Your NFL Anthem Protest Ethics Train Wreck Update: Incompetent Quotes

The more NFL players, owners, brass, and other fellow travelers on the NAPETR talk about this fiasco, the worse it gets.

Incompetent Quote #1:

“What I see with the N.F.L. owners is a bunch of good old boys telling the players: Stay in your place.”

 ——Black Lives Matter demonstrator outside NFL headquarters.

Comment: “In their place”  in this context means“doing the job for which they are paid millions of dollars and not undermining the business of their bosses by irresponsible non-football activities on the field. “ Yup, telling employees to stay in their place is what all employers do,  must do, and have every right, indeed an obligation to do.

Calling such employers “good ol’ boys” is bigotry and race-baiting, which is what racist organizations like BLM do.

Incompetent Quote #2:

“We need to be above petty attacks from anybody, because racial and socioeconomic inequality has existed in this country for too long,”

 ——- Jed York,the chief executive and co-owner of the San Francisco 49ers, which started this mess.

Comment: Good Jed. And a scattering of inarticulate football players kneeling on a football field is a useful way to address racial inequality., is it?And when did “socioeconomic inequality become the objective of the Kneelers? First I’ve heard of it. Do you think that a league of brain-damaged millionaires in the ultimate capitalist business with an antitrust exemption run by elite billionaires in front of football fans paying a hundred bucks or more a ticket is the best forum for a Marxist movement, or whatever you think you’re talking about?

Incompetent Quote #3:

“What we’re trying to do is stay out of politics. We’re not looking to get into politics.”

  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell,today.

How does this incompetent, weak, irresponsible man still have a job? The statement is a self-indictment: if the NFL is trying to stay out of politics, why has it been embroiled in a toxic, divisive, existential political controversy of its own making for two season? The answer is that Goodell is a fool.

The way the NFL gets out of politics is by first, telling owners like York that he can either make certain his team abide by league standards and policies, or he can get fined and have every one of his gamed forfeited; second, making the following announcement:

The National Football League is not a political organization, a social justice organization, or a partisan organization, Its products are football and entertainment, and related merchandise, marketing and adverting, and that’s all. It is not in our mission or business plan to subject football fans to political statements, protests or policy debates, and the League deeply regrets its failure to make this clear to all NFL personnel  when such activities intruded on our sport last season. We were wrong to allow the misconception to reach the point that it has, so I want to be clear now.

Every player is free, like all Americans, to make whatever political statements, participate in whatever protests, and to author whatever opinion pieces they choose. That is their right. However, they may not do this on the playing field, in uniform, during games or game-related activities, or in a manner and form that connect the NFL to such expressions in any way. If a player does not wish to continue his employment with the NFL under these conditions, of course he is also free, like all Americans, to seek gainful employment elsewhere. If a player is not willing to express the basic respect for our nation and its symbols by standing during the National Anthem as our fans expect them to do and has been part of the NFL’s traditions from its beginnings, they similarly can work elsewhere, or live elsewhere, if this nation is so offensive to them.

I repeat: the NFL is an organization about football, and only football. This is not a matter of debate or negotiation.

There, I just saved the NFL millions of dollars.

You’re welcome, you idiot.

66 Comments

Filed under Business & Commercial, Citizenship, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Leadership, Quotes, Sports

66 responses to “Your NFL Anthem Protest Ethics Train Wreck Update: Incompetent Quotes

  1. valkygrrl

    If a player is not willing to express the basic respect for our nation and its symbols by standing during the National Anthem as our fans expect them to do and has been part of the NFL’s traditions from its beginnings, they similarly can work elsewhere, or live elsewhere, if this nation is so offensive to them.

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/319/624

    The case is made difficult not because the principles of its decision are obscure, but because the flag involved is our own. Nevertheless, we apply the limitations of the Constitution with no fear that freedom to be intellectually and spiritually diverse or even contrary will disintegrate the social organization. To believe that patriotism will not flourish if patriotic ceremonies are voluntary and spontaneous, instead of a compulsory routine, is to make an unflattering estimate of the appeal of our institutions to free minds. We can have intellectual individualism and the rich cultural diversities that we owe to exceptional minds only at the price of occasional eccentricity and abnormal attitudes. When they are so harmless to others or to the State as those we deal with here, the price is not too great. But freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order.

    If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.

    • Chris marschner

      So whay you are saying is that I can express my displeasure of some unrelated issue while representing myself under the colors of the organization that pays me even if it destroys the organization that pays me.

      No one has ever stated that these players cannot nor should not protest. They are just saying that they see it as disrespect and are counterprotesting the organizations who indirectly countenance what is seen as disrespect to them as consumers of the product they wanted to enjoy.

      Imagine what would happen if a handful of vegans started protesting the use of beef while in their fast food uniform making consumers shift their tastes and preferences toward other fast food enterprises who let them enjoy their burger in peace.

      • valkygrrl

        So [what] you are saying is that I can express my displeasure of some unrelated issue while representing myself under the colors of the organization that pays me even if it destroys the organization that pays me.

        Justice Jackson was saying you don’t compel political speech and you certainly don’t do it in the name of positron. It is an inherently unamerican act. The organization doesn’t pay them to stand for the national anthem, it pays them to play football. They can compel civil behavior but neither sitting nor kneeling nor linking arms are forms of misbehavior. They’re not flipping the bird, or mooning or grabbing their genitalia.

        No one has ever stated that these players cannot nor should not protest. They are just saying that they see it as disrespect and are counterprotesting the organizations who indirectly countenance what is seen as disrespect to them as consumers of the product they wanted to enjoy.

        The people who watch football can choose not to. They can choose to feel offended for whatever reason pleases them. It was of very little concern till Trump decided he wanted to make a huge culture war out of it. I have my own feelings about how offended they would feel if the kneeling were protesting something else and if the kneelers were mostly white. Just as I have feelings about people who in one breath defend their love for the confederate flag while in the next claim to care about the American one. That does not, however, give me the right to have them compelled which is apparently what Jack wants the owners to do. That goes beyond the acceptable tactic of exerting political pressure.

        Imagine what would happen if a handful of vegans started protesting the use of beef while in their fast food uniform making consumers shift their tastes and preferences toward other fast food enterprises who let them enjoy their burger in peace.

        I can’t decide between calling this sloppy or lazy.

        Fast food workers who serve beef are hired to serve beef. Your analogy would amount vegan book store employees objecting to being required to watch the boss eat a hamburger every day before starting their shifts.

        And even then you’d be oversimplifying so far as to be absurd. They’re not objecting to the playing of the national anthem. They’re not even objecting to the fact that other people stand. They’re saying that social and political conditions vis-a-vis police treatment of black people are so disappointing, that they no longer wish to stand.

        Tell me, what is it that you do at the times when your country and your countrymen do something overwhelmingly shameful? What should I do if I don’t agree with you?

        ETA: Dammit steam isn’t doing a midnight release of Life is Strange: Before the Storm episode 2. I’m going to bed in a few. No more replies till morning.

        • You can’t blame this on Trump. NFL ratings dropped last year, and the Kaepernick kneeling stunt was a big part of the reason. Check the posts here from last season. It was a big del. Trump’s comments just tricked the fools into making their protest even more incoherent.

      • This is great writing and the analysis is spot on.

      • Chris

        But kneeling during the anthem isn’t destroying the organization. Whiny snowflakes bitching about kneeling is destroying the organization.

        • It’s this level of disregard for NFL viewer’s deeply held convictions about the values our nation stands for and for the way those viewers feel is an appropriate way to honor those values that keeps your side losing elections.

          By all means, keep up the arrogant condescension…

          • Chris

            Since when do one’s “deeply held convictions” give one the right to force others to live by them? No NFL viewer’s deeply held convictions are meaningfully threatened by this silent protest. They remain free to show respect to the flag in whatever way feels right to them.

            You are the one advocating for a restriction of the NFL players’ freedom of expression. And while that restriction is legal, it is neither ethical nor necessary. It is, in fact, petty and stupid.

            • “You are the one advocating for a restriction of the NFL players’ freedom of expression.”

              Who’s forcing anyone to do anything other than employers who don’t want to see their profits crumble…which is completely within their rights to ETHICALLY do…?

              “You are the one advocating for a restriction of the NFL players’ freedom of expression.”

              This is a dishonest reconstruction of the argument. We have affirmed the right of employers to restrict conduct of employees that hurts the business. As any rational and ethical person would do…

              “Since when do one’s “deeply held convictions” give one the right to force others to live by them?”

              Who’s doing that?

              “Since when do one’s “deeply held convictions” give one the right to force others to live by them?”

              That being said…I find it odd that you can’t grasp the notion that there are “meta-values” that make us Americans and it is those deeply held values that the flag stands for. If YOU aren’t insulted by those who disrespect those “meta-values”, then I worry about your foreign value system.

              No one can FORCE you to hold those American values. It’s true. I do wonder why some people don’t have them though…

            • “Since when do one’s “deeply held convictions” give one the right to force others to live by them? No NFL viewer’s deeply held convictions are meaningfully threatened by this silent protest. They remain free to show respect to the flag in whatever way feels right to them.
              You are the one advocating for a restriction of the NFL players’ freedom of expression. And while that restriction is legal, it is neither ethical nor necessary. It is, in fact, petty and stupid.”

              Chris, stop, step back, and start thinking. This is, honestly, willfully obtuse.

              I am a perfect example of the problem you seem incapable of grasping. I am the Customer. I go to entertainment, like everyone else who does, to be entertained. I do not go to be involuntarily shamed, “Woked”, harangued, persuaded, bitched to or proselytized, silently, verbally or symbolically. I’m not paying for that, and it interferes with my enjoyment, both substantively and as a matter of principle. If said entertainment advertises that “before the game/show.performance, the captive audience will be subjected to a brief but heart-felt statement by the players/actors/performers regarding [IT DOESN’T MATTER], I appreciate the candor, and I’m not buying a ticket. If establishments that grants me admission in exchange for my attention, patronage and hard-earned cash, pollutes my entertainment by allowing this non-entertaining content without notice, I regard it as a breach of our deal.

              Remember, I ran a professional theater company, successfully, for 20 years. And the nice, often progressive actors, board members and staffers were always asking that we have a “curtain speech” urging the audience to contribute for this cause or that crisis, AIDS research, to help a member of the theater community who had been attacked by wolves or something equally terrible, or even to raise money for my company. My answer was always the same.

              NO. NEVER. We do not take advantage of our audience that way, and exploit the fact that they are seated expecting a performance to force a lobbying effort on them, and it doesn’t matter if I agree with the cause or not. It’s wrong, It is in fact, the Saint’s Excuse. (Everybody Does It was also often cited.)

              I wasn’t limiting anyone’s freedom of expression then, and no one is advocating restriction of the NFL players’ freedom of expression now. Stop insulting our intelligence and the fond memories we have of your late, departed brain by saying that anyone is advocating restriction of the NFL players’ freedom of expression. They can say and write whatever dumb (or not) thing they choose when they are not doing the job their employer is paying them to do.

              When they are on a field paid for by the employer, in uniforms representing the employer, in front of individuals who have paid money to their employer based on the representation that they will do what the employer is paying them to do and not imitating Gandhi, Martin Luther King, the SDS, Jane Fonda, “Hamilton”, Kermit the Frog, Yoko Ono, Joan Baez or anyone else, then they must and should do exactly what their employers tell them to do in the best interests of their business ,in fairness and with the trust of their customers. No more, no less.

              This is neither controversial, nor unconstitutional. It is, or should be, obvious. It isn’t conservative nor liberal. It is how the world works, and should work. It is fair. It is honest. It is responsible.

              Now, if those ticket-buyers and the people who watch the game/show remotely on TV decide that they WANT their experience to contain half-baked,ill-defined, agitprop during the National Anthem that isn’t really about the National Anthem although did you know that the third verse none of the protesters or anyone else can recite or have ever sung is kind of racist if you think about it a certain way, well fine. Then the entertainment business can decided to add that agitprop to the product, because the market will have spoken.

              That, however, is the opposite of what is happening. Case closed. End of debate and attempted imposition of new product Many fans resent the new feature; most fans are willing to tolerate it; and most of the people applauding it aren’t buying tickets anyway.

              If the NFL Kneelers were the most articulate, brilliant, principled, wise and charismatic advocates in the history of protests, none of this would change, or should change.

              Is this finally clear now?

            • Chris wrote, “Since when do one’s “deeply held convictions” give one the right to force others to live by them?”

              [Very Sarcastically] Obviously when social justice warriors say so.

              You obviously have been living under a great big rock for a while now because that’s exactly what the social justice warriors, antifa, Black Lives Matters, and a huge swath of the political left called Progressives have been doing; they are anti-Constitutional fools that are rapidly becoming Fascists trying to suppress all they oppose and punish anyone who does not vocally agree with whatever they say.

              As for the NFL players that are turning a public entertainment venue into their personal political protest venue with a captive audience, I think they’ve earned a very special honor, the honor of looking for a new job. I’d fire them, one and all for tampering with the base of patrons of the NFL entertainment business.

            • What restriction?

              Only Roy Moore claimed that the state could permissibly take adverse action against the NFL and its players for this.

        • Chris wrote, “But kneeling during the anthem isn’t destroying the organization. Whiny snowflakes bitching about kneeling is destroying the organization.”

          Your logic is a failure.

          Those protesting in the workplace by kneeling are the source of the controversy therefore the kneeling action itself is at fault. Those that are offended about turning their entertainment venue into a political protesting venue with a captive audience, or as you choose to call them the “whiny snowflakes”, by speaking out against the kneeling are doing so as a direct reaction to the source of the problem the kneeling. If the kneeling stops, the controversy about the kneeling will cease to exist where if the “whiny snowflakes” stop voicing their opinions about the kneeling the controversy still exists you just won’t hear about it as much. What you are seeing and hearing from these “whiny snowflakes” is the equivalent to a counter protest by the patrons of the NFL and if the NFL doesn’t listen to the patrons then the NFL will cease to exist except for like minded foolish drones.

          The “whiny snowflakes” are not the problem destroying the organizations the ones choosing to protest in the workplace by kneeling are the source of the problem. Until you accept that fact, you will remain ignorant to reality.

    • 100% irrelevant to the workplace. I can make my employees salute a pig if I want. And I can tell my employees that our policy is to respect the flag, or the anthem, and if they won’t do that in public, maybe they should look for someplace they like better.

      • valkygrrl

        Okay, one more reply.

        Could you demand they they pray to your god? Could you demand they pledge loyalty to Donald J Trump?

        • Sure. No difference at all. You can’t refuse to hire someone because of their religion, but the job can require whatever it requires.

          Laws, like the misguided conscience laws for Pharmacists, get in the way in some cases. But in less you want to get on a slippery slope that supports the clerk who refused to issue gay marriage licenses because it violated her religious beliefs, you have to concede am employer’s right to dictate what behavior is OK in the work place. If nobody will work there, or nobody wants to do business there, that’s the market at work.

          Can the ACLU require that employees don’t attack the First Amendment in the workplace? That the board not attack free speech in public statements? Sure.

        • Emily

          When I worked at the MD Renaissance Festival, part of my job was shouting “God save the King!” whenever he came by. I wasn’t required to believe in god, or that the guy playing Henry VIII was king, or that any particular king should be saved. And my job was running a carnival game, not acting. But it was running a carnival game at the *renaissance festival.*

          But if I decided I had a religious or patriotic objection, it might not have been the job for me, and if I made it known by protesting in a way that drew attention I probably would have and should have been fired.

          And Henry VIII did way more worth protesting than Trump.

          • Steve-O-in-NJ

            Lancaster’s Henry VIII is better!

            • Emily

              I’ve never been, but these days I’d probably give you that. I was lucky enough to work at Crownsville in 1998, back when the amazing Bill Huttle was alive. I haven’t seen a Henry since who could fill his shoes.

              • Steve-O-in-NJ

                I looked him up – those would be VERY big shoes to fill indeed. Zach Minder, who plays Henry at Lancaster, plays him as a young, heroic king, and joins the joust himself. Frankly I think he should be playing Henry V.

            • Emily

              I’ve never been, but these days I’d probably give you that. I was lucky enough to work at Crownsville in 1998, back when the amazing Bill Huttle was alive. I haven’t seen a Henry since who could fill his shoes.

        • Glenn Logan

          A business could require you to be respectfully silent during a prayer, and not demonstrate, take a knee, shout “Allahu Akbar” or otherwise act in a disrespectful manner.

          You see, this is known as acting like a civilized human being, which the U.S. Supreme Court has yet to rule against.

          To your second point:

          I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

          Seem familiar? Just ask a soldier, sailor, airman or marine.

          You have engaged in a false equivalence here. The NFL should ask that the players not act disrespectfully toward our national traditions. They don’t have to shout “God bless America,” sing along with the national anthem, or put their hand over their heart as is our long-held tradition for civilians. They just shouldn’t be allowed to be actively disrespectful, and no matter what anyone says, kneeling during the national anthem is an act of active disrespect. If it weren’t nobody would care.

          • Chris

            They just shouldn’t be allowed to be actively disrespectful, and no matter what anyone says, kneeling during the national anthem is an act of active disrespect. If it weren’t nobody would care.

            This is fallacious. Just because some people believe kneeling is disrespectful doesn’t make it so. Kneeling has never been interpreted as a sign of disrespect until critics of the players decided to interpret it that way. Kneeling is perfectly civilized and respectful.

            • When standing still or standing and singing is the accepted method of displaying respect for the flag and anthem, anything other than standing still or standing and singing is, by definition, disrespectful. This includes kneeling, whether or not kneeling is a *respectful gesture in most other circumstances.

              *to be clear, it’s “respectful” nature is only a side effect from it’s actual meaning: submission to a lord or master (for whom we assume there is a reason to respect). Now, I’m not sure of my American history, but I’m reasonably certain, based on our attitudes towards master-like relationships, standing as equals is what *citizens* do, kneeling like peons is not what citizens do. So it’s extra disingenuous that “kneeling” is being spun as a sign of “respect” here.

              Nope. It is actively engaged in NOT respecting the flag with the added insult of saying “look at me and what I’m doing during this moment of civic unity and respect, look at ME!”

          • Steve-O-in-NJ

            We lawyers swear a similar oath when we are accepted to the bar, which includes supporting the Constitution and bearing true faith and allegiance to it. Likewise we aren’t supposed to act disrespectfully toward the courts or this nation. We have to stand when we address the Court, we can’t interrupt the judges, and we can’t just ignore rulings. We can’t make our respect conditional upon whether we like the judge, nor can we take a knew when we address the court because we think it doesn’t provide equal justice. This idea that somehow everyone is entitled to be disrespectful because of their own beliefs is a recipe for chaos.

        • Isaac

          Valkygrrl,
          A. Yes. If I want to work as a minister in a church, mosque, or Hindu temple I had very well better pray to the appropriate God. Otherwise I am getting into the wrong line of work.

          B. Yes. If I were applying to work for Donald Trump’s campaign, I had very well better pledge loyalty to Donald Trump. Otherwise I am getting into the wrong line of work.

          Depends on the job. Were these supposed to be clever questions?

          • Chris

            All of the examples I’m seeing as a response to valky’s question are about highly specialized jobs where loyalty to a god or politician are required. I thought it was clear her question was about requiring such oaths when they have nothing to do with the job.

            No, McDonalds cannot ethically require its employees to pledge loyalty to Donald Trump, nor can they ask them to praise Xenu. It’s fairly obvious they can’t legally require that either.

            It seems that the NFL can legally require its athletes to salute the flag, despite that having absolutely no bearing on their performance ability. But they cannot ethically require forced patriotism, because outside some exceptions such as military service, forcing patriotism is never ethical.

            • Steve-O-in-NJ

              Forcing respect, until it becomes a habit, is something every family needs to do early on. It’s a powerful performance-enhancing drug.

              The Drug Problem in America

              The other day, someone at a store in our town read that a methamphetamine lab had been found in an old farmhouse in the adjoining county and he asked me a rhetorical question, ”Why didn’t we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?”

              I replied: “I had a drug problem when I was young”:

              I was drug to church on Sunday morning.

              I was drug to church for weddings and funerals.

              I was drug to school even if I had the sniffles or didn’t get along with the teacher.

              I was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter the weather.

              I was drug to Scout meetings, musical rehearsals, and sports practice even if I didn’t feel like it.

              I was drug to my feet when the flag passed in the parade or the National Anthem was played.

              I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults.

              I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher, or if I didn’t put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me.

              I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I uttered a profane four-letter word.

              I was drug out to pull weeds in mom’s garden and flower beds and cockleburs out of dad’s fields.
                                        
              I was drug to the homes of family, friends, and neighbors to help out some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline, or chop some firewood;      

              and, if my mother had ever known that I took a single dime as a tip for this kindness, she would have drug me back to the woodshed.

              Those drugs are still in my veins; and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say, and think. They are stronger than cocaine, crack, or heroin; and, if today’s children had this kind of drug problem, America would be a better place.
              ~author unknown, with a few additions from yours truly~

              I don’t think too many of these prima donna players, or yourself, got a good dose of this drug.

            • Isaac

              If the anthem and the display of respect are part of the show, then yes, it would fall under the requirements of the job. I don’t know what the NFL’s official rules are on that, but they would be well within their ethical and legal rights if they were to make it a requirement.

              Football is a spectacle, not necessarily any different than a stage show that ends with a rousing performance of “God Bless the USA.” If the NFL wants to portray itself as a patriotic, pro-military, pro-police organization, then of course it can require players to subscribe to those values. Employment is generally a free and mutual exchange.

      • Andrew Wakeling

        Or could you tell your employees that your policy is to disrespect the flag …. and if they won’t do that in public maybe they should look for some place they like better? Wouldn’t that be massively unethical?

        • Eternal optometrist

          Where do you work that you can take a big steaming dump on your boss’s desk and call it freedom of expression?

          This is America. It’s the NATIONAL football league. They can’t require that their players stand for tha national anthem? But I can tell my employees why clothes they can and cannot wear to work?

        • No. Of course not. I can ethically start a league where the players symbolically spit on tnhe flag and fart during the national anthem before every game. If that attracts enough spectators—you know, progressives, college profs, BLM supporters—it’s a perfectly good business model. And employees who won’t follow the rules need to leave.

          • Chris

            I can ethically start a league where the players symbolically spit on tnhe flag and fart during the national anthem before every game.

            How would such a requirement be ethical?

            • Because as the owner of a business you can try whatever legal business model you think will provide value to the community that the community will reward with profit…

              Free market…

              Private property…

              Liberty…….

              Do these words sound familiar?

        • Isaac

          There are plenty of alternative media outlets (socialist magazines, etc.) where it is, in fact, required to disrespect the flag. Were those supposed to be clever questions?

          Suppose there was an opening in the punk band “Anti Flag.” Do you think that such a band is not allowed to exist and have paid members, because being part of such an organization requires disrespect for the flag?

          And yeah, if you won’t disrespect the flag in public then you should look for a more patriotic band.

  2. Steve-O-in-NJ

    Jack, your statement is bang on, but it would never be accepted. There are just too many parallels for lazy America-haters and Trump-haters who started to hate America last November 9 to draw, starting with the 1968 “black fist” protests in Mexico City and continuing right up to Ferguson and Baltimore, etc., etc. A lot of us never had to think much about whether we were Americans before we were anything else. I am guessing you didn’t, and I know I didn’t. I am proud to be of Italian heritage. I am proud to be of Irish heritage. I am proud to have some English heritage that goes back to the Pilgrims (my maternal grandmother’s family goes waaaaaay back in Westerley, RI). I have never thought of myself as anything other than an American, though. I remain unimpressed with my patrilineal homeland of Italy, which can’t seem to get its act together politically or economically, and hasn’t been able to since WW2. I refuse to have anything to do with the IRA’s irrational campaign against the UK over 6 counties, which should have ended in 1922. To some they are poets and patriots. To me they are Nazis with a different accent.

    The fact is that a lot of African Americans are faced with the question of whether they are Americans who happen to be black, or blacks who happen to be American. This shouldn’t be a question at all, but I have found that should haves are not very useful. There’s always going to be that question, and at times it’s just going to be a line dividing the races, but at times its going to get wider. Sharpton and the other race hucksters proved very skilled at widening it into a crack, and Obama played on it to widen it into a chasm. With the help of the media it’s been very easy to spin the twin narratives that this country is a place where blacks still can’t get ahead, still are oppressed, young black men are hunted like wolves by racist police, and that anyone who disagrees with this first narrative is a racist and should be ignored at best, hated at worst. Given this, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a lot of blacks, and a lot of high profile blacks, are deciding that they are blacks first and Americans second, and that their allegiance to this country and anything that stands for it is conditional or is going to be refused. Frankly I am surprised Krappernick hasn’t announced his conversion to Islam and taken an Arabic name like Muhammad Ali, and restarted all that blather about my name, not yours, my religion, not yours, yada yada yada. Maybe that’s a Trump card (no pun intended) that he’s holding back until this all starts to die down.

    The fact is that those of us who think of ourselves as Americans first need to look over our shoulders, find our spines, and say enough is enough. You are free to say whatever, but we are free not to listen, free to change the channel, and free to walk away. We’re also free to tell you you’re acting like idiots, free to tell you we won’t just go along with your narrative, and free to tell you we won’t let you tar us with the broad brush of racism just for disagreeing with us. But too many of us are going to take the easy way out.

  3. Chris

    Jack,

    Your proposed announcement is self-contradictory. If “the NFL is an organization about football, and only football,” then whether players stand for the national anthem is moot. What your announcement really communicates is that the NFL is also about forced patriotism in addition to being about football. Apparently, the NFL can legally force its players to make patriotic gestures, but that doesn’t make it ethical, and that certainly is about a lot more than just football.

    Here’s the announcement I would make if I were Football King:

    The National Football League is not a political organization, a social justice organization, or a partisan organization. Its products are football and entertainment, and related merchandise, marketing and adverting, and that’s all.

    Because of this, we will take no action against any player who chooses to kneel during the national anthem prior to games. It is not our job to mandate the manner in which any player chooses to participate in a patriotic ritual, nor is it our job to mandate that they participate at all. We believe in giving everyone the chance to show respect during the anthem in the way they see fit, and as long as players are not being disruptive during the anthem, we will support their choice.

    The players have explained why they choose to take a knee during the anthem and that they do not view this gesture as disrespectful. As kneeling has long been considered a sign of respect in many cultures, we see no reason to dispute this.

    We are saddened to hear that many viewers find these players’ actions offensive. Viewers who are offended by kneeling are encouraged to continue demonstrating their own patriotism as they see fit. Guests at our games are encouraged to keep their eye on the flag during the anthem. Viewers at home may continue doing what they usually do during the anthem: get up and get a snack, use the restroom, or simply listen to one of our many talented singers bring the beauty of the anthem to life.

    The point is this: our kneeling players have chosen a silent and inobtrusive way of showing their concern for an important social issue. Whether any particular fan agrees or disagrees with them is none of our concern. The most common objection we hear is that the players should “stick to football.” We encourage those making this objection to live by their own words: to focus on the game and let the few minutes where players kneel before the game pass without issue.

    The NFL also objects to any politician who would exert pressure on our players to conform to their standards for how to best show their love of country. While the NFL reserves the right to ask players to stand for the anthem, we believe it would be deeply unethical to force them to do so. We know that each and every one of our players, whether they stand or kneel, have a deep love of this country, and each and every one of them is making an informed choice about how to express that love. We resent any implication that our players lack either patriotism or the capability to make their own decision regarding proper decorum during the anthem. Neither implication is true. While it would be perfectly legal for us to make players stand during the anthem at penalty of fines or termination, we believe doing so would be inimical to a culture of free speech.

    We will continue to support all of our players, whether they choose to kneel or stand during the anthem. We hope our fans will do the same, and that the focus can be redirected how individual players choose to show respect during the anthem back onto the games themselves. We all love this country, and we all love football.

    • Steve-O-in-NJ

      Translation: screw you fans, we don’t care if you’re offended. The players know better, and we know better. Buy your tickets, watch the game, applaud, then go home.

      • Chris

        It would be a brave stance, but it’s the right one.

        • Steve-O-in-NJ

          It’s also the kind that would put you out of business. When your customers are telling you they don’t want something, and you tell them to go screw off, they’re getting it anyway, despite their telling you loud and clear, don’t be surprised if your bottom line suffers. That’s not good customer relations and it’s not good business sense.

          It isn’t the right one, but I think Jack explained that pretty clearly. There really isn’t any point in arguing this more.

        • (hint: It’s not the right one)

        • Eternal Optometrist

          Spoken like a guy who doesn’t hustle for his customers!

          • Chris is a teacher. I do think that affects his confusion here. But would he really feel mistreated if a school told him that his various political views were not appropriate in the class room?

            • Chris

              No, because my political views *arent* appropriate for the classroom, and I keep them out.

              I *would* feel mistreated if I were told that I had to force my students to stand and recite the pledge of allegiance, or be fired. This would also be a violation of my students’ constitutional rights.

              But then when they go out into the workforce, apparently they can be forced to stand for the anthem.

              • Junkmailfolder

                And you can also be forced to wear certain clothes, cover up tattoos, recite workplace mottos, or other activities that your boss might want you to do. Do you think all those actions are unethical?

  4. Scott_GF

    So the root of the protest, perceived racial police activity (I guess).
    Is there anything being done?
    Has any NFL player/owner reached out to any police organization to see for themselves how they are trained, what they do and/or go for a ride-along?
    I don’t.
    I just see people protesting and taking no action.
    How would they know when to stop protesting?
    What is the end game? What is the goal of the protesting?
    The protest is failing since the dialog is only about the right to protest, not about why they are protesting.
    That is why it’s all sound and fury.

    • Your link took me to google groups under the category “soc.culture.israel”. I don’t get this; what is “Usenet”?

      • http://www.usenet.org

        Usenet is a collection of newsgroups where the users can post messages and these posted messages are distributed via Usenet servers. Each server holds these posted messages for a certain period of time. This period of time is also known as retention time. Usenet can be compared with an internet forum, but the main difference is that the messages are not stored in one server and are only available for a certain amount of time.

    • Jeff

      soc.culture.israel? That seems like a really irrelevant place to post an article about the ethics of the NFL players’ protests.

      Judging by the scintillating conversation it seems to have spawned over there, I think the Usenet natives agree with me…

  5. If people don’t like what the NFL allows during the National Anthem then they should either accept it, push it aside as not important enough to do anything about (The Julie Principle), or totally withdrawal their support for the NFL and boycott all things NFL, don’t watch it on TV, don’t listen to it on the radio, don’t go to their games, don’t purchase their merchandise, etc. Heck there’s a whole world of things to do that are “better” than wasting time and money on the NFL anyway; do something productive with your children or grandchildren, go fishing or hunting, go to the range, spend quality time with yous spouse, clean the garage, mow the lawn, put up Christmas lights, or make yourself useful in other ways.

    If you want the NFL to hear your voice loud and clear then boycott the NFL.

    The NFL wore out their welcome with me a long time ago they haven’t gotten a dime from me in any fashion in 40 years.

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