By Don Boys, Ph.D.
All the public uproar about “taking the knee” during the national anthem can be distilled very simply: it is about men without character who refuse to keep their written commitment. All players who do not stand silently during the singing or playing of our national anthem are rebels without a cause.
The NFL’s 2017 Official Playing Rules prohibit players from “wearing, displaying, or otherwise conveying personal messages” or “which relate to political activities or causes.” That obviously means that when a man signs (usually a multi-million dollar contract) to play in the NFL, he agrees to limit his freedom of expression on game day to what the league considers appropriate. Protestors who refuse to keep their contract prove they have problems with commitment, conscience, and character.
The players insist that they have a right to express their views and of course they do but not as professional ball players on game day. They can surrender their million dollar salaries and spout off all they want about any subject. However, they are not that principled. The issue is not that important. If many of them walked out of their contract, they would have to get a normal job.
Commissioner of the NFL Roger Goodell called Mr. Trump’s criticism of kneeling players “divisive” and “demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.” But maybe it’s not Trump but the players that are “divisive.” After all, there would not be an issue if they had obeyed their contract and the law of common sense.
When hardcore Patriots fans boo their own team it is not a good sign and indicative that the NFL is going to lose big time in this Battle of Bended Knee. There has also been booing at the citadels of liberalism–Washington D.C. and Boston! Fans are speaking but the NFL is not listening.
By kneeling, these overpaid men are disrespecting the courageous soldiers who fought and died on battlefields without huge salaries, fringe benefits, cheerleaders, television interviews, bands, and cheering fans. They had their limbs torn off, were blinded, shell-shocked, and often came home to face resentment, ridicule, and rejection. Protesting players will only face empty stadiums.
It seems the NFL players are not too smart. Maybe they can’t read the reports that reveal that 64% of Americans think they are immature, and irresponsible, even immoral. Note that the issue of supporting young (or old), black (or white), male (or female), poor (or rich) people who get killed refusing to obey or threatening police officers is not being discussed. Maybe professional athletes would be more productive if they convinced our American youth to obey the law.
Fans pay outrageous prices to attend professional sport events and are not interested in the political, religions, or sexual views of the players. Play Ball! Players are making a political statement, even a shameful statement; yet, remember when the player was forbidden from wearing a shirt stating “Know Jesus, Know Peace” at an after game news conference? What about his rights?
This all started in late August 2016 when the San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the anthem saying, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” While in an imperfect society there will always be oppression, there is no systemic oppression of Blacks in America. We elected Obama twice to the presidency! In fact, it’s the other way around. All minority players have to do to get their way (and ten minutes on CNN) is to whine to a leftist reporter and Bingo, it’s done.
Now this is the same Kaepernick who wore socks depicting cops as pigs, and who wore a Fidel Castro shirt! He supports Black Lives Matter that demands cops be killed. Moreover, the London Daily Mail reported this week that he gave $25,000 to a group that honors a convicted cop killer who escaped prison and is living safely in Cuba! Is this man clueless or is he so insecure that he will do anything to get attention? For sure, principled he is not.
Following Kaepernick’s “brave” performance, other non-thinkers followed lemming-like over the precipice; and the contagion has spread to over a hundred protesting players all contrary to NFL rules. It is very interesting that the NFL would not permit the Dallas Cowboys to wear a decal supporting Dallas police on their helmets last year after five Dallas police officers were murdered since it would be a violation of their code. It is interesting that more than a hundred NFL players have been arrested for murder, domestic abuse, aggravated assault, drug possession, felony marijuana possession, or lessor crimes!
It has even spread to Congress when Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), always ready to play the race card, took to the House floor to kneel in solidarity with NFL players who chose to defy President Trump and protest police brutality. Lee said you “cannot deny that Trump calling players who kneel a ‘son of a b….’ is racism.” No, race had nothing to do with it and while Trump’s statement was inexcusably crude, it was not racist.
The gentlewoman from Texas said of the protestors, “I kneel in honor of them. I kneel in front of the flag and on this floor,” Jackson Lee declared. So, she made a fool of herself (again) never missing an opportunity to do so and knelt on the floor of the House.
Some players “bravely” raise a clinched fist at ball games but they do release their fist to pick the taxpayers’ pockets since taxpayers at all levels of government subsidize football stadiums to the tune of an estimated $1 billion every year. Furthermore, the NFL alone is a $14 billion-a-year machine that may slowly grind to a halt if they further antagonize their fans. The league uses some of that money to make sure the footballs are properly inflated, but permit their players to flaunt our laws repeatedly and insult our military and flag.
Frankly, I wouldn’t pay $5.00 to see a professional ball game let alone pay the league average of $82.00 per ticket and $31.00 to park. A bottle of cold beer averages $7.00 and while I’ve never drunk a bottle of beer, that seems a little high.
Remember when it was not “brave” to kneel at a football game. In fact, it was “sanctimonious” when Tim Tebow knelt on one knee after winning or making a good play. But he was sincerely thanking God and while I believe a case can be made that it was unnecessary, that is his business as long as he obeyed his contract with the NFL.
There is a definite time to kneel as Psalm 95:6 commands, “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.”
That kind of kneeling is what really matters.
Boys’ new book Muslim Invasion: The Fuse is Burning! was published by Barbwire Books; to get your copy, click here. An eBook edition is also available.
(Dr. Don Boys is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives; ran a large Christian school in Indianapolis, wrote columns for USA Today for eight years; authored 16 books and hundreds of columns and articles for Internet and print media publications; defended his beliefs on hundreds of talk shows. These columns go to newspapers, magazines, television, and radio stations and may be used without change from title through the end tag. His web sites are www.cstnews.com and www.Muslimfact.com and www.thegodhaters.com. Contact Don for an interview or talk show.)
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