The issue d’jour for the past week or so has revolved around NFL players refusing to stand for the national anthem and both the fans and President Trump’s disgust with what they see as disrespect to flag and country. It’s time to get past the political garbage verbiage and look at the real issues here. it’s time ‘taking the knee’ was unmasked.
The players involved are mostly black and essentially are supporting a #blacklivesmatter meme, that America is rotten with racism and that police treat black Americans with inequality. As expressed by now unemployed former 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
“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.”
Kaepernick and a number of NFL copycats who followed his example had an effect of both game attendance and TV ratings for the NFL that year, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and most of the team owners backed the protests with fairly craven press releases along the lines of free speech and ‘isn’t it great in America we can disagree?’ and most laughable, how sports and politics should mix!
This year, the protests accelerated, starting with a move to get Kaepenick employed by an NFL team simply because of his race and his politics rather than his actual stats. It almost worked, too, with the Ravens prepared to sign him until his wife, #blacklivesmatter activist and Muslima Nessa Diab tweeted comparing Steve Briscioti, Baltimore Ravens owner to the master in Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained.”
Meanwhile, the protests continued and again, attendance and TV ratings continued to drop drastically.
What really set things on fire was President Trump exercising his own right to free speech on the matter at a political rally in Alabama. He said that the NFL team owners should require their players to stand during the anthem. And he expressed his disgust with NFL players disrespecting America and its flag and said to the cheering crowd, “wouldn’t you like to see one of the owners respond by saying ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field. He’s fired! And he’d be the most popular man in America for a week.’
As we all know, the Left’s idea of free speech goes something like this:
These days, the ‘or else’ includes rioting and assaults by the likes of antiFa or #blacklivesmatter thugs. In this case, it amounted to media insanity and wholesale protests by NFL players. And this wonderful statement by NFL commissioner Roger Goodel:
The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture. There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we’ve experienced over the last month. Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.
Now you want to know the real joke here? Trump is 100% right, and NFL league rules actually require players to come to the field, remove their helmets and stand at attention for the national anthem!
Per the Washington Post of all places:
Under the league rule, the failure to be on the field for the anthem may result in discipline such as a fine, suspension or loss of a draft pick. But a league official said the key phrase is “may” result, adding he won’t speculate on whether the Steelers would be disciplined.
The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league’s game operations manual, according to a league source.
And Goodell can’t say he isn’t aware of this. Here are just a few examples of how he’s treated other players who violated rules in the operations manual:
Last year the NFL barred the Dallas Cowboys from wearing a decal on their helmet honoring the five police officers murdered by a terrorist attack.
The NFL also banned the Tennessee Titan’s linebacker, Avery Williamson, from honoring 9/11 victims by wearing cleats that read “9-11/01” and “Never Forget” on the 15th anniversary of 9/11.
The NFL fined Robert Griffin III $10,000 for wearing a t-shirt during a press conference that said “Operation Patience.” (The shirt was created by Reebok and players are required to only wear clothing sold by Nike.)
The Steelers’ William Gay was fined for wearing purple cleats, which he did to raise awareness for domestic violence.
Tim Tebow was fined and mocked by his fellow players for taking the knee…in prayer, not in disrespect for America.
Rest assured the players involved in dishonoring the flag and our national anthem won’t be disciplined, because you know, ra-aaa-aacism. Better the teams should alienate most of their fan base than to be politically incorrect. By the way, the Pittsburgh Steelers, mentioned in the quote above refers to last Sundays game, when every player of the team stayed in the locker room instead of honoring our flag and our country…except one guy….
This is offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva. He alone had the courage to follow his conscience and stand for the national anthem to honor flag and country. You see, before he was a pro football player he was a captain in the Army Rangers who did 3 tours in Afghanistan and won a Bronze Star for heroism there. Unlike a number of the others, he understands what our flag really stands for, having risked his life for it and having seen some of his comrades bleed for it.
So what are the real issues here? Let’s first look at what this isn’t about:
- It’s not a free speech issue per se. Most of us know better than to let politics intrude into our work life, for the simple reason that we’d rather not deal with the consequences. President Trump appears quite willing to deal with the consequences of his use of free speech. It’s the NFL players, the owners and Commissioner Goodell are unwilling to deal with the consequences of the free speech they’re allowing, their pampered millionaire employees and who are trying desperately to shut people up who find these actions objectionable.In doing that, they made a business decision, something they have every right to do. No one’s questioning that. But so do their customers. And if they choose not to watch or attend NFL games and that hits the owners and players in the wallets, that’s the fan’s right as well. And it even extends to informing the NFL’s sponsors that they will no longer patronize them as long as they support the NFL.
- It isn’t about mixing sports and politics. After all, it was outlets like ESPN,the NFL and it’s players who started that long before the president weighed in.
- It isn’t about black lives mattering either. If it was, all of these players who claim to be concerned about black lives would be protesting outside Planned Parenthood clinics, where the majority of the abortions and the baby parts being sold belong to black babies. which is exactly what racist Margaret Sanger, who founded Planned Parents intended.
- It definitely isn’t about inequality. At least not when it comes to blacks. As a Princeton study revealed, being black is worth average of 230 or more ‘bonus points’ on an ACT or SAT score when it comes to college admissions. On the other hand, being Asian nets you minus 50 points. Which is exactly why various Asian civil rights groups are suing Ivy League colleges for this blatant discrimination. And while we’re on the subject, how many of these pampered millionaires would have gotten into college at all if it wasn’t for their ability to play football? Whose place did they usurp because they were extended that privilege, that free ride?
- And it certainly isn’t about the police. Virtually every high profile case of police officers shooting black men has been thoroughly debunked in a court of law, with mixed race juries and usually after a spate of looting and rioting. That excuse is about as phony as the fake ‘hands up, don’t shoot meme.’
So here’s what this is really about.
First off, the NFL is almost 70% composed of black players. Many of them at one time or another have bashed Donald Trump and almost certainly voted – if they voted at all – for Hillary Clinton.
Having enjoyed the period of racialist politics under Barack Obama, this is their part in the ‘resistance.’ What’s different is that this time they’re getting blowback…which they didn’t expect and see as of course, ra-aaa-aacism. Not all the players are political, but they feel compelled to go along. If you’re say, a quarterback and your left guard is political, you are naturally going to feel compelled to join in for team amity and because you don’t want him to accidentally miss a block in a game and have some 300 pound defensive tackle hit you head on. That’s understandable, if not particularly admirable.
For those players who are serious about this, I can only say that if I felt that America was a racist country filled with white police officers out to kill me or members of my family simply because they wanted to, I’d leave and find another country to live in. And I don’t buy the bogus nonsense that you ‘love America’ and that’s why you’re doing this. Sell that to the gullible talking heads at MSNBC or CNN. You don’t show love by blatant disrespect.
President Trump, meanwhile is getting a lot of mileage out of this. He knows that many Americans feel exactly the way he does and are sick and tired of this behavior. And they are reacting forcefully to it. It’s become yet another rallying cry to pushback against the Left. And it’s necessary. If this cancer goes unchallenged, the next step will be banning our flag and the national anthem from sports outright. Don’t doubt me on that one.
And the NFL? Let’s just say they’ve made their bed and will have to sleep in it. Choices have consequences. And those consequences are almost always deserved.
Rob Miller writes for Joshuapundit. His articles have appeared in The Jerusalem Post, The Washington Examiner, American Thinker, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The San Francisco Chronicle, Real Clear Politics, The Times Of Israel, Breitbart.Com and other publications.