This week, the NFL ownership group and the NFL Players Association have come together to discuss a solution to the controversy sparked by former player Colin Kaepernick and kept alive by a small amount of current players.
For some, the feeling is that it’s time the players stand and respect the National Anthem; for others, they say it’s the players’ constitutional right to free speech.
But within the context of the NFL, what does it matter if they take a knee?
If the NFL had been consistent in tits policy regarding players showing support for other issues, conflicts or memories of attacks on our nation, the whole “taking a knee in protest” issue wouldn’t be a problem. However, thanks to an alert reader, here is a short list of why there is a problem:
— In 2012 the NFL had an issue with Tim Tebow kneeling for each game to pray; they also had an issue with Tebow wearing John 3:16 as part of his blackout to avoid glare and made him take it off.
— In 2013 the NFL fined Brandon Marshall for wearing green cleats to raise awareness for people with mental health disorders.
— In 2014 Robert Griffin III (RG3) entered a post-game press conference wearing a shirt that said “Know Jesus Know Peace” but was forced to turn it inside out by an NFL uniform inspector before speaking at the podium.
— In 2015 DeAngelo Williams was fined for wearing “Find the Cure” (under) eye black for breast cancer awareness.
— In 2015 William Gay was fined for wearing purple cleats to raise awareness for domestic violence.
— In 2016 the NFL prevented the Dallas Cowboys from wearing a decal on their helmet in honor of five Dallas Police officers killed in the line of duty during a BLM protest where they put themselves in harms way to protect the protesters.
— In 2016 the NFL threatened to fine players who wanted to wear cleats to commemorate the 15th anniversary of 9/11, when this country lost more people than when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.
These are but just a few of the examples where the NFL has curtailed its players’ rights to free speech. And, in our collective mind, the very same kind of admonishing should be applied to on the field protests. They are a distraction at best and have only managed to create conversations focusing on whether they should be stopped, not on the issue of fair treatment for minorities.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“You don’t have to disrespect and insult others simply to hold your own ground. If you do, that shows how shaky your own position is.” (Red Haircrow)