First, here’s the viewpoint of Mike Rowe, who always has a cool head and a great way with words:
Millions of Americans were furious following the recent NFL “protests” last weekend.
Dozens of players refused to stand for the national anthem in order to appease the extremist Black Lives Matter movement.
Mike Rowe dropped a truth bomb on every NFL protester. The recent NFL protests were a disgusting act of disrespect to the American flag, and to the men and woman who fight and die to protect it. Many people were furious about it, and have been highly vocal.
Mike Rowe, who always has a unique and well thought-out opinion on the issues of the day, remained silent on the matter—until a fan sent him this question:
“I know you avoid politics, (thanks!) and I remember your rant on the Colts leaving Baltimore. (As a former Browns fan, I feel your pain.) But I gotta ask – what’s happening to professional football, and what do you make of Trump’s comments about those who refuse to stand during the national anthem?”
The response from Rowe began with a more philosophical approach, when he stated:
“In democracies, we the people get the government we deserve. We also get the celebrities we deserve, the artists we deserve, and the athletes we deserve. Because ultimately, we the people get to decide who and what gets our attention, and who and what does not.”
With that thought provoking prelude out of the way, he responded more directly to the question:
“Right now,” Rowe says, “The NFL, the players who choose to kneel, the networks who choose to broadcast their protest, the advertisers who sponsor the games, and the President of the United States, are all eager for our attention. And they are all using football to get it. That’s all well and good, right up to the point where it isn’t. In my view, this controversy really isn’t about patriotism, social justice, racial inequality, or free speech. It’s not even about the flag or the national anthem. It’s really only about one thing – what we will tolerate, and what we won’t.”
Rowe then went on to give a slight critique of President Trump’s response. His criticism was not based on him disagreeing with dismissing the players participating, but that he felt that decision should not come from the President, but rather should be the decision of viewers, because if enough viewers disapprove, the owners will be forced to act.
As stated by Rowe himself:
“I was disappointed last night, to hear President Trump encourage owners to fire players who refuse to stand for the anthem.”
“Not because I dispute the owners right to do so, and not because I would grieve the dismissal of anyone who chooses to disrespect our flag. I was disappointed because the President’s comments presuppose that the owners are in charge of the game. They’re not. We are. We decide what to watch, and that decision – far more than any other consideration – will determine the what the owners choose to do. And that in turn will affect what the players choose to do.”
“As the leader of the country, the President had an opportunity to remind us that the NFL, the networks who broadcast their games, and all of the players – standers and kneelers alike – work for us. He might have also used the occasion to remind us that he too, serves at our pleasure.”
[From an article published by GREAT AMERICAN DAILY]
Here’s our own position:
If the NFL players believe so strongly in what they are protesting, it is our opinion that their protest should never be shown in any relationship to their employment. The only reason they are making their protest at all is they know they have a TV camera in front of them as professional football players. Without the exposure TV offers them, they are just like the rest of us, US citizens with a point of view.
Professional football has NOTHING to do with what these players are protesting. The players are simply taking advantage, and wrongly so, of their place in the public eye every game day.
Most US citizens, it seems, agree with the players’ right to protest, but dislike intensely the fact that the players choose to protest openly on TV and on game days. That being said, most Americans would dislike intensely being confronted by ANY professional athletes who want to subject America to their opinion just because they have TV exposure which most Americans do not have.
What these professional athletes are telling America is that their point of view is more important than our country’s flag and the anthem which celebrates it. They are also telling America that they do not respect anything our country stands for. The fact that we have US military men and women stationed around the world, in harm’s way and willing to die in order to give these spoiled and thoughtless athletes the right to voice a protest about anything at all, is something that has apparently never occurred to the sitters and the kneelers. Our soldiers would tell the athletes the same thing we are trying to tell them: We agree with your right to protest, but not with your making that protest a part of professional sports.
If you want to protest, you sitters and kneelers, you should find some other way to do it. Period. No discussion. And if that really bothers you, why not just find another country to play football in? If you don’t like the USA, you are free to pack up and leave anytime. Try to find another country which will give you the freedom and the exposure — and the income — you enjoy here. If you want to stay here, then for God’s sake grow up and leave the protest (and the attitude which generates it) at home when you show up at the stadium to play. Show your fans that you are mature enough to separate playing and protesting…because your fans really do not care about your political opinions any more than you care about theirs.
As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by
NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis