Donald Trump at last night's rally in Huntsville, Alabama said to the crowd “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’ You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it [but] they’ll be the most popular person in this country.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell responded with this comment:
First, the players appear confused in their protests. There is a lot to protest about the United States government interventionist activities, both domestic and abroad, that get more aggressive every day.
But this isn't the reason for the protests. The protests were launched by Colin Kaepernick. This is what he told an NFL reporter about his protest:
I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.At the time he said that, Kaepernick, a black man, was in the second year of a seven-year $126 million contract. I need to be oppressed like this.
But second, if I am running a show, and the NFL is a show, I really don't want anyone that is part of my show irritating paying customers.
There is a lot to be said for the saying:
Keep religion and politics out of business.When people are transacting with you, in general, they don't want to be stuffed with your political views.
If someone is interested in promoting their views, they should start a blog, a podcast, a talk show, a movement or a church. The people who support you in that effort are interested in your opinions.
So Trump has a point, though muddied it is, the NFL should keep religious and political views out of its games. Though Trump is coming from the totally asinine perspective that his view is the correct one and no one should protest America by failing to stand for the national anthem because "America is great"---while ignoring the growing expansion of the interventionist government in every nook and cranny of our lives.
Actually, the NFL should, in fact, stop playing the national anthem at games. It is done in support of the worst of government activities.
The Washington Post informs:
[S]inging the national anthem at sporting events began during the 1918 World Series, when the nation was at war...
The event had a public relations bonus for ballplayers in 1918, as there were people wondering why they were on the ballfield rather than the battlefield.But really most aren't that interested. WaPo continues:
The idea caught on.
“Not to be outdone,” writes Marc Ferris in his cultural history of the anthem, “Red Sox owner Harry Frazee opened each game in Boston with it.
By the mid-1950s, with the nation at peace and increasingly fat and happy, crowds were less erect, less attentive and less respectful as the anthem was played.
In 1954, Ferris reports, the general manager of the Baltimore Orioles, Arthur Ellers, a World War I veteran complained that about the fact that fans went on talking, laughing and moving around as the anthem was played.
“‘To me,'” Ellers said, “‘it’s very distasteful.”
So disrespectful did he find it that he decided it wouldn’t be played anymore, relenting about a month later under pressure from the Baltimore City Council, which counts among the city’s main tourist attractions Fort McHenry, the actual broad stripes, bright stars and rockets red glare had inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words in 1814.
Of course, while many fans do stop what they’re doing when the anthem is played, remove their hats and shush their children, others still laugh and talk and move about while the anthem is being played.
“The next time you’re at sporting event,” Kyle Koster, wrote in the The Big Lead in May, “take a look around notice how many people are locked into their phones, sipping their beer or worse during the playing of the anthem. It’s impossible to know someone’s inner thoughts, but the outward actions suggest someone counting the seconds until they can yell, ‘play ball’..As for Goodell's bizarre statement, why did he have to respond to Trump in the first place?
What is this about a sense of unity in our country and culture?
I have very little in common with most of the people in this country. As far as I am concerned, if they don't know how or when to break opłatek, they are not fully part of my culture and never will be. But this doesn't mean I can't exchange with others when it is beneficial for both of us to exchange or be cordial to one another or to participate in rituals where our cultures overlap. But it is not some egalitarian notion that we are all the same.
With his statement. Goodell is kneeling on behalf of cultural Marxism. As NFL commissioner, he should be trying to spread further the culture of professional football watching in America and keep his mouth shut about some silly politically correct grand nationalistic unification.
DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, tweeted: “We will never back down. We no longer can afford to stick to sports.”