You're missing the point. The open source software movement is based almost entirely on meritocracy--the good projects rise to the top and volunteer contributors are valued for technical skill and dedication, something missing from the Dilbertian corporate climate that drove many of them to become FOSS contributors in the first place. The original, uncensored Contributor Covenant makes it about two sentences into the preamble before devolving into a bizarre rant about how meritocracy sucks and must be forcibly overthrown because it makes less competent developers feel insecure. It reads like an Onion parody of millennial snowflake software developers, really. Perhaps the kernel team's leadership only wants to adapt the don't-be-an-ass part, but if they go whole hog on the political BS then it won't be long before the hardcore introverts that keep the trains running migrate to other projects where their contributions are still valued and management is willing to leave them alone and get some work done. Hello, submarine vulnerability swarm, nice to meet you again!
But hey, it's their choice.
While I agree that the original Contributor Covenant goes overboard, IMO the version adopted by the kernel folks strikes a pretty reasonable balance. They didn't write the original version; in the grand tradition of Open Source, they've taken it and created a derived work to suit their own perceived needs (stripping out the political ranting).
I don't see anything in the kernel maintainers' version that precludes maintaining a meritocracy. Paraphrased, it basically says "When rejecting a code submission, don't attack the author, and don't engage in harassing behavior."
Unacceptable: "Jane, you ignorant slut! This code is utter crap. A blindfolded kindergartener on meth could've done a better job."
Acceptable: "Your submission is being rejected because the implementation is very inefficient and has many potential unaddressed corner cases. Please correct these issues and resubmit your pull request."