Why people like my dad are turning off the NFL in response to players kneeling during the anthem:
The reasons for that counterprotest include an admirable patriotism and an understandable weariness with the politicization of sports and entertainment. But they also include a typical conservative cluelessness about black grievances, a performative and commercialized Americanism that parodies healthy civic life, and the toxic identity politics that Donald Trump is constantly encouraging. And then, of course, the N.F.L. is particularly vulnerable to Trump’s demagogy because its business model depends on gladiatorial combat whose medical risks it has been desperate to hush up.
That last clause calls to mind the excellent new episode of Revisionist History by Malcolm Gladwell.
Read Douthat’s column here.