NFL Owners New Rules for Kneelers…Not Quite Enough

 In History, Politics, Veterans

The NFL Owners Association issued new rules for kneelers this week in an effort to save their tanking ratings and make people think they’re really “patriotic” after all. Americans don’t appear to be buying the whole gig. It’s not being received well on both sides of the issue.

According to ESPN, the new rules say that players on the field must stand for the National Anthem. Players who want to kneel must stay in the locker room during the National Anthem. If they do kneel on the field during the anthem, the team will be fined. Not the individual, the team. The new rule will be added to the official NFL game book so that it can’t be subject to collective bargaining.

“We want people to stand — that’s all personnel — and make sure they treat this moment in a respectful fashion. That’s something we think we owe. [But] we were also very sensitive to give players choices.” Roger Goodell, Owner’s Association

To be honest, it’s tough to be “respectful” if you don’t actually FEEL respectful. So the new rules appear to have continued the rift between players-owners, and players-fans.

Liberals view it as an affront to “free speech.”

“Management has chosen to quash the same freedom of speech that protects someone who wants to salute the flag in an effort to prevent someone who does not wish to do so. The sad irony of this rule is that anyone who wants to express their patriotism is subject to the whim of a person who calls himself an “Owner.” I know that not all of the NFL CEO’s are for this and I know that true American patriots are not cheering today.” NFL Player’s Association executive director DeMaurice Smith 

Attempting to fix criticism is usually fraught with pitfalls, and there are always loopholes. As for the Conservative side, they generally don’t buy it either.  Why? Because the kneeling is still a sign of disrespect, and allowing them to hide in the locker room is just placating the problem.  The NFl is even being accused of “pandering” to President Trump after he said they needed a rule that states players can’t kneel. It’s a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation” that is not fixable in the current climate of society.

A Few Veterans’ Views from Oath Keepers

US Army Airborne veteran, Stewart Rhodes, Oath Keepers Founder:

“…When we stand, we don’t just stand in honor of our nation.  We stand in honor of all who served and all who did not come home, from Lexington Green to today.

Do I want a law passed to mandate that these spoiled brat millionaire athletes stand for the Anthem?   No.  We can’t have government power used to stop even offensive, disloyal, and disrespectful free speech actions that stoop to a new low, like this.  But if I were on a jury in a trial of a veteran who pulled one of these spoiled brats up off their knees by their ear, and as a result was charged with assault, I would nullify and refuse to convict the veteran.  God bless the constitutionally protected right to trial by jury, and the right and power of the jury to acquit even in the face of the law, to do justice in that one case.   And that would be justice, twice over.”   

And, from Billy Simmons, Oath Keepers Board of Directors and US Marine Veteran:

“…They must understand that the flag and anthem that they are protesting is the very representation of this country and all of the men and women who have died for their right to protest.

They are overpaid, under-educated grown men who play a child’s game. I have not heard or seen but a few that would be willing to play the same game as an 18-year-old private in Afghanistan or Iraq! They play with balls for a living — that 18-year-old private has balls!”

Read more of the Oath Keeper statements here.

And that, ladies and gentleman is the issue with the American Flag, and the National Anthem. It’s about respect, honor, gratitude for what we have here.

On this Memorial Day weekend, we are to honor the fallen who have gone before us in service to this nation. We need to remember that it is their blood that has kept us free. It is their blood that has made it possible for the obnoxiousness of NFL players, or Black Lives Matter, those who feel the need to keep America bound by its past. Men and women of every single race, color, and creed have given their lives for America. Their sacrifices are what we should be thankful for… but we must also remember what happens when people hate one another.

“When my eyes shall be turned to behold, for the last time, the sun in heaven, may I not see him shining on the broken and dishonored fragment of a once glorious Union; on states, dissevered, discordant, belligerent, in a land rent with civil feuds, or drenched, it may be, in fraternal blood.” Daniel Webster 1782-1852

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