Washington Post

The NFL marketing ploy that was too successful for the league's own good

Foto: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, conservative firebrand Tomi Lahren tweeted a photograph of American soldiers wading ashore on D-Day. Photoshopped kneeling behind them, rather than charging the beach, was former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. "Food for thought," Lahren commented, as if merely mulling the disjunction between these images.

One of the many unexamined assumptions encoded in Lahren's tweet is that professional football ought to reflect America at its most patriotic, even embracing jingoism. Your typical player, we're prodded to infer, should hop out alongside the other grunts by standing for the national anthem and playing the game - an act that Lahren, in a familiar rhetorical slippage, equates with going to war...

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