MLB Demonstrates How To Handle A Contentious Topic

There are ways to handle a controversy so that it doesn’t get completely out of hand, and there are ways not to handle it that allows it snowball completely out of control. That point has been perfectly demonstrated by the response to one of the more contentious topics in recent memory, which has been in the spotlight for well over a year. No matter which way you look at it, the National Football League has problems on its hands as a result.

Last year, currently unemployed quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the National Anthem. He claimed he was doing so to protest matters of racial injustice, but he was never able to provide clarity on how refusing to stand for the anthem would help him to achieve whatever it is he was attempting to achieve. Kaepernick proceeded to make a spectacle of himself throughout the season by dropping inflammatory rhetoric on the regular. Meanwhile, there was nary a peep from NFL officials.

Fast forward to this season, and Kaepernick is out of the league. His legacy lives on, as scores of other players have taken his lead. There’s no clear-cut reason as to why some players continue to refuse to stand for the anthem, as the answer seems to be pretty static. All the while, fans and viewers have become increasingly put off by the sight of highly-paid athletes refusing to stand up when the anthem is played. President Donald Trump spoke up about it, and all hell broke loose from that point.

More players protested, additional fans got ticked off, and the NFL had a problem on its hands that had spiralled out of control. Thankfully, officials with the league have finally been inspired to find solutions for the problem. It’s taking an inordinate amount of time, and that can directly be traced back to the fact that they dragged their feet from the get-go. The initial response is everything for a burgeoning controversy, and the NFL dropped the ball. Let’s contrast that with how Major League Baseball has dealt with things in the wake of anthem protests.

Here’s the short answer: they haven’t had to deal with it. Players in that league are crystal clear on the fact that there’s zero reasons to cross the line to make a point. One lone player knelt for the anthem before games this year. That’s it. To further demonstrate how different things are between the two leagues, you need to look no further than the stirring scene prior to Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday.

As the Independent Journal Review shares, the anthem rang out as normal, but the performance was particularly memorable. That’s because it was performed by a quartet from the Los Angeles Police Department. Thoughts of divisiveness were nowhere to be found. So does that mean that all the NFL has to do is have some cops sing the anthem and all will be well? Nope. They’ve allowed the problem to snowball to untenable levels, and the scars from this one will last for a long time.

Source: Independent Journal Review, Billboard
Photo: YouTube

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