The double standard that America holds for Blacks and whites extends to every level of society, and nowhere is that hypocrisy more flagrant than in the right-wing media. Over the past few days, the sports world has been rocked by controversy over comments made by New Orleans Saints’ star quarterback Drew Brees in which he criticized the practice of kneeling during the national anthem.
“I’ll never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag or this country,” said Brees, who went on to invoke his grandfathers’ service in World War II and implicitly made the case that the protests against police brutality and systemic racism was somehow an affront to their courage.
This is not the first time Brees has said things in this vein, and they were especially inappropriate in the wake of yet another brutal police murder of an innocent Black man. Brees’ remarks immediately sparked a firestorm of outrage across the NFL as his own teammates reacted with disgust and derision, eventually forcing him to apologize the next day.
One person who didn’t think he needed to was one of FOX News’ resident white supremacist anchors, Laura Ingraham. Ingraham discussed the matter on her show (not like there’s anything else going on in the country right now) and predictably argued that the backlash against him was “Stalinist” and that he should be allowed to have his opinions.
“Well, he’s allowed to have his view about what kneeling and the flag means to him. I mean, he’s a person. He has some worth I would imagine. I mean, this is beyond football though. This is totalitarian conduct. This is Stalinist. And by the way, on the streets of New Orleans, we’re looking at live pictures, they’re shouting, ‘F Drew Brees,” complained Ingraham.
It will come as no surprise to learn that Ingraham has been not nearly so generous with comments made by Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James against Donald Trump’s racism, having previously told him that “nobody voted for you” and to “shut up and dribble.”
The blatant difference in the way she treated comments by white and Black athletes provoked the ire of LeBron James, who took to Twitter to slam her remarks and use them as an example of the appalling racist double standards that America imposes on its Black citizens:
The fact that a guy like Drew Brees, who has worked with and relied upon Black athletes at every level of his career, can still not recognize what the protests are about and not understand how his asinine knee-jerk flag worship works to erase what the protesting athletes are trying to accomplish speaks to how steep the climb for racial equality in America is — especially with people like Ingraham working overtime to push us back down and maintain the white supremacist status quo.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.