Marshawn Lynch–who is a man I don’t know, who plays a sport I don’t watch for a team I didn’t bother to look up–did not stand for the national anthem.
And that’s news.
Apparently, of a magnitude that even though I don’t know him or his team, and I don’t watch his sport I still have to hear about it on Twitter the next day. And that…
Well, it puts Marshawn Lynch sitting on a par with the death of David Bowie, or the election of a United States president… or you know… a major development on Game of Thrones.
Twitter assumes that it’s a protest–specifically of white supremacists marching, or of the response to that–but I haven’t actually seen anything where he said that.
And it’s turning out to be an effective form of protest. All that attention, and he’s just sitting. Well, he’s doing an excellent job of sitting, and he’s wearing a jaunty grey cap. (Intentionally or unintentionally reminiscent of the pileus.)
But he’s just sitting.
The thing is… he’s doing it in a crowd of thousands of people who are on their feet because a particular song played. People who are doing that–celebrating a single, national identity–for no reason other than that they always have. People who are horrified that someone–anyone–might do something else.
I’m uneasy about a stadium full of people acting in unison. And I always have been. There’s something about the… demand that you go along with the crowd that seems dangerous, somehow.
When the mob is all doing something… when there is no dissent… well, maybe you should think about doing something else. Anything else.
And with American flags flying everywhere… at stadiums (because someone might mistake that middle American football field for a North Korean military base) and at my favorite Mexican restaurant… And American crowds saluting en masse…
Maybe it’s time to think.
And maybe this is news.