Why the NFL is Wrong to Ban Kneeling

 
There are a lot of ways to look at the decision made by the NFL owners Wednesday, which banned players from kneeling during the national anthem. But outside whatever profits the 32 bigwigs think it will protect, the move makes zero sense.
 
In reality, what it does is show how hypocritical the National Football League can be and also how easily it can be swayed. 
 
Obviously, the owners were worried about backlash if something wasn’t done to stop player protests, which became rampant last season. The protests, which began with Colin Kaepernick encompassed hundreds of players last season and at times, even full teams.
 
That led some fans to stop watching. There is no doubt it hurt viewership, something that has been trending in the wrong direction already. It’s clear to see that the league got freaked out by that and took action, making it a requirement for all players and team personnel on the field to stand and show respect for the anthem and the flag.
 
It’s an interesting sentiment. Despite what some think, players aren’t forced to participate and can actually be in the locker room during the anthem. While that could still allow some form of protest, it effectively silences players and the movement they were part of. 
 
Certainly, players in the NFL will find other ways to express themselves and they should. Heck, some players may choose to keep kneeling, which is something I support wholeheartedly. If they do, their organization would be fined. Then, it’s up to the team to assess punishment to its own players. 
 
Green Bay, for instance, could just pay the fine and not discipline the player at all, which is what Jets owner Christopher Johnson said he would do. That will be something to watch. It will also be interesting to see if Kaepernick and Eric Reid, two players suing the league for collusion and blackballing them over the kneeling, finally get signed and back on the field.
 
Evidence has come out suggesting many teams viewed Kap as a starting quarterback. Also, Reid is one of the better up-and-coming safeties in a league. He seemed destined for stardom and has 10 interceptions in five years, including two last season. Bottom line, he should be on a team right now and it’s insane that he’s not.
 
But what is even more insane is this rule. The ban follows what the NBA has done, even though the NBA has said it will not fine players if they don't comply. Other leagues have put out statements telling players they don't want them to kneel, but none of the major sports have gone as far as the NFL. What is really shameful, it just how much of a priority it was and how quick the league was to squash players right to take a stand. That right there is un-American.
 
However, the most disturbing thing is how the NFL turned on its players due to political pressure. The stance of the Trump administration and the colorful stunt pulled by Vice President Pence leaving the Colts-Niners game after Reid and others took a knee, amplified the pressure and the league caved, quickly. 
 
What’s even more disappointing is how the league tolerated abuse towards women for so long, without taking the same decisive action. Only again, when it started to feel it profits and popularity threatened. 
 
Ultimately, this action should come as no surprise. The NFL is nothing but a corporation, one bankrupt of any type of social, moral or ethical values. It's a money-making machine and it's just time for the league to admit it. It doesn't care about players, fans, patriotism or anything less, it cares only about the almighty dollar and that was never more apparent than it was on Wednesday. 
 

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Chris is a sports journalist from Montana and has been blogging about the Packers since 2011. Chris has been a staff writer for CheeseheadTV since 2017 and looks forward to the day when Aaron Rodgers wins his second Super Bowl. Follow him @thepackersguru

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Comments (165)

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ricky's picture

May 24, 2018 at 03:19 pm

The owner of the Jets is Christopher Johnson. Woody is now the ambassador to Great Britain. And as far as "respecting the flag/military/nation" by standing with hand over heart during the anthem- if the players have to do it, so should the fans. ANY fan who is sipping a beer while standing, or talking, or without their hand over their heart should be thrown off the premises. Only seems fair to me.

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ChrisPeterson's picture

May 24, 2018 at 03:29 pm

Thanks, I forgot about that switch. That's a good point about fans. Also interesting that the league isn't doing anything to stop the sale of food and other things while the anthem is being played. All about the benjamins.

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fthisJack's picture

May 24, 2018 at 04:17 pm

good article Chris. i wholeheartedly support the players right to kneel. the hate mongers keep saying that it disrespecting the flag and the military and we all know its not. more fake news.
having the players stay in the locker room doesn't make sense either because everybody will see them come back on the field and who knows what they will do on entering the stadium. i can't wait to see it! this could get real interesting and the NFL better be ready for some fallout from the other side.

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ianhestu's picture

May 24, 2018 at 08:15 pm

The owners own the business and it is a business so don't whine because they are interested in their bottom line. And as a Vietnam vet I and others think it is very disrespectful. They want to protest, do it on their own time. People pay good money to see a game not our anthem and flag and service men disrespected. The NFL was being nice even letting them stay off the field. Its the owners right and the ones that put their foot down on this issue will be doing it for not just themselves but the fans too.

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Oppy's picture

May 24, 2018 at 08:23 pm

Just don't forget that the NFL didn't start putting coaches and players out on the field for the National Anthem and televising it until they started taking checks from the government in the form of advertising revenue.

Like you said.. it is a business.

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Ferrari Driver's picture

May 24, 2018 at 04:35 pm

"ANY fan who is sipping a beer while standing, or talking, or without their hand over their heart should be thrown off the premises "

Or it could be handled the way I did some years back at Lambeau Field when the National Anthem was played.

The guy in the row directly below me and one seat to the left stood during the playing of the national anthem but even after the announcer asked everyone to remove their hats, he stood there with his hat on.

I reached down and not so nicely pulled his hat off and held it. He turned with an angry aggressive look on his face and then did nothing. After the anthem was finished I handed his hat back to him with nothing being said by either of us.

In retrospect, I do realize that it probably would have been a better choice to merely ask him to remove his hat, but I was kind of pissed at the moment and took the less gentlemanly route.

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Finwiz's picture

May 24, 2018 at 04:43 pm

That took some major balls. I presume he was 100 pounds smaller than you?

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Ferrari Driver's picture

May 24, 2018 at 06:59 pm

Close to my size about 6' 1 and1/2" and about 220, but that wasn't the point. I would have removed your cap under the same circumstances and we would have had to deal with it even if you are a bigger man.

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Bert's picture

May 24, 2018 at 03:21 pm

Right, wrong or indifferent a private entity can ban employee protesting on company premises if they choose to. No sense to continue to debate this issue. It's been beat to death.

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Chris Scoggins's picture

May 24, 2018 at 03:23 pm

Bert - Just because they can doesn't mean they should. We debate every other thing the league does why is this any different?

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TXCHEESE's picture

May 24, 2018 at 03:40 pm

Fans are paying to be there, players are getting paid to be there. A big difference. The fans are the customers, just like my employers customers are in essence my customer. If I disrespect my employer's paying customer, my boss has every right to do what's necessary to correct that, up to and including my termination.

The league had to do something, and in my opinion, this is as good as anything else I've heard. These player can find other avenues to bring about change.

I wish every one of these kneelers could witness what I did last fall. Our local high school hosted patients from our local VA hospital at a game. When it came time for the National Anthem, everyone of those men, with the exception of one paralyzed below the waist and another with no legs, struggled to their feet and stood the entire time. Some helping hold another up.

Employment is not a right, but an exchange of my time and talent for an opportunity to provide for myself and others.

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Ferrari Driver's picture

May 24, 2018 at 04:49 pm

If I could give you two high fives I would.

If the NFL players could spend the better part of a day in the World War Two Museum in New Orleans like I did last month, chances are good that they would have a different perspective regarding standing for the National Anthem.

It was clearly depicted in that museum what the flag mean to those brave heroes and the sacrifices and hardship they had to endure was heartbreaking. I've always respected our combat soldiers who have protected us throughout history and would never do anything consciously to cause them distress.

I am eternally grateful all American soldiers who have lost limbs, eyesight, suffered disfigurements, and emotional trauma to keep you and me safe and secure. I thank them from the bottom of my heart that they gave me the opportunity to be free, get an education, and achieve all that my ability has allowed to me achieve and live essentially a carefree life.

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lebowski's picture

May 24, 2018 at 05:03 pm

I too am grateful to all who serve, but the flag represents ALL Americans, not just the military. You've fallen into the false narrative that the players are somehow protesting our soldiers.

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Oppy's picture

May 24, 2018 at 08:34 pm

Lebowski has it right.

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WKUPackFan's picture

May 25, 2018 at 05:46 am

You alt-right wackos do not care one whit about veterans. If you saw a PTSD suffering veteran on the street you would jeer at that veteran for being homeless.

My father was a WWII veteran. He never expressed any animosity towards African-Americans. The fact that you people use veterans as pawns to express your bigotry is truly disgusting. You need to revisit that museum (if you ever truly went) and learn what our brave veterans were actually fighting for.

Perhaps you should also visit the Holocaust Museum to get some perspective. Oh, I forgot, you deny that the Holocaust actually occurred.

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Bert's picture

May 25, 2018 at 08:59 am

Whew! Hope you feel better now. Go have a latte and chill.

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4EVER's picture

May 25, 2018 at 09:14 am

Dude, it's no longer a maybe, you are the only racist on this site...

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Bert's picture

May 25, 2018 at 09:24 am

Lol!!!

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worztik's picture

May 25, 2018 at 09:40 am

You, Nancy, Chuck and Bernie and the rest of the NUTS on the far left should all take a deep dive on an old and leaky submarine! You seem to be residing in the wrong state! Move to LA or San Fran where you’ll be appreciated and where you’ll fit right in... just prayin’ you do...

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Rebecca's picture

May 28, 2018 at 12:55 pm

keep prayin'

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ChrisPeterson's picture

May 24, 2018 at 03:31 pm

I get your point. I am just expressing I think it was the wrong thing.

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Bert's picture

May 24, 2018 at 05:14 pm

Chris. I totally respect your opinion. But let's be real. We live in a divided nation of ideological hypocrites. If the NFL allows players to kneel then they also have to allow players to march into the stadium carrying "TRUMP for President" signs. The same people (media included)who are calling for the NFL to allow kneeling because of free speech would be outraged over the Trump signs and threaten to boycott the NFL. The best thing for the NFL, or any company, is to just say "NO" to protesting or political statements of any kind at the workplace.

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HeyJoe415's picture

May 24, 2018 at 06:24 pm

That makes sense Bert. These guys are at work. You can’t do anything you want at work, that’s why companies have policies and employment agreements.

Ultimately, there are better ways for players to battle social injustice. But probably not at work.

I still don’t like the rule because it’s about $$$$$

Enough! Play ball!

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Community Guy's picture

May 24, 2018 at 06:48 pm

there is a myth that when people get together in a certain environment (the workplace, e.g.) that people cease being political. the reality is that politics are everywhere people are, regardless of environment.

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fthisJack's picture

May 24, 2018 at 04:21 pm

legal or not, they better be careful cause the fans pay the salaries and if you start alienating them by getting hard line on the employees it may backfire.

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ricky's picture

May 24, 2018 at 06:11 pm

The television networks and other media are pumping literally billions of dollars a year into the NFL. The idea that fans are the main source of income for the teams is a fiction.

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Oppy's picture

May 24, 2018 at 08:37 pm

Ricky, why do you think television networks and "other media" are pumping literally billions of dollars into the NFL? Charitable donation?

They do it because having the rights to air or cover NFL games draws viewers and readers (fans), which equals subscription fees, and traffic which creates valuable advertising slots..

It's not fiction, It's 100% fan driven. Period. You literally couldn't be more wrong on this.

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Gforcetrivers's picture

May 24, 2018 at 07:45 pm

That will be when an entire team stays in the LR! These guys have enough clout to do any number of of other things to forward their cause. And they don't do anything off the field except for Kap and his methods and message are not very helpful.

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Oppy's picture

May 25, 2018 at 09:37 pm

I'm sure you've personally researched what all the players who have protested do and don't do off the field and in their personal lives.

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ricky's picture

May 24, 2018 at 06:07 pm

Do you mean the stadiums paid for by taxpayers? Are these the "company premises" to which you're referring? If the team pays for the entire cost, infrastructure changes and maintenance of the facility, they indeed are "company premises". Otherwise, they are public areas, like parks, streets and other commonly held areas.

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Gforcetrivers's picture

May 24, 2018 at 07:46 pm

I work for my company EVERYDAY and I am never in the office.

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Chris Scoggins's picture

May 24, 2018 at 03:22 pm

"Other leagues have put out statements telling players they don't want them to kneel, but none of the major sports have gone as far as the NFL. "
That's actually not true - the NBA requires all players and staff to stand.
ESPN has an interesting read on the differences between the leagues:
http://www.espn.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/276029/why-the-nfl-is-light...

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ChrisPeterson's picture

May 24, 2018 at 03:30 pm

That was my bad. I looked at one on ESPN and it had them all by the league but it was old and I didn't realize it because the NFL one was updated. The difference is that the NBA hasn't really said what the punishment if any there will be. But yeah that was an interesting read. Thanks for pointing that out.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 24, 2018 at 08:49 pm

Sad that this got 3 dislikes. Someone pointed something out, you acknowledged the justice of it and had a nice, civil, exchange of information. We need more, not less, of this kind of interaction.

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Oppy's picture

May 24, 2018 at 09:02 pm

TGR, people suck. I wish I could report otherwise.

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Gforcetrivers's picture

May 24, 2018 at 07:47 pm

True

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Ken Parrish's picture

May 24, 2018 at 03:35 pm

What the NFL should have done is required all players, coaches, and team personel to "kneel during the playing of the national anthem as a sign of respect for our flag and nation".

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Duneslick's picture

May 24, 2018 at 07:58 pm

Protesters would stand or raise their fists

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Rebecca's picture

May 28, 2018 at 01:05 pm

Billionaires be dictating, right. Maybe these Billionaires should require everyone to say and do whatever they want them to while under their employ? hHow do you "require" people to respect (pray to) the flag? Is it only a flag when it's flying in a special place, or are all those stickers, shirts, bandanas people wear and decorate with, etc. just symbols of the flag. Or maybe the flag is a symbol, not the thing you imagine it symbolizing?

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kevgk's picture

May 24, 2018 at 04:13 pm

Since its peak offseason, and we're just digging up old issues, how is it wrong when a private business punishes their employees for not obeying their rules, but not wrong when a private business punishes an employee for their opinion on social media? Or not hiring an employee for whatever reason they feel wouldn't improve their business? Or the government punishing a private business for turning down customers that they religiously disagree with?
Private businesses should get rights, get over it.

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Colin_C's picture

May 24, 2018 at 04:34 pm

"Meghan Markle proves she's a 'keeper' with simple gesture on wedding day"

"Roseanne’: Why Whitney Cummings Shockingly Left the Show Ahead of Season 2"

"That 30-Year-Old Man Still Living In His Parents' House Appeared On CNN And It Was Painfully Awkward"

Just thought I'd share some other stories that have zero impact on my life to go along with the NFL kneeling drama. Seriously, how is this still a thing? Regardless of your views on the situation, at this point nobody wins. Yes, America still has it's fair share of problems. But even if every single person in the stadium took a knee for the anthem, not a single one of those problems would go away. Real change takes real work, not public displays for attention. And if you're happy about the new rule, congratulations, you've convinced a private business to create a policy for it's employees. That's it. I'm pretty sure the NFL created this rule because of money, not patriotism. Personally, I'm pretty indifferent to the whole thing, but just tired of the drama at this point.

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snowdog's picture

May 25, 2018 at 01:32 pm

Ditto . It is what it is . Quit all drama . Let it go .

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Lare's picture

May 24, 2018 at 05:29 pm

My grandpa used to say "If people don't have something real to complain about, they'll find something". I think some people are making this issue out to be one of those cases.

If you don't want to watch NFL players kneel, don't. Personally, I don't agree with athletes using their positions to make political statements. But the networks don't have to show it and I chose not to watch it even if they do.

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Ferrari Driver's picture

May 24, 2018 at 04:56 pm

One final comment and I'm done.

Chris, there is a lot I didn't like about your article and there were more one one opinions you have which you seem to state as a fact. For example: " ...colorful stunt pulled by Vice President Pence leaving the Colts-Niners game after Reid and others took a knee, amplified the pressure and the league caved, quickly."

There were likely more than a few people in the stands that admired what the Vice President did in response to those players who elected no to even stand during the playing of the national anthem and more than a few at home, like me, who admired his actions as well.

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lebowski's picture

May 24, 2018 at 05:07 pm

That was a stunt, pure and simple. I wonder how many other games Pence attended last year, other than the one where he KNEW the San Fran players would be kneeling so he could leave? Maybe several, but I doubt it.

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Gforcetrivers's picture

May 24, 2018 at 07:51 pm

The STUNT is kneeling

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ChrisPeterson's picture

May 24, 2018 at 07:45 pm

I don't admire staged actions. He didn't pay for the tickets. He used taxpayers money for travel and security, to go to a game in which he knew the players were going to kneel. Why not just say in a statement you aren't going to go because of kneeling. Would have saved a lot of tax dollars. But he and Trump wanted a way to score political points. If he went down and took the time to talk to those players. I would respect that even though we disagree.

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Ferrari Driver's picture

May 25, 2018 at 12:53 am

Chris,

As a column writer you should realize it is not respectful to refer to President Trump as "Trump" or any previous United States president in that manner.

We're all Packer football fans on this forum and this article you felt the need to write is at best causing consternation among the group.

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CDC Dave Retired's picture

May 24, 2018 at 05:17 pm

Any male professional athlete that refuses to stand during the playing of the U.S. national anthem does not need to wear a jock strap because they have no gonads.
Also, they don't stand, they don't play at that game.

As an honorably discharged and decorated Vietnam Era Veteran this example above illustrates professional athletes who believe they are stars.
They wouldn't be earning millions of dollars because the real stars are our military men and women who keep them safe to play a game.

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HeyJoe415's picture

May 24, 2018 at 06:31 pm

As a vet, I respect your opinion on this above the rest of us. If it offends you, and I understand why, then players should stand for the anthem. Bcecause if we can’t or won’t respect our vets, we should leave the US.

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Fountaintown's picture

May 24, 2018 at 07:47 pm

Thank you for your service Dave. But the narrative for this issue is sooooo squed, the intent of these players is not to disrespect veterans, "although I see your point". These players are trying to bring attention to minorities, not risking their life in a foreign country, like you did. But risking their lives being gunned down by the very people who are supposed to be protecting them and their communities. Athough I don't like that they demonstrate their cause this way, but are exercising their right, that you and all veterans have fought and died for

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Rossonero's picture

May 24, 2018 at 08:31 pm

CDC Dave Retired: As an honorably discharged Iraq veteran, it does not bother me. Too many people have completely lost sight of what the protest is about and have an incredibly narrow view of what the American flag means. They are not protesting the military in any way, but that narrative has been hijacked to make people think they are.

The American flag means different things to different people -- for some people it's the military, for others it's freedom from an oppressive government in their homeland, for others it's a chance to find a better job, for others it's a chance to practice their religion without persecution, or get a better education, etc. etc.

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Rossonero's picture

May 24, 2018 at 08:32 pm

CDC Dave Retired: As an honorably discharged Iraq veteran, it does not bother me. Too many people have completely lost sight of what the protest is about and have an incredibly narrow view of what the American flag means. They are not protesting the military in any way, but that narrative has been hijacked to make people think they are.

The American flag means different things to different people -- for some people it's the military, for others it's freedom from an oppressive government in their homeland, for others it's a chance to find a better job, for others it's a chance to practice their religion without persecution, or get a better education, etc. etc.

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56Packfan's picture

May 24, 2018 at 05:28 pm

The most vocal "patriots" include the chicken hawks who send others' sons to war and the college athlete who claimed bone spur deferments. So who is really "patriotic?"If the black who was tased were not a Milwaukee Buck guard, would the rampant racism that still prevails today be again brought to our attention? There are many Americans who need to be reminded again that this society treats certain of us as "animals" not worthy of humane compassion. Unfortunately, many of those same Americans wants to suppress dissent to sweep these glaring inequities under the rug.

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HeyJoe415's picture

May 24, 2018 at 06:33 pm

Agreed. I just think there are other, more productive things they could do.

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Ferrari Driver's picture

May 24, 2018 at 07:19 pm

I've been pulled over by police officers when driving more than a couple of times and I simply do whatever the officer directs and I am polite. I am not reckless but I have exceeded the speed limit by more than a couple of MPH and paid the consequences.

All of us have watched some videos of police officers giving orders and the person being spoken to simply refuses to comply.

I believe 98 percent of these police officer/victim confrontations would disappear if they did what the officer directs.

If what the policeman does is wrong, take it up after the fact.

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Oppy's picture

May 24, 2018 at 08:46 pm

Did you watch the chest cam of the Bucks player? It wasn't even a moving violation. He parked like a jack ass. He wasn't aggressive. But he did get detained until 8 police showed up, taken to the ground, tazed, and arrested.

Sound like any of the times you got pulled over?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 24, 2018 at 09:12 pm

When the officer asked me to step back I would have done so as a matter of course. When the officer asked me to take my hands out of my pockets, I would have done so immediately as a matter of course. Sterling Brown didn't. The initial responding officer seemed very low key about things. One of the zillion officers who later responded barely gave Brown a chance to comply with the order to take his hands out of his pockets. There is blame on all sides, but this should never have escalated and officers are trained to keep their composure, but too often fail to do so.

I don't understand why there was any need to have much if any conversation with Brown. Maybe: "Is that your car? Can you wait over there while I write two parking tickets? Thank you. Here they are." Officer leaves the scene.

By the way, I know what I think about a professional basketball player who takes up two disabled parking spots with his Mercedes. I have lived with a quadriplegic and have seen how valuable disabled parking spaces are to disabled people.
Brown is a jerk.

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Oppy's picture

May 24, 2018 at 09:46 pm

I absolutely agree it's a complete dick move to double park in handicapped spaces. The fact it was an empty lot doesn't help. Total egotistical jerk stuff.

I feel pretty confident in saying if this was exactly the same situation, but it were me instead of Brown- and I acted the exact same way- This would have been a 5 minute stop with me getting a big, no-breaks given, fat $$$ ticket.. not a call for back up leading to a takedown, tasering, and arrest.

I have some pretty poignant personal experiences with myself and friends of color in dealings with police over the years. My experience is where I draw my conclusion from. Anecdotal is what it's called when people don't like what you have to say, real world experience is what people call it when they agree with you.

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flackcatcher's picture

May 25, 2018 at 03:04 pm

As a black man, I had this conversion with both my son and daughter over this many times. Be kind, be polite, and above all obey all commands if you are pulled over or stopped. In urban areas like Milwaukee, cops are on a hair trigger these days. Cops in Milwaukee have had really bad experiences over the past couple of months with big black men. Some of it is on YouTube, just ugly as heck. Frankly, being drunk or doped up in your car in the middle of the night is stupid. And in theses times, stupid can get you killed.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 25, 2018 at 03:44 pm

I am more than one step removed, Flak, but I do have 4 African-American nephews, now 18 to 28 years old. We taught them all that you outlined. Strangely enough, the lessons did not differ significantly from those my very white father imparted to us: keep your hands on the steering wheel at 10 and 2 and don't move them without discussing it with the officer.

It might surprise some but I watch a fair amount of youtube by PoliceCrime. It is to gain perspective on these altercations/excessive force complaints since as a white male, while I have dealt with some overbearing police officers, I so far have been more likely to get a verbal warning than a ticket, even if I committed an infraction, and have never had any escalation.

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flackcatcher's picture

May 25, 2018 at 05:23 pm

TGR. Some things never change. Overall, we have a very civil society because we keep hammering these rules into our kids, and they into their kids and so on. Mix or blended family's are the norm, not the exception in our country today. My wife is a W.A.S.P. As both my father and father in law joked at our wedding, I got the last one alive and unwed in the United States. ( The only problem as she saw it was our heights. She's a few inches taller than me.) I grew up in the inner city in Milwaukee, and watch many of my friends die from crack or PCP. We got out just before my neighborhood turned into a complete warzone. I know how lucky I and my sister have been. But I also know how much hard work, and the hard choices they made for us. Those are things we passed down to our family, and their family's and we always will. (PoliceCrime. Got to check that out....)

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HeyJoe415's picture

May 24, 2018 at 06:15 pm

I agree. I wouldn’t kneel, but that doesn’t mean the next person should be denied first amendment rights. It’s wrong, probably unconstitutional, and yes, ultimately about ratings and $$$$$$$$

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Community Guy's picture

May 24, 2018 at 06:22 pm

Bravo Chris Peterson.. it is good to read something on this issue that comes from the perspective of human rights. simply, freedom of expression is a human right.

the NFL shifting responsibility for this issue to individual organizations is spineless. in their decision, 30 owners (and Mark Murphy representing the Packers) made a mistake. yes, players are employees; however, an employee does not lose their human rights when they walk through their workplace door. employees still have the right to express themselves. and, employees should be able to express themselves without fear of losing their job.

additionally, blaming Trump in any way is also spineless.. the decision to encourage/discourage expression is that of the owners.. period. how the NFL is run is clearly outside of Trump's jurisdiction; Trump does not make rules for the NFL.

one more thing: there is a lot of propaganda that the NFL lost, or, is losing viewership due to the anthem kneeling expressions. i cannot say whether or not this is true. on the other hand, i have yet to read, even once, about how those expressions supporting black lives, etc. has INCREASED public interest (and, presumably, viewership) in the NFL.

perhaps this is all just a ruse by the owners to add a bargaining chip for the upcoming negotiations with the players' union during the next 3 years. regardless, as they previously did in reversing their ruling regarding TD celebrations, the NFL owners (and Mark Murphy) need to correct their mistake and make it clear that players retain their right of expression during the playing of the national anthem.

if the owners do not reverse their position, they may lose another segment of their viewership.

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worztik's picture

May 24, 2018 at 06:40 pm

Crap!!! This is about employees acting like tools in the workplace! Nothing more; Nothing less! If I owned a business and my employees offended a number of my customers, they’d be looking for a new job that same day!!! Suck it up and smell the thistle!!!

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Fountaintown's picture

May 24, 2018 at 07:29 pm

And those employees you fired would piss off a bunch your other costumers. And if those employees were good at their job, they'd go to your competitor.........and before long, you'd be out of a job!

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 24, 2018 at 09:27 pm

This is just factually untrue. Employees who decide to exercise their right of expression to rude customers most definitely do put their jobs at risk.

It is not possible to have a conversation about things if one party bases their conclusion on a premise that is wholly untrue.

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Since'61's picture

May 25, 2018 at 09:38 am

TGR - you are correct as usual. No one who works or is contracted with my company would be allowed to be disrespectful to any of our customers in any way. My business partner and/or I would terminate their contract immediately and we have a code of conduct which would immediately discontinue any form of future compensation they may have earned if they were not terminated for cause. Thanks, Since '61

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Since'61's picture

May 25, 2018 at 09:49 am

Fountaintown - employees do maintain their human rights but they do not maintain the right to express themselves while they are in their employers place of business. If an employee of mine or a even an independent contractor walked into my office or office space and burned an American flag, for example, or anything else as a form of protest or a form of expression, guess what, they are fired immediately. If they conduct themselves in an unprofessional manner towards another employee (i.e., sexual harrassment) they are fired immediately, if they are disrespectful to a customer because they don't like who the customer is or where they are from or the business they are in, that person is fired.
Yes, they may go to a competitor, but if that competitor knows me or my business I will get a call and they will know the truth about what happened at my firm and wh they were fired. If they try to steal any of my customers, we have a 2 year non-compete clause and I will enforce it to the full extent of the law.
Bottom line is that in the professional world, at least where I have built my business over the last 30 years, employees don't have the freedom of expression as you defined it in your post. Thanks, Since '61

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

May 25, 2018 at 09:50 am

Chris is dead wrong.

The players engaged in social activism at their workplace--an action for which most of us would be fired. I certainly could never engage in social activism offending half my employer's clientele. I'd be gone immediately.

Those reports on falling revenues are 100% true--or do you think the owners just went against their workforce without enormous internal data driving them to do so? Please.

Employees have the right to express themselves, but not in the workplace. Face it, you don't want them to have free speech; you want them to have speech free of consequences. NONE OF US HAVE THAT RIGHT, and if we did, we'd be royalty.

Finally, let's not forget the players could have chosen any time or place to protest, but they specifically chose that one time of their week when a song is played to unite all Americans and honor veterans. Thus, their specific intent was to protest America and insult veterans--or why not choose another time?

The idea of employees engaging in social/political activism at work is bad enough, but to do so without consequence would make them royalty, which is even worse. And to do so in a way that singles out America and veterans adds even more horrific consequences.

These protests were terrible, indefensible decisions. Chris only supports them because he shares their politics, not because they were justifiable. That makes this an awful article--full of needless political partisanship injected into a sports site.

Terrible. Just terrible. Chris should be ashamed.

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

May 24, 2018 at 06:59 pm

There are some good points in these posts on both sides. Both with the players that kneel, & the fans who do stand, but also eat & drink at the same time. Both are disrespectful in my opinion.

As I posted once before, the next time someone decides to disrespect the Flag by kneeling, raising a fist, or eating & drinking during the National Anthem, perhaps they should take that time to think about the nearly 300,000 Civil War soldiers, mostly white, some black & some just kids who died, fighting to free the slaves, & keep this country together. How can anyone disrespect all the soldiers who died since this country was founded. Think About It. It's always been the same Flag & Anthem.

In conclusion, let me just say that I do believe that Blacks, (Not All) but probably Most, have a legitimate complaint about being profiled or in some cases Police Brutality. Sometimes warranted, & sometimes not. I just don't feel that the Flag or National Anthem is the Proper Forum for Any Protest. I do agree with the poster who stated that some fans in the entire stadium are being disrespectful during the National Anthem. I wonder if MLK would approve of the kneeling or the clenched fist.
LVT

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stockholder's picture

May 24, 2018 at 07:26 pm

The NFL Did the right thing! They make the Rules. Their within their Rights. I wouldn't want any employee telling me how to run my business. Players stick their nose where it doesn't belong now. They have a grievance system. Or RETIREMENT.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

May 25, 2018 at 09:39 am

Agreed.

And I wonder, are the players offering to take any pay cuts for the massive revenue losses they've caused with workplace activities for which they never requested permission?

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Since'61's picture

May 25, 2018 at 09:53 am

Bingo ALP!!! That is why the owners should have told the players from the 1st incident that if they fail to stand for the national anthem they will be suspended without pay for that game or any other future game where they do not stand during the national anthem. Case closed. Instead the owners and the league muddled it and now they have a quagmire on their hands.
Thanks, Since '61

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4thand1's picture

May 24, 2018 at 07:50 pm

UGH polotics on a sports blog. This is all it is, one more way to divide us while the powers that be erode our constitution every day. The players union will probably sue and could likely win. OH, Union, it's become a bad word to many. Only 11% of working people belong to unions these days, thanks to the powers that be who have undermined unions for decades. The political enviroment is so toxic it's sickening, everyone HATES the other side. UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL.
GOPACKGO. In sports we fans of all races, polotics, ages support our team.
It's the one time for a few hours during an afternoon or evening we can get along.
TY to all vets, especially this weekend.

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Oppy's picture

May 24, 2018 at 08:58 pm

"UGH polotics on a sports blog. This is all it is, one more way to divide us while the powers that be erode our constitution every day."

4thand1, I beg to differ about this being political. This isn't about right or left, liberal or conservative. It's a social issue, but has little to do with "politics".

I find it odd that you think that black players who are protesting what they perceive to be the literal, and often physical, violation and erosion of their constitutional rights by the powers that be... to be a divisive action that is distracting us while the powers that be erode our constitution every day.

I agree, I would not want a sports blog to dwell on this day in and day out. That said, this is a headline-making policy that will affect all 32 teams, and that probably makes it blog-worthy. I can deal with the discourse being focused on this one post. I agree with the rest of your post. However, I can not understand how you are so concerned with the erosion of constitutional rights, while the young men who choose to kneel are protesting exactly that. It's great that sports fans of all races, politics, and ages support the team and can all get along. it would be even greater if that led to some real understanding between all of us. Instead, some fans rather sweep the issues under the table and keep it sports. Take your real problems elsewhere; I'm trying to watch grown men get paid millions of dollars to entertain me.

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4thand1's picture

May 24, 2018 at 10:29 pm

I disagree oppy, sorry, this whole debate turn purely political last year, and has spilled over to what it is today. There is nothing more important than free speech as we are demonstrating here and now. IMO money talked, and free speech walked.

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Ferrari Driver's picture

May 25, 2018 at 01:04 am

Oppy,

Read what Chris said about the Vice President and also included the President in his statement. That was purely political.

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Oppy's picture

May 25, 2018 at 09:49 pm

Ferrari Driver,

The protesters can not control anyone besides themselves.
What outsiders do does not change the nature of their protest.

By this reasoning, if you are making a decision to buy lean pork over beef at the grocery store because you're trying to limit your fat intake, and I show up with the anti-defamation league and hold a press conference claiming that you're buying pork as a nod to antisemitism, that somehow makes your purchase of pork a racial issue.

That's ridiculous. So is claiming that outsiders making the kneel down political proves that the protest is political. What it IS, however, is an ATTEMPT to make it political. Guess a whole lot of Americans fell for it.
What a shame.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

May 25, 2018 at 04:37 am

I'm a vet, and I don't feel thanked at all by your message.

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4thand1's picture

May 25, 2018 at 08:34 pm

I feel better for it, the rest is on you I guess.

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Flow49's picture

May 24, 2018 at 08:14 pm

File this one under useless arguments with no conclusion. A persons perception is their reality and it doesn’t matter what you mean to say or support all that matter is what they see. And both sides aren’t seeing any where near close to the same thing. Very little dialogue on this topic is constructive.

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Rossonero's picture

May 24, 2018 at 08:56 pm

While I support the players trying to peacefully protest to bring social injustice to light, the Constitution only limits what the government can do. The NFL is not the government, so the Constitution does not limit the NFL's actions. So the Constitution would not prevent a player from being suspended/released.

However, the CBA and the player's terms of the contract do limit the league and the teams’ actions. Therefore, those things might protect the player. So, it depends on the CBA and that player's contract. Did they waive their rights via a clause in the CBA? Same goes for the contract?

There was a 1978 case in which the Supreme Court ruled that workers have a right to engage in political advocacy as long as the political theme relates to their job. Let's hope it does not go that far.

Let's not forget that Jesse Owens participated in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Him participating was a protest in and of itself. Hitler was watching Owens smoke opponents in competition. Do you think he liked that? Then, when Owens got home, he was not invited to the White House.

My point is this: sports and politics have been -- and always will be -- forever intertwined. Jackie Robinson and Billie Jean King come to mind. Chuck Cooper, Earl Lloyd and Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton broke the NBA's color barrier in 1950. You think people weren't trying to stop them every step of the way? Change is painful. Change hurts.

The process the owners arrived at this decision is terribly flawed, to put it gently. They claim it was a compromise, meanwhile, their largest stakeholder -- the NFLPA -- wasn't even consulted. Who were they compromising with? Themselves?

The NFL just alienated the Union, who will strike back. This is merely the first salvo in what could be a protracted legal struggle and at worst case, result in a strike.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

May 25, 2018 at 04:35 am

No, the first salvo was fired by players injecting social activism into their workplace--an action for which the rest of us would immediately be fired.

And choosing to engage in that protest at the one time of your week when a song is played to unite all Americans and honor veterans? That's OBVIOUSLY bad for business, and the results have been horrifying. The 2-year drop in viewership, attendance, and merchandise sales is absolutely staggering--especially when 2017 saw America in an economic boom.

Did the Player's Union consult the NFL before their members severely damaged sales by engaging in social protest at their workplace, during the worst possible moment?

Of course not. But you don't care, because all that matters to you is that you share their politics--so you rationalize what they did.

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Rossonero's picture

May 25, 2018 at 08:00 am

"The rest of us would immediately be fired."
Not necessarily -- it depends. I gave you the Supreme Court case from 1978 as an example, so you can't assume everyone at any other job would be fired. There have been NFL players assaulted by the police themselves (i.e. Michael Bennett), so that could fall within the scope of that ruling.

So the Union is supposed to ask for permission to peacefully protest something that is affecting them? Again, it depends on the CBA. Depends on the player's contract. Did they waive their rights? We don't know that. This is uncharted legal waters.

The funny thing is, this country was basically founded by protestors. Our ancestors were people who were being persecuted and their voices were not heard, so they left Europe and came here. Protesting peacefully is about the most American thing a person can do. The workplace rules make things complicated, so it depends on the factors I already mentioned.

Seems to me you conveniently blew past and ignored all of the historical examples I provided. Unfortunately for you, sports and politics have forever been intertwined, and they will continue to be. Deal with it.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

May 25, 2018 at 09:36 am

Setting aside the troubles Bennett has experienced establishing wrongdoing in his situation, you're forgetting multiple points:

1. The Union didn't consult their employers when engaging in activities resulting in massive revenue losses. Or do you think the owners put out this new rule for reasons other than terrifying internal data?

2. This country was NOT founded by protesters disrupting their workplaces with no consequences. Such protests--like the Boston Tea Party--were outside of work. Any protests at work would have been fully subject to the employers deciding if that protest was detrimental to business.

3. Protesting peacefully at work is NOT the most America thing a person can do. I would be fired. Immediately. There is no way my employer would be okay with me annoying and needlessly alienating large swaths of our clientele. This is true at many, many, many, many, many, many, many workplaces. Any workplace that doesn't have this standard is either a workplace sharing the activism of the activist (which voids the analogy altogether since no disruption occurs) or is, quite frankly, a completely dysfunctional workplace where the proverbial inmates run the asylum.

4. No, it doesn't depend on the CBA. It depends first and foremost on the business. In this case, the employees engaged--without permission--in activities resulting in massive monetary losses. Are they offering a portion of their salaries back? Are they offering to make amends? Are they offering to cease one-sided activism that alienates half the paying audience? Are the offering anything at all???

Your points have no merit. None whatsoever.

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Rossonero's picture

May 25, 2018 at 12:56 pm

Ok, so let me get this straight. The Supreme Court decision has no merit. And the CBA that governs the players has no merit. And the contracts they signed have no merit. Ok, gotcha.

The Union doesn't need to consult their employer if they never waived their rights within the CBA. That's the whole point, but I won't waste more time trying to explain it to you.

"The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then." -Thomas Jefferson

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 25, 2018 at 04:13 pm

The political theme does not relate to their job, or to union organizational efforts or to broader concerns regarding general working conditions. So it isn't that Eastex has no merit, but it simply is not on point. Eastex deals with the mutual aid and protection provision of the Labor Relations Act, and whether employees could distribute leaflets regarding working conditions and more generally, the minimum wage, even though all employees at the company in question already earned more than the minimum wage. Police Brutality has nothing to do with union organizational concerns or general working conditions. Eastex holds that employees can take an action since it concerns mutual aid/working conditions. The Court also notes that the employer is free to assert a countervailing management interest to the proposed activity, and the court will then engage in a balance act between the two valid but competing interests.

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Rossonero's picture

May 26, 2018 at 06:34 am

I'm not a judge Reynoldo, so I'll leave interpretation of that case up to a court.

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tk5packman's picture

May 24, 2018 at 09:06 pm

The NFL is no more the entertainment like the circus. If you owned a circus and the hired clowns knelt when they were supposed to be juggling bowling pins, you’d fire them. They screwed up by allowing the focus to be the players instead of the teams. Before long they will be gone like the circus.

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Oppy's picture

May 24, 2018 at 09:13 pm

I don't recall seeing players taking a knee on the LOS on 3rd & 6 with 1:17 remaining in the 4th Q.

They are not interfering with job performance in any way, shape, or form.

Don't get me wrong, I like to bring clowns and juggling into the conversation whenever I get the chance, but in this particular situation, your analogy is completely invalid.

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4thand1's picture

May 24, 2018 at 10:35 pm

C'mon man, quit clowning around. Oppy gets it.

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Oppy's picture

May 24, 2018 at 11:02 pm

The best I can come up with is: And now, for something completely different!

I'm stretching.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

May 25, 2018 at 04:49 am

They are ABSOLUTELY interfering with their job performance, since their job is first and foremost attending to the wishes of their employers' paying customers.

You couldn't be more wrong. If I injected social activism into my workplace, I'd be fired immediately for such interference--and rightly so.

You just ignore this because you share their politics. That's sad.

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Oppy's picture

May 25, 2018 at 10:03 pm

First off, a number of NFL franchises said they're fine with the players doing their thing. It has zero to do with their job performance.

Second, never has an NFL player's "first and foremost" job been to attend to the wishes of their "emloyers' paying customers." They don't work in the service industry. They aren't waiters.

Third, what happens to you in your workplace doesn't set the bar for anyone else. Let me ask you a question, what do you do for a living? I'm fairly certain there's plenty of things that NFL players do every day at their jobs that would get your fired at yours.. and vice-versa.

Lastly, human rights issues are not politics, any more than the belief that domestic abuse or cancer awareness is political.

The irony of your final statement is that I don't want to ignore the protests, but there's an awful lot of people like yourself that do.

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mx10135's picture

May 24, 2018 at 09:10 pm

I feel you are missing it. The majority of the fans watch football to escape from politics. We fans want to just enjoy football and not watch players disrespect our country. It is hurting ratings.
I for one watch the least amount of NFL football in my adult life. I too can protest by not watching.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

May 25, 2018 at 04:24 am

Amen. Awesome post.

You don't choose the Anthem--that one time in your week when a song is played uniting all Americans and honoring veterans--as your moment of protest UNLESS YOU'RE PROTESTING AMERICA ITSELF AND DISHONORING VETERANS.

That is injecting hardcore political activism into the game, and fans aren't paying for that. They're paying to unite as one--regardless of political differences--behind their team, and they recognize America provides the freedom to do so.

The protests have hurt more than ratings, though the 2-year drop has been incredible. They've severely damaged merchandise sales, and attendance as well.

If I injected social activism into my workplace, it would be offensive to clientele and hurt the business. I'd be fired immediately. But Chris Peterson wants the players to enjoy protest at the workplace without consequence, simply because he shares their politics.

Chris wants the players to be royalty. We just want them to do their jobs and appreciate the nation--and those defending it--making their jobs possible.

Thank you for your great post.

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Rossonero's picture

May 25, 2018 at 08:05 am

Andrew, I'm an Iraq veteran myself and the protests do not offend me. That's what we fought for -- people being able to speak up peacefully when they don't see something is right. That's the beauty of this country and how a democracy works.

The courts will have to decide eventually about how the CBA and player's contracts factor into workplace rules. None of us can be the judges on that.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

May 25, 2018 at 09:23 am

You have the right to not be offended, but that doesn't change their intent. They chose the one time in their week when you and I are honored to engage in their protest. That's offensive. They could choose any other time, but that time is the one they want.

In doing so, they're following a guy who wears socks depicting cops as pigs, donates $25,000 to a charity benefiting a cop-killer, and wears T-shirts honoring a Communist executioner. That's offensive, too. For me, it's all offensive--not their right of protest itself, but the venue and the horrible person they choose to follow.

You're incorrect in saying what we fight for. We fight to defend things like free speech, not speech without consequence. These players are choosing to engage in social activism in their workplace, causing dramatic revenue losses. If you or I did that at work, we'd be fired immediately--which would be right and fair.

If you fought in Iraq for people sharing your political views to have speech without consequence, then you fought for your political side to become royalty--free from the balance of other people's freedoms. In short, if you fought for that (and I don't think you did), then you fought for tyranny.

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Rossonero's picture

May 25, 2018 at 03:02 pm

Since I don't believe in animal cruelty, I won't comment again on them protesting at work -- I think I've beaten that dead horse enough.

These guys are exercising free speech peacefully. There are limitations on free speech such as incitement, fighting words, speech owned by others, etc. Just because it offends you, does not make it illegal.

A notable example of a case involving offensive speech was the Supreme Court's decision in Texas v. Johnson (1989), which struck down a law criminalizing flag burning in Texas. Even the late Antonin Scalia defended flag burning as "awful, but lawful."

Your last paragraph is confusing. I did not fight for tyranny. We fought to liberate an oppressed group of people AGAINST a tyrannical government. Free speech is an aspect of a democracy that they did not have. If they protested against the government or their flag, Sadaam would've tortured or imprisoned them and they would've never been heard from again.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 25, 2018 at 04:33 pm

Well said, Rossonero, and a thumbs up. We differ only on whether the
kneeling is an expression of free speech which has limitations in the employer/employee context.

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Rossonero's picture

May 25, 2018 at 05:48 pm

Thank you. Yes, I agree with you Reynaldo.

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Oppy's picture

May 25, 2018 at 10:10 pm

I have no doubts the employer has the RIGHT to say their employees can't kneel on the field.

I understand that the NFL found what is a sensible compromise from their perspective, allowing the players to still protest the anthem, albeit away from the eyes of the fans that don't want to see it.

I am disappointed by their decision.

Cheers to Christoper Johnson and the NY Jets.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 26, 2018 at 03:58 pm

I agree, Oppy. Long ago in reply to WKU I wrote that I support the players who kneel, and advocated signing Kaep when AR was lost. I see no need to play the Anthem to start games; I think if an employer injects any political or religious sentiment into the workplace, an employee should not be required to give any sign of overt approval. Many probably consider the Anthem to be so innocuous that it isn't political (even while others suggest that reverence is or can be required). Regardless of whether it is reasonable to view the Anthem as political, it is extraneous and unnecessary to the purpose at hand.

I think the NFL continues to bungle this. I still think it likely will fade as an issue, but I live in my own little bubble (as many of us do to different degrees), so we will see.

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Fire_Gute's picture

May 24, 2018 at 09:24 pm

People who work at McDonald's and Walmart and the like,people who are not faces of the company, are fired and reprimanded all the time for comments they make on Facebook and other visible platforms. We have freedom of speech and the right to assemble. That means you're not going to get imprisoned or even killed for your opinion. But it does not mean freedom from consequences.

Any NFL player could get airtime on a local or national news outlet to express their opinion. They would have more than the 90 seconds the anthem takes and they would have their entire opinion heard. No one would be able to twist their message or intent because it would be in the open. And no disrespect to the flag.

Players who kneel know exactly what they are doing. If players took a knee during the coin toss people would still talk about it and no flag controversy. Or they could take a knee before the first snap. Or any other time except the anthem.

America isn't perfect. There's plenty to dislike. But there's way more to love. To say you can't stand for a flag of a country that gave you free education, an opportunity to make a tremendous amount of money, and a platform to voice your opinion and do good to fix what you feel is wrong is stupid

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

May 25, 2018 at 04:47 am

A great, great post.

Chris Peterson doesn't want freedom of speech for NFL Players. He wants them to have speech free of consequences--a power none of us possess. If we did, we'd be royalty.

It's sickening to see Chris defend protesting during a song meant to unite Americans and honor veterans. If I engaged in social activism at my job, I'd be fired--but Chris wants NFL Players to be ROYALTY--free from any consequences for their actions.

Disgraceful. Thank you for your wise and accurate post.

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HankScorpio's picture

May 24, 2018 at 09:46 pm

I hate that the culture wars that are being fought so bitterly are seeping into sports.

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John Galt's picture

May 25, 2018 at 07:59 am

Obama loves the culture wars and the wedge he used to purposefully separate people. So glad he's gone. It's why I far prefer rodeo to NFL football.

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Rossonero's picture

May 25, 2018 at 09:23 am

Huh? Our current President has successfully divided us more than Obama did. Look at this message board as an example. The kneeling started in 2016 and Obama never fanned the flames like Trump has.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

May 25, 2018 at 12:13 pm

Obama labeled large swaths of Americans as people who bitterly cling to their God, guns, and people who look different from them.

In short, he labeled large swaths of Americans to be racists, while insulting Christian beliefs and the right to bear arms. And you don't find that incredibly divisive?

Obama also told Republicans they can come along for the ride, but they have to ride in the back seat--not divisive? What if Trump said that?

He said if he had a son, he would look like Travon Martin--can you imagine if a person of color killed a white kid and Mitt Romney said that white kid looked like his son? Not divisive?

Obama insisted--before viewing the evidence--that the Cambridge police "acted stupidly." Not divisive?

Obama seated a Supreme Court judge who openly stated a "wise Latina woman" would be more likeky to make good decisions "than a white man"--she actually singled out white men. Not divisive?????

Oh please.

Fact is, this nation has now chosen two straight provocative presidents after a series of far less provocative presidents. Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan--these guys didn't make such combative statements.

I guess it's a reflection of what the country wants. Obama was a demeaning president who spouted racists comments, while Trump is a Bronx brawler with little rein on his tongue. This nation has gone away from gentlemen's disagreements, and it appears to have done so on purpose.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 25, 2018 at 04:36 pm

President Obama divided us plenty. Sounds like you just didn't notice.

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Otto's picture

May 24, 2018 at 11:07 pm

I'm not interested in the Sociopolitical opinions of clerk at Home Depot, the waiter at the restaurant or the NFL player. Sell me the product. Serve the food. Play the game.
If you feel the need to protest, pontificate or advocate, do it on your time. I'm paying you. Do. Your. Job.

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Oppy's picture

May 24, 2018 at 11:39 pm

What exactly is an NFL player's job description before the game starts?

I mean, I guess NOW it's stand for the anthem or stay in the locker room, but I mean, before last week?

The players protesting weren't doing a single thing that interfered with their jobs.

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Vrog's picture

May 25, 2018 at 02:41 am

You're far too sensible, Oppy.

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4EVER's picture

May 25, 2018 at 09:03 am

Vrog, vrog, vrog, please!

Along with Oppy, post video proof of your latest social issue protest at your work place that doesn't interfere with your work...

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Oppy's picture

May 25, 2018 at 10:15 pm

I'm pretty sure if I took a knee at the water cooler before I had to be at my desk, it wouldn't be an issue.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

May 25, 2018 at 04:11 am

On the contrary, they absolutely were interfering with their jobs. They were engaging in social protest at their workplace--which would get almost everyone else among us fired immediately. And rightly so.

I can't engage in social protest at work, as that would offend (and annoy) wide swaths of my employer's clientele. It's out of place. I am perfectly free to protest on my own time, but I would be specifically disrupting my employer's business instead.

And not only were the players doing this terribly interfering act, but they were singling out the one time of their week when a song is played uniting all Americans of all beliefs and honoring veterans. So that is even substantially worse and more offensive than any interfering I could do at my workplace.

An NFL player's job description? It's the same as everyone's job description: Value ALL your customers, and put your employer's interests first.

The players flatly violated this job description, and cost their business 10's of millions in total revenue. If I did anything like that at my job, I can assure you my boss would feel--rightly--that I had interfered with the job. I'd be fired. So would you.

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WKUPackFan's picture

May 25, 2018 at 04:59 am

Your continual description of this as merely a "workplace issue" is a thinly veiled statement of your racism. It is a shame that you are too cowardly to plainly state what is obviously in your heart. Have the courage to clearly state your true belief of hating African-Americans.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

May 25, 2018 at 09:15 am

WKU, I respond to your insane allegation of racism below. Read it and respond to it.

In the meantime, try actually dealing with my points, not some evil you wish existed in me. This is tiresome and insulting.

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4EVER's picture

May 25, 2018 at 08:57 am

Oppy, oppy, oppy please!

Post video proof of your latest social issue protest at your work place that doesn't interfere with your work.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

May 25, 2018 at 09:57 am

Oppy can't, and won't.

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Oppy's picture

May 25, 2018 at 10:48 pm

* Oppy could, but it's not Oppy's job to do ridiculous shit for people who have ridiculous notions of what "interfering with work" is

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Oppy's picture

May 25, 2018 at 10:50 pm

I will make sure to take a knee 7:58:30 AM before I sit down at my desk at 8:00 am tomorrow morning to start coding and see how many angry people claim It's interfering with my work.

A Football player's work is playing football. Being prepared to play football. Going to practice. Team meetings. Keeping himself in shape. Knowing the plays. Performing on the field of play is his #1 job priority.

Taking a knee for 90 seconds doesn't affect his production one bit.

I Understand you don't like it when they take a knee during the anthem. I understand you feel it is an affront to the flag and the servicemen and women.

Why do you feel the need to try and pretend it's affecting their job performance?

Here's a quick thought: if standing for the national anthem is part of the NFL player's core work responsibilities as you'd have me believe... why has the NFL decided it's wholly acceptable for players to simply not come out on the field for the National Anthem at all?

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4thand1's picture

May 24, 2018 at 11:13 pm

Shouldn't the Packers have addressed this at the stock holders meeting?

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croatpackfan's picture

May 25, 2018 at 02:05 am

We had similar, but on much lower level, issue in the early 1990...

I'm glad that the issue was solved. In short: Every day in the morning at all schools in Croatia they were playing Croatian national anthem. That was ridiculous and I, personally, take this act as disrespectful to national anthem. For me national anthem is the song that should be performed in special occasions, at special solemn times... Not everyday or on week basis or something...

So, when you compare players who are on their jobs I would like to ask (with total respect) all of you, who are using that argument, how you will feel if every day your job will start with national anthem? Or, every week?

Would usage of the national anthem in such a way, lead the national anthem to lose its glory and meaning? Or would it mean improve meaning? How many consecutive repetitions is enough to report resistance to a song that is constantly repeated?

For me national anthem belongs to the most solemn and/or festive moments, not the everyday (or every week) business ...

Sorry if I offended someone, but that's my look at the problem ...

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

May 25, 2018 at 04:46 am

I'm not offended, Croat, but my workplace is not a community event. Sports is. Your analogy doesn't hold. It makes perfect sense to honor our nation and those who defend it when setting aside differences and coming together for a sporting event--not when grabbing a Happy Meal or auditing an account.

It is, however, a workplace, where we must show equal valuing for all our customers--so in that way my workplace is like the NFL Players's workplace. And in my workplace, any social or political activism would result in immediate termination--as well it should. I'd be offending wide swaths of the clientele by injecting my protest into a setting where customers are paying for another product altogether.

Isolating the Anthem to more "solemn or festive moments" makes no sense. We already have a song we play for military funerals, and it isn't the Anthem. And sports are a celebration of our national pride, acknowledging our team spirit exists because of our national freedom and those defending it. This is especially true since our sports start in schools. Should we send a message that appreciation for freedom is important for school children, but can be discarded when we get to the big leagues?

In the NHL, they play both the American and Canadian anthems, because both nations are involved. I think that's great. People of many nations use unifying times like sports events to remember the pride they have in their countries providing the setting for those events.

Sorry, Croat, but while I'm not at all offended by your remarks, I do not agree with them.

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WKUPackFan's picture

May 25, 2018 at 05:16 am

Again, advocating for individual rights for all is neither political or social activism. Our country was founded on the principles of freedom for everyone. Advocating for those rights is something that Republicans, Democrats, and even alt-right wackos like yourself should agree on.

A Civil War was fought, in large part, to free an entire race from bondage. The fact that you desire to treat that race of people as slaves again is disturbing. The fact that you support what happened to Sterling Brown is disgusting.

Again, quit hiding behind the workplace argument. Quit hiding behind your supposed respect for veterans. Quit being yellow and just admit that you are a racist. The confession might be good for your soul.

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4EVER's picture

May 25, 2018 at 08:17 am

Dude...shut down the racism crap...or at least look up the definition of racism.
racism (rāˈsĭzˌəm)
n. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
n. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

It maybe you are the only racist on this site...

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

May 25, 2018 at 12:00 pm

I'm not sure I can even count the straw man arguments you just used. I'll try.

1. You have no evidence I'm an "alt-right wacko." I'm not.

2. You have no evidence I desire to treat black people as slaves. I don't, and that is an incredibly offensive thing to say. Wow.

3. You have no evidence I support what happened to Sterling Brown. I don't.

4. In short, you have no evidence I am a racist. None whatsoever. I'm not--not in any way, shape, or form. You're setting up countless strawmen to fight, BECAUSE YOU CAN'T ARGUE AGAINST MY ACTUAL POINTS.

The simple fact is, I despise racism in all its forms. I believe all people are beautiful and every child is a miracle--no exceptions. I play no favorites or anti-favorites--none. Ever. Period.

The reason for this is I don't even believe in the concept of race. It's a genetic variance of such insignificant degree it means absolutely nothing. We all bleed the same, have the same souls, possess the same worth, display the same beauty, and deserve the same rights. I'm too busy seeing someone's potential to care about their "race." The whole concept is abhorrent to me.

I only discuss it here and socially in response to idiotic articles like this one, and the misguided actions they tout.

If you think I'm "hiding" anything, it's only because you want that thing (racism) to be there so you can justify your hate for me. But the fact is there is no justification for your thoughts about me--that's why you invent countless straw men rather than engage solely with the points I provide.

Got anything else?

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

May 25, 2018 at 04:52 am

Chris is wrong. Completely wrong.

If I engage in political activism at work, I am fired, and that is a good thing. Why? Because it's wildly out of place, awkward for customers who pay solely for enjoying the product, and guaranteed to upset about half the clientele.

But NFL Anthem protests are even worse, as they choose to protest during a song meant to unite all Americans and honor veterans. So not only are they bringing political activism to the workplace--something we can't do--but they're singling out the one moment in their whole week when they can offend America and those who defend it--remember, they could choose any other time.

In addition, the protesters have made clear their political beliefs connected to their actions. They despise that half of the nation which doesn't vote like them. That means they are determined to offend half their paying clientele--a truly horrible thing for their employers.

The results were predictable, with a shocking downturn in viewership, ticket sales, and merchandising. This wasn't, as Chris spins, some smooth part of recent "trending." This was a drastic 2-year drop, going flatly against strong viewership for the other sports and a booming economy in 2017.

Chris is wrong, plain and simple. There is no defense for this article, and it is sad to see a writer inject such intense political partisanship into a sports column. Like the players, Chris's message is crystal clear: I DEEPLY RESENT HALF MY AUDIENCE FOR HOW THEY VOTE.

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WKUPackFan's picture

May 25, 2018 at 05:27 am

I hope that those statistics you claim to have regarding police abuse are more accurate than your description of the effect kneeling had on attendance, etc. There was no "shocking" downturn in viewership, ticket sales, and merchandising. You really need to get your information from sources other than just Hannity.

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worztik's picture

May 25, 2018 at 07:29 am

WKU, Once again here you are with your snake like comments! Never anything constructive; just negativism! Getting really old... I guess I’ll just skip yer posts from now on... you, are a fool!!!

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John Galt's picture

May 25, 2018 at 07:56 am

Playing to 1/2 empty stadiums is not shocking? Please.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

May 25, 2018 at 08:56 am

1. I haven't gotten one ounce of this from Hannity. Try debating me straight up, not linking me to others.

2. Police shootings of black people versus white people actually run at a lower rate than the comparative violent crime rates of black and white people.

3. The average black person kills 10 times as many white people as the other way around--and this includes cops. It's actually 10.73 times as many, if you use FBI data over the 5 year period ranging from 2010-2014. That means for every black person killed by the average white person, the average black person kills about 10 white people.

Do you hear ANY of these NFL players offering such data when claiming black people are unfairly targeted in our society? Do you?

Now, these numbers don't mean black people are more violent than white people. All people are the same. But if you tell ANY group it has a right to its rage, that group will escalate its violence. I'm sure if we could run these numbers from 100 years ago, they would be reversed.

The problem is both in telling any group they have a right to their rage, and also ignoring unfavorable statistics in convincing them. For instance, just pulling up the number of black people shot by cops (which is virtually nonexistent, by the way, compared to black people shot by black people) is incredibly misleading when done out of context. But it incites rage for political gain, so those doing it don't care--the consequences and deaths mean nothing to them.

4. Viewership for the NFL dropped, by various measures, between 12 and 16 percent over the past 2 seasons. This followed a steady rise over the previous decade. Empty seats at stadiums have jumped dramatically, and if you don't think merchandise sales are falling, then you have no idea why owners would desperately enact a new policy assured of angering their employees.

One last thing: Roger Goodell is a liberal who dislikes Trump. He's the last guy who would want to make this change. Do you really think he did this without enormous market pressure resulting from the players' actions? Why? Why on earth would Goodell, of all people, want an angry workforce if he wasn't facing desperate internal numbers?

Why?

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WKUPackFan's picture

May 26, 2018 at 07:43 pm

Talk about straw men - using African-American v. white, or African-American on African-American murder statistics is a standard Hannity move. The number of murders committed by African-Americans provides no justification for the police to deny them their basic right to life.

Describing the entire African-American race as being prone to "raging" evidences that you think less of that group as a whole.

You say above that you do not support the police assaulting Sterling Brown. That's highly debatable, but regardless, point to any place in the words you have spilled where you specifically state that unjustified police killings of African-Americans is wrong.

One last thing for you: You obviously support the current president. He is an unabashed racist. If you claim not to be, if you're so offended by me stating that you are, you might want to reconsider the company you are keeping.

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PAPackerbacker's picture

May 25, 2018 at 07:09 am

Kneeling for our national anthem and then standing for the British anthem is nothing less than a total disrespect for America and the veterans who fought so those that kneel can make millions of dollars a year!! Nobody is forcing them to play football. If they want they can always go work for another company and make thousands of dollars a year instead of millions.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

May 25, 2018 at 08:38 am

Amen. I wish all the players staying in the locker room to protest America would emerge to find themselves in Cuba.

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dfarmer's picture

May 25, 2018 at 07:37 am

This should have never become an issue. Everyone has the right of free speech and to support the causes they deem important. BUT NOT ON COMPANY TIME!!! Do it after work and on the weekend. When your at work you are there to work and represent the company. It really is that simple...

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

May 25, 2018 at 11:55 am

Exactly. If I engage in activism at work, I'm fired--as it should be.

It doesn't matter what your politics are.

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Handsback's picture

May 25, 2018 at 07:42 am

Personally, I hate to see our tax money being paid to NFL teams for rolling out the American flag, standing for the Anthem, and whatever else they do to get that money. Why give money to an already wealthy group of people (owners) for doing a minimum amout of effort.
Second, people have the right to protest whenever and wherever they want. People also have the right to counter-protest whenever and wherever they want. Just remember one thing....we watch football as an entertainment activity. In my case, last year I watched two Packer games, and one playoff game with a smattering of highlights every week. I watched a lot of college film, and some of their games. Compared that to watching at least 2 games every week. The NFL can chose to do what they want, but losing viewership will eventually mean losing money and that isn't what they want. So the decision they made to stop the protest, is for their benefit. If you don't like it don't watch it.

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4EVER's picture

May 25, 2018 at 05:08 pm

Post of the decade...

Edit: Correct TGR, great post except for the part about protesting whenever and wherever. Seems I got caught up on the; if you don't like the NFL's decision then don't watch it. Good stuff.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 25, 2018 at 04:42 pm

Again, this is just factually untrue. No one has the right to protest whenever they want. No one has the right to protest where ever they want. No one has the right to protest in any manner they themselves deem fit.

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Guam's picture

May 25, 2018 at 09:19 am

There has been much discussion of "freedom of speech" and the "consequences of freedom of speech". America has no criminal penalties for freedom of speech, but we do have significant civil penalties for speech which harms other people or legal entities (corporations). If you engage in slander or libel, you can be sued for damages by the injured party. If you engage in speech or activities harmful to a legal entity, you can be counseled, disciplined or terminated.

The NFL is within its legal rights (subject to the CBA) to impose workplace rules that limit financially harmful activity. The players may still kneel during the anthem if they chose, but the NFL may impose penalties on that player. There is no limit on free speech, but there can be consequences to the exercise of that right.

The consequences aren't racism or facism, but relief from financial harm. The players may continue to protest but American law allows relief from damages related to that protest.

The NFL has implemented a workplace rule to curb kneeling during the anthem. The players now need to decide what cost they are willing to accept to continue the protest. Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reed could provide some interesting advice to the other players.

This isn't football, its business.

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Since'61's picture

May 25, 2018 at 09:34 am

I have been a sports fan for a long time now and one of the things that I have always enjoyed the most about sports whether baseball, basketball, hockey or football is that it doesn't matter who you are or where you are from or who your father was or what your political beliefs are. The only thing that matters in professional sports is can you compete at that level.
The NFL has managed to take a simple issue and turn it into a quagmire. From the beginning the NFL and the the team owners should have enforced their own rules. If you do not stand for the National Anthem you will be fined, period end of story.
All the owners needed to do when this started 2 seasons ago was to inform the players that if you fail to stand for the national anthem you will not play this week and you will not be paid. Case closed. This new NFL rule has the potential to divide locker rooms and make matters even worse.

We discuss the players right to protest but the owners also have the right to make the rules for their employees who they are paying millions of dollars to play for their team. Employers everywhere have rules and codes of conduct for how they employees behave. From dress codes to codes of behavior on the road and in the office.

To me the owners and the league have failed in their responsibility to communicate the appropriate behavior to their employees in this matter. It is hard to understand how a group of corporate executives could be so inept at managing this issue.

As a business owner myself I have all of my employees and contracted independents sign a code of conduct and they are expected to follow it or be disciplined up to and including termination. In over 30 years I have yet to need to enforce it, because my people are professionals and while they are not paid like NFL players they are all paid very well. The bottom line is if I am an NFL owner and I am paying a player millions of dollars to play for my team I can expect him to stand for the national anthem.

The NFL and the teams are businesses. By kneeling the players are turning ticket holders and viewers away from the game. I sit on the board of directors of a veterans organization and I give tickets to many veterans, disabled and healthy, as well as to the families of service people killed in the line of duty. Last season, for the first time, I had some of the tickets refused by the veterans because of this kneeling issue. I have no problem with the players cause but their cause does not justify hurting their employers' businesses at the employers' place of business.

As the son of a WW2 combat veteran who returned home and became an NYC police officer, not standing for the national anthem is unthinkable to me. I understand the issues of social injustice which exist in our country but they will not be resolved or improved by kneeling during the national anthem. In fact, that may only make matters worse. On the other side, the NFL's recent rule on this doesn't help either.

Peaceful protests in the appropriate venues followed by on going dialogue is the approach that needs to be taken not more divisive actions by the players and the league. Thanks, Since '61

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

May 25, 2018 at 09:53 am

A-freaking-men, '61. Well stated.

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Since'61's picture

May 25, 2018 at 10:31 am

Thanks ALP! Your posts are well stated as well. Since ‘61

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Fountaintown's picture

May 25, 2018 at 12:26 pm

The NFL can't just make up rules when they want. There is a collective bargaining agreement with the NFLPA.

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Fountaintown's picture

May 25, 2018 at 12:30 pm

Where will this new rule end? If a player stands for the anthem, but turns his back, is that a fine? If he raises a hand in defiance, is that a fine?

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Fountaintown's picture

May 25, 2018 at 12:37 pm

Do the players have to sing along too? Or is that a fine?

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Since'61's picture

May 25, 2018 at 03:42 pm

If they sing poorly it is a fine. If they sing well, no fine. LOL. Thanks, Since '61

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Since'61's picture

May 25, 2018 at 03:39 pm

Fountain - your questions cut both ways. If the league allows players to stand, turn their backs or raise their hands or all three where does that stop? Should we allow players to give a Nazi Seig Heil salute or wear a Nazi arm band or have a small confederate flag pop out of their helmets during the national anthem if that is their form of protest? Should the players be allowed to juggle during the national anthem to express their views or raise awareness for their cause(s)? Maybe they can practice their end zone dances during the national anthem.
The point is that the national anthem is the one time when we can come together, united, and show our respect, not just for the flag, or our veterans, or the song, but rather for each other as Americans. Not as a forum for 100,000 people to make everyone aware of their issue. Everyone has an issue(s) or cause(s) that we feel strongly about. The national anthem is a time for unity and respect not division and individualism.
If anything we should stand for the anthem because we live in a country that provides other venues for peaceful protest and discussion. For that we should stand united during the anthem not dividing ourselves. As you ask, where does it end on the rules side and on the protest side? Thanks, Since '61

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Since'61's picture

May 25, 2018 at 03:30 pm

The NFL and the team owners will do whatever they need to do legally to protect their business interests especially their financial interests. As for the CBA, I doubt if kneeling for the national anthem was covered since the issue did not exist when it was negotiated. Thanks, Since '61

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Qoojo's picture

May 25, 2018 at 10:51 am

I have to mention that I am a 4 year army vet, so that when I voice an unpopular opinion, the geniuses that can't handle it, can take their own advice that they were going to give to me.

The symbolism of the national anthem is subjective, and not determined by you or one group. Equating kneeling to disrespect of troops or whatever is absurd. This is just more distraction to keep people focused from the **** show of the current political situation.

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Since'61's picture

May 25, 2018 at 03:27 pm

deleted

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4thand10's picture

May 25, 2018 at 12:24 pm

I support players right to kneel or not participate for a whole plethora of reasons. One only has to look at what happened Bucks rookie Sterling Brown. These are not just highly publicized isolated incidences. These situations regularly happen to people of color in neighborhoods all across America.

Of course there are bad protesters, just like there are bad cops, bad employees, bad parents and bad people in general. But that does not change the fact that militarization of local police forces and mistreatment of people of color is a HUGE issue that needs to be addressed.

The whole public / private or Employer / Employee argument is subjective as well. A substantial amount of "owners" received combinations of public and private funding for their stadiums and operations. The word publicly funded is key here. Green Bay is publicly owned, however many other stadiums are "publicly owned" in a convoluted way as they accept public funding for stimulating economic growth in various cities. It's just not as simple as owner A and employee B with walmart style "products" and "Services" to explain how the NFL works. It is a very public sport, with very public community involvement ( schools, programs etc.) and a lot of responsibility. I don't think any of us know for sure if the NFL is losing money or where the truth is.

For all I know, Mike Pence doesn't even buy his own tickets for his sporting events, or maybe he does? or maybe we as taxpayers are paying for them? Who knows? People including myself love football and the stadiums looked packed to me. I believe it is the appropriate forum to express what's happening in communities because these players are so involved with the communities and see what's going on.
Some people choose to walk out to express views, like Mike Pence, and other people choose to take a knee. Two completely opposite views but both have valid arguments. But I side with the players because without them there would be no NFL. I respect players more than someone sitting in a box seat ,cocktail in hand with a wife 30 yrs younger and has no clue about mistreatment of people of color. I believe racism and police brutality are real issues and players have the same rights as politicians and owners to express their views. They are symbiotic relationships without players there's no owners, without taxpayers there's no politicians. All must find ground to work it out.

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Fountaintown's picture

May 25, 2018 at 12:36 pm

The whole point of protesting during the national anthem is to bring attention to police brutality of minorities. If these players protested without this giant spotlight would anybody even be talking about this at all? Highly doubtful...m.thats the point

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flackcatcher's picture

May 25, 2018 at 03:46 pm

No. This was a case of a few players dragging their teammates along for the ride and the owners (lead by Jerry Jones) fubaring this into earth obit. Virtue signaling means nothing, unless those starting it have a follow on plan to deal with the issue. They did not, and here we are. And if the NFLPA is really serious about this, then they will have their chance when the CBA end this year.

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Ferrari Driver's picture

May 25, 2018 at 03:25 pm

One only has to look at what happened Bucks rookie Sterling Brown.

He only took up a couple of handicapped parking places and wouldn't take his hands out of his pockets.

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Guam's picture

May 25, 2018 at 11:09 am

As always '61, your comments are well thought out and well written. However the NFL issue may a bit different than your business as they have a CBA to deal with. If the NFL did not include language in the current CBA to deal with social protest, they may not be able to issue a work place policy dealing it. I suspect this is the case since the NFL proposes only to fine the team, not the player, for kneeling during the anthem.

I do agree the NFL screwed this up. They should have sat down with the NFLPA when this issue started and explained the damage being done. I suspect something could have been worked out between the two sides early on before Kaepernick and Reed soured the whole issue between them.

I am not sure there is an straight forward solution now.

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Since'61's picture

May 25, 2018 at 03:26 pm

Guam - you make a good point about the CBA. I don’t know where the CBA is on this issue but my guess is that it wasn’t addressed in the CBA. I don’t think that anyone would have considered it at the time. Kneeling wasn’t an issue then.

I am curious about your Guam moniker. You don’t need to answer but are you from Guam? I only ask because Guam was one of the islands where my Dad fought during WW2 in the Pacific. He was there in 1944 to liberate the island, not in 1941 when it was captured by the Japanese.

Thanks, Since ‘61

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flackcatcher's picture

May 25, 2018 at 04:07 pm

Guam makes a good point that I hadn't considered. Could the owners be any more clueless. (why yes THEY COULD) This fire was almost dead, and they pored gas over it again. I hope this time these idiots reach out to the NFLPA before this explodes again.

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Lare's picture

May 25, 2018 at 07:59 pm

Even after over 150 posts on this topic, I think everyone is missing the point. This isn't about owners vs. players, patriotism vs. disrespect for the flag, workers rights vs. freedom of speech or any of the other politically charged issues people are raising.

The issue here is that the NFL is losing viewers, attendees and revenues. And although the player anthem protests are part of that problem, they aren't the only part of the problem.

Regardless of what we think, the owners actions here may help viewership as it'll be regarded as patriotic (everybody loves a hero and needs a villain to hate). But they'll still struggle to maintain the same level of interest they've had in the past as parity has diluted the talent and they've over-saturated the market with games on too many days & nights.

If the owners and the players don't quit bickering amongst themselves and start working together to solve the NFL's problems, they are all going to suffer financially in the end.

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scullyitsme's picture

May 25, 2018 at 08:44 pm

What’s really offensive is that grown men give a crap if a guy kneels or stands in any situation. This idea that vets are more American and represent the flag more than the rest of us is silly. I have brothers and close friends in 3 branches of our armed forces and all of them will tell you there are just as many dumbasses in the army if not more than there are walking around in any given city. Or the fact that I, in the stands don’t take my hat off, and that you would give a shit, is really pretty sad. This is all of our country. I have to put up with your dumbass, you get to put up with mine. Deal with it.

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Guam's picture

May 26, 2018 at 07:37 am

Since '61 - I am not a native of Guam but lived there for 8 years and was living there when I first discovered this site. Hence the moniker. I retired back to Wisconsin a couple of years ago.

The island has changed quite a bit from the time your father served there. It is now a tourist hot spot for Asian counties and ironically gets over a million Japanese visitors every year.

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