The Divided States of America
Last weekend, during the Sunday Night Football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants at the Meadowlands in New Jersey, the coaches from both teams were wearing NYPD hats, honoring the men and women, the police officers who laid down their lives, trying to save others on 9/11. During the playing of our National Anthem, the crowd stood in unison, honoring our country, respecting our flag, together as Americans, the way it should be.
The following night also at the Meadowlands, on Monday Night Football, between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets, the coaches also wore NYPD hats, and a United States flag was stretched across the entire field, as New York police officer, Brianna Fernandez, sang our National Anthem. And once again, the crowd stood and sang in unison, filled with honor and respect not only for our country, but for the men and women who risk their lives every day to protect us.
Both of these moments struck me as odd, because not too long ago in the same venue in the shadow of New York City where the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred, players and coaches alike kneeled for our national anthem, disrespected our flag, in protest against the police departments in the United States that they claim are systemically racist. These people protested police officers as the field on which they play and make millions of dollars, was lined with police officers protecting them from potentially unruly fans. So, one day, the NFL is honoring and commemorating the courage and self-sacrifice of the police and on another day, they are disrespecting the police, calling them racist murderers, and all along they are living under the blanket of protection that the police provide them.
The hats are a form of virtue signaling, and nothing more just like when they kneeled for our flag. It’s all self-serving. There is no greater good that they are working towards. It’s all about them. They were not honoring the police officers the other night, they were honoring themselves and their own virtue. How many of these people wearing the NYPD hats, defended the work of police officers when they were under attack from the BLM mob? And how fast would they have ripped off those hats if the anti-police left roundly criticized them for wearing the hats?
On January 2, 2023, the entire sports world came to a screeching halt last year as Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin lied motionless in the middle of the field during a Monday Night Football game. His heart had stopped after taking a hard hit in the chest. It was such a devastating tragic scene that the NFL decided to cancel the rest of the game. Thankfully, paramedics and medical personnel were able to resuscitate him, and he is playing football again. In perspective, police officers dying while performing their jobs happens every other night in America. The country and their job do not come to a halt when an officer dies. But yet, not long ago, the same sports world which honored Damar Hamlin for almost dying while playing a game disparaged the men and women in uniform who die on a regular basis protecting and serving us.
Stenciled on the back lines in the end zones of NFL stadiums are social justice slogans such as, “End Racism”, “Stop Hate” and “It Takes All of Us”. But last Thursday night, minutes before the kick-off of the opening game of the 2023 NFL season, between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Detroit Lions, they sang the Black National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing. How can we have two national anthems? Doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of a national anthem? National anthems are like quarterbacks – if you have two, you have none. And maybe that’s their end game. All the unity that is present when performing the one true National Anthem, is lost when you have two separate national anthems, one for one race of people, and another for another race of people. You can’t say it takes all of us to stop racism and then divide us along racial lines.
The NFL spends half the time dividing the nation, and the other half, pretending to try to unite the nation. Having a black national anthem and a white national anthem, perpetuates racism, doesn’t end it like the slogans in the end zones call for. This is where you arrive at when you have no moral compass, and your principles are dictated by your ratings. You throw out half-hearted contradictory slogans and symbols in an obvious attempt to appease as many people as possible. This is not exclusive to the NFL. This is a problem most of the country.
Our President, Joe Biden, decided not to go to New York to commemorate 9/11 tragedy, making him the first sitting President to not mark the day at the memorial site in 22 years. Instead, Biden chose to visit Alaska doing political damage control because 6 days prior, he cancelled federal drilling permits in Alaska, which devastates their economy and makes the United States even more dependent on oil from Saudi dictators who supported Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden. Biden chose to make a campaign stop in Alaska as opposed to commemorate the most tragic day in our nation’s history.
And after he was roundly criticized for not being at the Memorial in New York City, Biden gave a rambling speech in which he claimed he went to Ground Zero on September 12, 2001. He said, “I remember standing there [Ground Zero] the next day and looking at the building. And I felt like I was looking through the gates of hell.” Which was a lie. News reports and CSPAN show that Joe Biden was in the Senate Chambers the entire day of September 12, 2001. It was two days after the tragedy that President George W. Bush was able to visit Ground Zero and give his famous speech: “I can hear you, the rest of the world hears you, and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.”
And on September 11 of this year, as if intentionally slapping every grieving 9/11 family member in the face, Joe Biden release $6 billion to Iran, the number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world, in a prisoner exchange, and that money will most likely be used to help kill more Americans in terrorist attacks just like on 9/11 which will give politicians like Joe Biden another tragedy to virtue signal about.
It’s all for public consumption, the speeches, the protests, the slogans, the hats. These people do not care about the causes that they publicly stand for. They are all public relations gimmicks intended to enhance their own public image and standing. Very rarely do you see a public figure take a political stand for what is morally right, they only stand for what enhances their public image, and this more than anything is the reason why America is caught in a death spiral.
Judd Garrett is a graduate from Princeton University, and a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He has been a contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.