Sunday, October 01, 2017

Take a knee

Usually I try not to get political on this blog but some vital world issues come up that must be addressed. And this is one of them.

The NFL.

I mean, North Korea, a cold shoulder to hurricane and earthquake victims in need, attempt to destroy our Health Care system, tax reform that will only help the rich, misuse of power, and the Russian investigation – those one can live with. But now he’s messing with the National Football League.

Specifically this whole protest crisis – NFL players taking a knee during the National Anthem. Our president is against it. He says owners should fire the “son of a bitches” who take a knee, but he seems to have no problem with the “good people” who happen to be Nazis marching freely in the streets.

Apparently America is split on this knee issue. And there are not enough real problems in the world so this one becomes paramount.

The result is people against these protests are boycotting the NFL. Ooooooooooh. They’re not watching the games today. Some have opted out of their Red Zone season pass offered by Direct TV. Others have stopped going to NFL games (and it couldn’t be because ticket prices are ridiculous – nope, it’s this).

Before the NFL bows to pressure and fires the son of a bitches (leaving like 200 players left to play all the games), remember this:

The fans will be back.

All of them. Every one.

Here’s what happens anytime I write a political piece: I get angry comments from listeners. “This is not why I log onto this blog.” “I don’t care what you think?” “You’re just an elite sheltered Hollywood elite (yes they repeat elite).” And they always end with “That’s it. I am never reading this blog again. Goodbye forever!”

Two weeks later they’re all back commenting as if nothing ever happened.

Come playoff time the TV ratings will be huge. The Super Bowl will get massive numbers. Attendance will rise as we get later into the season and the games have more import. NFL jerseys will fly off the shelf. Direct TV subscribers will renew their Red Zone packages.

So don’t kid anybody about this boycott. We’re not talking the flag. We’re talking FOOTBALL.

So if you want to take a knee, take a knee.   What you're doing is pissing off the REAL son of a bitch.

54 comments :

Mitchell Hundred said...

I'm not sure what the genesis of this quote is (I can't find the tweet where I saw somebody using it originally), but: "Racism is so American that when people see you protesting racism they think you're protesting America."

Rashad Khan said...

I think a former high school classmate said it best: if you want to display your patriotism, then vote. Vote in every election, even local ones. That's what the Founding Fathers rebelled against the crown for; and that's what our men and women in the military risk their lives for. Otherwise, if you can't be bothered to vote, but you can be bothered by a bunch of pro football players who choose to protest peacefully against the flag and national anthem, then you are nothing more than a hypocrite.

Charles H. Bryan said...

It's one of those things I love about life in America. People always find something new to get angry about, and the old thing that people got angry about slips back in a few months later. Wasn't O'Reilly back on Fox News with Hannity? He'll have a show there again, I'm sure of it.

And, as I'm sure you know, some "fans" are worth losing.

Terrence Moss said...

I wasn't sure where you were going to go with this, but it's great to see a reasonable perspective.

tavm said...

Ditto!

David Schwartz said...

Hi Ken. I believe all of the news shows and commentators are missing an important point about the NFL and President Trump's "going after" the players. While I am also loathe to get into political discussions in a public arena, in my opinion, President Trump has a very focused agenda as to why he's bringing this up at this time. While on the surface, the President’s comments lash out at the players who have protested against perceived racial injustice by not standing during the national anthem -- underneath the attacks I believe the President has made a calculated move to give his political base another group to focus their anger and hatred upon. Racists have figured out that it's not socially acceptable to hate a race or ethnicity in our country for no reason these days, but if you have a perceived reason to hate them, you can unify and be outraged.

Throughout Trump’s rise to power, he has consistently had someone (or multiple someone’s) to bash and use as targets for his political base to unify against. As a result, his base focuses their outrage on the people Trump is attacking and stay unified as a force solidly behind Trump.

My belief is that this outburst against the NFL has very little to do with him caring about whether or not players stand during the national anthem. I don’t believe the President cares one way or the other. I think he shrewdly recognizes that by directing his outrage at the NFL, and specifically the players who stand by their principles and make a stand against the injustice they feel is prevalent in America, he can solidify his base into a focused anger against these players.

As such, he is hoping that ultimately these players will be singled out (like with the blacklists of the 1950’s) and effectively silenced by losing their livelihood (as has occurred with Colin Kaepernick). This will then keep people in line out of fear and stifle lawful dissent in the country. It is a calculated political move that the media seems to be oblivious to. Everyone is concentrating on just the surface of the situation about the NFL.

I don't believe it is a coincidence that he has praised NASCAR (a mostly white sport) and attacked the NFL protests (which are mostly black protestors). President Trump's rise to power was always about inciting people and dividing them. I have traveled the country and found that people have much more in common with each other (even those with very divergent political views) than they have differences. Unfortunately, uniting people doesn't work to a politician's advantage. The way they get elected is by convincing you that the other person is a threat to you and you need to protect yourself from them. And this has been amplified tremendously by President Trump. He understands that the more people perceive a divide, the more angry and unified they become. This may be great for getting him the support he needs from enough of the country to stay in power, but is terrible for the country as a whole.

This is a very difficult time for our country. I hope our constitution is strong enough to withstand it. We withstood the civil war, the McCarthy era and Nixon's presidency. I hope that our ideals and values can withstand the Trump presidency as well.

Curt Alliaume said...

This is not why I log onto this blog. I don’t care what you think? You’re just an elite sheltered Hollywood elite (yes they repeat elite). That’s it. I am never reading this blog again. Goodbye forever!

(Just to pre-empt anyone else thinking of saying this. I keed.)

Mork said...

I drove past a house in my neighborhood last night where the owner has put a small cardboard (literally an Amazon box turned inside out) sign in his front yard and the legend "NO NFL HERE" drawn on in black Sharpie.

I wanted to stop and congratulate him for taking such a stand for his beliefs, for striking back for American justice and patriotism and America and eagles. To reassure him that his bold statement just might be the one that, once and for all, gets America to start recognizing and celebrating our armed forces.

But it was late. Oh, and it's just a goddamned football game FFS. And he'll absolutely be back to watching football by week six, because the Mango in Chief will find something else stupid to tweet about to distract people from Robert Mueller.

MikeN said...

It doesn't matter if the fans will be back at playoff time. The NFL makes its money from viewers over all 20 weeks. Already networks are providing make goods to advertisers because ratings are not what they promised. When the contracts come up for renewal, there will be less money offered unless Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google join the bidding.
This will lead to lower salaries for the players and less profits for the owners. Also, ESPN is suffering subscriber losses around 10,000 per day, so that is hundreds of millions of dollars a year off their revenues, so they won't be around as a bidder either.

The NFL already has the rule that players must stand for the national anthem(introduced in 2009, before that they were in the locker room). They ae just not enforcing it.

Glenn said...

Anyone who wants to boycott, let 'em go. Maybe I can finally score some tickets for a change.

Edward said...

The protests in the stadium (workplace) is unacceptable to me. The players can protest all they want on their off-days. I support political activism OUTSIDE of the workplace. That being said the POTUS has more important items on his agenda than Colin Kaepernick, but it is wishful thinking that DJT can keep his fingers off his Smartphone.

It should be noted that the NFL is one of the rare television programs in this country that the various races and ethnicities watch together, so any type of political demonstration outside of a league issue is not going to be appreciated by the audience which just wants to watch the game.

The various national anthems are played at the opening ceremonies of tennis tournaments and the matches just start without delay from that point. Maybe the anthems should only be part of the team's Home Opener only for MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL?

Gary said...

Well said Ken! Conservatives have done a good job of misdirection on this, framing the protest as disrespect for the flag and national anthem, rather than what it's really about, racism. Interesting that the good old boys are more upset about black NFL players staging a peaceful protest than a white supremacist driving a car into a crowd in Charlottesville. Kinda proves the players' point...

Kosmo13 said...

I thought "take a knee" was what happens to an over-amorous male if he gets fresh with a woman who decides to teach him a lesson.

kent said...

For me the anthem and the flag represent too much personal sacrifice to ever take a knee. I think it is disrespectful to those who died in the service of what those symbols represent. But while I don't like it when people kneel, I recognize their right to express their discontent in that manner. It's the same way I feel about people burning the flag, I hate it but I respect their right to do so. As for Ken's comments, let the vitriol begin. (Not that he actually deserves it.)

VP81955 said...

Trump -- who has made an art out of holding a grudge (see Puerto Rico) -- has long had it in for the NFL ever since it refused to allow him entry into its ownership club. (Remember the USFL, and the lawsuit it "won" for all of $3?)

I understand the Trumpster attempted to buy the Minnesota Twins in the 1990s, but thankfully for MLB that never came to pass. He has Steinbrenner bluster, without George's ability to laugh at himself. (Imagine if "Seinfeld" had lampooned Trump.)

As for this current pseudo-controversy, I hate having a legitimate topic (brutality against the black community by police) conflated with support for our troops and wrapping oneself in the flag. We Americans love our symbols, don't we?

And finally, football fans who deprive themselves of the NFL can focus on college ball instead, particularly in the backward South ("S-E-C"!).

Mike Doran said...

Personal note: Because I don't gamble, it follows that I have no interest in the National Football League.
All the rest of you, go with God (or Goodell, if you wish).

Donald Trump bought absolutely into the myth that the President of the USA is "the most powerful man in the world".
That is a myth, you know.
The POTUS isn't even the most powerful man in the country.
(The Constitution exists to prevent that.)
And as Mr. Trump is painfully discovering, often the POTUS isn't the most powerful man in his own political party.

Mr. Trump's big mistake was thinking that as POTUS, he could just walk in and start ordering everybody around, as he did when he took over companies.
Since he was always cocooned in a shell of sycophants telling him that everything he did was RIGHT, he could do that with companies and products.
The Government of the United States of America is set up differently.
All sides are allowed to have a say in what goes on - indeed, they're even expected to do that; that's we have a Congress to work out what the laws should be, and a Judiciary to interpret them. (That's how it's supposed to work, anyhow; how well it does that is another debate for another time.)
Donald Trump came in with a serious case of L'Etat C'est Moi; historically, nobody's ever made that work, and especially not dictators who set themselves up with (what they thought would be) Absolute Power; somehow, it never quite worked out that way ...

The Kneeling Thing:
I always understood that going down on one knee was a signal of respect, whether genuflecting at the altar of your church, or requesting your lady's hand in marriage (sometimes I wonder how Mr. Trump went about that latter ...).

What I'm seeing here is obviously not intended as disrespect, of the USA, the flag, the military, or the anthem.
It's not even disrespect of Mr. Trump himself, really - but that's how he's taking it, because as far as he's concerned Donald Trump IS the United States of America.
And nobody can tell him differently.
(Or if somebody is telling him, he isn't listening.)
As Jerry Orbach (Lennie Briscoe) sometimes said on Law & Order:
Nothing good comes from any of this.

Mike Barer said...

I'm not supporting the protests, however, when they talk about spoiled athletes, these men are breaking their bodies and injuries their brains so these fans in their easy chairs can call them bums. They are also booed when their only crime maybe playing a better team.
That said, I'm conflicted. Although I may not be in their corner, I'd like to think that I get it. It's not for them, but for their brethren. Many feel they are speaking for those who can't.
I stand for the national anthem because I'm thankful for the opportunities that this country has afforded me. My ancestors risked their lives to come here and I'm aware of that.

Gary said...

Trump also made a bid to buy the Buffalo Bills a few years ago, but apparently he couldn't borrow enough money from Russia and he was outbid. As cursed as Buffalo is as a sports town, nothing would have been worse than if Trump had succeeded.

Stephen Robinson said...

Refusing to stand for the national anthem or the pledge or in the presence of the flag is not really an overt "political" protest. You are simply refusing to participate. Making demonstrations of patriotism *mandatory* violate most of what the soldiers conservatives like to hide behind *really* fought to defend.

If you made a list of every country where standing for a national anthem or pledge of allegiance is compulsory, where everyone does it without question, and every one where it's not, you are likely to find far fewer *free* nations in the former group.

Steve Lanzi (formerly known as qdpsteve) said...

Ken, do you *want* to drive conservatives away from reading your blog? Because sometimes I get the impression that's what you want to see happen.

How about sharing a little love for us conservatives who stick around and argue respectfully with you, rather than ridicule at the ones who leave empty threats?

In the meantime, it's this simple: if in fact the NFL players have the right to do what they're doing, then the people who watch the games or buy tickets have the right to respond however they choose. It's really that simple, and I don't understand why people don't get that. Trump's tweets (no matter what you think of them, whether they help or hurt, whatever) don't change that dynamic.

In the meantime I just gotta plug Ruben Navarrette. I'd suggest everyone read his columns about this issue, and many others. He's one of these crazy people who thinks that maybe two things can be true at the same time: that NFL players are being disrespectful to the fans, AND that police brutality is an issue that needs to be dealt with *immediately.* IMHO he makes a lot of sense about today's social and political scene, and I do NOT say that just because I agree with him about everything; in fact I don't. He's no fan of Trump either. But he knows how to listen to the "other side" and he isn't just another liberal, conservative, MSNBC, Fox or CNN mouthpiece; he genuinely has a mind of his own.

Jeff Maxwell said...

David Schwartz said, "This is a very difficult time for our country." I agree and would add...very sad. In an odd way, this trumps (sorry) the angst and frantic, painful confusion of the Viet Nam years. Trumps smarmy, mean-spirited, intolerable, self-aggrandizing, needy behavior is worse than the lies we heard from past Presidents. Lie to me for some perceived greater good and let history judge you. But lie to me to whip up the shallowest of emotions is criminal...and very sad.

Okay, enough of this stuff! Second episode in, even with the sex, I still don't like The Deuce.

Steve Lanzi (formerly known as qdpsteve) said...

Sorry, just have to post this. Here's Ruben Navarrette on this issue, and several others. Also kindly note that his issues with the NFL players do NOT translate into support for the president.

https://www.news-journal.com/news/2017/sep/30/navarrette-life-lessons-to-save-the-next-generatio/

Peter said...

The Juice was loosed today.

I give it six weeks before OJ loses his temper and commits another crime.

Ken Levine said...

Steve Lanzi,

I have no problem with people who are conservative. I know it's a cliche but some of my very close friends are conservatives. Just because someone has a different political point of view is no reason to shun them.

But...

Anyone who supports Trump -- no, anyone who isn't appalled and outraged by Trump -- I want nothing to do with. If I lose blog readers I don't care. I just can't wrap my mind around why anyone who has an ounce of humanity would support that despicable criminal.

Steve Lanzi (formerly known as qdpsteve) said...

Ken,
Thanks for the response at least. Not every day I get a personal note from an Emmy-winning writer. And I hope you read that Ruben column. IMHO it's great and more or less sums up my feelings.

John H said...

I haven't watched an NFL game since Michael Vick won Comeback Player of the Year. I don't miss the sport one bit (and I used to be a season ticket holder). I'm happy with baseball and hockey.

YEKIMI said...

As a real "Son of a Bitch" I am outraged! Outraged that you would compare us to that Orange Turd in the White House who has gone way lower than being a Son of a Bitch and gone to a place where a word or phrase for what he can be called hasn't been invented yet. Anytime he opens his pie-hole and starts spouting off about meaningless shit like this, better start looking real hard to see what other skullduggery he is trying to divert our attention from. I don't give a rat's ass what the NFL players do as I don't watch any football games. [Didn't grow up with it and don't understand it.] All this crap that the soldiers, etc. saying "I didn't go off to war so they could 'disrespect' the flag!"....yes you did! It's called FREEDOM OF SPEECH as in your right to also bitch about their so-called "disrespect". If you didn't go off to fight for THAT right, what did you go off to fight for? For the oil companies? For dictators that align themselves with the U.S.? For ideology? For the fact that the military industry needs an armed conflict to keep their CEOs and shareholders rich, fat & happy? As far as I'm concerned, everybody can do what they want....unless you're trying to cram your "ideology" down my throat. Then, we're gonna have a problem.

Anonymous said...

I truly wish I could work up an opinion on this pressing matter. It just isn't happening, and I'm normally an opinionated person. Players, coaches, etc. kneeling, sitting, locking arms--OK. There's reason to call attention to bigotry, violence, injustice. People are upset about it--OK. They're uncomfortable with challenges to their routines like standing for the anthem, their white privilege, and maybe they're big Trump fans. How can I not get all worked up about it when all news media tell me how important it is that I take sides? The NFL is floundering! No, Trump is a jerk! No, the protesters are bad Americans. No, it's really about our everlasting racial divide. Sorry, it just doesn't seem like big deal. I visited Puerto Rico last year. That's a real issue. Police have killed 3 unarmed, nonthreatening people in my community this year. These things, not how one makes one's opinions known, are important. Kneeling or not? Why should I care?

Karan G. said...

Kneeling while I type this....read Matt Taibbi's article in the Oct 5, 2017 Rolling Stone called "The Madness of Donald Trump." Pretty interesting. Can't turn a blind eye to the suffering and oppression of others. Don't understand how people can be on the planet for decades and not see things that are wrong with our society that need our understanding, not judgement. The guy who wrote the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner was a slave owner....so maybe the genesis of the song is not so pure. Hoping for more people to become "woke."

Cap'n Bob said...

The NFL was losing ratings before this entire kneeling nonsense started.

Peter said...

I'm neither a liberal or a conservative, I have views and principles which come from both sides, but looking at this objectively from the UK, I have to agree with a past commenter who laid a lot of the blame for Trump reaching the White House at the feet of "liberal Hollywood". Think about it. For decades he was given exposure by the Hollywood machine. Comedians, rappers and actors took part in the Comedy Central Roast, he had cameos in movies and Saturday Night Live, he got his own TV show, and the witless John Oliver in full arrogant mode "begged" Trump to run for president and joked that he would donate to his campaign, so certain was he that Trump would lose.

So, I'm sorry to say but it's a large chunk of Hollywood who created this monster. Many of the same people who now want everyone to know how much they hate Trump are the ones who had no problem palling around with him and giving him exposure, feeding his ego. I'm not referring to you, Ken, as you've been consistent in detesting Trump, but just the overall Hollywood machine.

The lesson to be learned from the Trump presidency is twofold. One: don't create a monster and then complain about the monster getting out of control. Two: If you keep calling a percentage of the population idiots, racists, and all round morons, they're going to deliberately vote for the guy you hate and put him in power. Had Trump not been given so much exposure over the years, and if ALL conservatives hadn't constantly been belittled and mocked as dumb redneck racists,rather than just the ones who actually are, Trump would not now be president. It's the left's arrogance and hypocrisy that led to this, no matter how much they now want to pretend it's got nothing to do with them.

Barry Traylor said...

Nope. I care what you think so keep up the good work. Hell----I don't care all that much for football, but I guess I should start watching it.

Doug G. said...

For what it's worth, I quit reading your blog yesterday. I quit reading it today just as soon as I started writing this comment and I won't read it again for the rest of today. I do agree that the fans who said they're gone forever because sports fans always say that during every strike and/or lockout. The NFL is fortunate in that hasn't happened to them in 30 years but it's said in the other sports and yet those fans came back. Baseball's World Series was canceled in 1994 and fans said they'd never come back because of that. And yet, they have.

I'm guessing you've probably already seen this but just in case, this is from last week. Dale Hansen of WFAA in Dallas. According to his station bio, he's been the sports anchor since 1983: https://youtu.be/BNJUsE7pEs4

David Schwartz said...

Peter said... "If you keep calling a percentage of the population idiots, racists, and all round morons, they're going to deliberately vote for the guy you hate and put him in power." I believe that's true. Most people tend to be complex and when you define them by insulting terms it is not productive. Yes, there are many racists in this country. Yes, there are many people who vote with a knee-jerk emotional reaction rather than considered thought, but certainly not everyone who voted for Trump did this.

When I said in my response earlier today that, "Racists have figured out that it's not socially acceptable to hate a race or ethnicity in our country for no reason these days, but if you have a perceived reason to hate them, you can unify and be outraged," I was not speaking of all of Trump's supporters. There is a percentage of Trump supporters that can be defined that way. The "base" that people talk about on the news are the people Trump himself has said would still support him if he went out and shot someone on 5th avenue. These are the people who he tries to rally behind him. It may not be all of his supporters, but it's certainly a large enough number of people to cause him to pander to their racism. Unfortunately many of these people have a very strong desire to blame others for the things that don't work in their lives.

ScottyB said...

Yup, that's the same "I boycott, never going to/watching another game ever" they stomped their feet about during the past NFL and MLB strikes some years ago. See how long that lasted?

Ha! You called it right, Ken.

Shaun S said...

Ken I understand if you don't print this.
Steve Lanzi; You can't claim someone is seeing both sides then make a statement that clearly shows that they aren't. Saying that the players are being disrespectful to the fans is a biased statement, if someone said that some fans find it disrespectful, some fans don't and some fans are neutral would be seeing all sides. I'm not American but I thought you had the right to free speech and the right to protest peacefully.

Arthur Mee said...

What will be interesting to see is how long these protests last. Kneeling once is one thing. Continuing to kneel week after week? Not succumbing to the temptation (and the pressure!) to say "well, we made our point, let's go back to the old way"? That's going to take real courage. I suspect we won't be seeing 200+ players kneeling every week...or even next week.

Although I'd be pleased to be proven wrong.

PJ said...

I just want to add that this reminds me of when Frasier was feuding with his upstairs neighbor Cam Winston and Cam unfurled a flag over Frasier's windows. Doesn't Martin actually say something like, You can't win, people will think you're against the flag?

Totally with you Ken on the point of your post. I believe people in a public forum have a responsibility to speak out against this craziness. Society will remember where people stood. Glad to stand with you.

J Lee said...

Hey, I root for the Giants. Four games into the season, this is a perfect year to boycott the NFL.

Unless they get on a win streak.

Angela Niles said...

Great post, Levine. It always amuses me to hear Trump supporters complaining about "elitists" preaching at them while simultaneously supporting a guy who is THE definition of an "elitist" (and a celebrity elitist at that!). And thank you for bringing up the hypocrisy about defending the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville while freaking out over this. Bingo.

I'm also amazed at how some people are apparently more bothered by athletes quietly kneeling than they are by the fact that our president thinks it's perfectly okay to call a group of people "sons of bitches". To say nothing of how disrespectful Trump himself has been to veterans and the military in general thus far (claiming he knows more than generals, calling McCain a coward, insulting a Gold Star family, thinking it's okay to try and ban transgender soldiers), so he's about the last person who should be weighing in on respecting the flag and the military, and being "offended" by anything. It disturbs me how his supporters think his bullying and insults are totally okay and acceptable ways to communicate with people, or handle policy disputes and various political issues, both domestic and foreign, and how they don't see the blatant hypocrisy in the things he says and does. If this were any other president, there'd be an outcry, but for some reason, Trump gets a pass from his supporters, for reasons I can't comprehend. I shudder to think of what it would take to finally wake them up.

Excellent comments from David Schwartz and Mike Doran here in the discussion, too. Spot on assessments of this ridiculous controversy and the reasons behind Trump's reaction to it. I truly cannot wait for the day when Trump is out of office and we can hopefully move past this insanity.

Lionheart said...

The shrieking from the left is entertaining but hardly effective.

B.Murphy said...

I've only heard one news program, speaking with african-american sportswriters, who brought up a central point to all this: It is a fairly new, invented NFL "tradition" to have to do all this national anthem before the game. Something like a bit over a decade old. And it didn't come from patriotism of owners, they get financially compensated for it (not the players) from the military. Pure propaganda, not American spirit, not the NFL deciding to recognize the military with shows of support into the stadium. The game could and should have remained about the game, not proving your oath to the nation. This is what you get when people, especially the majority of African Americans filling out the teams, start to feel it's their right to have an opinion OUTSIDE of the game context. The national anthem is not the game context. If the teams played, for example, their state songs, this wouldn't be the point. The militarizing of the anthem, using it like an advertisement, turning it back into "Love it or Leave it" mentality, by of all people, the financially renumerated NFL owners, and people like the Russian-loving Trump, and then asking African American players to basically just perform free for it, is where things start to go wrong. It's made more stupid by the fact, if anything, it's those African American players, their friends and families who have probably more people in the military itself, than the owners.

bryon said...

Mitchell Hundred:

"Racism is so American that when we protest racism the average American thinks we’re protesting America."
– Tina Davis-Powell

Chester said...

Edward said: "The protests in the stadium (workplace) is unacceptable to me. The players can protest all they want on their off-days."

So you think that a player taking a knee at home, say, or in the parking lot, or in aisle five of the local supermarket is going to have any impact? They have an audience on game day, a platform to make people think -- and possibly dialogue about an important issue. I commend them for it.

On the other hand, I don't understand why the anthem is even played at sporting events. It's ridiculously militaristic -- especially at the Superbowl when bombers, F18s and other killing machines fly over. What does that have to do with football? And why should honoring people in the armed services be celebrated at a football game? I'm not saying they shouldn't be honored -- but why them exclusively? Don't researchers, teachers, doctors, engineers, road builders, and artists also deserve to be honored for their contributions to society and the world? (But even then, is a sporting event the best place to do it?)

Yeah, I'm opening up a can of worms here, I know. But for someone not from the USA, it's utterly baffling how Americans align patriotism with God and the military. As far as I can tell, God's neither American, nor does God pack a pistol.

Dr Loser said...

^^ What Chester said about Edward.
In what possible universe can somebody believe that the First Amendment applies only to "off-days, outside work?"

Qualifications to constitutional rights such as this just sound snivelly to me. Now, is this kneel-fest necessary? I would argue yes. Was it necessary in the first place?
More complicated. I admire Colin for doing it (and basically losing his job). I admire the 49ers for backing their guy up.

And I am spectacularly impressed by the fact that Jerry Jones stepped in and took a knee for his team. (And me, a Redskins fan.)

Look, if Trump just shut up about it, the whole thing would go away. But Trump won't shut up about it, because incontinent rabble rousing round the Sacred Flag is all the Prez has going for him right now.

Gonna be a long, long, three years of this shit.

Ken Herron said...

Ken, off topic but I thought you might like to see this:

https://www.reddit.com/r/OldSchoolCool/comments/73qhh0/natalie_wood_after_a_pie_fight_during_the/

Buttermilk Sky said...

First Michael Moore calls for an NFL boycott until someone hires Colin Kaepernick. Then Trump calls for an NFL boycott because the "take a knee" gesture disrespects veterans, first responders, The Flag and of course, Trump. I don't watch football. Who should I not not watch it for?

/s/ Confused in Savannah

Matt said...

I don't watch the NFL for "social justice" or demonstrations of any kind. I watch it for football. That said, I don't watch much football these days for these reasons:

-Nike, Adidas and Under Armor have ruined sports uniforms. I can't take the idiocy any longer.

-Refs who hold conferences on nearly every. single. flag.

-Refs over explaining the flag.

-The horrible 90% passing, 10% running video game offenses. It's as if the NFL issues the exact same playbook to every team and every team looks like every other team. It's boring. BORING! "Ahh, yes...WHITE 80! WHITE 80! readyset (snap)"

And I look for any and every avenue to avoid the national obsession with all things President. When (and why) the hell did we get here? In my lifetime there has never been anything like this second by second, minute by minute obsession with the President. This, too, has become extremely boring.

Johnny Walker said...

That’s it! I’m never reading this blog again!

See ya tomorrow.

Myles Warden said...

PREACH!

McAlvie said...

"So if you want to take a knee, take a knee. What you're doing is pissing off the REAL son of a bitch."

Perfectly said.

I do understand that some people are bothered by what they see as disrespectful behavior; but (a) you can't legitimately claim outrage while quietly ignoring the son of a bitch who wrote the book on disrespect. Cherry picking to get your daily dose of righteous indignation is a loathsome and shameful tactic by the low minded; and (b) this country was born as a result of protest and it is a patriotic DUTY to speak out/take a stand/knee when you think your nation is going in the wrong direction. It is the protestors who are the real patriots, wanting this nation to live up to our reputation. And thanks to Mr. "I don't want to miss my golf game," our reputation needs all the help it can get.

Every single one of those so-called boycotters are already back. They are using their tickets or their TV's, and they didn't went anywhere in the first place. These are not people who actually follow through; they just like to sound important. But, frankly, I wish a few WOULD follow through - that would mean fewer obnoxious people in the stadium and a more enjoyable afternoon for everyone else.

McAlvie said...

Peter makes the point that Trump is somehow the fault of the left ... you know, all the people who DIDN'T vote for him. I think the fault likes in the people who DID vote for him.

If they actually liked him and supported what he said, at least they were voting for something. I might disagree with them, but I can respect anyone who votes for what they truly believe in.

However, if they didn't, if they voted for Trump out of spite ... they still own it. That they might now regret it is something they will have to live with.

It's called taking responsibility for your actions. Something Americans used to do.

kent said...

People generally misunderstand the First Amendment. What it says is that the government will make no law abridging the freedom of speech et al. It doesn't say employers can't sanction their employees over the things they say or that private individuals can't hold other individuals in contempt based on the exercise of their free speech. It just says that the government can't put them in jail or otherwise sanction them for the things they say. I work for the government and I can absolutely be suspended or fired for saying things which are unacceptable to my employer. The same is true of private corporations or for that matter any other employer. If you don't think so try making an overtly racist remark at work and see how it plays out. The First Amendment doesn't guarantee you freedom from an adverse reaction it only guarantees you freedom from governmental sanctions.

Anonymous said...

“The fans will be back. All of them. Every one...Two weeks later they’re all back commenting as if nothing ever happened.”

Perhaps, you’re correct...but that thinking also tends to show a certain lack of respect towards your fans and admirers.. To say nothing of the insensitivity it may trigger. An insensitivity that you embrace towards some, but not likely not towards others.