Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe calls out the hypocrisy of the NFL in a must-see clip.

Shannon Sharpe does not mince words. And he has no patience for bullshit.

So if anyone was going to speak truth to power when it came to the displays of "unity" and "solidarity" across the NFL last weekend — following President Donald Trump's inflammatory comments suggesting players protesting during the national anthem should be fired — it would be him. Sharpe did not disappoint, delivering a fiery sermon from the desk of Fox Sports' "Undisputed," saying he was "disappointed and unimpressed."

For nearly eight minutes, an eternity in broadcast time, Sharpe raised the issue of the hypocrisy he saw on Sunday.

Hundreds of players kneeled during the anthem. Others stood but locked arms in a show of solidarity or unity. Former players, front office executives, and owners joined in too. A number of teams as well as the league itself released statements about free speech and unity. And while the public displays looked great on camera, Sharpe wanted to know the answer to an important question: What was everyone actually uniting against?  


When San Francisco 49ers player Colin Kaepernick launched his demonstration in 2016, he knelt to bring attention to racial inequality, police violence, and injustice against black and brown people. Instead of joining him then or even joining him now, teams have co-opted Kaepernick's message to take a stand against a wealthy white man daring to tell owners and executives what to do.

That was the position that brought them to their knees. That was the moment they said, "No more." Not the toxic misogyny, not calling Mexicans rapists, not attacking veterans and a gold star family, not disparaging entire U.S. cities, not refusing refugees or transgender people in the armed forces, not suggesting there may be good people affiliated with Nazis and white supremacist groups. It was only when Trump came for their business, threatened the players who would harm their way of life, did the NFL dare speak up about any sort of injustice.

Said Sharpe: This was about money, not morals.

So he called them out. And his passionate, powerful, message deserves to be watched in its entirety.

It's that good. And it's that important.

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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

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Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

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Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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