World Wrestling Entertainment's Vince McMahon has announced a stronger, faster, better XFL, the football league he created in 2000 and which played for one season in early 2001. The new XFL is targeted to start play in January 2020.
One point McMahon brought up: the league will focus on football, and will not bring up social issues or politics.
That in itself is a political act. An act I've done, each time I "didn't want to bring politics into something." Having a charity event on the field is political, but usually in an easy and feel-good way. Having soldiers and veterans on the field, as the NFL does, is political (and I say that as a Nsvy brat who knows that the people of the military do great work). The issue is more this: What political statements can and can't be made.
And in the wake of controversy over NFL players and other athletes kneeling during the national anthem as a protest against racial injustice, a protest that started two NFL seasons ago, McMahon implied, though did not flat-out say, that XFL players would be required to stand for the anthem.
And my mind went here:
January 2020, on a gridiron, in a stadium (not War Memorial Stadium, unless Little Rock, AR, Hampton, VA, Wailuku, HI, or Laramie, WY get a team), and the two teams' competing players line up on the sidelines. An announcer says "Please rise for our national anthem."
And all the players on one team kneel.
And then they all turn around and walk off of the field, fired and leaving.
Forfeiting a game, heck even a season and a job, to make a point.
A protest like that probably wouldn't happen. But I find myself both heartened and amused that, if anything anthem-related becomes an XFL rule, it could.