The fallout from the NFL players protesting during the national anthem this past weekend continues, but the league seems to not care one bit.
Pittsburgh Steelers fans around the country began torching their team gear, while a man who had worked home games for the Buffalo Bills for thirty years quit when several members of the team knelt during the anthem. The icing on the late night cake was that ratings for Sunday Night Football were the lowest for any Week 3 game in eleven years.
Perhaps all of that is what prompted the Dallas Cowboys and their owner to take a modified approach before the Monday Night Football game:
Dallas Cowboys, including owner Jerry Jones, link arms, kneel ahead of national anthem. https://t.co/zBmQuSQyhk pic.twitter.com/vciqg5yBeX
— ABC News (@ABC) September 26, 2017
They would all then stand for the playing of The Star Spangled Banner, although they were booed for kneeling.
Perhaps the most shameful aspect of all of this is what happened to Pittsburgh Steelers lineman Alejandro Villanueva. The former Army Ranger and veteran of three tours in Afghanistan was the lone member of his team to come out for the anthem. He stood there with his hand over his heart for the entire song, then rejoined his team.
Villanueva was viewed as having made a difficult, but patriotic choice. He was celebrated on social media all day Sunday, and by Monday, gear bearing his name and number was outselling every other player’s in the NFL. Offensive linemen don’t really enjoy that kind of popularity. Sadly, by late Monday, Villanueva’s teammates and coaches had shamed him into apologizing.
Ever the village idiots, the MSM have been playing their parts in dumbing down the conversation over this issue. Earlier on Monday, NBC’s Hallie Jackson asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders during a press briefing whether President Trump has “a problem with the First Amendment?”
That’s where this national conversation goes off the rails. An employee isn’t flush with free speech rights or the ability to express himself in whichever manner he sees fit. Anyone who says so is either lying in order to muddy the debate or has never held a job before.
A person who works in a retail outlet can’t just begin hurling offensive epithets at customers and expect to keep a job.
You don’t see a lot of Hawaiian shirts in high-powered corporate office buildings.
The NFL is so strict with its dress policy that it fined a player last year for wearing cleats that paid tribute to 9-11.
Professional football players may make a lot of money, but they are still employees. They don’t get an extra special set of workplace rights just because they’re high paid.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has no problem whatsoever micro-managing and shutting down a players “right” to express himself if it’s a cause that doesn’t get the league a lot of leftist media praise, like honoring murdered police officers.
Goodell and the team owners are being disingenuous what they can and cannot, or even should or should not, do. Activism outside of the workplace could be encouraged.
Inside the workplace, i.e. the games, the league may want to start paying attention to its fans rather than its pampered players. The ratings decline didn’t start this weekend, it’s been happening ever since Fidel Castro lover Colin Kaepernick started this nonsense last season.
I am a hard core football fan. Until this season, I was glued to NFL Red Zone all day on Sundays. My own viewing habits are down by about 80 percent so far and this weekend might have put me off of the league forever.
I am not an isolated example. This is practically a fever that’s catching across all of football fandom. Politics may succeed in burying the NFL even before the concussions do.