The American thing to do

Seems the National Football League is following the mantra of money talks and other stuff walks.

Apparently that other stuff is respecting the value of free speech, and that isn’t all that important right?

Well, such a question ought to be posed to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he penned a remarkably hypocritical letter Tuesday asking NFL players to stand during the playing of the national anthem.

In the letter, which was addressed to league chief executive and club presidents, Goodell said the league’s dispute over the national anthem and protesting was “eroding the unifying power of our game” and is dividing the league, and players, from its fans.

Goodell went on to say the controversy is a barrier to having “honest conversations and making real progress on underlying issues.”

However, by taking this stance, Goodell found a way to regress in the league’s attempt to have an “honest conversation” about many of the issues its minority players are facing today.

It’s a tremendous step back after Goodell praised players and clubs for their roles in numerous protests that took place league wide two weeks ago.

Or, viewing it from another perspective, the praise and accolades seem to be, in fact, hollow and weren’t meaningful at all.

It gives rise to the notion the NFL will only support its players and its beliefs so long as it doesn’t hurt the bottom line. One can surmise Tuesday’s statement was probably done in response to that.

Which is why this move by Goodell is so frustrating.

Instead of standing up for what’s right or standing up for all of its players,  the league is now kowtowing to those who beat their chests chanting, “U-S-A, U-S-A” at every turn. Those who wear star-spangled garb whenever possible and those who feel free speech is only good when it applies to them and only them.

The league also continues to cast a blind eye on the reasons why players are protesting in the first place.

It’s not because they don’t respect America, the flag or what our country stands for. They’re kneeling because of the burgeoning racial divide that’s rapidly swallowing our country.

They’re kneeling to stand against a racist, bigoted, moronic, war-mongering Sweet Potato in Chief who is breaking the fabric our country stands for.

One can’t imagine what NFL players are thinking now that Goodell basically hung them out to dry.

What’s worse is how the league has basically given a slap to the face of American values, primarily the First Amendment.

Yes, these football players don’t live lives that many other average Americans do. They make millions of dollars playing a game kids play on the field.

And yes, they also play for a multi-million dollar league that makes money.

But they’re human beings, folks. They’re also Americans, too.

They understand that what they’re doing is raising awareness for the average joe, who might not get the ability to cast a spotlight on societal issues.

What we should be doing is encouraging them and giving them the right to kneel, if they so choose.

That, my friends, is the most American thing we can do.

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