To Stand Or Not To Stand

US Flag Football Field

Back when Colin Kaepernick still had a job, he decided to protest what he felt was unfair treatment by the police on minorities.  His choice of protest?  To sit, then later kneel, during the national anthem.  I said when he first did it that it was the dumbest way to protest, not because I disagree with his cause or because I believe that you must stand.  I said it was dumb because doing anything that can be perceived against the flag or unpatriotic, will do nothing to advance your cause; your cause will get lost in the noise.  Look at where we are now.  Nobody is talking about his reason for protesting; we’re all talking about the anthem and whether or not you should stand.  To make matters worse, President Drumpf chimed in by saying that players should be suspended or fired if they don’t stand (and that’s only a small part of his idiotic tweet-fest).

Recently, the owners met and decided that if a player is out on the field when the anthem is played, that player must stand or the team will be fined.  The players have the choice to stay in the locker room while the anthem is being played.  This is about the most un-American thing they could have done.  First, requiring a person to stand is the opposite of freedom.  I know some will say that all jobs have rules and regulations that are meant to control how those outside the company perceive the business and that is true.  However, most jobs do not mix work and politics.  How would you feel if your job required you to salute a picture of the current PotUS as you walked into work?  Before you republicans say you would have no issue with it, remember that a democrat could be elected as early as 2020.  Second, telling a person when and how they can or cannot protest is the opposite of what America stands for, but the NFL, like any business, is well within its rights here.  Businesses are in business to make money and how the consumers view the business has a direct impact on sales.  If you, as an employee, are doing something publicly controversial while on company time, you are having a negative impact on the company’s ability to sell its product.  This is what the NFL is trying to control, its ability to sell its product, even if they made a poor decision on the matter.

What was the right decision you ask?  Remove the anthem from the game entirely.  I can hear the rumbling now, calling me un-American, but hear me out.  Players standing on the sidelines and giant flags covering the filed haven’t been a part of the NFL for long.  Prior to 2009, the NFL didn’t require the players to be on the sideline for the anthem.  Were you outraged that they were being un-American prior to that if they were still in the locker room?  No, you didn’t even notice, did you?  Most of you probably didn’t even think about the anthem playing prior to the game, so what’s the point of it playing now?  Where did all this jingoism come from?  If you think standing for the anthem at a football game honors me or any other vet, you’re doing it wrong.  If you want to honor a vet, get active in your community and make it a better place.  I don’t feel like my time in the Navy was worth it when I see a person standing to the anthem; I feel like it was worth it when I walk out my front door and see people working to improve this country, and quite honestly, I haven’t seen that in a while.

Yesterday, the PotUS threw a big hissy fit and canceled the Philadelphia Eagles’ visit to the White House.  What did he say about the cancellation?  “They disagree with their president because he insists that they proudly stand for the national anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country.”  A draft dodger is getting all high and mighty about honoring the military.  This country has become a (bigger) joke with the election of Trump and he’s doing his best to ruin a game many of us love.

You go ahead and kneel Mr. Kaepernick; I stand (or kneel) with you.