When NFL owners, conservative pundits and generic, store-brand white people denigrate NFL protesters for using their sportsball platform to highlight social issues, what they really mean is they don’t like it when black people do it. When white people inject politics into sports, it’s perfectly fine.
Take top NFL draft prospect Nick Bosa, for example. For years, Ohio State’s heralded defensive end has been an outspoken social media activist, offering his opinion on politics and social issues whenever he got the chance. But Bosa recently decided to tone down his political activism, even though most experts don’t think it will hurt him as much as it has hurt other players. This may very well be due to the fact that there is one big difference between Bosa and players like Colin Kaepernick or Eric Reid:
Nick Bosa is white.
The overwhelming majority of NFL mock drafts, including Sports Illustrated, NFL.com and the undisputed draft guru—ESPN’s Mel Kiper—rank Bosa as the No. 2 prospect in the National Football League’s upcoming draft. Bosa will likely become a multi-milionaire on April 25 in spite of his Twitter history looking like a virtual MAGA rally for the president who once referred to black protesting NFL players as “sons of bitches.”
But of course, in the land of the free and the home of the brave, everyone has the right to voice their political opinion. However, politics doesn’t seem to be the main factor that motivates Bosa. Bosa tweets offer a lot of cultural commentary, too—from sports to entertainment. And even though 70 percent of his future co-workers are African American, he seems to be the anti-Issa Rae because he is definitely not insecure about his opinions and, unlike Issa, he seems to be rooting against everybody black:
Coincidentally, the second pick in the draft belongs to a franchise that is all-too-familiar with controversy and political activism: the San Francisco 49ers. Suddenly, Bosa has had a change of his Twitter heart and has now deleted his pro-Trump, anti-immigrant, anti-black and homophobic hot takes, according to ESPN’s Kevin Van Valkenburg, who writes:
Last year he seemed to delight in posting political takes, including his support for President Trump, on Twitter and needling dissenters. (He also caused a minor social media stir by criticizing Beyonce, Black Panther and Colin Kaepernick, all eventually deleted.) As the combine drew near, though, his online behavior grew increasingly bland. I asked why he seemed to abandon something he had previously embraced.
“I had to,” he says. “There is a chance I might end up in San Francisco.”
So now that MAGA-Nick (I know you were waiting for me to call him Colin Crackkker-Nick. I refuse to do that.) has swept his past under the rug, everything should be fine. I’m sure the owners won’t tell him to “toe the line,” as Dallas Cowboys plantation master Jerry Jones told his players. He probably won’t be tested 2,038,439 in 16 weeks like Eric Reid. I’m sure Bosa won’t be called an “inmate,” like Houston Texans owner Bob McNair called black protesters.
Because Nick Bosa is white.
I’ll delete that next year.