SEABROOK – As NFL preseason continues, the new National Anthem Policy still resonates with owners, players and fans alike. Although the league and National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) are currently negotiating a revision to the rule which presently prohibits players from peacefully protesting during the playing of the National Anthem, the polarizing topic keeps […]
SEABROOK – As NFL preseason continues, the new National Anthem Policy still resonates with owners, players and fans alike.
Although the league and National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) are currently negotiating a revision to the rule which presently prohibits players from peacefully protesting during the playing of the National Anthem, the polarizing topic keeps gaining opposition from both sides.
When former NFL player and civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick knelt two years ago bringing awareness on subjects of social injustice and police brutality, he became an enemy to many and a hero to others at the same accord.
On Aug. 9 before a home match against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dolphins players Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson knelt on the ground during the rendition of the National Anthem to continue Kaepernicks’ cause which forced The Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association to counteract the players’ initiative of a peaceful protest.
“The Palm Beach County (PBA) recently offered our members discounts to a Miami Dolphins game because the franchise said they were going to honor all first responders,” PBA said in a Facebook statement.
“We entered into this partnership with the understanding that the Dolphins organization would require their players to stand for the National Anthem. This did not happen at last night’s preseason game against Tampa Bay. As a result, the Palm Beach County PBA will no longer participate in this ticket program, and we are asking all our members, as well members of the Dade Country Police Benevolent Association and the Broward County Police Benevolent Association, not to participate either.
“If you have already purchased tickets to this game, we encourage you to call the Dolphins ticket office to request a refund because this organization obviously does not honor First Responders and the dangers they put themselves in every day.”
The ignorance of the statement made by the PBA is beyond laughable considering the protests’ intent is not to disrespect the flag, military or first responders for that matter.
It was just another money move that was blindfolded by the American flag. The NFL clearly has an issue, and unfortunately, there is not a one size fits all rule that will keep everyone happy.
Especially since more prominent high-dollar players are speaking up about their objection to the way the NFL is forcing players onto the field to stand when they “should stand” with their teammates only to be forced to sit in the locker room or they will be fined. It seems to be a new way for the NFL to integrate a modern form of segregation based off of the elitist nature of the business.
Unless the frozen talks between the NFL and NFLPA decide to change the rule ultimately, the league has found another way to alienate these athletes.
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman coined the new policy as an ‘old plantation mentality’ when directly speaking of how Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones is handling the situation with his organization by forcing his players to stand or face the consequences of being fired.
Former NFL Two-time MVP and Super Bowl Champion quarterback Aaron Rodgers recently weighed in on how money affects the anthem rule and the perception of it.
“Obviously, the league is worried about its ratings and everything, but it seems that with the distribution from the TV (networks) that everybody’s doing pretty well,” Rodgers said during an interview with Michael Silver with NFL Media. “But it is interesting to see how moments like that can be the impetus for guys coming together and getting some perspective.”
As television ratings have declined since 2015, many people point the finger at players who are protesting, but the issue seems to be clear that a lot of fans are fed up with the way the NFL is handling the situation and do not trust the process.
The average audience for a regular season NFL game dropped nearly 10 percent from a total of 16.5 million to 14.9 million from 2016 to 2017 while the average viewership for an NFL game fell 8 percent in 2016.
The numbers do not lie. You cannot go to any event without NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell being booed and mocked repeatedly, yet he has still been in office since Paul Tagliabue retired in 2006.
Fans are fed up with his unfair and wavering tactics to make sure the league is profitable despite what allegations and scandals are in the midst. Whether it be the Michael Vick dog fighting ring or Ray Rice domestic violence situation, there has been no consistency or resolution to his decisions or punishments that fall by the wayside over time.
The new National Anthem Policy is no different. Goodell made the rule change without the consent of NFLPA which breached the collective bargaining agreement and further complicated the argument to restore the shield’s glory.
However, ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro recently announced that the network will not televise the playing of the National Anthem moving forward which could deafen Kaepernicks’ message that current NFL players have continued up to this point on a national stage.
Pitaro removed a giant soapbox that NFL players have used to express their concerns in order to remain as ‘good partners’ with the NFL for, you guessed it, money.
Players are still raising their fists in the air and kneeling in defiance to the fascist NFL regime that is blanketing over the social landscape, and President Donald Trump has fueled the fire by his objection of the situation prompting Goodell and company to take swift action to secure the bag.
As prominent businesspeople that were thrust into leadership roles, they have similar backgrounds and agendas in strong-arming the masses to fulfill what they want financially.
“The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again – can’t believe it!” Trump said on Twitter. “Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart? The $40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!”
The frozen talks between the NFL and NFLPA will continue to stifle the First Amendment rights of players and time will tell if or when a resolution to combat these issues on both sides will come to fruition as the regular season is quickly approaching.