WATCH: Furious NFL Fans Burn Tickets and Merchandise Over Anthem Protests

Posted: Sep 28, 2017 10:25 AM

To be honest, I had the same reaction to this that I did to grandstanding members of Congress and law professors 'taking a knee' to ostentatiously virtue signal to their respective constituencies: An eye roll.  But hey, the outrage war is on, and partisans on each side are eager to demonstrate their exquisite contributions to the cause, with tensions and tempers high.  And if that means literally torching valuable goods in a cleansing fire of indignation, so be it.  Via ABC News, videos like these have been making the social media rounds.  You do you, guys:

This sort of reminds me of the videos of Americans pouring entire bottles of excellent French wine down the drain in the lead up to the Iraq war, to protest the French government's lack of support for the conflict at the United Nations (this "access of weasel"-themed New York Post cover is still an all-time tabloid classic).  The symbolism may feel good in the moment, but the nihilistic destruction of valuable goods to make a political statement makes me cringe a little.  Elsewhere, DirecTV has announced its willingness to refund NFL coverage subscriptions to irate fans who no longer want to lend their attention or dollars to a league that offends their values:

DirecTV is letting at least some customers cancel subscriptions to its Sunday Ticket package of NFL games and obtain refunds if they cite players’ national anthem protests as the reason, customer service representatives said Tuesday. Sunday Ticket’s regular policy doesn’t allow refunds once the season is under way. But the representatives said they are making exceptions this season—which began in September—in response to the protests, in which players kneel or link arms during the national anthem...DirecTV service representatives contacted by The Wall Street Journal had different understandings of the policy. One said refunds to those concerned about the anthem protests were only offered to subscribers with certain offers or plans. One representative said full refunds were available for those who complained about anthem protests...DirecTV subscribers contacted by The Wall Street Journal showed the satellite broadcaster was offering at least some refunds.

One of the NFL franchises feeling the most intense heat over the anthem wars is the Pittsburgh Steelers, largely due to the episode featuring decorated Army Veteran offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva.  As Leah wrote, the team's owner is now in damage control mode, begging fans to understand that the Steelers are trying to avoid politics.  In case you missed it in her post, here is Art Rooney's open letter to fans:

In response, Hot Air's resident Steelers fan Ed Morrisey quipped, "If the Steelers wanted to stay out of politics, their Sunday strategy might be the biggest false start in NFL history. For Pittsburgh’s fans, absence did not make the heart grow fonder."  Head coach Mike Tomlin, a Hillary fundraiser who acquitted himself rather poorly during the Villanueva firestorm, is also seeking to reaffirm his strong support for the troops -- something that perhaps he should have done on Sunday, rather than publicly reprimanding his bronze star recipient player:

Twitchy has a roundup of some of the, er, less than positive Twitter responses Tomlin received from fans.  I'll leave you with this delightful takedown of one of the Left's hottest takes on the anthem saga:

In quasi-related news, the Associated Press has hired a former editor of the liberal Huffington Post to captain its new fact-checking unit.  What could possibly go wrong?

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