Good at Throwing … Tantrums

August 31, 2016

The 49ers quarterback who refused to stand during the National Anthem doesn’t bother me.

He engaged in a selfish, immature stunt that is basically a tantrum. Much like a little kid’s tantrum, it’s socially unacceptable behavior designed to get attention.

Some thoughts on why he’s throwing this tantrum:

  1. He’s been actively seeking a trade out of San Francisco since March. He’s frustrated and, like a kid who isn’t getting his way, he’s acting up.
  2. He’s a declining player who’s lost the spotlight. As is common before maturity, and is the essence of tantrums, any attention is better than none – even negative attention.
  3. Sadly, he’s bought into the popular “victim” narratives, and he’s practicing all four components of victimism.

By claiming that his actions are in protest of “a country that oppresses black people,” he’s selectively comparing race-based outcomes, not individual case-by-case outcomes or actual reasons.

By saying “There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder,” he’s clearly revealing his obsession with fairness … as he sees it.

By disrespecting the National Anthem, he is blaming America, not the individuals he believes are responsible.

By claiming, “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way,” he is taking comfort in woundedness, rather than doing something about what he sees as the problem. If he truly wanted something more than attention, he could use some of his $12 million salary to work for prevention rather than just throwing footballs and tantrums. But taking the easy way out and sitting during the National Anthem is a way of finding comfort in the notoriety he finds with those feckless social justice warriors who believe that he is “brave.” It’s also a way of feeling like he’s doing something to help when he really isn’t. Attention to an issue is a poor substitute for positive action. But in today’s all-important-feelings-culture, “attention-raising” is sadly regarded as helping.

Because his tantrum has received so much attention, count on others to follow. But just like a kids’ tantrum on the floor, don’t let it bother you and it will soon subside.

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