I Am Done With The NFL
After being an NFL fan most of my adult life, I am done with the NFL. I have tolerated NFL’s hypocrisy for a while but I will not tolerate disrespect to the flag.
Our flag and our anthem mean the world to me. Every time the anthem is played, I fight back tears as it is a reminder of how much this country has given me, how much I am indebted to it, and the many who made the ultimate sacrifice. It reminds me of Iwo Jima and Normandy. It reminds me of that stormy night when Francis Scott Key woke up to see the flag atop Fort McHenry. It reminds me of that tattered flag over the 9/11 rubble which gave all of us hope in the face of unspeakable bloodshed.
NFL claims it is protecting freedom of speech. Where was the players’ freedom of speech when the league rejected pink cleats honoring a breast cancer surviving mother? Or the cleats honoring victims of 9/11? Or the decals honoring fallen officers? Nobody is questioning their freedom of speech; it is their judgment of hijacking a sports event for narrow political views that we question.
Those who disrespect the flag are ungrateful. Talent needs an environment to shine. The expensive tracks and fields these players train in high school comes to them courtesy of this great country. Access to gyms and weight rooms is not as easy in other countries as it is in America. The millions players make comes at least in part due to the American financial system set up by Alexander Hamilton. Those billion-dollar stadiums are a symbol of America’s financial might (and taxpayer subsidies). The scholarship that helped these players get the coaching, training, access to medical resources, dietician, equipment, etc. is a byproduct of America’s economic success. Have these people looked at the earnings of an athlete in Kenya? Or one in Russia? Have they compared the mansions they live in with the dwelling of that Olympic gold medalist from Ethiopia? Meanwhile, they express their gratitude by standing up for the God Save the Queen while disrespecting the Star-Spangled Banner?
They are supposedly protesting “racial injustice”. You mean blacks killing blacks in Chicago? The high illiteracy rate in the black community? The breakdown of the family and the children born out of wedlock? Perhaps the players union should spend some money educating these players. If the protestors really care, they should go work on these issues. Oh wait! that would mean real work! Taking a knee and blaming someone else is so much easier!
One final point: Sports has a history of uniting us. The days after 9/11 or after a natural disaster, we turned to sports to take a respite from the challenges in life. Thank you, NFL, you have allowed a handful of players hijack a great sport to make petty political points. You are on your way to paving paradise and building a parking lot and I, for one, have no desire to subsidize your political correctness. I am tuning out.