In 2012, while the country was entering the final stretch of an ideologically contentious presidential election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for president of the United States, a pitched political fight over same sex marriage reached its apex after a number of high profile ballot initiatives banning same sex marriages passed in states across the United States. With lower courts rulings upholding and striking down laws for and against same sex marriage, the Supreme Court had to take up the issue.
In the midst of the controversy, Dan Cathy, the chief operating officer of Chick-Fil-A made statements in a couple of interviews supporting the traditional definitions of marriage, publicly supporting several political advocacy groups that lobbied on behalf of “defense of marriage” policy. Left wing LGBT groups immediately called for boycotts of Chick-Fil-A and even attempted to block the opening of store locations on college campuses across the America.
In response to the calls to boycott Chick-Fil-A, former governor and FOX news regular contributor and host Mike Huckabee called for a spontaneous “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day” counter protest to be held on August 1st, 2012. Despite the heavily promoted boycott, the company’s 2012 sales increased 12% over their 2011 sales, and the Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day set company sales records unlikely to be broken any time soon. The boycott was an objective failure.
Despite the conspicuous failure of the boycotts (and others like it), the Supreme Court ended up striking down marriage restrictions of any kind in all 50 states, anyway.
“I’m not encouraging massive boycotts of turning off the news. That’s what the left does.“
It’s both comical and more than a little sad watching the Republican Party resort to the sort of petty grievance culture antics that have long been a trademark of the all too fragile far left. “I saw something I didn’t like, and it made me very mad,” so now the Republicans have resorted to a boycott of the NFL, just like, coincidentally, the left is at the same time. Seriously, some NFL fans on the left are refusing to support the NFL until Colin Kaepernick is signed by an NFL team. The NFL can’t seem to make anyone happy these days.
Unfortunately, there’s bad news for those boycotting on both sides of this contentious issue: Nothing is going to change because of these childish boycotts. The NFL is as likely to lock horns with the National Football Players Association over the standing for the national anthem as a 30 year old Colin Kaepernick is to be signed as a starting quarterback anywhere in the NFL. The NFL isn’t going to force players to stand for the national anthem. Why? Because they will lose in court, for much the same reasons as the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down in 2015.
As much as Republicans want to believe private citizens can be compelled to participate in a political activity “because it’s culturally expected” or “because it’s their job“, that will fly about as far as DOMA or compelling people to stand for the pledge of allegiance did once it comes up against someone’s actual individual rights. We do not compel people to participate in political activities in the United States, and “standing and facing the flag of the United States of America” is the definition of a political activity, so any argument along those lines is as much of a nonstarter as Kaepernick.
It’s both ridiculous and sad that things have gotten to this point. While it would be so easy to blame this goat rodeo on one or two people, it really is an “everybody” problem. This is deeply troubling.