there are no apologies needed.
"Let's Listen" begins tonight on the NFL Network: Malcolm Jenkins of the Philadelphia Eagles will "listen" to Michael Chitwood, Upper Darby, Pa., police Superintendent. Chitwood will talk about training his officers concerning racial bias, social and emotional intelligence.
So, the way to address the decline in ratings due to viewers rejecting the NFL for its social justice politics, is to essentially affirm the protesting players' accusation of a racist America?
Unusual strategy. "Let's Listen" as it fails.