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  • Rick Hayes

The U.S.A. or N.F.L.?

When it comes to players taking a knee during the National Anthem, will Americans side with the U.S.A. or the N.F.L.?

At this point, nobody knows for sure, but those on the left are feeling emboldened and confident for a reason. Have middle-class Americans become increasingly complacent and lost the will to stand up and fight back?

N.F.L. owners who support their players kneeling during the National Anthem are routinely heard saying that they feel the act of kneeling shows respect for the hardships minorities have endured and that it exhibits inclusivity and brings the country together.

At the risk of sounding overly disdainful regarding such deceptive drivel, those owners pretending to be "woke," are fully aware that kneeling during the National Anthem has historically been viewed as a sign of protest against the country. Beyond disrespectful, kneeling is divisive unless, in unison, the entire stadium decides to kneel.

Getting down to brass tacks, those N.F.L. owners who support their players kneeling during the National Anthem do so to protect their investment. That's right. It comes down to the almighty dollar as it always does. The N.F.L. has taken sides, and it's not with Old Glory. Team owners are betting that American fans are more interested in watching football than showing respect to the nation's flag. They have placed their pile of chips squarely with the Black Lives Matter movement.

And they may have made a wise bet at this point since the list of what Americans will not tolerate is shrinking faster than a snowball on the surface of the sun. Recent clear examples of middle-class indifference have come in the form of a lack of public outrage over a coup attempt against the president's office by leaders of the F.B.I. and D.O.J., lack of push back against obvious hypocritical and selective lockdown criteria and resignation with the confiscation of six blocks in Seattle by members of Antifa and Black Lives Matter. Timing is everything, and it appears that Antifa and B.L.M. have thrown down the gauntlet at precisely the right moment.

The path America is leaning toward is one with a dead end. It's hard to stop a boulder rolling down a hill once it has momentum. A much safer way would have been not to allow the stone to start rolling in the first place. Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff, as well as many Republican members in Congress made sure the stone rolled. They said and did whatever they wanted for three years. And with Dempnets (Democrat Propaganda Networks) as the only source of information, fraudulent impeachment proceedings, deceitful investigations, and fake headlines ruled the day.

Sure, the game doesn't exist without the players, but the country doesn't exist without respecting the values the flag symbolizes. And it doesn't matter if the players taking a knee say they are not disrespecting the flag. What matters is what the people in the stands and sitting in front of their T.V. think. If ticket holders and fans feel the flag is being disrespected when players take a knee, then the flag is being disrespected when players take a knee, case closed.

But the reverse is also true. If fans allow their nation's flag to be humiliated and disrespected, then humiliating and disrespectful acts will continue and become routine. And in the same way, allowing water to be thrown on police officers escalated into physical assaults on police, one day it will be seen as patriotic to step on and burn the stars and stripes. We are talking about the inescapable law of momentum.

There are only three possible results that can be realized, depending on what players decide to do. One is where the fans accept the players' actions and lose the respect of the league's owners along with their self-respect that won't be coming back anytime soon.

The players can take a knee and forfeit their pay and face a suspension, or the third is where the players respect the fans and the country that has provided them with opportunity and play the game of football. They would always have the right to protest anytime outside the arena.

So, if players and owners decide to kneel during the National Anthem, they do so with the approval of Americans who are fans of football.

Perhaps when all is said and done, it will come down to the values and priorities of the modern American sports fan. Will they worship that midfield seat, hotdog, and beer or demand respect for the nation's ancestors, and fallen heroes?

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