TAKING THE KNEE: Pink Floyd, Maroon Five and the Superbowl.

The Superbowl takes place tonight. Not something I would normally even notice, but the internet is alight with chatter about it this weekend.

First of all I noticed that Floydian Slip Radio Show had been dumped by one of its station hosts.

“Floydian Slip” is a one-hour, weekly radio journey through the history of the rock band Pink Floyd.

Host Craig Bailey works classic Floyd songs, deep album cuts and Floyd’s unique brand of ambient segues into a seamless blend of music and sound best described as a listening experience.

It is syndicated on over 100 stations throughout the US.

Yesterday this appeared on their site

KNTR 106.3 FM (K292GC) in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., has dropped “Floydian Slip” from its schedule citing Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters‘s recent statement regarding the Super Bowl.

Yesterday we received an email from KNTR General Manager Traceye Jones that reads, in part:

“KNTR News Talk will no longer carry Floydian Slip effective immediately. We will not air this week’s show as we have previously scheduled for Sunday evenings 7PM AZ time.

“It has been brought to our attention that Mr. Waters has made a public statement regarding entertainers for the Super Bowl to not perform or ‘take a knee’ when in attendance.

“KNTR News Talk 106.3FM is a conservative radio station operated by a conservative owner and we feel if Mr. Waters chooses to use his fame to disrespect our Nation then KNTR News Talk will use our Freedom (to) not air his music.”

One does have to ask why a ‘conservative radio station’ would want to host a Pink Floyd show anyway – and vice versa.

So what is all the fuss about?

It seems like there are some in the US of A who are a little bit touchy about people questioning authority. Ironically, that include a lot of Pink Floyd fans. Have they ever actually listened to Pink Floyd?

Let’s rewind slightly.

It’s almost two-and-a-half years since former San Francisco 49ers player Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem that’s played before football matches in the US.

The quarterback was protesting police brutality against African-Americans.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour,” Kaepernick said in a press conference after first sitting out during the anthem. “To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Other players joined his protest.

Many people, President Trump included, hated his stance. Last year, the NFL announced that teams would be fined if players knelt during the anthem.

Kaepernick hasn’t played in the NFL since 2016 – no club has signed him and the protests have largely disappeared.

But the player has had huge support too.

Including Roger Waters, former Floyd dude, who has put out the following statement.

There is a petition on Change.org/takeaknee aimed at persuading Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi to take a knee at halftime on Sunday: This is my band taking a knee at the end of a gig in Hartford, Connecticut on Sunday 24th of September 2017. We did it in solidarity with San Francisco Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s gesture of protest against the endemic racism and often deadly force meted out by police departments across this land.

It was the third Sunday of Colin Kaepernick’s lock out by the NFL. The message was clear, “Shut your mouth, boy!” Next Sunday will be the 36th Sunday he has been locked out of your national game.

This is not a victory for the NFL, it is a defeat, you have denied football fans everywhere the pleasure and the honor of watching one of the greatest quarterbacks who ever played the game, and you have shown your true colors. You can sit in your boardrooms and huff and puff on your cigars in your glass boxes, but your action is a poke in the eye for everything that is decent in America. Colin Kaepernick is an American hero. If the USA is to have a future, it is the Colin Kaepernicks of this world who will lead you there, in fact, it is Colin Kaepernick who is leading you now.

My colleagues Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi are performing during the halftime show at the Super-bowl this coming Sunday, I call upon them to “take a knee” on stage in full sight. I call upon them to do it in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, to do it for every child shot to death on these mean streets, to do it for every bereaved mother and father and brother and sister. My mother used to say to me, “In any situation there is nearly always a right thing to do, just do it.” So, there you go my brothers, you are faced with a choice, I’m not saying it will be easy, all the Presidents men, all the huffers and puffers, will be royally pissed off, but, $#@%’em, I call upon you to do it because it’s the right thing to do and because somewhere inside you know it.


Roger Waters

Now how good a player Colin Kaepernick is, we have no idea. American football is frankly one of the most over-blown ridiculous events on the planet that has the nerve to call itself a ‘sport’. But hey, each to their own.

What is scary though, is the number of people who A) Are outraged by the idea of a black man protesting against racial violence by the police B) think paying respect to a coloured piece of cloth is more important than human lives C) the number of people who think music/sport and politics don’t mix and D) have been lifelong Floyd fans without realising they have a political message in many of their songs.

Bob Dylan, Rage Against The Machine, Public Enemy, Dead Kennedys, Michael Franti – just a few of the long tradition of American artists that have mixed music an politics in America, yet somehow people don’t think the two mix? Were these people also against Live Aid? Artists Against Apartheid?

Even Rhianna has taken a stand by refusing to play.

If this is not the ‘appropriate time or place’ to make a protest, when is? When no body is watching or listening? This is the perfect time and place.

Fortunately there are millions of Americans who are more progressive and support the idea of taking the knee. But in Trumpland, it really is scary how many bigots have been empowered to crawl out from under their rocks.

Time to put the haters back in the box.

I’ll keep an eye on the news in the morning, I don’t think I could sit through hours of nothing just to see if Maroon Five do the right thing.