EDITORIAL

The truly disgraceful stance

Posted

Whether or not you agree with NFL players and team owners who choose to kneel in solidarity or be entirely absent during the National Anthem played prior to games is entirely beside the point.

There’s a problem of perspective dissonance that can never be remedied within this issue. A middle-class, 60-year-old white man whose father died fighting in World War II will never be able to understand what life is truly like for an impoverished, 23-year-old African American man whose brother was killed by excessive force from a police officer – and vice versa. These are irrevocably different worlds leading to completely different mindsets.

Some will find the players’ decisions selfish, self-aggrandizing and pointless – just play the damn game that you’ve been blessed and privileged enough to profit from. How dare you disrespect the country that has given you so much?

Others will cheer the players for their bravery to face such criticism and stand up for what they believe in – that America’s blessings have not been equitably distributed to all of its inhabitants, and that major areas of concern and progress have yet to be accomplished.

Some find the outlet for protest appalling. How can these players inject politics into Sunday football? Sunday football is about an escape from politics. Find another way to get this point across.

Others will say that the outlet is exactly the time and place for such a demonstration, since it will be witnessed by millions – many thousands of who may otherwise never be faced with such an uncomfortable conversation prompt as they navigate life in a comfortable bubble of likeminded peers.

However where you stand on that side of the line, again, really doesn’t matter. All that matters, all that actually determines whether or not you are truly a “good” American, is whether or not you believe the players have the right to protest in the first place.

The argument is most often made that many millions of brave Americans have died since the country’s violent beginnings in order for us to live free as we do today. This is absolutely true, and we all owe a sizable debt of gratitude to those humans, beyond posting Facebook statuses on Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day, for the privileges that we do enjoy – like watching or even playing football on Sundays.

However those who died fighting didn’t die to protect just one set of beliefs. They died to protect all of them. They died to protect those who wave the flag proudly and they fought and died for the rights of people who burn the flag, and despise America for everything it stands for, too.

You do not live in the America that those soldiers died to protect if you believe it is okay to silence all the points of view you don’t like. You do not get to arbitrarily decide what actions constitute allowable, American behavior. Period.

To hear a poll announced on the Tuesday nightly news proclaiming that some 58 percent of Americans felt that players should be FORCED to stand during the National Anthem is a terrifying prospect – one that shows just how few people truly understand what real freedom means, and how in jeopardy we are of sliding in a direction where freedom no longer means what it was intended to mean.

Before President Trump played the nationalistic patriotism card in front of an Alabama crowd last week – really, the only card he has left in his dismantled deck of broken promises and transparent lies – only a handful of players participated in the National Anthem protests. After Trump called for the firing of the “sons of bitches” who chose to exercise their Constitutionally-protected rights to protest, three full teams and a handful of owners knelt during or skipped out of the anthem entirely. Does this not speak for itself?

If anyone remains in the dark on which behavior is truly “un-American” – invoking blind patriotism to sew division amongst people as if it were a game, or peacefully drawing attention to areas of injustice and inequality – then allow four-star general and former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden to clue you in.

“As a 39-year military veteran, I think I know something about the flag, the anthem, patriotism, and I think I know why we fight,” he writes in an op-ed to The Hill. “It’s not to allow the president to divide us by wrapping himself in the national banner. I never imagined myself saying this before Friday, but if now forced to choose in this dispute, put me down with Kaepernick.”

Comments

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Justanidiot

Why is the star splangered banner even played before sporting events?

Thursday, September 28
davebarry109

Disrespect for the anthem should never happen. I'm boycotting the NFL as are many of my friends. I hope the NFL loses a ton of money. It's all they understand.

Thursday, September 28
richardcorrente

Dear Davebarry109,

Couldn't agree with you more!

I did, however, like what Jerry Jones came up with as a solution. He locked arms with the entire team and they all took a knee BEFORE the National Anthem and then the entire team stood up in respect to our flag a few seconds before the National Anthem started. I have never been a big fan of Jones, but I think, this time, he got it right.

But, like you, I'm boycotting the NFL. I will be fishing Sunday, instead of watching the game I used to be addicted to.

Happy Autumn Davebarry109.

Happy Autumn everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Thursday, September 28
Justanidiot

rap yerself in the flag mr mayer.

Friday, September 29
RISchadenfreude

Gee...I always thought the players' job was to run, catch a ball and fall in a heap for our entertainment; personally, I don't care if these spoiled-brat millionaires whine about (insert cause here), but let them do it off the field, on their own time.

I guess no one told them that kneeling is a nearly universal symbol of weakness and submission; there are only two times a man should kneel- when praying and when proposing marriage to a woman.

I guess we shouldn't expect too much from a bunch of guys who wouldn't have graduated (or likely attended) college unless they could run, catch a ball and fall in a heap.

Monday, October 2
Justanidiot

neeling is a sign of weekness. i always tink so when i sees the pope and a bunch of sheeple neeling before him

Monday, October 2
bniedfeldt

You said "To hear a poll announced on the Tuesday nightly news proclaiming that some 58 percent of Americans felt that players should be FORCED to stand during the National Anthem is a terrifying prospect – one that shows just how few people truly understand what real freedom means," How about the rules of the NFL that state the players MUST stand in respect, with their helmets in their left hand? So the NFL - 100% - says the players must stand. So here is another view - the "elitist are allowed to break the rules of the common folk." The ELITE players do not have to follow their OWN RULES. Just like the elite politicians do not. Hillary and her staff broke RULES about handling of classified material, if I did that at the navy base I would be terminated and charged. As stated in the law - no intent is needed for prosecution. So now elitist FBI Director twists the law and lies to Congress. The Dept of Justice does NOT follow the lawyer's ethics standards and meets with Bill Clinton on the tarmac. Obama's IRS breaks the rules about singling out a group (Tea Party in the name means at least 1 year of delay and no tax exempt status) Oh, as a side note, THAT influenced the American election more that ANY perceived RUSSIAN collusion. YET you have to trash President Trump in your article for telling in public what most Americans already feel and have expressed - they should be fired. They BROKE the rules, but you defend elitist exemptions from the rules. I guess that explains why you showed no outrage for tampering with the election by the IRS. Nor the Clinton's selling out to the Russians with their $500k speaking fee to obtain 20% of our uranium production. Yup - no Russian collusion there. They are elitists and exempt from the law and rules. So the next time YOU bash Trump - remember he was elected because America got tired of the "blind eye of justice applying all laws equally" being corrupted. He is cleaning the swamp and the NFL lack of guts is part of that swamp. He is doing just what he was elected to do - hold the PRESS and the elitists to the same standard. Which is what AMERICA is suppose to be about. You are the guilty party for " – invoking blind patriotism to sew division amongst people " by not holding Obama's government nor the NFL to the same standards you spout against Trump. Your lack of morals is at time utterly amazing. But then - morals have been codified into law and you are exempt from those laws - right?

Monday, October 2
Justanidiot

eye says we go back to the good old days of rules where the brutish were in charge and taxed our tee. dose were gud rules and should have bin obeyed. know kneed for a bunch of thugs wit guns trying to upset tings.

Tuesday, October 3
RISchadenfreude

https://amgreatness.com/2017/10/02/the-tragic-incoherence-of-the-nfl-protests/

Tuesday, October 3