This satire first appeared on The Political Garbage Chute.
HOBART, ARKANSAS — Clem O’Connel, host of the semi-popular but erroneously titled Facebook page and podcast We’re Totally Not Biased, We Swear, recently told subscribers to his social media content that he was “sick to death, fed up, and enraged” by all the NFL players, coaches, and owners who participated in kneeling or altogether not being on the field during the playing of the national anthem before games.
Though the practice only became a routine part of every game in the league in 2009 due to an advertising contract with the Department of Defense, many on the right, like Mr. O’Connell have grown increasingly incensed at players kneeling while the anthem plays — a silent, peaceful protest started last year by former starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Mr. Kaepernick began kneeling after a teammate, who had served in the armed forces, said that’s what soldiers do on the battlefield next to their fallen comrades. Kaepernick began kneeling during the anthem as a sign of protest of what he says is systemic police brutality against people of color.
“I tell you one thing, fam,” Clem told his audience, “I am sick to death, fed up, and enraged with these entitled millionaires kneeling before the anthem! It’s disrespecting the flag! Who is going to look out for the flag’s feelings, huh, libtards?! You want us to care about boys who wanna be girls just because they’re human beings, but who the hell is going to protect our sweet Old Glory from having HER feelings hurt, LIBTARDS?!”
Mr. O’Connell said he has decided that boycotting the games on TV wasn’t enough of a protest. He said that in times like these, a “bigger message” needs to be sent. In a state of near depression about not watching football, he stumbled into his double-wide’s den, and looked around. He was surrounded by hats, helmets, footballs, pennants, replica trophies, jerseys, and assorted other merchandising from his favorite team.
“And that’s when a light bulb went off in my head,” Clem explained, “and I spent the next three hours hauling all that commie socialist anti-American garbage out to the front lawn.”
Clem says that as he was stacking and laying the NFL merch into a pile, he realized what the root of the issue was. He knew the cause of the problem, Clem said. He hasn’t figured out how to solve it, but he said he knew in that instant how to protest it.
“I hate to say this fellow patriots, but the problem with this country is in the goddamned first amendment,” O’Connell howled into his microphone, “because I’m sorry but as perfect and godlike as the founders were, they didn’t understand the Pandora’s Box they were giving us with Free Speech! It’s too vague. It lets people say and do things I don’t personally like and I have nothing to do but register my distaste respectfully and then let them continue expressing themselves!”
Sweat was pouring down Clem’s face as his tired continued.
“So you know what? I set fire to all that NFL crap! Yup, the whole lot of it,” Clem said with deep satisfaction in his voice, “and that shit ain’t cheap either, fam.”
Clem said that to give his audience a picture of just how committed he was to his protest, he got out his box of receipts for all the gear he purchased. Clem is a fastidious archivist of every purchase he makes. He says he has to do so because he’s been “forced by the government to take its devil welfare” for the past ten years as his coal mine job closed years ago.
“And I still blame Obama for that,” Clem said, “I don’t care that he wasn’t president. He clearly had a hand in it as George Soros’ personally, hand selected bringer of doom, know what I mean?”
Mr. O’Connell gave his audience a rough estimate of the value of the NFL swag he burned.
“I musta burned about ten years’ worth of welfare checks,” Clem said, “because that’s partially what I used my unemployment and disability checks for, was to buy some pretty kickass gear. But that’s when I thought this country was great and that football was American, not some commie shit. At first as I was mad at myself, but when I realized that my assistance checks were being at least partially funded by socialist blue state federal tax dollars, I suddenly didn’t care as much.”