Social media has become a platform for expressing one’s opinion, no matter what that opinion may be. Just the other day an ESPN personality was reprimanded for calling Donald Trump a white supremacist on Twitter, and now a Detroit Lions fan is being called out for a racist Snapchat post.
The fan posted a picture of two African American fans sitting during the national anthem during Sunday’s season opener against the Arizona Cardinals with the caption, “Ignorant (expletives)”.
I can't wait for fans to bust out a "racism is as american as football" banner at a NFL game during the national anthem
— Original Rich Dollas (@Richie_whatever) September 14, 2017
The Detroit Lions issued a statement regarding the incident on Wednesday, although it didn’t really confront the actual issue at hand or what the consequences the fan would face.
“Providing our fans with a safe and enjoyable experience at all Ford Field events is of the utmost importance and an absolute priority for our organization,” the team said Wednesday. “A core component of our guest conduct policy is the expectation that all fans are respectful and considerate to each other regardless of their personal beliefs or differences.”
At first, the fan initially denied posting the photo or writing the caption, Fox 2 Detroit reported, before “seemingly chang(ing) his story” on a Facebook page that has since been deleted. It’s interesting that the post came from Snapchat considering it’s supposed to be a platform where messages only last a few seconds and then are gone forever.
Thankfully for everyone, there’s a thing called “screen shotting” where posts can last forever if the right measures are taken. Also, the person who takes the picture can save the Snapchat themselves and post it elsewhere, as it seems this fan did with Facebook.
The team said today that the fan agreed to give up his season tickets, but no further action has been stated at this time. According to the Lions’ fan code of conduct, fans can have their tickets revoked for actions including inappropriate behavior toward others and using foul or abusive language or obscene gestures.
— Samuel Lam (@SamuelYLam) September 10, 2017
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but once that opinion starts to inhibit the opinions of others, that’s when things get tricky. Whether you agree with it or not, every person is entitled to sit during the national anthem. This silent protest can tweak some feathers in others, resulting in a racist post. It’s the racist part that’s the issue here, and it is exactly what the two sitting down are bringing attention to in the first place.
Good on the Lions for taking action against racism, now if only the NFL would address it.