Syracuse, NY (LAR) – As three football players from Syracuse’s Nottingham High School varsity team knelt for the national anthem before a football game, people took notice. The reports were written. This specific action taken against police brutality, spreading through the pro and college ranks of multiple sports, has also begun to show on the fields of high school sports in moving displays of conscience.
One Nottingham teammate can even be seen in a photo raising his fist a la US Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos during the 1968 Mexico City games.
The silent protests have stirred debate and prompted needed dialogue on the issue of police force in the United States. And during an election season which has been a boon for white nationalism, racist comments are never far from most discussions on the issue.
Clumsy attempts to lump outright racism within the perceived “scourge” of political correctness are thrown about with little regard. And so, to some, there appears to be a window of opportunity to act as offensively as possible before retreating to a poor argument for free speech as cover.
Among the Facebook comment thread of the story surrounding the Nottingham players, an observer can find the gauntlet of opinion surrounding the larger narrative of these stories on the whole. Offended by the display of these young athletes in Syracuse, it was time to take the bull by the horns:
If we’re to wonder whether or not Mr. Conover thinks protesting national anthems is a move a “typical scum” would make, or that the race of the players participating is, he doesn’t leave much to the imagination as he continues:
When a person of color responds, the go-to for Mr. Conover is to immediately suggest that they do not have a job, and of course, an obligatory mention of President Obama. And the thread continues:
This comment is pretty loaded. A typical nationalist tirade by Mr. Conover about how people should respect the United States, his country, or leave it. The suggestion made to Black commenters that they should go back where they belong betrays a deep ignorance to the theft of millions of people from their native lands. It also expresses that those replying lack certain acceptable elements required to “belong” in Mr. Conover’s country.
With each comment, he achieves new depths — until he reaches the bottom:
Let’s go back to where Mr. Conover told another man to get a job. The job thing is always posited as some sort of litmus test for validation of a person or their opinions. It’s something else used to measure dicks in a meaningless way. That being said, it remains a point of pride. And Mr. Conover, as it turns out, does have a job. And it’s listed on Facebook:
KDK Sports, of Rome, New York, was notified of their employee’s comments and sent screenshots. Their Facebook page implies that they respond to messages within a few hours. We’ll see about that.
UPDATE: The KDK Sports Facebook page has been taken down. Their website also has contact information.
This report prepared by Derek Scarlino for Love and Rage Media.