Tags: nfl | goodell | national anthem | trump

Trump Is Right: Fire Unpatriotic NFL Players

Trump Is Right: Fire Unpatriotic NFL Players
(Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

By Wednesday, 27 September 2017 02:49 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Let’s get this straight: the National Football League threatened to levy fines against players who wore shoes commemorating the 9/11 attacks and others who wanted to honor slain Dallas police officers, but actually encourages entire teams to boycott the National Anthem.

Talk about a massively blown call.

And in a league with a history of inexcusable play-calling, such as standing on the sidelines when players commit crimes, and meting out slap-on-the-wrist penalties, that’s saying something.

Despite the loud but very small minority who thinks players disrespecting America is somehow “social progress,” the vast majority believe the NFL should punt on this issue and inject common sense and dignity into the league.

But don’t hold your breath. The league almost certainly won’t budge, courtesy of its blinding arrogance, which, ironically, may yet cause the NFL to drop the ball when it can least afford it.

Commissioner Roger Goodell just doesn’t get why people are furious, but why would he? The sole responsibility of the league’s $300 million man seems to be looking the other way on everything from domestic assault to concussions, all so that the owners’ billions continue to flow. (And yes, that is Goodell’s package over a mere seven years, especially lavish given that, up until recently, the NFL was a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization).

And the players don’t get it, either. Their life inside the bubble (a result of being pampered from grade school, creating a mentality that they can do as they please with no consequences) keeps them far removed from real life.

Then we have the many media commentators who are, as usual, wandering aimlessly on the wrong end of the field. Not surprisingly, that incompetence continues to incur penalties in the form of declining ratings and a stunning lack of credibility.

Last, but not least, President Trump most certainly gets it, at least on this issue. He may not have tactfully articulated his opinion that players refusing to stand for the anthem be fired, but the message came through loud and clear. Now, many who don’t consider themselves “pro-Trump” nevertheless find themselves in agreement with him. And for good reason.

America isn’t perfect, but it is the freest, fairest, and most generous nation in history, where opportunities remain endless and past mistakes are both acknowledged and remedied. Therefore, showing respect for the national anthem should be akin to scoring an uncontested touchdown.

Here’s a look:

— First, this has absolutely nothing to do with “freedom of expression.” Those using that as a justification need a refresher in Civics 101.

The NFL, as a private entity, sets forth requirements by which players and coaches must abide — or risk punishment, including termination. Uniforms cannot be altered. Players can’t push referees, nor can they publicly criticize them. Coaches aren’t permitted to curse at fans. Bottom line: during working hours, players are not allowed to express themselves any way they want, but in the manner set forth by their employer, just like any other job. 

Teams are legally permitted to mandate that players stand for the national anthem; therefore, those claiming it’s a “right” to sit, kneel, turn one’s back, or, most cowardly, stay in the locker room, are grossly misinformed.

Players can be released, for any reason, at any time. That should be the hammer to let players know that defiance of rules will not be tolerated.

When you turn your back on the very country that afforded you everything, while employed by a private entity with a very public face, you need to go. The NFL should absolutely mandate participation in the National Anthem. Don’t agree? Fine. Have fun playing in Ecuador for fifty cents a game.

If the protesting players had any class, not to mention respect for the game and league, they would have protested on their own time. Instead, their actions invited divisiveness into the league, and even more significantly, into the fan base.

These coddled players, many undoubtedly having no idea what they were actually protesting, personified ungrateful, spoiled children — exactly what we don’t want our entitled young generation emulating.

— The NFL finally relinquished its nonprofit status, but retains its anti-trust exemption. But why does it have that? Why does the NFL continue to receive billions in taxpayer money, from tax breaks to new stadiums for billionaire owners and millionaire players, all while remaining exempt from laws of fairness?

— The president was correct stating that both ratings and attendance are down. Apologists will chalk that up to hurricanes, but the decline has been occurring for years, and it’s getting worse, as thousands of empty seats attest. The combination of pricing people out of games, league corruption, and politics shoved down fans’ throats have convinced many to walk away.

The sight of spoiled prima donnas, who make more per game than most do in a year, turning their backs on America and the fans isn’t going to improve the NFL’s situation. Neither will increased calls to boycott games, especially since the networks, on the hook for billions to televise NFL contests, have seen their revenue significantly decline.

Commissioner Goodell, reap the whirlwind.

— Numerous players stated that former 49er Colin Kaepernick (who started the anthem fiasco a year ago and is not currently employed), is better than some starting NFL quarterbacks. Hmmm. So the still-capable QB who created the firestorm isn’t playing. Seems like a clear signal from the owners that he is damaged goods.

Yet because the president elevated the issue, and the players chose to “disrespect in solidarity” (whatever that signifies) the owners decided to choose players over patriotism. Only one problem. Players don’t generate revenue. Fans do. Alienate those who foot the bill, and you have a big problem. And that’s exactly what the NFL has done. They’re just too arrogant to see it.

A smart owner, if one exists, would see the writing on the wall and call for the immediate sacking of Commissioner Goodell, order his players stand for the national anthem, and bench anyone who uses the field as a political platform.

An owner unafraid to take a stand for what is right, who demonstrates that principle is more important than money, would become something infinitely bigger than Super Bowl Champion.

A hero.

Otherwise, will the last NFL owner please turn out the lights?

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.

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Let’s get this straight: the National Football League threatened to levy fines against players who wore shoes commemorating the 9/11 attacks and others who wanted to honor slain Dallas police officers, but actually encourages entire teams to boycott the National Anthem.
nfl, goodell, national anthem, trump
Wednesday, 27 September 2017 02:49 PM
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