NFL Fans Are Burning Their Jerseys In Questionable Response to Anthem Protests

The ultimate self-own?

A reliable way for frustrated sports fans to get attention is to go out to the fire pit in the backyard and set their favorite player’s jersey on fire. They do it when a guy leaves in free agency, when a team skips town and most recently, when they see dudes kneel during the national anthem in protest of racial inequality. 

It’s a protest of a protest and it’s sweeping the nation, from Massachusetts to Washington state, and points in between.

Let’s not wade into the conversation over whether the players should be protesting during the anthem, and focus instead on how funny it is to see people burning their own belongings in a meaningless demonstration that, at best, lands them on local news looking like a moron.

The point of these jersey burning ceremonies is totally lost on me. I understand if fans want to punish the NFL by refusing to act as walking billboards for the league. But why not, say, sell these things on eBay? Burning something like a flag is a symbolic act with deeper resonance because of what the fabric means. Jerseys, which can cost well into the triple digits, are meaningless. Burning them is too.

Ultimately, it’s the sheer cost of these overpriced jerseys, flags and steering wheel covers that make this process such a ridiculous self-own. How, as a fan, is burning hundreds of dollars of your own belongings doing anything to punish the NFL, which, by the way, has already profited off of your purchase? 

We’re going to keep watching videos like this, laughing at dumb fans who are lighting money on fire and hoping someone explains. I won’t get my hopes up.