Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It’s the federal holiday set aside to honor the man who did so much to end systemic racism for our country. He was killed making this country better for children of all color.
You know what he didn’t do? Kneel or show disrespect during the National Anthem.
The New Yorker magazine has a ginned up cover showing King doing just that. It shows King kneeling locking arms with Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The image indicates it’s on the sideline of an NFL game during the National Anthem.
If you want to exercise your First Amendment right and take a stand (or a knee) against perceived racial injustice, I will back you up one hundred percent. Just don’t do it when hundreds and thousands of our fellow Americans are standing to honor our flag and our anthem. When we stand for the National Anthem one of the people we are honoring is one of our greatest Americans, Martin Luther King Jr.
Seeing this cover of The New Yorker magazine makes me think a little less of Martin Luther King Jr. even though I know it never happened. That’s the power of propaganda. King deserves better. He was a great American. He doesn’t deserve to have his reputation misused like The New Yorker did.
NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” match up between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers brought in 17.2 million viewers on Sunday night. That number was down 35% from last year’s Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants game, which was the most-watched prime time regular season since Thanksgiving 2015.
Yes. NFL viewership is down. That should be no big surprise.
For one thing, NFL football, like all sports is boring. For every second of excitement, there are minutes of complete boredom. There are too many commercials in between the boredom. I used to think the commercials were needed because of what was going on to get the field ready for play. That’s not so. I’ve gone to a few NFL games and during the times where commercials are being shown on TV, the players are just standing around with their hands on their hips waiting to play.
People are tired of being bored when they watch TV.
Another problem with the NFL is the perception that its players are criminals and thugs. I believe this perception is due mostly to the fact that many of the players are criminals and thugs. After a while of hearing about player legal problems, fans and casual viewers begin to form an opinion that’s hard to shake, not that it even deserves to be shaken. A long time ago, the NFL decided that it was okay to field players who had a not-so-normal propensity of running afoul of the law. Nobody is forcing the NFL to draft players out of college who seem like they will be bad citizens.
The thing that’s killing the NFL now is its stance on the National Anthem protests. It bothers people, casual viewers of the NFL, that so many of its players are refusing to stand up and show their respect during the National Anthem. What’s even worse are players, American players, who sit during our National Anthem, but stand for the Mexican Anthem. The NFL’s reaction to all this?
Nothing unless you count the league’s stupid Salute to Service gimmick. It’s where they make officially licensed clothing styled with military coloring. The NFL claims they do not profit from the sale of Salute to Service products. I do not believe them.
If the NFL really wanted to salute the service of people who have served in the military, they would make their players stand for the National Anthem. They would also offer a discount to military veterans on their overpriced crap. The National Anthem is a big deal to the military and its veterans. Perhaps if anyone in a leadership position within the NFL had served in the military, they would know that.
If the NFL wants to increase viewership, make the games less boring. Eliminate all the commercials breaks. If networks need to tell viewers what products and services they should be buying, put something at the top of the screen. Stop fielding players who if it wasn’t for the NFL, would be selling drugs or serving time in prison for selling drugs. Stop allowing players to disrespect the National Anthem.
We’re currently in Week 9 of the National Football League 2017 schedule. It’s the ninth week in a row the league is allowing players to protest during the National Anthem. The only question at this point is why the NFL is allowing this stupid spectacle to continue.
The idea the league doesn’t have total control of what players can and cannot do while standing on the sidelines is a joke. The NFL expects us to believe there’s nothing they can do about players sitting, kneeling, or raising a fist in the air during the National Anthem?
I do not believe the NFL
The NFL bans players from wearing Beats headphones anywhere in the stadium. If a player wants to wear headphones before or after a game, they have to wear only Bose headphones. The NFL also specifies what kind of tablet device teams and players can use. They have to use a specific kind of fake iPad, the Microsoft Surface Pro, not a real iPad made by Apple.
The list of products players aren’t allowed to use on the field or the sidelines are extensive. It’s one of the things that makes the decision of the NFL not to stop players from protesting during the National Anthem so weird.
The NFL will only fine a player protesting the National Anthem if he’s wearing Beats headphones or using an iPad while doing it.
Why is it the National Basketball Association can require players to stand during the national anthem, but the NFL can not?
2) Players, coaches, and trainers are to stand and line up in a dignified posture along the sidelines or on the foul line during the playing of the National Anthem.
The NFL doesn’t have such a rule because it doesn’t want it. The question is why?
Is the NFL trying to lose money?
If I was a conspiracy theory guy, I’d think the NFL was purposely trying to damage its own product so it can then leverage the damage to its advantage. The amount of money the owners pay the players is based on how much revenue the league and teams make. The less money the NFL makes, the less money it will have to share with players.
Are they trying to decrease revenue so they can play players less?
If he thinks this is true, how long until he decides Papa John’s needs to end its partnership with the NFL? It could happen sooner rather than later. Once the first big-time sponsor leaves, more will follow.
Almost all players in the NFL represent the privileged 1%
This whole National Anthem protest thing is so stupid. Maybe I’d feel differently if the people doing the protesting weren’t privileged members of the 1% and living large compared to the rest of us, the other 99%. When I was 19-years-old I had to join the Air Force, not because I wanted to, but because I had no other options. I couldn’t find a real job. I couldn’t afford to go to college. If I was going to make anything of my life, I had to enlist in the military.
In the military, you must respect the flag and the National Anthem
While in the military, I learned to respect the flag and the National Anthem. It was ingrained into my core. Every day, on every Air Force base I was ever at, the base flag was lowered before sunset. Before it was lowered, a bugle call was played over a loudspeaker. It alerted everyone to prepare for retreat, the lowering of the flag.
After the bugle call was complete, the National Anthem was played and the flag was lowered, removed, and folded up. While the National Anthem played, you were to stop whatever you were doing, turn to face the music, and stand at attention. You were required to salute if you were in uniform. You were required to salute or put your hand on your heart if you were in civilian clothes. You were required to pull off to the side of the when driving a motor vehicle.
The Air Force could court marshall someone for not standing at attention during retreat. You could go to jail for not honoring the flag and the National Anthem.
I think this is why I find these National Anthem protests so disgusting. They not only disrespect our country, they disrespect anyone who served in the military. It’s not about freedom of speech. When players are on the sideline before a game, they’re at work. Your employer puts expectations on you when you are on the job. Respecting the National Anthem should be one of those expectations.
NFL players can disrespect the country on their own time
If players want to disrespect the National Anthem on their own time, I have no problem with that. They can burn the American flag on their own time and I would not complain. My problem is when they protest while everyone in attendance is standing and showing respect to our country. Standing for the National Anthem is a something all Americans share together. The National Anthem protests shit all over that.
There is a time and place for everything. Before a game when everyone else is standing in respect is not the right time or the right place. It’s the wrong time and the wrong place.
When Jemele Hill’s suspension is over, she needs to decide what she wants to be when she grows up. Does she want to be a social justice activist fighting for issues she believes are important? Does she want to represent ESPN as a host for SportsCenter?
I don’t see how she can be both.
The Dallas Cowboys are part of the National Football League. The National Football League is in partnership with ESPN. The network pays $1.9 billion a year to televise Monday Night Football. It’s inappropriate to have an employee of ESPN, let alone a SportsCenter host, go after advertisers.
Hosting SportsCenter used to be a big deal
To be a host on SportsCenter used to be a big deal. It represented the pinnacle of a person’s sports career. It be a talking-head on ESPN, reporting the news to the United States, was a privilege. I’m not sure it’s that way anymore. I don’t watch ESPN anymore except for 30 for 30 documentaries. I get my sports news from a lot of places these days. ESPN SportsCenter is not one of them.
To be a host of ESPN is still carries a lot of clout. Jemele Hill’s Twitter account has a blue check next to it, something it would not have if she were not on ESPN. She needs to recognize that. When she Tweets something stupid, it reflects on ESPN.
Jemele Hill cannot have it both ways. She cannot enjoy the advantages of being a SportsCenter host and also enjoy the freedoms of shitposting on Twitter. Calling for an NFL boycott while working for a company in partnership with the NFL is shitposting.
Denasia Lawrence sang the national anthem before a Miami Heat pre-season game. In a ridiculous attempt to show what she thinks about the country she was honoring with her singing, she kneeled. That’s right. The singer of the national anthem pulled a Kaepernick.
She also wore a “Black Lives Matter” t-shirt under her blazer, sending a very strong message to the people watching who believe the lives of black people don’t matter. The type of racist mouth breathers who flock to pre-season NBA games.
Kneeling in place of sitting during the national anthem is stupid. To kneel is to show servitude to someone or something. Kneeling is demonstrating the complete opposite of what people who pull this stunt are trying to convey. They don’t even seem to realize this, making it terribly funny.
I think whoever told Colin Kaepernick kneeling was a good compromise to standing for the national anthem was punking him. Has Colin Kaepernick never been to a Catholic church? What did he think all the kneeling was about, Catholics protesting God? Has he never seen Superman II? What did he think General Zod was doing when he wanted Superman to kneel before him?
If Denasia Lawrence doesn’t like America, if she believes it’s an evil, racist country that refuses to value the lives of black people, then she should have just declined the offer to sing the national anthem at the Miami Heat game.
What’s with the teal colored blazer? She was singing the national anthem at a Miami Heat game, not a Charlotte Hornets game. The color teal doesn’t belong at a Miami Heat game.
Denasia Lawrence should be ashamed. Not for kneeling while singing the national anthem, that’s just silly, but for wearing teal to a Miami Heat game.
Soccer player Megan Rapinoe is funny. At the beginning of last night’s game between the United States and Thailand, she refused to stand for the national anthem with her teammates. Instead, she took a knee to protest against all the injustice and inequality our country represents. Or something.
It wasn’t the first time Megan Rapinoe’s pulled this stunt and disrespected our country. She took a knee earlier this month between the Chicago Red Stars and her Seattle Reign. What makes last night’s stunt noteworthy is that she did it while wearing the U.S. Woman’s National Team uniform. She refused to stand and honor a country while representing that same country.
Representing your country is a privilege and honor for any player or coach that is associated with U.S. Soccer’s National Teams. Therefore, our national anthem has particular significance for U.S. Soccer. In front of national and often global audiences, the playing of our national anthem is an opportunity for our Men’s and Women’s National Team players and coaches to reflect upon the liberties and freedom we all appreciate in this country. As part of the privilege to represent your country, we have an expectation that our players and coaches will stand and honor our flag while the National Anthem is played.