Take A Knee …

1st amendment Today, the National Football League (NFL) took it upon itself to slash the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  The owners implemented a new rule that teams and therefore players will be fined if they take a knee on the field during the national anthem.  Now, they are allowed to remain off the field during the playing of the anthem, but they cannot show their protest as Colin Kaepernick did in August 2016.  Washington Post columnist EJ Dionne said it well …Dionne-tweetCommissioner Roger Goodell had this to say …

“The policy adopted today was approved in concert with the NFL’s ongoing commitment to local communities and our country — one that is extraordinary in its scope, resources, and alignment with our players. We are dedicated to continuing our collaboration with players to advance the goals of justice and fairness in all corners of our society.

The efforts by many of our players sparked awareness and action around issues of social justice that must be addressed. The platform that we have created together is certainly unique in professional sports and quite likely in American business. We are honored to work with our players to drive progress.

It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic. This is not and was never the case.

This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem. Personnel who choose not to stand for the anthem may stay in the locker room until after the anthem has been performed.

We believe today’s decision will keep our focus on the game and the extraordinary athletes who play it — and on our fans who enjoy it.”

People of conscience who are fortunate enough to have a wide platform want to use that voice to rally against injustice, and they will be fined if they do so.  What’s wrong with this picture?  How did we get so out of sync here?

kneelingPatriotism?  Loyalty to country?  The flag is a piece of cloth and the anthem is a song.  Nothing more.  They are symbols, but symbols of what, exactly?  What is patriotism?  Does patriotism require that we sit down and shut up when we would speak out against an unarmed black man being killed by a cop for no reason other than that he was black?  Does being loyal to our country mean that we cannot speak out when people are being discriminated against because they are gay?  If that’s what patriotism and loyalty mean, count me out!

POLICY STATEMENT
The 32 member clubs of the National Football League have reaffirmed their strong commitment to work alongside our players to strengthen our communities and advance social justice. The unique platform that we have created is unprecedented in its scope, and will provide extraordinary resources in support of programs to promote positive social change in our communities.
The membership also strongly believes that:
1. All team and league personnel on the field shall stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.
2. The Game Operations Manual will be revised to remove the requirement that all players be on the field for the anthem.
3. Personnel who choose not to stand for the anthem may stay in the locker room or in a similar location off the field until after the anthem has been performed.
4. A club will be fined by the League if its personnel are on the field and do not stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.
5. Each club may develop its own work rules, consistent with the above principles, regarding its personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.
6. The commissioner will impose appropriate discipline on league personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.

You know what I would like to see?  I would like to see every single player on every team take a knee during the anthem in the first games of the season.  At least one team owner had some cojones.  Christopher Johnson, the chairman and C.E.O. of the New York Jets, said the team would not punish players who choose to kneel during the anthem, despite the cost.

“There will be no club fines or suspensions or any sort of repercussions. If the team gets fined, that’s just something I’ll have to bear.”

Mike Pence, a known bigot and Trump sycophant, tweeted thisPence tweetStunning. Victory. For. Trump. That, folks, is what this is all about. If Trump speaks out against the NFL, they are afraid they will lose fans and thus lose some of those billions they rake in every season. Gotta keep the madman at the helm happy.

There may be some hope for a reversal, as the NFL and the team owners failed to consult with the players union.  The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) issued the following statement:

“The NFL chose to not consult the union in the development of this new ‘policy,’ ” the NFLPA said in a statement. “NFL players have shown their patriotism through their social activism, their community service, in support of our military and law enforcement and yes, through their protests to raise awareness about the issues they care about.

The vote by NFL club CEOs today contradicts the statements made to our player leadership by Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Chairman of the NFL’s Management Council John Mara about the principles, values and patriotism of our League.

Our union will review the new ‘policy’ and challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement.”

I hope they find the entire policy to be inconsistent.  This is a slap in the face to the 1st amendment, to the right of free speech, the right to protest.  Football players cannot take a knee, but white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the KKK can shut down entire cities and create an atmosphere of chaos and violence?  Trump denigrates the football players for a peaceful, calm, silent protest, while he calls the violent bigots and racists from the Charlottesville rally ‘very fine people’. Trump nfl vs kkk.jpgThink about this one for a while, folks.  Trump is cherry-picking the U.S. Constitution.  He likes to always be “the winner”.  And who, then, is the loser?  We The People.

77 thoughts on “Take A Knee …

  1. I addressed the “take a knee” issue on my blog as well. I hated that they compared the Rosanne and Samantha Bee stupidity to this. I had an assignment to critique something so I did! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I will check your post out in just a moment. Yes, there is NO comparison between Kaepernick and Barr … one is standing, er, kneeling for a principle, for justice, while the other is just an obnoxious foul-mouthed bigot.

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  2. Pingback: An Ugly Voice — Peter T. King | Filosofa's Word

  3. Dear Jill,

    I would love it, if all the fans who back the NFL players’ right to respectfully protest by kneeling, would kneel. I would and I bet that there are many others who are not fans of this wedge/ racist whistle fake conflation of players kneeling with being an unpatriotic act, who would kneel or stand on one leg.

    I am tired of these wedge/ cultural issues that are invented by right wingers to cater to president’s base.

    I saw this Maggie Smith quote somewhere:
    “My dear, religion is like a penis. It’s a perfectly fine thing to have and take pride in, but when one takes it out and waves in my face, we have a problem.”

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 3 people

    • I absolutely love that quote! I happened to see this comment early in my day this morning and literally spit coffee, I was laughing so hard! I would love to see all the fans kneel too, but another reader informed me there isn’t room between the rows of seats. If they simply remain seated, perhaps the message is as good. I would, if I were there! But then, I wouldn’t give the NFL or its teams (except that one who said he would not fine his players) my hard-earned money! Hugs, my friend!!!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: NEW NFL Rule: Fine Kneeling Players. – The Militant Negro™

  5. Hi Jill,

    Must chime in with the view from the nose bleed section.

    Attention employees of the corporation known as the National Football League. Emphasis: “National”.

    Employees are expected to actually be proud to work here. Your choice is to go play for Venezuela, Cuba, or any other nation that better represents your love of freedom.

    Employees are required to wear costumes (not uniforms – although they are uniform in their costumes, it’s still just a mode of dress). Employees are not allowed to adorn said costumes with any non-approved corporate signage and this includes other colors, badges, buttons, or emblems. Dress code violations are real, significant, and not okay.

    Employees must adhere to a code of conduct, both on field, and off field. This includes NOT raping women, beating your partners, or driving drunk with or without a panther riding shotgun. Failure to comply means you’ll lose your contract and endorsements and be an asshat in the court of public opinion. Remember, public opinion is the millions of TV subscribers to the astronomically expensive cable shows who broadcast our games into the living rooms of normal human beings every week, and those who spend thousands every week to have a seat in our stadiums, paying $30 for an 8oz beer and $20 for a wiener.

    Employees must adhere to norms. This includes standing for the National Anthem and showing that the American football billion-dollar industry is really just a bunch of kids who can toss a ball, kick it, catch it, and dance in the end zone. We’re here to sell an illusion of the American Dream where D students can make millions of greenbacks every year because of “talent”.

    Individuality is not part of the game. We expect you to throw the ball, catch the ball, kick the ball, and get that ball into the end zone. America loves this sport and we love you. Just abide by rules.

    The time to take a knee, is never on field. If they really care about racism, they’d donate time and positive energy to making a difference in their communities, states and even nationawide promoting an end to black on black violence AND raising awareness to the plight of the single mother AND the realities of living in the urban plantation.

    The cause is good (BLM), but perverted by politics and grandstanders who ignore real statistics in favor of becoming (in)famous.

    When did Americans decide they could use their employers podium to give a personal opinion? Yeah, never. Kaep is a dick. And everyone who takes a knee is insulting the men and women who love America, our freedom, and just want to see their team win the game.

    Employees: do your jobs. Or switch employers. #choice

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Lisa!!! I actually agree with much of what you say. However (you knew there had to be one, right?) I find it admirable that these players, who have a large platform, are seen by millions, are using that platform to speak out against injustice that affects the health and well-being of this nation. I see it as courageous, and from everything I have read, they ARE active in their communities working toward a common goal, as well. I applaud the Colin Kaepernicks, the Jimmy Kimmels and John Olivers whose voices are heard by many more than mine and yours, and can reach out so much further than we can. Sure, every job has rules, but this one, frankly, sucks, for it is oppression of the right to free speech. The owners have apparently forgotten that it is the players who actually draw the fans, and thus the $$$$ in. I would personally love to see a players strike this fall over this.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’ll take my celebrities without the side of ‘morally superior groupthink, feel good, shame on Trump rhetoric’ they serve.

        I don’t go to supermarket for dating advice or lectures on fashion, any more than I go to a sporting event or comedy show for political awareness. Entertain me with your touchdown and make me laugh with your witty interview skills. That is all.

        Besides, I think the NFL owners are doing exactly what broadcasting stations have done – siphon off the ‘shows’ that aren’t appealing to their base. Are you enraged that conservative shows have either gotten the boot or told to tone down the pro-Trump noise? Did you find it admirable that Roseann’s first episode was showcasing conservative values? Another way to look at it… if Colin Kaepernick was using his kneeling time to pray for the millions of aborted babies, would you support his cause? Makes you think…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ahhhh … there is one area in which you and I differ. I don’t necessarily admire a person because they can sing well and get paid mega-bucks for it, or because they are convincing actors or strong athletes. But I begin to admire them when they use all that money they make to do good in the world, when they use their name recognition to inspire others to follow their lead and do good. Would you agree that the celebrities who stepped up to the plate after last year’s hurricanes, started fund-raisers, and were able to inspire thousands of others to give, were doing something admirable? If you or I started a fund-raiser … we might raise enough for a bottle of wine and a plate of cheese! But these guys have the voice to inspire, and a few actually use if for that. Just being a good athlete? Meh … so what? But using the fruits of your labours to help others … now that I give a 👍👍

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          • I don’t disagree (and a fun fact: I put my mouth where my money is last year – I joined the Cajun Navy and did dispatch for 2 weeks during Harvey and Irma). The stories I could share are brutal.

            But I don’t go to a movie, a concert, or turn on the TV to watch/hear a celebrity hi jack that platform to share their political opinion. I spent that money for only one reason: to escape into a fantasy world where their acting, signing, or sportsmanship entertained me. That’s the difference.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Great job on your volunteering in the aftermath of the hurricanes! 👍 👍

              I get most of my entertainment from books, rather than events or television. But I can understand, to an extent, for I would be rather annoyed if, in the middle of a particularly intense part of a whodunnit, I turned the page to find an ad for an organization promoting a cause — any cause. Doesn’t change the way I think about the players kneeling, but I do understand where you’re coming from.

              Liked by 1 person

  6. Jill, so it is patriotic to dishonor the Presidency and our global reputation by lying, demeaning, denigrating and bullying Americans, our allies and our trading partners and by making money off the office and colluding with foreign governments to get elected.

    So, it is patriotic for NFL ownership to hide the fact that concussions are. problem and then denigrating a well qualified forensic pathologist for identifying CTE in deceased NFL players.

    These players are exercising their first amendment rights with great courage. It shows little courage for a President to beat on his chest and be critical of others to score points with his base. Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • I fully agree! And I think it was both cowardly and greedy of the owners to kowtow to the rants of the ‘man’ in the Oval Office. I’m not a football fan, as you know … but if I were, I would be boycotting the games in light of this decision. AND … I AM now a fan of the players who have the courage to stand … er, kneel … to speak out against injustice. It was brave … much braver than their bosses or the ‘leader’ of our nation.

      Like

      • Jill, it takes a lot of courage to swim against the tide, especially when you know it may cost your job. We have a President who embodies very little what that anthem stands for, ridiculing a war hero and denigrating a Gold Star family along with dishonoring the position of President, yet he is the one taking advantage of the American people.

        As a 59 year old white man, I have benefitted from being born white, male and in America as Warren Buffett declares. What Kaepernick and the others are protesting is very real and it is very difficult for someone who looks like me to fully comprehend what it means to be trusted less by police and employers because of the color of their skin. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • Agreed. Trump calls for patriotism, but where is his? He never served in the military, has, as you say, put down John McCain and the Khan family, and is turning our government into a three-ring circus, yet he says these young man protesting against systemic racism are not patriotic. Hmph.

          Yes, you and I both have what they refer to as ‘white privilege’, but we admit it and try not to let it cloud our vision, whereas others seem to think it is something that somehow makes them better than others. And Trump is feeding their arrogance. Where does it end … or does it? I thought it would end under Obama, but it only got worse.

          Like

          • An interesting headline in Reuters Financial News noted Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin finding common ground in their disillusionment over the Donald Trump and his withdrawal from the Paris Climate Change Accord and Iran Nuclear agreement. As I type this, I heard Trump’s voice on the news downstairs saying to the Naval grads that “we are respected again.” Really?

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yes, I saw that that Macron and Putin are finding common ground … that’s probably a good thing … too bad Trump has made sure we will not be invited to the party. I started reading the transcript of the speech he gave to the USNA and I just couldn’t even finish the whole thing. It was making me ill. No, we are NOT respected … we WERE respected before Trump came on the scene, but since then we have been the laughingstock, and then when our friends stopped laughing, we became the red-headed step-child. Now, I think we are just the pariah … the drunken relative that nobody wants, but nobody knows what to do with. Sigh.

              Like

  7. Just for a bit of clarity…The 1st. Amendment can be used or discarded at will, but the 2nd. Amendment is sacrosanct and unchangeable…do I understand this correctly? I totally agree with “hughcurtler” and “larrypaulbrown”, excellent suggestions from both. Actually, all the comments are thought provoking truths. “Patriotism is supporting your country at all times, and your government when it deserves it.”- Mark Twain. Thank-you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes ma’am, I believe you completely understand!!! Thank you for the reminder of the Twain quote … I heard it several months ago, but had forgotten it. A good one to remember in today’s world, eh?

      Like

  8. Nothing but blatant full-on national systemic racism. Will the majority condone it? Will the stadiums still be packed? Your country continues to leap backwards — you’ve left King’s Peace Movement & jumped straight back to Jim Crow — a full century out of touch with reality. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Not much left for me to say. I will never go to another NFL game. No one cares. If I don’t watch NFL games, how will I know which advertisers to boycott? I already stay seated when a national anthem plays, any national anthem. I would rather all spectators remain seated than taking a knee. There is not enough room between the seats for everyone to take knees.
    As for the players and coaches, I think either all of them should stay in their locker room, or all of them should stand on one foot propped against their fellows, the NFL did not ban that. They would still be standing, lol.
    Oh, I cannot believe the world is coming to such pettiness. But then, Depricating Tinymind wallows in such pettiness. It takes people’s minds off the bigger things he is doing. That puts a smile on his face. He is hiding in plain sight. Are we going to let him get away with that?

    Liked by 2 people

    • You have a good idea there about them standing on one foot, propped against the next guy. I read that they are working on some ideas for other means of visible, yet peaceful protest. I’m not a football fan anyway, but I’m definitely becoming a fan of the players who are willing to stand up to highlight the injustices taking place across the nation.
      And you’re right, Trump throws up so many smokescreens and some, like this one, are difficult to ignore. But still, we must also keep our eye on the ball. Let him get away with it? I hope now … I’m not, but then I am only one person, trying to convince a relative handful of others, most of whom were already on my side anyway.
      Good one — Depricating Tinymind! 🙂

      Like

      • Thank you again, I do like it when you smile.
        Meanwhile, have you heard much from Lisa Jensen lately? I have heard nothing at all. So I am wondering how that experiment is going?
        Also meanwhile, do you mind if I use your blog as a test site to find out if WordPress is biased against those who write in run-on sentences? I had a comment go to moderation on another website the other day, and that blogger has informed me WordPress moderates comments and weeds out run-on sentences as spam. That is highlybiased of them, I think. Most scammers are not intelligent enough to write in run-on sentences. Bad grammar, bad spelling, those are often traits of spammers, though not always. (Oftentimes those are unwitting traits for those for whom English is not their language of birth.) Besides, Spelchek screws up more words than it corrects. When I am tired and forget to check the pieces I write, I am often shocked at the grossness of spelchek’s stupidity. It doesn’t even want to allow me to write the word spammers, as if spammers do not exist. I actually had to write spammers four times before it offered to let me add spammers to its vocabulary. It’s a crying shame!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, I do far too little of it these days. Yes, Lisa has been on a business trip this week, and I was supposed to be working on coordinating our next effort for possibly next week. However, I have been really under the weather with yet another respiratory infection this week and have been struggling just to stay on top of the daily routine. However, the project is still ongoing and in process, and I am hoping to put out something this weekend soliciting some potential topics and other opinions.
          Sure, as long as you keep it clean, feel free to comment in a long run-on sentence, complete with bad grammar 🙂 I will let you know if it goes to spam. I have never seen one go to spam for anything other than multiple links of certain return addresses, but we shall see. It would be a bit ridiculous to spam something for bad grammar … many truly don’t know better, but sometimes I use bad grammar just to make a joke, or sometimes accidentally because I am in a hurry.

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          • Thank you for this opportunity to test out the parameters of what WordPress will allow or not allow based on the ability of people to write run-on sentences that never seem to end because a sentence is supposed to express one thought and one thought only and I guess people are not supposed to think in long stream-of-consciousness sentences that are not chopped into short convenient phrases for the sake of people with attention deficit disorder.
            Can you imagine if John Steinbeck (I think it was) had been forced to chop his paragraph-long sentences into short choppy phrases that used more periods than his broken typewriter could provide, of if his editor decided to do that for him just to please the grammar critics of the world who did not believe in run-on sentences or that they had a place in literature alongside other American greats like Twain, Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald and Poe, or any of the ones who didn’t get named herein because they have slipped my mind and google’s first page of American great writers, and my memory is not as good as it once was, and now I have to end this here because I have run out of time to even recheck how Spelchek ha destroyed what it is I am trying to say, but what ghe hey, that’s life, isn’t it?

            Liked by 1 person

  10. OK, let me put my money where my mouth is. Am I willing to boycott NFL games to voice my disapproval? Will I switch channels to a movie when NFL games are on? Will I write sponsors of NFL games and explain why I will no longer buy their products? Here’s my point. We can whine and lament until the cows come home or we can put our disapproval to work in the marketplace.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Very well said. And no, the majority will not turn off their Sunday afternoon games, nor boycott the live games, for we are overall a selfish society and our pleasure comes first … after all, we believe, we have earned it. But you know what would be fun? If the players agreed to strike! Those players are, after all, the ones that keep the fans coming back for more. A whole autumn without football? I don’t think so … I think the owners and commission would change their minds real quick!!! 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Do you understand what jingoism is? That is “national anthems”, “flag waving”, etc. I find them all appalling … examples of jingoism.Encyclopedia Brittanica defines it thusly https://www.britannica.com/topic/jingoism Borders of a country, are artificial. The planet does not come with defined borders. If you understand what MBPI is? Then one understands why many are to keen, to wave those flags. Cheers Jamie

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I have long understood the term ‘jingoism’ and see it as a false loyalty, a dedication to a concept of a nation rather than the reality, the people. I am not, however, familiar with MBPI, and when I tried to Google it, I only got “Mechanical Breakdown Protection Insurance”, which I’m fairly certain was not what you were referring to. But to the point … yes, borders are arbitrary, man-defined, and subject to change, and flags, anthems … they are all symbols representing either what we are told, else what we believe. They are not a substitute for humanitarianism. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This is yet another sickening example of the spineless Republicans giving in to a small percentage of their voters and their pocketbooks and not giving a darn about the Constitution’s 1st Amendment. These are dark days indeed for a country which was once looked up to and admired. The bigots and sycophants turn my stomach. I can picture them down on their hands and knees kissing their leader’s feet. 😦 — Suzanne

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, the term ‘dark days’ is apropos, and the reality is that I think they are about to get darker before they brighten, if they do in this lifetime. It is a sickening, heartbreaking time, and all because of greed. Hugs, my friend.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. What it comes down to is not Trump’s criticism, but the fact that attendance has dropped off and revenue is affected. Trump is simply stating (in his own inimitable way) what many “patriotic” Americans are saying: the players are showing disrespect for the flag and for their country. This is decidedly not the case, and it is clear that the players have every right, as determined by the Constitution, to express their criticism of a country that continues to exhibit racism and hatred at every turn. This “solution” by the owners (who ARE the NFL) is simply an attempt to escape from a sticky situation and bring folks back to the stands in order to assure continued profits in the billions of dollars.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I’m surprised anybody stands for the anthem anymore, there’s little to be proud of these days. I expect Americans claim to be Canadian if anyone notices their accent abroad. This is a ridiculous rule and the NFL should not have the right to take away a person’s right to protest peacefully. In fact he NFL should allow the knee to be used and suggest they fine those who still stand for supporting all the horrors of racism, murder of the environment, Trump’s endorsement of the KKK as fine people and the lack of gun control.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 3 people

  15. … And why did it put my apology as “anonymous” … it is me, Choosing, hello! – I do have to say WordPress does funny things lately – sometimes I cannot “like”, it never “remembers me” even if I tell it … mmmm. – So, to make it clear: I meant “kneeling is a sign of reverence” …. Sorry for the hiccup .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello You Choosing!!! I’ve no idea why WordPress does anything these days! I’ve been yelling at it daily as I try to change a picture or insert an embed code and it wants to do something totally different than I asked it to. It is contrary. 😉

      Like

  16. Actually kneeling is a sign of reference … you kneel in church, right? So … why are they offended? 😉 (It is not as if they were doing any rude gestures!) – But I have always said that the US has a funny relationship with their national symbols – they treat them with much more respect than they do part of their people!

    Liked by 3 people

    • You are so very right … the flag and the anthem are given more respect than human lives by some here. I first rebelled in about 3rd or 4th grade! At the beginning of each school day, the entire class was to stand, place their right hand over the heart, and say the pledge of allegiance. As an ‘enlightened’ child of 8 or so, I took umbrage at something in the pledge, though now I don’t remember what, so i refused to stand or speak the words. After being hit with a ruler by the nuns two days in a row, I finally agreed to stand, but still refused to speak the words. 😀 (I was a rebellious child 🙂 )

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