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Players Who Kneel are Contemptible, but Trump Should Butt Out

Make no mistake, football players who express their grievances by disrespecting the flag and the national anthem, and therefore the nation that is responsible for their freedom and their riches, should be fired.

It’s one thing to protest against a problem. It’s another thing to reject the nation. What we are seeing today would not have been tolerated at any previous point in our nation’s history, prior to say, the last 20 years. The culture has indeed reached a very sad and frightening new low. It’s remarkable that so few in football are standing, literally, against this.

Can the kneelers be fired? Would it mean the end of the NFL? Maybe. Or maybe not. Start firing them slowly, one by one, and the others may just decide their money is more precious to them than their principles.

The NFL may be finished anyway. A significant chunk of its fan base is deeply patriotic and know they have other options. Baseball is still going, hockey and basketball are about to get underway, and there’s always college football.

But President Trump ought to stay out of football and the actions of its players. Trump is the government, and America doesn’t need the government attacking free speech. Whatever one thinks of a football player kneeling during the national anthem, it is speech, and I don’t want Trump telling people what they can say any more than I would Obama. It’s pretty ironic to be criticizing people for disrespecting the republic while at the same time trying to squelch one of its founding principles, free speech.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s comment that football players “can do free speech on their own time” is Orwellian. “This is about respect for the military and the first responders in the country,” he declared. Well, as much as I love and respect the military and first responders, I recognize that you are allowed not to respect them. And I don’t think it’s about that anyway. Our flag is not there to represent the military or first responders, it represents the entire nation and our principles.

And I’ll be damned if I’m going to have the treasury secretary define free speech for me.

That doesn’t mean corporations, like the NFL or its franchises, have to tolerate this behavior. You can’t say or do anything you want at work. Companies are private entities that have a right to decide whom they employ, and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to work for them. But the government should stay out of it.

Here’s a random sampling by Fox News of fans who say they like football too much to stop watching.

30 Responses to Players Who Kneel are Contemptible, but Trump Should Butt Out

  1. So when does a protest become sedition – when participants promote the refusal to honor the existing government.
    Anyone can protest a certain law as unfair, or a government action as interference with personal freedom, but to dishonor the whole of our government is sedition.

    Pretty words, or actions that appear peaceful, but encourage others to disrespect America are guilty of sedition.
    What this is isn’t “free speech” when others are encouraged to demean the POTUS, our Flag, our Nat’l Anthem and the meaning of American freedom.
    MrTrump didn’t use the word, but we know what is going on.

    • Little know fact via NFL coach. Each player is assigned a Financial manager to help them.
      My take is that they are so stupid they will go broke quick. And that’s what most do….dumb and broke.
      NFL = Not For Long

  2. Trump skillfully did not make it a GOVERNMENT statement… “My administration….” like Obama would say — Trump just was talking to fellow citizens….So I like what he said… he was telling the owners to fix the problem. Giving them the solution — set a policy – make it so that your teams stop what they are doing — so I think this is was a unifying action is.. not platitudes and junk like we always here…just a businessman saying that the business owners should management their business. I love free speech. I love when everyone uses it – even the president – someone with the same free speech rights….as a citizen.

    Here is what Trump said….

    Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!” You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, “That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.” And that owner, they don’t know it. They don’t know it. They’ll be the most popular person, for a week. They’ll be the most popular person in this country.

  3. We are done with the NFL until this behavior stops or is ended. We watch the NFL for football, not for their liberal politics. If the owners are not astute enough as businessmen to understand that, they deserve to be out of business. The very idea that these millionaires are somehow oppressed offends me no end. If I had even one season of their pay, I and my family would be set for life with a lot of money to give away. And yet somehow it’s our fault that those poor crybabies have such hard lives. I can’t support that at all.

  4. Why should Trump butt out? Did you ask Obama to butt out of anything? President Trump should be able to express his opinion, just like the rest of us. These insufferable and highly paid playersare wearing thin on our last nerve. THEY ARE PAID to play sports! They should sit down with cops, compare wages and discuss risks on the job. They should also spend some time living with the families of officers killed on the job. After all of that, then players can express their views, but not on the field.

  5. Ok folks, here is my take…why not…everyone else is chiming in:

    According to a rep on FBN today, the NBA, NHL, & MLB have provisions in their collective bargaining agreement that prohibit not standing for the anthem. The NFL does not so the players can kneel all they want and the owners cannot fire them. Jerry Jones, Dallas owner, says he will fire any player that does not stand in tonight’s MNF game. But his words are hollow, he already agreed to let them kneel. Sorry Jerry.

    Free speech is a cherished part of our culture, even speech we despise. How and when you exercise free speech is the issue. The work place is not the time or place, case closed. But, much like tenured teachers and union employees who know they cannot be fired for certain behavior, the players will push the envelope.

    We have a choice: watch it, yell at it, ignore it, or flip the channel. That’s America.

    IF the networks did not televise the kneeling, it would end. Its their right to televise it, but let’s be honest…none of these players would do ANYTHING if it was not in the public eye….self serving if you ask me.

    Some say we should just not play the anthem at sporting events. That is like saying we should stop the pledge of allegiance in school. Perhaps there is some rationale in that, but is it really where we want to go?


  6. My 2 cents: 1)Demonstrations – whether on free speech or anything other topic – are inappropriate in the workplace. Players are at the stadium to WORK. Ergo, protest on your own time. 2) I’d love the players to tell us just exactly what they are doing (other than protesting) to make this country a better place to live for the people who are “oppressed”. Are they encouraging 2 parent households in the black community? Are they working to combat black on black violence? My guess for most of them is NO.

    • BINGO!

      The networks are responsible for 75% of this uproar. Take away their ‘platforms’ (by not televising the morons) and there is no more issue.

      I can’t come to my place of work and push the envelope on free speech (they are bordering on sedition as mentioned earlier in the comments).

      What exactly do they want changed? Maybe they should state their case since they have their platform?

      I get they have free speech, and they feel they have some issues with ‘the man’. They are free to pursue social improvements all they want. But don’t railroad it down the country’s throat just for sensational television.

      Ironic that they are the living proof that they are NOT discriminated against based on color. Their status which they have attained based on their performance is being used to state that ‘people of color’ are not treated fairly. It doesn’t make sense. I would be glad to switch salaries with them.

  7. The protesting players should be fired immediately. They are violating their own Rulebook, which says, on pages A62-63:

    “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline 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. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. 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 choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”

    End of story.

  8. On principle, I can see both sides. On the one hand, the subject may well be beneath such office. But on the other, the game is (for now) America’s national sport, and to ignore such behavior would be to tacitly condone it.

    And politically, this is a pick-six with a two-point conversion. Trump is loudly siding with blue collar America against blue state America, burnishing his bona fides with the forgotten ones in Pennsylvania, Michigan, et al.

    He’s also putting the Left into the untenable position of having to defend such blatantly unpatriotic behavior.

    And with the midterms coming up, every Democrat that’s running in Trump country may well be asked about this. If they support it, they lose in the general; if they equivocate or denounce it, they get primaried from the left.

    Also…notice how often the health care bill, John McCain, and all the attendant sausage-making, WASN’T mentioned over the weekend?

    There are good arguments to be made for staying out of this. But by wading into it, Trump got the Left to validate its hatred of America while beclowning itself.

    We may not see the final result of this for some time. If the NFL opts to triple down on sedition, then we might have just witnessed the end of the beginning of a great realignment in American professional sports.

  9. So, Keith, you can use your time on your job to promote any personal opinion that you have? I doubt it although you have more latitude than many. On the job is different from the rest of one’s time.

    Professional sports types are the luckiest people. With useless skills, they make a great living in entertainment.

    Suppose people start taking a knee or the equivalent on Dancing with the Stars — the absurdity would be immediately apparent. No diff from professional sports players.

    As for Trump, he can say what he wants. Why would he be the only person who cannot express an opinion, Keith?

  10. Here is one for you. This morning Fox was on this subject. They had a lady who had been adviser to John Kerry. Her conclusion was Trump was creating all the uproar because he wants to create a diversion from Mueller’s Russian investigation. This make me think he is also cooking up problems with North Korea, the budget talks and repeal of Obamacare in order to divert attention from Mueller’s investigation.

  11. I heard earlier today how Trump calling the African American players SOBs was especially insulting because of how much black players love their mothers…however, where has there ever been any outrage over the MSM and sports & entertainment figures calling Trump a Nazi or Hitler, calling his wife a whore, or his child retarded?? – all before he was even elected. In that context, SOB seems pretty mild.

  12. “The cops acted stupidly”

    “The NFL acted stupidly”

    I know which statement – though the second one is paraphrased – gives me more concern.

  13. NFL rules are clear. Stand for anthem. Or just don’t play the anthem at beginning of game. Let the black players carry the can for no more anthem. They don’t like/respect America as it is.

  14. POTUS is the Deplorable’s barometer, voicing what us Great Unwashed think but have no vehicle to express. Of course he should NOT butt out when our institutions are under direct assault.
    Go to your fainting couch.

  15. ‘Free speech’ is valid for liars who are producers, directors, casters, actors, prop- make up- wardrobe managers, & stage hands all of whom are paid handsomely by the financiers of iniquity to perpetuate the death of God in whatever ‘live coverage ‘is going on be it ‘professional sports’, ‘concerts’, ‘award shows’, ‘news events’, etc! ‘Unaffordable speech’ is what trutharians go into massive debt for & they pay the price the rest of their lives- many times with their lives…