Who’s up for some NFL news that (for once) doesn’t involve National Anthem protests or plunging ratings? If we’re going to have to put up with politics on the field (more on that shortly) then we might as well get some different and more positive voices out there I suppose. Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Michael Pierce made an announcement over the weekend which probably won’t sit very well on the left. The league has once again broken with their tradition of strict rules about uniform modifications, allowing players to promote their own favorite agenda items through the “My Cleats, My Cause” program. This effort allows players to display a logo on their footwear to raise awareness.
In the case of Michael Pierce, that means promoting unity between the United States and Israel. Get ready for some fireworks. (The Federalist)
Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Michael Pierce took to You Tube today to explain why he is using the NFL’s “My Cause, My Cleats,” campaign to promote an organization dedicated to improving relations between American Christians and Israelis. As part of the campaign, Pierce will rock blue cleats emblazoned with the Israeli flag and the logo of Israel Collective (IC). IC is an initiative of Christians United for Israel, one of the most of important pro-Israeli Christian groups in America.
For Pierce the choice is a personal one. He recently traveled to Israel with the IC on one of their trips in which they expose American Christians to the history and customs of Israel. Of the trip, Pierce said, ““Israel Collective has been a life-changing thing for me. … The message for me is just the oneness and connectedness I feel with that land. … To go over there and see the difference and to see just exactly how the culture is, I went to Shabbat dinner, I just enjoyed their company and learned so many different customs.”
Sounds like one trip with Israel Collective really impacted Pierce’s life in a positive way. With that in mind, it’s kind of nice that he wants to promote it. But at the same time, I can’t help but feel that it would be a bit hypocritical of us to cheer him on too loudly if we’ve been objecting to the National Anthem protests. If the sport is supposed to remain about playing football and keeping politics off the field, that should really apply to all politics. I would hope that unity between American Christians and Jews in Israel isn’t a very divisive concept, but the principle remains the same.
Then again, why would we assume that it’s not going to be divisive? The American left is rife with supporters of the Palestinians and the BDS movement against Israel. Will they be up in arms about Pierce’s display after supporting all of the anthem protests? Could it even lead to yet another boycott? Keep in mind what happened to the San Francisco Giants when one of their owners made a donation to Cindy Hyde-Smith. It doesn’t take much to trigger a boycott these days and the Ravens may be setting themselves up for the same fate.