WOULDN’T YOU LOVE TO SEE ONE OF THOSE NFL OWNERS WHEN SOMEONE DISRESPECTS OUR FLAG, TO SAY, GET THAT SON OF A BITCH OFF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW, OUT, HE’S FIRED. HE’S FIRED.
The words of that great orator and elocutionist President Donald John Trump.
With those words, hardly Presidential, the politicization of the National Football League and the national anthem became complete. The United States of America, once united under the once revered Star Spangled Banner has shown the world clearly that we are now the:
DIVIDED STATES OF AMERICA
Trump, typically Trump, of course was reacting to NFL football players who, before the game, refused to stand and salute the flag, choosing to kneel in protest, protesting alleged police brutality and the unfair and discriminatory treatment by the police of minorities and especially blacks.
The original refusenik was former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, he at that time the quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers who opted out of his contract and was never signed by any other football team. Kaepernick, once a very good football player, lost much of his skills and coupled with what one NFL player called a toxic attitude, became too big a risk for any NFL team to sign. Kaepernick has not played a game of professional football since. Many coaches and general managers thought Kaepernick was not good enough and did not want to endure the divisions he would inevitably cause in a locker room and certainly among football fans. But the left, you know those radical progressives, said it was all about race and class, of course. Enter Trump with his remarks and the issue and the Trump remarks went viral.
By their actions, constant booing and raining down expletives and criticisms, the majority of the fans agreed with Trump, fans feeling that these spoiled multi-millionaire athletes, black and white, paid exorbitant sums of money simply to play a game should respect the flag of the nation which has given them that opportunity. But, seemingly oblivious to the issues they were creating, the players continued to kneel and their number increased. When told of Trump’s criticisms, owners and players stood on the sidelines, arms locked in unity but seemingly the very same disrespect for our flag and our country. You can be sure that the owners will tread carefully because the NFL is far and away the most lucrative, the most profitable economic game in town. NFL franchises once worth several hundred million dollars are now worth several billion dollars. It seems as though the only team owner who stood up and demanded respect for the flag was Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys. Ironically, the Cowboys in Dallas are the most valuable NFL franchise worth an estimated $4 BILLION. Jones may not be very well liked in many rival NFL cities in the USA, but he was surely well-respected for the stand he took. Trump flat out said that if you do not honor the flag, respect the national anthem when it is played, you will not play for the Dallas Cowboys! Good for him. The owners did however have to unite to protect their franchises condemning those Presidential words and of course the President himself but at the same time, they utterly ignored the actions of Colin Kaepernick dragging politics into football and others along with him like Malcolm Jenkins of the Philadelphia Eagles. Never mind that the stars and stripes, the honored flag of the United States, and our national anthem, and our country were disrespected so long as this economic cow continued to pour out its green milk.
It seems as though players today do virtually anything they want, no matter the rules and regulations. The NFLGAME OPERATIONS MANUAL, a part of the contractual agreements of the NFL football players, states as follows:
THE NATIONAL ANTHEM MUST BE PLAYED PRIOR TO EVERY NFL GAME, AND ALL PLAYERS MUST BE ON THE SIDELINES FOR THE NATIONAL ANTHEM. DURING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM, PLAYERS ON THE FIELD AND BENCH AREA SHOULD STAND AT ATTENTION, FACE THE FLAG, HOLD HELMETS IN THEIR LEFT HAND AND REFRAIN FROM TALKING. IT SHOULD BE POINTED OUT TO PLAYERS AND COACHES THAT WE CONTINUE TO BE JUDGED BY THE PUBLIC IN THIS AREA OF RESPECT FOR THE FLAG AND OUR COUNTRY. FAILURE TO BE ON THE FIELD BY THE START OF THE NATIONAL ANTHEM MAY RESULT IN DISCIPLINE, SUCH AS FINES, SUSPENSIONS, AND/OR THE FORFEITURE OF DRAFT CHOICES FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE ABOVE, INCLUDING FIRST OFFENSES.
Perfectly clear, don’t you think? Respect the flag and the national anthem, players. Face that flag, hold your helmets respectfully and honor America. If you don’t, you will be:
JUDGED BY THE PUBLIC
And indeed, the public, the fans who provide billions of dollars to watch this sport turned politics are even now about the business of judging these spoiled millionaire athletes and well they should. Play, they say, play football, provide us with the entertainment for which we pay enormous sums, keep your politics to yourself and off the field! I for one, somewhat a fan of pro football, hope that protest and those demands never end.
We the people, the sports fans do not begrudge athletes their free speech rights. You can say anything you want to say. Witness Charles Barkley, the commentator for TNT and otherwise. Barkley shoots from the hip, says anything he wants and is extremely popular among the fans. But his points of view and politics never make it to the field or the basketball court. And that is the way it is supposed to be. There really is nothing worse than football players who want to be politicians. They really do not know the issues, they are prejudiced, almost always one-sided, and in this case, motivated by the extreme left to create chaos and disruption as a result of, in their view, police brutality directed against minorities and blacks. But these spoiled millionaires do little but talk and kneel. They themselves are not active. They don’t march, protest, run for office, dialogue with politicians, discuss the alleged brutality with policemen and officers of the law. Much less do they go to the communities, especially communities dominated by African Americans and discuss law and order, peaceful protests and other lawful ways and means to accomplish the objectives they supposedly have without engaging in unlawful conduct or putting themselves in harm’s way. Many doubt that, with certain exceptions, these millionaires give or invest much if any of their millions of dollars to worthy causes which champion justice. They seem to be content to talk and kneel, as though that would help solve the problem no matter the backlash. These athletes do not realize that the losers of the millions of Americans who would rather cheer for their teams on Sunday, a pleasuresome respite from the hard work done during the week rather than deal with politics in the end zones. If this conduct continues, expect the boos to become louder and more constant.
Commentator Jason L. Riley, an African American and a learned one states as follows:
“But here’s the question: is the police brutality that NFL players are protesting based in reality?”
Riley thinks not. He goes onto state as follows:
“There is no national database of police shootings-some departments report more detailed data than others-but the statistics that are available suggest that police today use deadly force significantly less often than in the past.”
In New York City, home to the nation’s largest police force, officer-involved shootings have fallen by more than 50% since the early 1970s and national trends have been similarly dramatic.
In short, the data available indicates that there is less and in some cases far less so-called police brutality than there was even 40 years ago. In that sense, things are better, minorities less discriminated against.
And, says Riley:
“A growing percentage of felons killed by police are WHITE and a declining percentage are black!”
And, Riley says as a summary point:
“The rate at which police kill blacks has fallen by 70% since the late 1960s.”
Far more whites are killed by police than blacks. I wonder why white football players do not protest white and black police brutality because of the considerable number of white people who have been killed by police officers. Perhaps white players should kneel, lock arms and protest discrimination against whites! What do you think?
And the NBA, the National Basketball Association is just as political. The NBA and its leftist Commissioner Adam Silver protested North Carolina laws which prevented transgender bathrooms. The NBA threatened to remove professional basketball games including playoffs from the state if the law was not revoked. Politics once again and unfair to the fans. And of course, that learned spokesperson, one of the highest paid athletes in the world, one LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers stepped down to the Trumpian moment by tweeting in his infinite wisdom:
Brilliant commentary, don’t you think? That makes the comments of President Trump seem lofty by comparison.
And, all of this stuff has yet to hit baseball, but surely it will in due course, one way or another. One commentator indicated that baseball is comprised of so many Hispanics, Latinos, many from foreign countries who are simply thrilled at the opportunity to play professional baseball and earn good money never possible in the country from which they came. That arouses in them a certain kind of respect for the flag and our country, a gratitude for opportunity, which many American born athletes simply do not have.
And of course, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell fired off a strong written rebuttal to President Trump, joined by several team owners. Stay, in effect, he stated, out of the business of the NFL even if you are the President. But Goodell, politician that he is, simply ignored its own code of ethics, its own rules and regulations regarding respect for the national anthem, the requirement to stand with helmets in the left arm, face the flag and show respect so as not to be JUDGED BY THE PUBLIC. Old Roger conveniently forgot about all of that, turned politician, added to fan furor and capitulated to the left, the radical progressive left. So, these spoiled athletes have now become moral spokespersons for the issues of the day and have forsaken their duty to be objective entertainers. Football, professional football will never be the same. Athletes may well be divided into camps, those who respect the flag and our country and those who do not.
No matter its problems, America still remains the greatest nation in the world, perhaps of all times. It has and we the people have by far the greatest opportunities to live our lives free and independent come to live and work as we will, to create our own destinies in so many ways and to protect and defend our Constitution and our way of life. Those of us who work hard, very hard are entitled to our entertainment. And, that entertainment without politics. And that is especially so with the most expensive sport in our country, professional football. Will it spread, and will Broadway shows begin with a lecture by mere actors regarding the leftist politics of the day? Or, movies the same? Perhaps high school coaches will preach progressive sermons. Perhaps all entertainment will begin with political sermonizing before we are fortunate enough to be entertained no matter what we pay. It is a sad day, my fellow Americans, for we the people and especially we the football fans. Football, professional football will never be the same. Nor will the playing of our national anthem, or the flying of our flag ever be the same, once a respected ritual before every sporting event. And that is a real tragedy.
A tragedy began by one Colin Kaepernick, and like a progressive disease, spreading the country over. Let’s put a stop to it my fellow Americans, a stop to this political-entertainment clash once and for all. I for one refuse to spend my money, my hard earned money to watch political know-nothings preach political sermons when they should be blocking and tackling. We can only hope that right-minded, right-thinking individuals will prevail and the sport will return to being just that:
Entertaining and fun even if it is grossly and obscenely EXPENSIVE!