Video: A dozen Cleveland Browns kneel for national anthem before exhibition game

Aren’t the Browns looking for a quarterback? (Aren’t they always looking for a quarterback?) Because I know a free agent who’d fit right in.

Andy McCarthy’s had enough…

…and Reason’s Ed Krayewski has had enough of the Andy McCarthys having had enough (profanity warning):

Compromise possibility: No more kneeling during the anthem but we replace statues of General Lee with statues of Kaepernick, the wokest mediocre QB who ever lived. Don’t laugh — apparently, according to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, he’s a more significant historical figure than Clarence Thomas is.

Two interesting wrinkles about last night’s demonstration apart from the sheer size. One: The players noted afterward that they weren’t just kneeling, they were praying “for the people who have been affected [by racial and social injustices] and just … for the world in general.” If the anthem displays mutate from pure politics to politics plus faith, some fans might be more inclined to let them slide. Two: For the first time a white player joined in the kneeling, tight end Seth DeValve. Seahawks DE Michael Bennett, who’s also boycotting the anthem this year, said a few days ago that the debate over the protests wouldn’t change until a white player got involved. Well, now you’ve got one. I don’t anticipate it changing. What they really need is a mega-star to get fully behind the idea, but the NFL arguably doesn’t have one of those right now. Aaron Rodgers, maybe? The mega-stars are all in the NBA. Get LeBron or Steph Curry to start boycotting the anthem, someone whom fans simply won’t be able to tear themselves away from watching, and maybe that’s a game-changer.

Or maybe the sheer volume of people participating in these protests will acclimate fans to them. When it was just Kaepernick, it was a controversy and an affront. Now that it’s a bunch of randos on the Browns, whatever. Most fans at home are getting a beer or taking a leak during the anthem anyway.

The strong-form libertarian solution here, of course, would be to cancel the playing of the anthem before the game altogether, as there’s no obvious reason why a private sports event should feature a ritual tribute to the United States. I wonder how it would work out for the league if Roger Goodell went full Rothbard and ordered that. Here’s video of last night’s protest plus DeValve commenting afterward.

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David Strom 8:31 AM on October 02, 2022