Drramer’s World May 23, 2018 – Thanks NFL, You Just Gave Me My Sundays Back

    The NFL today announced that it has officially mandated that players MUST “respect” the flag and the National Anthem. I have several issues with this decision, but first of all, I want to take this opportunity to thank the NFL for giving me my Sundays back.
    No longer will I be watching the NFL on TV. I could never afford tickets to start with, so I won’t miss actually going to the games. I will miss the bullshit sessions the following week about the games from the previous weekends, but its something that I can endure without.
    I know people who will believe that the NFL did the right thing. That is their opinion, and that is fine with me. Agreeing to disagree is an American tradition as well. Personally, I have many reasons that led me to my present position so I will list them:
  1. I am a veteran. I served in the US Navy, and I still recall my oath. Nowhere in that oath do I promise to “protect, uphold, or defend” anything other than the Constitution of the United States of America. Not a flag, not a song, just the Constitution. This is the same Constitution that guarantees the right to free speech.
  2. When a person or persons are threatened with reprisals, financial or otherwise, for refusal to participate in a patriotic display, then that display becomes about control and conformity and has nothing to do with patriotism. The tradition has always requested that people stand, it has never been mandatory, although in public places it is often used to intimidate those who would rather not participate.
  3. The people who cheer the NFL’s decision have probably never been near the military in any meaningful sense. The military teaches people to think on their own, although it is within a larger framework. It is true that the military can enforce shows of patriotism because everyone who is a member volunteer and willingly surrenders some of their rights for the period that they serve. Treating the entire population, or any other segment like the military is simply wrong.
  4. Throughout history, when narrow-minded people want to get their way they will appeal to emotion over logic to gain control. I mentioned earlier that this decision is about control, not patriotism. The refusal to acknowledge that a problem exists, a problem so extreme that some players felt that one of the few ways they could draw attention to it would be to kneel during the anthem, is typical of narrow-minded people who only see things their way.
  5. This is NOT about the flag or the anthem. It is about human rights and highlighting that a large segment of the population has had their rights infringed on, and many have died as a result of that infringement. To say that this is about patriotism or the flag is a way to avoid the real issue of violence, especially police violence in our society.
  6. This new policy is clearly unconstitutional. I hope that the players challenge this in court because they will surely win. I will celebrate that day because I will find my way back to watching the NFL, although I will miss the new-found freedom that I will enjoy for the time being on Sundays in the Fall.

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