Special to WorldTribune.com
Trump is right. It’s time fans take a stand against the NFL’s multimillionaire thugs, who are protesting by kneeling during the national anthem. Their actions are not just disrespectful, but obscene and grotesque.
The National Felon’s League has made a fatal mistake: It believes it has become bigger than the flag, the “Star-Spangled Banner” and America itself. The NFL will pay a big price for its arrogance and hubris.
TV ratings are already down. Yet, after this weekend’s fiasco, with hundreds of players and entire teams — the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Seattle Seahawks and the Tennessee Titans — protesting and boycotting the anthem, the NFL may have crossed the Rubicon. They have placed anti-American leftist politics above their fans. The backlash has been immense, and it is only growing. Countless fans are burning their jerseys, asking for tickets to be refunded and vowing to never watch another game. If this trend continues, the NFL is on the path toward committing suicide.
Black Lives Matter has essentially hijacked professional football. In order to protest “racism” and police brutality, NFL players have decided to insult our anthem, our flag and our country. Think about this: black (and white) athletes are denouncing the very nation that enables them to make ludicrous amounts of money playing a game. Instead of being grateful, they are behaving like spoiled, overindulged narcissists — pathetic crybabies, whose ingratitude is matched only by their ignorance.
Take the first game on Sunday played in London between the Baltimore Ravens and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Nearly 20 members from both teams — including players, coaches and staff — knelt during the “Star-Spangled Banner,” written by Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships in Baltimore Harbor. Yes, we are speaking of Fort McHenry in Baltimore!
Leave aside that they did this on foreign soil. When the U.K.’s national anthem, “God Save the Queen,” was played then those very same players stood up out of respect. In other words, they spit on their own country, but not Britain — the very nation that America fought to win our independence and whose troops invaded our country and burned down the White House during the War of 1812. They rise for the flag of the British Empire, an imperialist power that historically oppressed hundreds of millions of people, in places such as Ireland, Africa, the Middle East and India.
Moreover, as the Daily Caller reports, the total net worth of those 17 protesting players is nearly $450 million ($448 million to be exact). This is more than the Gross Domestic Product of over 10 small countries — and that’s just counting those 17 players alone. More than 200 protested this weekend. Their combined wealth rivals those of midsize nations. For them to complain about “racial inequality” or “injustice” is not just wrong. It is sick.
When these wealthy thugs protest the anthem, they are disrespecting the flag, the nation it represents and all those who have fought and died for the Stars and Stripes. They are also, however, insulting the fans. NFL players are supposed to be professionals. They are not paid to be politicians; rather, their job is to play football. If they want to advocate for social justice causes, they should do so on their own time and on their own dime.
Employers have every right to control and regulate the behavior of their employees on the workforce. It happens every day, everywhere. There are dress codes, rules and regulations about self-expression and what is permitted and not permitted behavior. For example, if I engaged in sexual intercourse on the Internet — say, I starred in a porn flick — my employer, Entercom, would have every right to fire me. If I joined the Ku Klux Klan or tweeted out racist rants, Entercom would — and they would have every right to — terminate me. In other words, even though those actions are perfectly legal and protected under the Constitution, my rights of self-expression are not absolute. And they are not for most Americans either. So why should it be different for NFL players?
More to the point, these protests reveal what I have long suspected: The NFL hates America. When players wanted to honor the victims of 9/11 on the 15th anniversary by wearing a decal on their cleats, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, a rabid liberal, refused and threatened to fine them.
When the Dallas Cowboys sought to wear stickers on their helmets to honor the five police officers murdered by a Black Lives Matter supporter, Goodell said no. He vowed the Cowboys would be punished.
Hence, the NFL has repeatedly regulated and denied the self-expression of players. But only when those causes are pro-military, pro-law enforcement and patriotic. Yet, when it came to Colin Kaepernick, who under the influence of his radical Muslim girlfriend, championed the hatred of cops and an anti-white, anti-American agenda, Goodell’s answer was clear: no problem. Goodell is not just a leftist hypocrite. He has allowed BLM to infect and pollute the NFL.
That is his right. It is also the right of these multimillionaire thugs to dump all over our flag and anthem. They have a constitutional right to be offensive — and stupid. But we, the American people, the fans and President Trump, also have the right to freedom of speech. It cuts both ways. We have the right to be offended — and to speak out.
The NFL needs to be taught a lesson. These puerile protests will not stop until there is a serious boycott. Don’t go to the games; don’t buy the jerseys and merchandise; and don’t watch on TV. Once the league starts losing money, the players will learn to again respectfully stand.
Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at WorldTribune.com and the host of “The Kuhner Report” weekdays 12-3 pm EST on WRKO AM-680 in Boston.