Golden Rule: NFL Deserves Shaming
Virtue signaling and outrage have reached peak levels in the wake of Trump's rebuke of NFL leftism during a fiery speech in Alabama on Friday night.
Trump said, “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!"
A league of overpaid athletes presently making a business of unpatriotic grandstanding, is apparently shocked to know this commander-in-chief does not approve of incessant childish, seditious showboating.
The president's chastisement was not a dog whistle for racists, it was a bull horn for fed up patriots. You can shame our flag, shame our anthem, but we will not be silent and we will not kneel.
Trump expressed his opinion, the same way those pampered players do when they kneel, but the difference is Trump's stance requires more mettle in today's America. In an era when Che is back in vogue, domestic activists openly call for jihad against our nation, and iconoclasm is cool again, patriotism becomes blasphemy.
Americans are sick of a highly-left politicized NFL and Trump didn't start this fight. If we would like to continue ignoring the fact that leftist politics are killing NFL viewership, that's fine, but it's still an abject denial of reality.
A 2016 Seton Hall poll surveyed 841 adults across the U.S., respondents were asked to consider factors for the NFL ratings drop, with "yes" and "no" answers. According to the poll, the leading factor was national anthem protests and the breakdown for declining ratings goes like this: "56% of respondents cited players not standing for the anthem, with 50% citing the distraction of the presidential campaign and 47% the controversy over the handling of domestic violence cases involving players."
Rejoice, Americans are still a principled people who do not want to condone anti-Americanism and domestic violence with their time or money.
Now, if you're concerned Trump's comments may manifest in employer policy, I would like to point to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who has taken it upon himself to actually infringe upon free expression.
Goodell charged Trump with a “lack of respect for the NFL”, because he felt it violated the “constitutional rights of our players."
That's a mighty fine high-horse, Goodell, but what do you have in the stable? The Daily Wire knows, "This comes from the same commissioner who threatened NFL players who wanted to honor both 9/11 victims and five police officers who were murdered in Dallas."
Who's dishonoring the First Amendment now?
The Dallas Cowboys wanted to pay tribute to the five Dallas officers who were murdered at a Black Lives Matter protest on July 7, 2016. The Cowboys had been wearing a special decal on their helmets that said “Arm in Arm” that specifically honored the police officers — that is, until the NFL stepped in and stopped it.
Of the NFL political snuff, Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation President Sgt. Demetrick Pennie says, "The NFL had an opportunity to be leaders and advocates for change in law enforcement." Pennie adds, “These are our friends and our loved ones ... it hurts to not have the NFL fully support us.”
How did the NFL honor the murder of thousands at the hands of Islamists on 9/11? The New York Post reported,
Avery Williamson, a starting linebacker for the Tennessee team, hoped to wear a pair of specially-designed cleats at his team’s home opener Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, but he backed off when a league rep vowed to fine him for violating the league’s uniform code.
The hypocrisy doesn't end there, the Daily Wire provides a number of instances in which the NFL conspicuously had no qualms infringing upon players' right to free expression:
- Steelers’ Cameron Heyward was fined for wearing eye black to honor his father, Craig "Iron Head" Heyward, who died of bone cancer in 2006.
- Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams was fined $5,787 in 2015 for wearing "Find the Cure" eye black with the message "We will find a cure" printed along with a pink ribbon, according to Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network. His mother died of breast cancer in 2010.
- In 2013, Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall was fined $5,250 for wearing green shoes in honor of Mental Health Awareness week, which was especially poignant because Marshall himself suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder.
- A third Steelers player, William Gay, was fined $5,787 in 2015 for wearing purple cleats to bring attention to domestic violence. Gay’s action was also moving because his mother was killed in an act of domestic violence.
So when clowns like Colin Kaepernick—who recently poked fun at the victims of Hurricane Harvey—compare peace officers to slave catchers and when NFL smothers the memory of the dead, we are supposed eat it as patriotism.
But when the leader of the free world rightfully condemns the league's blatant hypocrisy and churlishness, it is the pinnacle of unpatriotic expression.
However, there has been one beacon of Americanism in the sea of stupidity.
While the rest of the Steelers hid in the locker room at the behest of coach Mike Tomlin, West Point graduate and former Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva, who earned a Bronze Star in Afghanistan, refused to stay in the locker room and stood with his hand over his heart during the National Anthem—this is what a patriot looks like.
Coach Tomlin and the rest of the Steelers were greeted with boos as they walked onto the field.
If there was any doubt that these demonstrations are, in fact, not patriotic whatsoever, look no further than coach Tomlin's reaction to Villanueva's display of genuine patriotism: “Like I said, I was looking for 100 percent participation, we were gonna be respectful of our football team."
In this parallel universe, respect for participants of a game and a divisive narrative supersedes respect for those who risk their lives for this country.
Villanueva has expressed criticism for Kaepernick and those who share his mentality, “I don’t know if the most effective way is to sit down during the national anthem with a country that’s providing you freedom, providing you $16 million a year... when there are black minorities that are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan for less than $20,000 a year."
So why have sports suddenly taken on the mantle of morality police, while simultaneously remaining spineless? Mark Levin knows,
Let me tell you why the NFL won’t do this. Anyone have a guess? I have a big guess: Because they don’t want any trouble from the leftists, from the Black Lives Matter crowd. I know exactly what’s going on here. Like Hillary Clinton doesn’t seek the endorsement from the cops union. Of course not. The Democrat Party’s gone. And the NFL top brass, like the NBA top brass, like baseball top brass, all liberal Democrats. [Every] damn one of them, pretty much.
These people know that when you influence culture, you influence politics, but Americans are waking up and seeing the narrative for what it is—a divisive myth.
You have the right to pretend turning your back on the flag is noble, you have the right to slander this nation, you have the right to pretend police are blacks' biggest problem in America, but patriots have the right to stand up and pop your bubble.