George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher Shares His Thoughts on NFL Players Taking a Knee
In a recent interview on The Metalsucks Podcast, we asked Cannibal Corpse vocalist George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher — a huge football fan — what he thinks about NFL players taking a knee in protest of police brutality and institutionalized racism.
Corpsegrinder took a surprisingly centrist stance on it, but one that comes from a place of understanding:
It’s your life, you do what you want. Cannibal Corpse has never been about politics, and we all obviously have our own opinions, y’know, each person in the band. I’m not gonna condemn somebody for not standing or standing. If you take a side you take a side and then somebody’s gonna be against you and it’s not worth it to me, y’know?
I mean, I would stand, if it was me; I don’t have a problem with people standing and linking arms. There’s obviously problems in this country and I think that was the original reason for all of this stuff happening. And so, how can anybody be against people wanting everybody coming together and treating everybody the same and fairly and equally? I’m all for that. So if you can listen to what people are saying and say “we’re not disrespecting the flag and our country and we love our country, we’re just trying to make people start talking about this stuff and do something about it” I don’t have a problem with that at all. A lot of different protests and how people handle it, it’s their way. It’s not my place to tell them “You’re wrong! You’re an asshole!” You know? Sure, I have opinions on who I think is wrong and who I think is right in certain things, but on this issue I think we should all just sit back and say “Look man, if you know why people are doin’ it, you don’t have to agree with it, but that’s what this country is all about.”
That respectful stance is commendable. I personally think it is important to have knowledge of and respect for the purpose of movements and stances you are opposed to, but I think this is an issue where there’s a right way to go, and that’s by taking a knee.
There are three major issues at play here relating to race and class antagonism within the power structures in the United States. The reason players are kneeling isn’t because it is intended for you to like it or for you to be comfortable: it is for you to see it. Justice and change are not supposed to be comfortable — you don’t progress if you only stay in your comfort zone — you get things done, you make things right, and you address the issues at large only by being uncomfortable and daring to do something different. Racism, police brutality, and legalized slavery are not comfortable topics, but they’re topics that need to be addressed. The civil rights era and the end of segregation ended only fifty years ago, and in Charlottesville, VA we had actual Nazis and the KKK running down the streets chanting fascist slogans like “blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us.” Our police forces kill more people in a given month than most nations kill in an entire year, with more heavy weaponry than ever and with unlimited access to the surplus stock of America’s military. Then we are left with a prison industrial complex that relies on institutionalized racism, police brutality and corruption to make its money, in essence utilizing legal slavery as specified in the first line of the thirteenth amendment.
George’s respect to the players is commendable, and it makes sense he’d like to stand, but I think that if you really want to show respect and solidarity with your fellow humans you might think about taking a knee when you see the flag that enslaved for 300 years, segregated for another 150, and then allows those oppressors to still exist without recompense.
Stream the full podcast episode below to hear more of Fisher’s comments.