October 18, 2017

Those Spoiled NFL Player Protests...

Responding to the justification that NFL players have a Constitutional Right to protest whatever they're protesting (They seem a little confused on that.), I say, "Wrong!"

Except for a few crackpots, most Americans stand for free speech. Like anyone else, then, NFL players — misguided, sheeplike and, yes, hypocritical — certainly have a right to voice their opinions. But there's a time and a place, etc. During an NFL game is neither.

The NFL and its players have forgotten we middle-class Americans pay their salaries. We buy the tickets and jerseys, recite the Pledge of Allegiance, stand with our hands over our hearts during the National Anthem and show respect for the nation and its symbols. We invite them into our homes on Sundays, not the other way around. When we do, we expect to see a football game, not watch some disrespectful, spoiled prima donna trample on the National Anthem or the Flag. We really don't give as rat's patoot whether the players protest or not.  But we hate having it shoved down our throats! And that's what the players are doing when they kneel during the game. That. Pisses. Us. Off!

So what could the NFL have done? Thought with its head, not its wallet. Instead, it panicked. Let's say you miss a three-foot putt, totally lose it and throw your favorite putter into the lake. Now, say Best Buy sends you to install a customer's TV. The connecters don't fit, you lose it and cuss a blue streak.

In the first example, you represent only yourself. Does your Right of Free Speech allow you to swear like a sailor? Eeyup, it does. Your actions reflect on you alone (or maybe your parents, who should have taught you better).

In the second example, you represent your employer. Now, does your Right of Free Speech mean you can offend your customer and reflect badly on your boss? Also yup.

But does it mean you can do it with impunity? Nnnope. Not when it undermines your employer. And not following rules, and embarrassing or working against him certainly is undermining. 

As an employe who takes a wage, you have certain obligations, because you represent your boss. Generally, if you don't agree with his rules and directions, you have two options: swallow hard and keep your job or, man up and quit. You can't have it both ways. Simple as that. The NFL, or at least the owners, Wimped out. They should have laid down the law; fined and benched the instigators; then dealt with it in court, if need be.

Recently, the league, that altruistic paradigm of American values (note the sarcasm), waltzed around the protests and released a mealy-mouthed, I-feel-your-pain statement saying nothing. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, however, later hinted on a radio show the players should find a better way to voice their concerns.

If those players are truly sincere, they indeed should find a more effective venue. Better yet, if they're worried about police brutality, racism, social injustice, the oppression of minorities (in a word, "blacks), homosexual/transvestite rights, that Black Lives Matter, lack of respect and myriad other complaints, they should stop whining.

Note that I earlier called them hypocrites. There are exceptions, but I find it hard to believe they really care about all that stuff when they kneel on their millions and don't pony up to help those they claim to care about. And don't tell me players don't wave the First Amendment around with one fist while threatening teammates with the other who don't agree with them. Witness the Steelers lineman, an Army vet, who stood alone outside the tunnel to show respect for the National Anthem. Later, he decided to apologize to his team. You think he wasn't "helped" in that decision? Especially given earlier rumors that the Oakland Raiders O-line opened the gates on their quarterback because he didn't kneel during the anthem?

Surprisingly, three TV networks finally acted. They opted to air commercials while the anthem is being played, thereby rendering the protesters invisible. (They could just as easily shown only the anthem and not the protesters, but at least those brats are out of the spotlight.) Interestingly, before last year the anthem got very little air time. Only when one network shot Kaepernick on a knee did it become news.

As for me, I'm still not watching the NFL. And I hope the fan boycott continues. Then the league either will clean up its act, or its wallet will continue to hemorrhage! And if that happens, there'll be no "maybe" from me.

I most assuredly will dance!