NFL’s Headaches Over National Anthem Continue

49ers at Redskins 10/15/17

The ongoing saga of the NFL and the National Anthem kneeler’s continues. Last week Comissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL owners voted to ban kneeling during the National Anthem. Here is the statement in full:

The 32 member clubs of the National Football League have reaffirmed their strong commitment to work alongside our players to strengthen our communities and advance social justice. The unique platform that we have created is unprecedented in its scope, and will provide extraordinary resources in support of programs to promote positive social change in our communities.

The membership also strongly believes that:

1. All team and league personnel on the field shall stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.

2.The Game Operations Manual will be revised to remove the requirement that all players be on the field for the anthem.

3. Personnel who choose not to stand for the anthem may stay in the locker room or in a similar location off the field until after the anthem has been performed.

4. A club will be fined by the League if its personnel are on the field and do not stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.

5. Each club may develop its own work rules, consistent with the above principles, regarding its personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.

6. The commissioner will impose appropriate discipline on league personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.

There were many reactions across the country on social media, especially from NFL players. Two from the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles, Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Long are typical:

Malcolm Jenkins: “What the NFL did today was thwart the player’s constitutional rights to express themselves and use our platform to draw attention to social injustices like racial inequality in our country. Everyone loses when voices get stifled.”

Oh, please. If everyone loses due to being unable to express themselves then the players in the NFL have been losing for a LONG time. NFL rules prevent excessive celebration in the end zone. They set limits on everything about the uniform including the heights of the socks! They set limits on what the defense is allowed to do on the field. And on and on it goes. When you work for someone else you DO NOT have a constitutional right to express yourself. Your there to do your job and get paid for it. Period. There is one thing I do agree with him on – there IS racial inequality – in the NFL. Over 70% of the players are black. I wonder when he is going to address that issue – or even more importantly the black on black crime in America where this has occurred:

According to FBI data, 4,906 black people murdered other blacks in 2010 and 2011. That is 1,460 more black Americans killed by other blacks in two years than were lynched from 1882 to 1968, according to the Tuskegee Institute.”

Funny how we NEVER hear about that.

Then his teammate Chris Long tweeted this:

This is fear of a diminished bottom line. It’s also a fear of a President turning his base against a corporation. This is not patriotism. Don’t get it confused. These owners don’t love America more than the players demonstrating and taking real action to improve it. It also lets you the fan know where our league stands. I will continue to affect change with my platform. I’m also someone who’s always looked at the anthem as a declaration of ideals, including the right to a peaceful protest. Our league continues to fall short on this issue.”

Where to start?

  • Of COURSE the owners are worried about the bottom line. Their team is a branch of the NFL franchise. There is nothing wrong with that. And by the way Chris, THEY are the ones signing your paycheck – with the money they get from ticket sales, merchandise etc. You know, the things the FANS buy. And I don’t see you returning any of your salary to help alleviate the drop off in revenue caused by these protests.
  • Stop blaming Trump. That’s a cop out to cover up the fact that the fan base was leaving the NFL in droves even before Trump was involved. He is simply a voice for what we already felt.
  • Yes we KNOW where the league stands (or has the last 2 years) and that’s why the NFL is losing tons of money and interest.
  • THE NFL is NOT a platform for your protests! It is a company and as such you are required to follow it’s rules or face punishment. Just like us regular folks who don’t have million dollar contracts.

No one is denying your right to a peaceful protest. NFL fans like myself aren’t opposed to raising issues or peaceful protests. This isn’t and never has been a “perfect” country. But we don’t want to see all this when we tune in to the watch a sporting event like the NFL. If you want to protest then fine. But don’t do it when you’re at your job. We don’t – and can’t because we’d be fired. This is something that folks like Chris Long just do not understand. He can’t see the institution they belong to burning down around them due to these protests. I am beginning to realize that athletes are as disconnected to the real world as media and politicians are.

Besides, you all have plenty of money to organize and hold an event. Stop using your job for a freebie.

At this point there really are no good solutions at this point that would satisfy everyone. The fans are still unhappy and the SJW are going to continue to interject themselves into the situation politically (like they always do and ruin it for everyone else). This should have been nipped in the bud a long time ago. The only other course of action that may stop the bleeding (so to speak) would be to return to the way it used to be. The teams come out AFTER the National Anthem is played. That way the players can stay in the locker room and kneel, raise their fists, scream and holler, do the hokey pokey or whatever. Of course it would help if the major networks broadcasting the games wouldn’t show the protesters. If they stop getting attention then they would stop.

There does remain one person indirectly involved with all this who is nevertheless benefiting from it. His name is Vince McMahon. Last year he announced a plan to start up the XFL again in 2020. One of the main items on the leagues agenda is no politics and a requirement to stand for the National Anthem. Who would’ve ever thought that respect for the National Anthem would have been the           X-treme in XFL! And the longer this war between the NFL and it’s fan base continues, the more likely the XFL gives the NFL major competition.

Keep up the good work SJW’s.

John Baldwin

John Baldwin is a native of Roanoke, Va located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of SW VA. He is a husband and father of three children. He has been a devout Christian since he surrendered his life to the Lord Jesus Christ and accepted the free gift of salvation in 1988. Politically John is a conservative who's political views were formed during the administration of Ronald Reagan. John's fulltime job is as an Applications Analyst (Software programming). John is also the host of two online radio shows on Victory Radio - "The Front Porch Gospel Music Show" and "Victory Talk Radio" (interview show). He is also an avid "oldies" music fan and is the DJ of the weekly "J-Bal Oldies Show” on the Doo Wop Cove.

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