Emma hosts Dave Zirin, sports editor at The Nation, to discuss his recent book The Kaepernick Effect: Taking A Knee, Changing the World. Emma starts off by weighing in on former Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney’s excoriating testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, where she specifically implicated the FBI and Congressionally established committees in enabling Larry Nassar’s vicious abuse of young women and girls on the Olympic team and at Michigan State University.
Then Emma and Dave dive into discussing Colin Kaepernick’s seismic effect on social justice demonstrations, a ripple effect from kneeling on the sideline during the national anthem at NFL games all the way to the massive protest movements last summer in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Derek Chauvin. Dave sets the scene by prefacing how Kaepernick came about the act of kneeling, by interfacing with NFL player and veteran Nate Boyer on how to convey the solemnity of the occasion while respectfully dissenting, and how that didn’t matter to the people hell bent on vilifying him no matter the context. They then dive into the real juxtaposition of Kaepernick’s taking a knee in the name of racial justice in America, contrasted with Officer Derek Chauvin’s knee on the neck of George Floyd, and how that symbolism really animated the demonstrations of last summer in Dave’s experience. Dave then tackles the civic religion of football and team sports, and how those connections, in the place of other public squares and communal connections, partially due to the atomization of labor, leave sports teams and stadiums as some of the last vestiges of the public square for many communities. Dave specifically notes this in the context of the NFL, especially in terms of the Super Bowl, one of the last events, he believes, that represents any sort of monoculture in the United States in the present day, despite maybe presidential elections. Emma and Dave then unpack some of the demonstrations, from the professional, college, and high school level, that emerged from Kaepernick kneeling, the repercussions it had for the demonstrators, the coaches, and the schools, and what impact he believed that extension of the protests had, both positive and negative. They close out the conversation by discussing some of the watered down efforts the NFL and other leagues have taken to address “inequality” and how those have essentially supplanted supporting legitimate forms of protest, all at the expense of front-liners like Kaepernick, safety Eric Reid, and wide receiver Kenny Stills, who to this day are still unemployed by an NFL team as a result of their sacrifice to the cause, while also outlining the progress that players have made by speaking the only language owners understand: that the NFL is a labor force they need to pacify to some extent, because if they don’t the money can run out. This, as Dave ends on, really only lays bare the fallacy of attempting to divorce politics from sports: with these types of labor and social dynamics at play, it simply isn’t possible.
In the second half, Emma is joined by Matt and Brandon, and they dive into Joe Biden completely forgetting the Australian Prime Minister’s name (it’s Scott Morrison, not the “fella from down under”) Grant Stinchfield losing his shit on NewsMax when a veteran guest dares to critique Trump, the Daily Wire bros dishing their takes on how Barack Obama ruined rock n’ roll music (???), a blast from the past news report the Daily Show dug up about some Michiganders’ opposition to a seatbelt ordinance in 1984, and Dave Rubin trying his best to flaunt his comedic chops by pretending to be downing shots of tequila “off-air” to assuage his misery that Larry Elder lost the recall. Plus, your calls and IM’s!
Become a member at JoinTheMajorityReport.com
Subscribe to the AMQuickie newsletter here.
Join the Majority Report Discord!
Get all your MR merch at our store https://shop.majorityreportradio.com/
(Merch issues and concerns can be addressed here: email@example.com)
You can now watch the livestream on Twitch
Check out today’s sponsors:
BetterHelp gives you access to your own fully licensed and accredited therapist via phone, chat, or video. A lot of therapists elsewhere have long waitlists and it can take weeks or months before they can see you… But when you sign up with BetterHelp, they match you with a therapist based on your specific needs, and you’ll be communicating with them in less than 24 hours. BetterHelp is giving our audience 10% off their first month when you go to https://betterhelp.com/majorityreport
Aura: Think about all of your online accounts, finances and devices. What are you doing to protect them? Because if you’re like most people, you’re probably reusing your passwords all over the place, and a data breach to any one of those services could create a lot of problems for
you. Aura is a new type of security service that protects your online data and devices with one simple subscription. You’ll get alerted to fraud and threats FAST like if your online accounts or passwords were leaked online, or if someone tries to open a bank account in your name. With an easy online dashboard and alerts sent straight to your phone, Aura keeps you in control and guides you through solving any issues. So if you want to secure your online presence from hackers and scammers, check out Aura. You’ll get 40% off all plans when you go to https://aura.com/majority
Support the St. Vincent Nurses today as they continue to strike for a fair contract! https://action.massnurses.org/we-stand-with-st-vincents-nurses/
Subscribe to Discourse Blog, a newsletter and website for progressive essays and related fun partly run by AM Quickie writer Jack Crosbie. https://discourseblog.com/
Subscribe to AM Quickie writer Corey Pein’s podcast News from Nowhere, at https://www.patreon.com/newsfromnowhere
Check out The Letterhack’s upcoming Kickstarter project for his new graphic novel! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/milagrocomic/milagro-heroe-de-las-calles
Check out Matt Binder’s YouTube channel!
Follow the Majority Report crew on Twitter: