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by ALEXANDER BIGGS-TUFTS-MANN, Alternate Reality News Service Sports Writer
When one white police officer kills an unarmed black man, it can be an isolated incident. When three white police officers kill unarmed black men, it can be an unfortunate series of events. When over a dozen white police officers kill unarmed black men, it can start to look like a system. What can anybody do about a system?
If you are San Francisco Earthquakers quarterback Colin Kaepernicusnaek, you can turn to the player next to you while standing for the national anthem before a game and knee him in the groin.
The player next to you will be wearing a cup, so he won’t be hurt by the gesture (and, if he is, it’s a pain that will fade into insignificance the first time he’s tackled and his head hits the astroturf). When asked after the game why you did it, you (meaning he: Earthquaker Kaepernicusnaek) will explain that the action is a protest against how black men are treated by white police officers, a symbolic expression of the violence the system. A very viscerally satisfying symbolic expression of protest against the system.
Surprisingly, other players will take up your (remember, meaning Earthquaker Kaepernicusnaek’s) cause, “giving the knee” to each other during the national anthem. Well-known legal experts like famed VCLU lawyer Alan Greenurpassterspanz (not actually him, but legal experts like him) will argue that, while giving a knee to a stranger on the street is assault, giving the knee to a player you know on the sidelines during the national anthem is a powerful statement against institutionalized racism in police forces, a form of protected speech.
Fans will yawn at the legal experts and moan that, “Can we please get on with the game, please?”
Then, never one to allow an opportunity to sow confusion to go unexploited, the President will weigh in on the matter.
At 2:37 in the morning, President Ronald McDruhitmumpf tweeped: “our brave soldiers fought to protect Vesampuccerian men’s private parts. #nonadsharmed.” The issue must have been important to the President, because at 5:12 he followup tweeped: “Any nFL player who can’t keep his knee to himself during the anthem should find his leg joint unemployed! #firehimfirehimnow.”
To make sure the point was made, he brought up the subject later in the day during a press conference in which he was supposed to be talking about the devastation Hurricane “They Call the Wind” Maria had caused to Puerto Rico Suave. “Yeah. Death and destruction. Terrible things. Just terrible. Not as bad as Independence Day, so maybe they should suck it up a little on that island in the middle of all that water — so much water — you wouldn’t believe how much water! Still. Death and destruction. Terrible. Terrible. Very bad. But, you know what’s worse? Disrespecting the symbols of our great nation. The flag. The anthem. Abyss, the San Francisco team mascot. This nation’s brave men fought and died so that we could have a few hours of mindless violent entertainment on Sunday. Giving the knee is like kicking a vet in the privates. The NFL? What a bunch of losers!”
“Bunch of losers?” commented sports commentator Bob Cocostaseles. “Have you ever seen people go to a tailgate party for the Reduhblicans with elephants painted on their faces? PEOPLE! Football is the closest thing to a national religion in this country, and the President just pissed on the Pope!”
“Bunch of losers?” roared Maimi Tailfins owner Stephen Rossinantehead, the first management member who gave a knee to a water boy in solidarity with his players. “I can’t believe I gave that jackass’ election campaign a million dollars! If I had kno — oh. Well, I guess that does kind of make me a loser, doesn’t it?”
After a few moments reflection, he soberly added, “Yeah, well, irregardless, the President’s divisive rhetoric isn’t very helpful...”
“Bunch of losers?” mused Pulippitzaner Prize winning columnist for the Washburningdington Post Eugene Robinsoncrusoe. “Well, yes, I suppose only one team can win in any given season, which would make a large majority of the players in the league losers. By definition. But, you know, the President hasn’t just picked a fight with a spectator sport, he’s picked a fight with the first Amendment of the Constitution. Suggesting that somebody be fired for giving the knee is to advocate against their freedom of speech... which, I suppose, is also a form of free speech. Umm... this is where things get tricky...”
“Nooo!” football fans across the country groaned. “We don’t want tricky! We want men bashing their skulls against each other in faux gladiatorial combat! Why can’t they knee each other in the groin while the game is being played like they do in baseball!”