NFL needs to ditch patriotism charade
I miss the old days. Those days when we didnt have to concern ourselves over whether NFL players stood, sat or did whatever it was they did during the playing of the national anthem prior to the start of a game. Strange, though, 2008 just doesnt seem that long ago.
Count me in for going back to those olden times when players werent required to come out of their locker room for the anthem. That was standard practice before the 2009 season and then it all changed when the NFL thought it a good idea to have both teams stand together on the field for the anthem.
Well, Colin Kaepernick happened, although it was inevitable a player would make a spectacle of himself at some point by bucking the trend of standing. It should be noted the NFL has never had a rule compelling players to stand. But Kaepernick, whose skills and career were fading like the eclipsed sun behind the moon, lit a fuse the NFL surely wishes to extinguish.
Kaepernicks tantrum like protest irritated and offended many people, including a number of the NFLs hardcore fans. Many took umbrage with Kaepernick expressing his disdain for an America that allowed him to make millions playing a game. A recent survey showed the NFLs drop in TV ratings was directly related in the largest part to the anthem fiasco.
It hasnt gotten much better.
We have rallies and nike roshe men protests planned now because Kaepernick hasnt been signed by a team. Many ascribe his lack of current employment to his stance. They ignore the fact he just hadnt been a very good player over the last several games of his flash in the pan career. Lets ask this: Would you, as an owner, want to invest time and resources into a player who just hasnt been very good and in addition has become box office poison? Of course not. The NFL is a business and the owners do want to do two things: win and make money.
Others are quick to also ascribe racism to it. However, that really appears to be quite a stretch.
Recall the five players for the St. Louis Rams who came out of the tunnel before a game in 2014 with the hands up, dont shoot posture in protest of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. There was nike 30 off plenty of outrage, however, all five (Jared Cook, Kenny Brit, Stedman Bailey, Chris Givens and Tavon Austin) found themselves on rosters the next season and three of the five (Cook, Britt and Austin) are still on active rosters this season.
The obvious conclusion is if you are good enough, the NFL will find a place for you, regardless of your political views.
Most recently, Oaklands Marshawn Lynch and Seattles Michael Bennett have made news for sitting during the anthem. Lynch, according to Raiders coach Jack Del Rio told USA Today Lynch told him, this is something Ive done for 11 years its not a form of anything other than me being myself.
That may be, but in todays increasingly poisoned political atmosphere, its hardly seen as a benign gesture and players need to understand that.
Bennett, on the other hand, was clear that he was motivated by political motives, attributing his decision to sit as being a direct result from the turmoil in Charlottesville, Va., this past Saturday when protests and counter protests turned violent and deadly.
I hope that I can activate everybody to get off their hands and feet and go out into the communities and push helping each other, Lynch said after Sundays game. A noble goal, but is it the right forum?
While Bennet and Lynch are the rare exceptions, their actions (intended as statements or not) are at best, distractions, and at worst, considered insulting by many NFL fans.
Having the teams come out for the anthem was a noble experiment, but it now has become a public relations quagmire littered with land mines.
Fans dont need political statements from the players during the anthem. Fans deserve those fleeting 60 seconds before a game to feel good about their nation.
The NFL doesnt need more reasons for fans to tune out.
Ditch the patriotism charade. Keep the players in nike shoes pegasus the locker room until introductions, just like circa 2008, which suddenly seems like a vintage year for the league.
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