There’s a new “leaked” NFL memo directed toward all black NFL players that is going viral online. The NFL memo is actually a creation from cartoonist Ruben Bolling, whose real name Ken Fisher. Bolling authors Tom the Dancing Bug, and his work usually displays biting commentaries on politics, corruption, and social issues. As seen on Boing Boing, the NFL’s leaked memo on forbidden and acceptable player stances during the national anthem includes two sets of three contrasting poses.
The so-dubbed “Memo To: All Black NFL Players” speaks about kowtowing to the tweets of President Donald Trump. The cartoon imagines the NFL showing players what acceptable poses they are allowed to take during the national anthem. Under the “unacceptable” poses, sitting is shown as a forbidden stance due to the disrespect that Trump claims that sitting shows for military personnel. Taking a knee or kneeling is also a stance that falls under the unacceptable column of the cartoon, which notes that kneeling was once seen as a prayerful pose of reflection. Indeed, when Tim Tebow knelt on the sidelines to profess his Christian faith, Tebow was hailed. As reported by the Washington Post, when Colin Kaepernick knelt to profess the same Christian faith by calling attention to dead bodies in the street, Kaepernick received death threats.
Also unacceptable for NFL players, according to the viral cartoon, is standing with a fist raised into the air. The “unbecoming defiance and disobedience” of the stance was also deemed distasteful, as the cartoonist notes that minorities can rise, but not that far up.
The acceptable stances for black NFL players include standing in order to capitulate to the president’s desires to have all athletes “play ball.” Standing with arms interlocked with teammates is also listed as acceptable for NFL players who want to obey the president but also show unity with their team to prioritize winning football games.
The coup de grace of the acceptable positions includes an NFL player flat on his back with his helmet by his side, due to being shot by a police officer during the national anthem. This defeated position is listed as the only acceptable one that’s allowed outside of standing. The ironic position’s description goes on to demand that no other “threatening movements” can be undertaken until the end of the national anthem occurs.
Bolling has won the Herblock Prize for his creations, as reported by the Washington Post.
— Tom the Dancing Bug (@RubenBolling) October 18, 2017
[Featured Image by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images]