What a whirlwind of a time we live in. It’s surreal living through a time you know will be referenced in history books for years to come. Keep it up. #BlackLivesMatter

On a much smaller, football-centric scale, this has still been a fascinating week. Out of every major sport the NFL has the most history with this entire movement. They frothed at the mouth when Kaep took a knee, blackballed him out of the league, and briefly even banned protests. They countered with military propaganda and at one point even locked arms in “solidarity” after the president was his usual brand of hateful asshole. The arm locking was pitiful and mostly just for show, only happening because Trump disparaged the league. To this point though it is still pretty much the farthest they’ve gone in favor of what is right.

First up, Drew Brees! He’s basically had an entire story arc in one week. Brees has always had some pretty bad political opinions (I remember him saying we have to keep Guantanamo bay open back around the time this comic started). He’s involved in an MLM called AdvoCare and was happy to work with an anti LGBQT charity called Focus on the Family. He claims to not know that they were into the whole hate thing. I’m torn on whether I buy it. I don’t know Drew personally, so if he’s actually a dipshit or just another well-meaning but clueless celebrity who is trying to do good but not doing a great job of it I can’t say. What I can say is that after this week, he seems like he might at least be just an ignorant guy who needed a good slap in the face to start listening.

I don’t know how you come out during all this and talk about how you can’t support people disrespecting the flag. Even many of the people who actively oppose the BLM movement have been treading carefully these past weeks or keeping quiet. The dumbest part was bringing it up as the flag issue when one of the benefits of this turmoil is properly re-framing the narrative about what Kaep’s protest was actually about: Police Brutality. The flag nonsense and troop bullshit was just right-wing narrative hijacking to avoid what the protest was actually about. Thankfully, Brees was immediately and thoroughly roundhouse kicked by Malcolm Jenkins and what felt like half the black players in the league on social media. The next day, Brees was walking it back, and soon after that, offered an apology. It was an okay apology. He then completed his face-turn when Trump criticized him for taking it back by going after Trump instead. His wife has now even said that “we are the problem” in a public statement. I don’t fully trust him yet, but it certainly appears that Brees might finally be listening. At least he’s making statements for BLM, which is better than most players of his level of note.

My personal favorite statements this past week were the Skins and Patriots tweeting BLM support on social media. Now that’s some empty platitude shit. A team with a racist slur for a name and a team that just drafted a 3 percenter kicker giving BLM support? These are pretty much the two teams that probably would have been better off staying silent, because nobody has any reason to buy that shit from Kraft and Snyder.

The biggest moment was different though, and something that I actually can be happy about. Several black players made a video supporting the movement, asking the NFL to apologize and fix what they’ve done wrong. The NFL, at least Roger Goodell, actually kind of did. The video is short and hilariously low on pixels, but they still offered something I didn’t expect: an apology for “getting it wrong”. It’s barely a step above the minimum, but it could still matter. At the very least it’ll be mildly cathartic to throw this video back in their face when if they fail that promise. The real test here comes when the season starts. Protests have to be allowed. The military propaganda at minimum diminished. More minority hires. Donations given to good charities. Support and elevate the voices of those black players. And if he wants it, fucking let Kaepernick back in. I don’t have a lot of hope, but I have more then I did in May.

This past week we’ve seen some pretty big things. As laughable as corporate brand statements are, they still signify some positivity in a small degree. When a brand embraces a movement of social change, at the very minimum it has shown that it believes that vocally expressing support for this cause will not result in a monetary loss. That it is worth leaving those people who will be upset about it behind. When Nike endorsed Kaep, they didn’t care about the idiots who burned their own shoes. When Gillette made an ad condemning toxic masculinity, they said they didn’t care about the morons who threw their razors in the toilet. Is the statement still mostly just cynical marketing to be talked about and make money? Yes. But the fact that these brands have still decided that they don’t need the butthole demographic is still the tiniest step, a true baby step, in the right direction.

Here’s a couple more places you can donate to help the ongoing fight.

Take care of yourselves out there.