NFL and the anthem: The self-reinforcing cycle of intolerance when everyone is politicizing commerce

NFL and the anthem: The self-reinforcing cycle of intolerance when everyone is politicizing commerce
Eric Reid (left) and Colin Kaepernick (Image: YouTube screen grab)

[Ed. – It’s a good question how antiseptic we can keep our commercial transactions when they’re about choices of entertainment and emotional investment, as opposed to utility services like banking.  But: worth a read, at any rate.]

As a customer, I approach my bank, insurer, or football team expecting maximum competence in their respective fields. Critically, that’s all I should reasonably expect. I shouldn’t also look to these people to mirror or reinforce my world view. I should understand that when I live in a diverse, pluralistic community, there’s a high chance that when I meet with my accountant that he doesn’t always share my values. I can, however, expect him to know his way around a balance sheet. In other words, expect good work, and be respectful and tolerant.

Now, let’s corrupt this model with the politicization of everything.

The bank’s mission is no longer banking. It’s providing banking services, supporting gun control, defending a woman’s right to choose, and advocating for marriage equality. My tech company’s mission isn’t just “search” or social networking, it’s social justice. So now, as an employee I can harm my employer’s public reputation and impair its mission not just by violating norms of human decency but also by simply disagreeing with its politics.

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