Johnny Manziel was caught “flipping the bird” towards the Washington Redskins’ bench on Monday night. Many people are wringing their hands about immaturity and leadership while others see it as “Johnny Football” just having fun out there. What no one seems to have mentioned is the fact that this was quite likely a political statement by the NFL’s most high-profile rookie.
Look as we zoom in on this image. Notice where his finger is directed? Right at the contentious Washington Redskins logo that is at the center of much debate. He’s giving the finger to the Redskins name and logo! And with his other hand you can see a “thumbs up,” which clearly indicates, “My name is Johnny Manziel and I approve this message.” That message? “Eff the Redskins name and logo because it is offensive to Native American culture.” That finger – held up in Washington – might as well have been pointed straight at Daniel Snyder.
Unfortunately, the NFL will likely fine Manziel for his brave stand against one of the NFL’s prized brands. But was Manziel’s gesture really any more offensive or obscene than calling a professional sports team the “Redskins” in 2014? Johnny Football should be celebrated for standing up for what he believes is right.