My thoughts on NFL players' "protest" against the National Anthem
There's a lot of noise coming out about NFL players "protesting" the National Anthem by either "taking a knee" instead of standing, or staying in the locker room instead of being on the field. A lot of great minds have weighed in on this, and even though I'm a bit late to the game (no pun intended), I have a few thoughts to share.
[TL;DR version: Dear NFL players: Nobody is questioning your right to protest. What you do on your own time is your business, but on that field, in that uniform, you are not on your time; you are on ours, and we expect you to conduct yourself accordingly.]
The history on this issue has been documented better elsewhere, but here's a very short version, as understood by yours truly:
- The first "protester" was quarterback Colin Kaepernick, formerly of the San Francisco 49ers and currently a free agent, who remained seated during the National Anthem last year, to protest racial oppression and mistreatment of "people of color" by police.
- Since then, other players have joined in, kneeling "in solidarity".
- This year, President Donald Trump weighed in during a rally in Alabama, saying in part [edited for language], "Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a b***h off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired!'"
- Currently, whole teams are kneeling or retreating to the locker room during the National Anthem, and the "protest" against racial injustice has become synonymous with anti-Trump rhetoric.
More below the fold.