This article completely misses reality and this is why: you are projecting your own thoughtfulness, intelligence, awareness, compassion and consideration onto others. I get that you are trying to make sense of all this apparent craziness but this is far simpler than what you suggest. This is anti-American, enemy action.
But the players are pro-American, aren’t they? The people taking a knee, for the most part, do not share your traits and they have a mixture of motivations and sentiments. It is emotional and not thoughtful in every case I am aware of. And, yes, lots of group-think, virtue signaling and useful idiocy going on here. The take-a-knee crowd are not very politically astute as indicated by the incoherence of their statements. No one is quite sure why this is happening, it is just happening — a spectacle as it were.
But here is the important part and the explanation for why this is happening: this is not a real conflict, it is yet another contrived, engineered, symbolic (you got that part exactly right) brouhaha to show Americans how divided we are. Well, guess what? We are not divided. But we have forces out there who sure as hell want to divide us by keeping this and other phony shows of “division” going on like bathroom wars, confederate statues getting pulled down, and now this pathetic street theater take-a-knee garbage.
The destructive and nihilistic forces behind this attract some for different reasons but the target is America, the American people and American values whether the participants know it or not (assume most don’t).
Fortunately, we have President Trump who has called out the BS from his bully pulpit. At first blush, you might think he is simply engaging in the destructive/divisive food fight as a combatant. But Trump knows where this is going and has accelerated it to make it go away faster. Because of Trump, the NFL is already starting to do what it should have done the minute Kaepernick pulled his stunt — they are moving to stop it. The NFL leadership knows that the market will forces are unstoppable so the tap dancing to get out of this contrived mess has already started. It won’t be long now.
When this foolishness blows over shortly — and it will because it is not real — you can thank the good Lord above that we have Donald J. Trump, who loves America and is not trying to harm us, as our current president. If Obama or that loser Hillary were in charge now, this would have dragged on forever as a continuous agitation propaganda exercise against the American people. I suspect that both would have also used this faux division to push something distasteful down our throats that Americans never asked for, wanted or needed. After all, both are devotees of Saul Alinsky tactics, which we see in full flower here.