NFL Players take a knee on a day designated to remember, honor and cherish Gold Star Moms

 
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NFL Players take a knee on a day designated to remember, honor and cherish Gold Star Moms

NFL viewership is plummeting.  Although I’ve heard the league and others put forth any number of reasons from concussions to the games being blowouts (which other than the game in London was entirely disproved this weekend,) but anyone with a functioning brain knows it’s because the NFL used to be an oasis where you could relax and get away from the turmoil of the day.  Now, for better or worse (and I don’t know many arguing for the better) it’s all about how some are kneeling during the National Anthem.

I looked around my Facebook this morning and it seemed like darn near 100 percent of people are boycotting the league, even people who I know are lifelong fans of a certain 5 time Super Bowl Champion team.  They're tired of seeing people making millions of dollars taking a knee during our national anthem when we still have men and women fighting overseas.  I’ll admit I still watch Football, but I won’t watch ESPN anymore because on the rare occasion they discuss sports they usually have hot takes that make no sense and seem to have been made for just drawing attention.

Let me start with one thing that I keep reading which is inarguably false.  The protest of the National Anthem has absolutely nothing to do with the First Amendment.  “Congress shall make no law….abridging the Freedom of Speech.”  People kneeling has nothing to do with that, as Congress has taken no position on it.  If anything it is employer/employee law.  “Free Speech” seems to be a catchall nowadays, but that really isn’t what this is.  The players kneeling are doing it to draw attention to an issue that they think is underappreciated.  You turning the TV off is your right.  And it’s a right that hundreds and thousands are engaging in. 

Rassmussen did a recent survey on the issue, and the league didn’t appreciate the findings:

While the NFL attributes the decline in ratings to the presidential race, a study conducted by Rasmussen Reports shows otherwise. Approximately 1,000 American adults participated in a telephone questionnaire on Oct. 2-3 that revealed nearly one-third (32 percent) are “less likely to watch an NFL game” due to players taking a stand and protesting the national anthem. Thirteen percent want to watch a game because of the protests. Fifty-two percent do not base their viewing choice on the protests at all. But the league executives disagree.

“There is no evidence that concern over player protests during the national anthem is having any material impact on our ratings. In fact, our own data shows that perception of the NFL and its players is actually up in 2016,” the executives wrote in the memo.

Well, now that the election is over, I assume the NFL has rebounded and is as strong a brand as ever, right?  Well, no.

Multibillion-dollar media and entertainment conglomerate, the National Football League, has a new problem on its hands: lowered ratings. Week 1 of the new 2017-2018 season has found the popular U.S. professional sport losing its ranking as the number one spot in households across the country. According to Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser, viewership for the NFL was down 14% on a year-over-year basis.

That’s the lowest level of same-week viewing since 2009.

Against this backdrop, President Trump advised people upset to start boycotting the NFL.  In turn, the NFL players in numbers which dwarf any previous demonstrations took to their knees in discontent.

Safe to say it was a debacle.  I actually watched as Patriots faithful, those of us who went through the lean years where winning 6 games was a Herculean feat, actually BOOED the players who took a knee.  (See below for a former Patriots great who deemed taking a knee as shameful.)

To be honest, it wasn’t so much the protest yesterday that bothered me, it was the fact that it happened on Gold Star Mothers Day.

Each year I visit the grave of a young man from Lovettsville, Virginia named Stephan.  Here’s a video that talks about the last minutes of his life.  It’s long, but stick with it, and hear about Stephan Mace.  (Fast forward to 6 minutes 10 seconds if you are short on time.)

Mace’s Mom is a Facebook friend of mine.  Alas, I’ve never actually met her, but she always comments on pictures of my young family, and I always feel joy when she does.  I know she lost her son, and I can’t even begin to imagine the pain that must cause.  And so when she goes out of her way to comment on my sons or daughter, it just makes me well up with tears.   Every single time.  That someone who gave so much would be interested in my family is humbling.

Imagine getting that visit to your door, or seeing those press releases.  Like this one:

The Department of Defense announced today the death of nine soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died of wounds suffered when their outpost was attacked by small arms fire and rocket propelled grenades from enemy forces in Wanat, Afghanistan, on July 13, 2008. They were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 503d Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy.

Killed were:  […]

Private First Class Sergio S. Abad, 21, of Morganfield, Kentucky

I never met Sergio, but I know some guys who did, including two Medal of Honor recipients.  He was raised by his Aunt Sol, a beautiful woman who is also a Facebook friend of mine.  Any every now and again when Sol has a tough day, she Facebooks me and asks me to post a video of my daughter just to bring her some measure of happiness.  She may not be a relative, but Sergio was my brother, and if she asks for a video of my daughter, she will get one, even if I have to wake her up, tickle her feet or ply her with sugar, we’re getting that video.  Momma Sol could ask for my jeep and I’d hand her the keys.  Our nation owes her and Stephan’s Mom more than I could ever give.

And so it was really sad for me yesterday.  I don’t begrudge the players doing what they think is right, while I may (and vehemently do) disagree with the way they are doing it.  But to do it on (of all days) Gold Star Mothers Day made me sad right to my core.

But not everyone takes a knee.  You know, we value teamwork but at the same time we also must laud those who do the hard right over the easy wrong, even (or perhaps more so) when they do so alone.  And so, rather than focus on the players who kneeled, I want to single out one who didn’t.

First, from Yahoo:

Mike Tomlin, coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, said ahead of the team's game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon that his players would not come onto the field during the national anthem to avoid "playing politics" in divisive times.

That seems like a decent idea to be honest.  Having half your team standing and half kneeling doesn’t bring the country any closer together.  And I’m not a huge fan of not following a coach’s decision, or acting differently from the rest of the team.  Or, I should say I wasn’t, until this:

That is Offensive Tackle Alejandro Villanueva, and before he was a football player, he was an Army Ranger in Afghanistan, and a graduate of the USMA at West Point.  And once again, much like their motto, a Ranger Led the Way.  He walked out of the tunnel and sang the National Anthem as he has always done.

And bear in mind he wasn’t doing this as an anti-Kaepernick thing or anything of the sort, as he explained last year:

"I don't know if the most effective way is to sit down during the national anthem with a country that's providing you freedom, providing you $16 million a year ... when there are black minorities that are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan for less than $20,000 a year."

"I will be the first one to hold hands with Colin Kaepernick and do something about the way minorities are being treated in the United States, the injustice that is happening with police brutality, the justice system, inequalities in pay," Villanueva said. "You can't do it by looking away from the people that are trying to protect our freedom and our country."

Villanueva wasn’t alone either, Matt Light, former left tackle with the Patriots said he was ashamed at those who kneeled:

Light said he sat with a 91-year old veteran and the wife of a slain SEAL Team 6 member who was at her first NFL game.

“His wife had to sit at her first NFL game and watch what these men chose to do. Her husband died, gave his life up so that they could do that,” Light said. “That’s the reality that these so-called men don’t understand. Is it about their cause or is it about them? If it was about their cause, I could come up with a million different ways for them to really truly change things. If it’s about them, well … you see what happens. The collateral damage is widespread.

“They obviously didn’t think about anybody other than themselves.”

For my part, I will continue to watch the NFL and root for my team, because it’s the one distraction from life I can (usually) count on.  (Other than UMASS basketball which I love beyond all love, but whose losing ways are taking years off my life.)

And while I know that those who kneel don’t do so to disrespect Stephan Mace or Sergio Abad, it’s hard to remember that, especially on a day set aside for mothers who can never hold their sons or daughters again.

Updated: A buddy of mine served with Alejandro, and said he was huge and one of the nicest guys around.  

One quick addendum:  Vanessa Adelson, the mom of Stephan Mace had a post up about the entire thing yesterday that I wanted to share here as well:

So today we have had a lot of negativity about the NFL. Who cares? These people are insignificant in our lives. They don't teach our children how they should behave. That is your job. They don't make you less of a patriot.
That is your job to show America what being a patriot means. Most players do nothing to make this country better. INSIGNIFICANT. Not worthy of my attention.... This is what is worthy. Today is Gold Star Mother's Day. I have had people tag me today, telling me they are thinking of me. This is what I have to say...... GOD PROVIDES! Everyday is "mothers" day for me. I was given the gift of many new people in my life. Many that call me "mom". That is what is SIGNIFICANT in my life.

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As a combat veteran I have fought for everyone's rights. It does not mean that I am not angry about these "professional athletes" kneeling during the anthem. I have never cared about professional sports because I was to busy training soldiers to survive. But these children who are kneeling during the anthem are pathetic. They make millions of dollars each and instead of spending that money to facilitate these changes they claim are needed, they spend it on their cars, mansions, drugs, lawyer fees to get them out of trouble, or some other crap they don't need. Instead of kneeling they could spend some of their millions on ways to help with whatever problem they think needs attention.
It's childish and I am happy to say that I have no respect for any fool who kneels during our National Anthem.

Vet Nam was my crutch, my nightmare. Whether needed or not. Uncle Sam needed me. I believe it said on the top of my letter, "Greetings, the United States of America wishes to welcome you into the U.S. Army. I was in college at the time and my dear, dear mother drove up to college to give it to me. That is where I learned to cry. My respect for my country just grew because my country needed me. All you anti Americans can say, they just need people to die for a cause that they don't need to be in. It does not matter to a true American. They needed me. When it was over, I could not understand why all of the draft dodgers were given amnesty. That's when I started learning about politician. Integrity was beginning to be lost in American. This was way back in the 1970's. We cannot hope that there will ever be a solid America again until the new media, people who think that one political is better than the other or any form of media starts printing the truth. You ask why was President Trump elect
That's easy, because the silent majority has spoken. He is not a politician and he really loves American. He is not about, "political correct shit", which really is the loss of our ability to express our out thoughts. The only people that are racially motivated our American whit people. People of color cannot be prejudice. The NFL has turned against American people. You can protest all you want. Just not against our flag or anthem. God bless American, it stood for our country from the beginning and it stand for us now.

I stand with the Legion

What they are doing is basically slapping every veteran in the face. It is disgraceful

The National Anthem and the American Flag are symbols of America. Millions of brave Americans fought and hundreds of thousands died to defend out nation, the National Anthem and our Flag. I support everyone's right to free speech, however, kneeling or sitting during the National Anthem disrespects the nation and all those who fought and died to give these overpaid individuals the privilage of free speech.
The only way to stop the NFL protests is to contact the league wide advertisers and tell them that you will not buy their products if they support the NFL during the protests. The American Legion needs to refuse to stay in Mariott Hotels properties as long as they support the NFL. Let the NFL's bank accounts feel our pain!!!!

I'm a Vietnam vet. If these multi-million dollar players want to make a statement; let them donate a large percentage of their salaries to provide education (in needed fields) and housing to those less fortunate than themselves

Stop watching NFL football. Lots of college games to entertain you over the weekends. And most of them play for only pride and honor as most will never make the NFL

I've been an NFL fan (AFL in the early days) ever since my grandfather took me to see the Boston Patriots back in 1960. I greatly admire Matt Light, Alejandro Villanueva and others who so strongly believe that our flag and our national anthem are sacred in our lives. I am an army veteran and Legion member and have decided that I will not watch, attend, follow or purchase anything that has to do with the NFL going forward. This will be the same for any sport where players, coaches or owners kneel during the national anthem. I will find something much more productive to do with the time that I previously spent being involved with these activities. God Bless America!

Why is this subject posted on the American Legion???? I thought the American Legion was non pol
itical

Brenda, I don't see this as being political inasmuch as it is an American interest topic. The Legion was correct in bringing this to our attention. It's my belief that the Legion is supposed to look out for national interests and this certainly qualifies.

For the sake of argument, let's concede that the NFL players have the legal right to disrespect and display contempt toward our national flag. At the same time, however, every American who reveres that flag also has the right (and perhaps an obligation) to denounce the NFL players' actions and to boycott the NFL and its advertisers. And I certainly plan on exercising my own rights in that regard.

I'm 73 years old watched football all my life, that ended last Sunday
I served in the US Army 6 yrs. lost buddy's..what the players are doing is a slap in the face of young people serving our country, and our nation. Most don't know why they take a knee.
Pres. Trump is correct. Kneelers don't deserve to live in our country.
My T V remote is more powerful than the NFL.

My question to all of this is: when someone's freedom of expression interferes with another's guarantee of " the pursuit of happiness", who is in the wrong and how far does it go?

The national anthem and the flag are inanimate representations of our country and it's constitution. The first amendment of our constitution provides for free speech. condemning someone for exercising their constitutional guarantee is misplaced. Condemn them for a poor choice in how they chose to deliver their message. I do not believe that the intention was to denigrate the flag the national anthem or veterans. Free speech is a/the cornerstone of our republic. Remember, even if you don't agree with the messageJ the constitution guarantees the right to the expression of that message. just chose a proper delivery venue.

My father was a Marine in WWII. I am proud of our men and women who serve. Football players are just playing a game. They do nothing for the security of our country yet they make millions for playing a game, I will not watch them anymore,. Hit them in the pocket book, maybe they will start defending their country.

Omg! When did our job suddenly become about us? I served and retired so that anyone has the right to say anything - even those things that set my blood to boil. It is NOT about the veterans it is about that which we as veterans believe in.

My family has an unbroken line from 1775 to current of military service. I am proud to have done my part to serve this country and I will be damned to have this focused on me as a veteran. My personal opinion is simple - you can do or say anything that does not cause harm to another regardless of how offensive some may feel. THAT it the right for which I fought/served and now paying my own demons.

The right to freedom of expression
The right to assemble
The right to be an American.
I have seen people get mad over burning of our Flag overseas - I am all for it! Where do they get those flags to burn? Duh they buy them from the US - burn more buy more! Helps our economy.
Take a hard look at what is happening and understand what that freedom of expression truly stands for. If it feels good - take a knee!

I am appalled at the ignorance displayed by Trump and his followers. It is true that the flag stands for the freedoms we Americans enjoy, It seems a lot of folks have forgotten that one of those freedoms is the right to protest where and when a person wants as long as the protestor doesn't physically harm anyone or destroy property.

You folks need to go back and read the history of this country and then ask yourself where we would be if protest was banned all those years.

Maybe these players who want to kneel should do it at the grave of one our country's hero's. That's where it belongs. Make them watch the movie"Taking Chance" He's an American Hero!

This "controversy" is just another example of taking a fact, in this instance, the 1st Amendment to the Constitution, and "bending it" to provide validity and support for a point of view for which it has no relationship. Kneeling during the display of the American flag and the singing of the Star Spangled Banner is disrespectful to those of our armed services who have served their country in order to protect and maintain our way of life. To defend such an act by incorrectly ascribing the right to do so as a "free speech" contest is specious at best and perjuriously argumentative in its pursue. It just ain't so-- there is no way to disguise this umbrage.
The image of multimillion dollar athletes, --- whose success and fame were only made possible by the freedom and safety provided by those who have served , many giving the ultimate sacrifice in the process,--- displaying such disrespect to those symbols and protocols held dearly by those who paid that price, is unconscionable. Unlike the prima donna media wonks like Bob Costas, this disrespect is truly about patriotism. The Flag, our Anthem, those are sacrosanct issues to our armed services. One only has to experience the playing of "Retreat, and subsequently, "To the Colors"", at day's end, when EVERYONE comes to a standstill at a military installation and honors the lowering of the flag, to fully appreciate that importance. Such pathetic, lip service actions by these misguided individuals, individuals who, for the most part have no clear cut idea of just what it is that they are protesting in such a shoddy manner; but who are so fearful or consumed by the notion of being "politically incorrect" that they, like moths to the light, follow blindly the course of others. Some now just protest out of spite. It is spite towards a president that they may not like, a president that doesn't mince words and calls them out for such actions, a president that "talks a different talk; but walks that different walk". These highly paid modern day gladiators have no kinship to the purportedly ills and hardships of those for which they are protesting. They no longer, if they ever did, live in such “ghettos”, they haven't experienced the day to day life that that these supposed "victims of white oppression" experience. Money and fame have given them the opportunity to make real differences in such communities; but meaningless, divisive, and offensive protesting appears to be the vehicle with which they want to ride into the sunset of change. It is just another load of continued "grand standing" by them, as well as the team owners, to maintain the façade of a "politically correct" response to such issues. Pathetic is just too inadequate a word to describe these people.

As a white veteran I notice most of these dissenting post are from white veteran. I stop to ask you after centuries of being deemed second class citizens what do they have to respect. Even the military they fought in deemed them second class citizens until the forties and even then they faced segregation. So again I ask what do they have to respect. The decades of Jim Crow, the lynching's, police brutality, second class educations. So I ask again what do they have to respect. Their ancestors were brought over here against there will so again what do they have to respect.

As a Veteran and Military Retiree who served from Vietnam Namh through Desert Storm, I continue to support the American constitution and our right to freedom of speech. Kneeling is not disrespecting the flag or our contrary. Denying others free speech is disrespectful of every veteran who has served, fought and died for America. Most of the politicians and others who say kneeling is disrespectful hid and ran when they could have served.

Maybe we should of let the Germans win WWll Then they would know what brutality
is all about. Nazi in this county nothing compared them. Stop playing the National Anthem at all sporting events. We should all stay home and watch high school games.

My self and my Unit were shot up with investigational Vaccines in Desert Storm ; Gassed by Irag Scud missled after they were intercepted by the Patriot; Denied benefits and compensation that we earned because the U.S. is trying to Cover up G.W.I. The V.A. employees in Cleveland called me a Rapist and Rapistberger because of what I was wearing; very unprofessional to say the least;

Your welcome to protest whatever you want, but I have a right not to listen or watch, and I have a right to disagree! I have a right not to support it by watching something else! I have a right not to support those who spit on my service, my dad's service, and those of many of my relatives. You can call it what you want, but their actions speak more loudly than there words.

Until the last few days, did I hear what they were protesting, and when they did speak their facts were not true. I hear mainly from other, not the athletes themselves. The press and others tell us what they are protesting, but the athletes really don't say too much. They have yet to say what reasonable actions it would take to make them stand up,

Have we lost the history of how this started? The protest started based on how they, the protesting athletes, perceived certain acts by law enforcement, which has been exonerated by lawfully held courts. Those acts were even investigated by the Obama administration and nothing was found. No civil actions were pressed by the Obama administration on most of the big cases they, the protesting athletes or their press, have sited.

I am so sick and tired of hearing and seeing every thing in entertainment being turned into a "cause". I am so sick and tired of the most clueless ones on our nation being the ones that champion these aimless causes.

Football was an escape. Something I used to watch without thinking about politics once, not so any more. I will move on to something else that is a better use of my time.

I will seek to improve my community with my deeds, not by spitting on someone else's sacrifice!

This suppose to be an apolitical organisation. However, this article and subsequent comments show this not to be true. Taking a knee is not disrespecting vets. It is a peaceful protest a against injustice in the US. For all of you that support this artical and its false implication of respect i suggest you go back and read the oath you took especially the part about defending the constitution. I don't agree with taking a knee but i defend others right to peaceably do so. I make my protest to a misguided organization that has forgotten why they exist and that is to support all veterans and remain apolitical. Therefore i resign my membership as of today.

I'll bite.  Just what part of the constitution deals with a private enterprise allowing behaviour, and a consumer base being unable to voice displeasure over it?  And also, where did I say anything about them not having the right to take a knee?  In fact, they have whatever rights are granted them by their employer during work hours, unless it violates some other federal law.

I assume you were similarly distressed when a certain political candidate disparaged Gold Star parents Ghazala and Khizr Kahn and the exemplary service of POW and Senator McCain.

I'm not sure if you are being honest here or tryin to be pithy, but, yes, I was similiarly distressed.  In fact, I believe I was more vocal over that one.  The difference being that that was more partisan and thus I didn't discusss here, but rather on my personal Facebook page.

I fought for the the right of Americans to express their constitutional rights. We may not appreciate the knellers but it’s their right to protest as it is our right to speak out in disagreement. We become deplorables when we blindly follow 45’s unpresidential comments

Yet u support a person who disrespected a gold star family (Kahns) disrespected a war hero said he only like people who didn't get caught and dodged the draft. Your all FAKE ASS Patriots

I think you would be incredibly hard pressed to find where I supported someone who disrepespected a wat hero, and I'm the peron who wrote this piece.

Boycott the NFL, I served in Vietnam, I don't watch NFL, anymore.

I'm 24 year retired paratrooper. To bad you can not boycott the President the "bully" Trump. When the president call the Players SOB's as a man what would you .do? I would love for him to say that to my face, and I would knock him on his SOB "ASS". You cannot call a grown man a SOB without some type of negative response..

As a retired USAF sargeant who has been to the "sandbox" and other "downrange" locales several times, it saddens me to see the actions of those who use the national anthem as their means of protest. Especially on Gold Star Mothers Day. Quite frankly I despise them and their actions. They are lazy, selfish, cowards who lack the intestinal fortitude to take real steps to affect change; instead they pull childish stunts in order to gain attention. However, speaking again as a retired service member, I am compelled to defend their right to peaceful demonstration or assembly. While I find their actions to be despicable and deplorable, I have no choice but to take a deep breath, look inward, maybe take a sip of beer, and accept that they have the right to be idiots.

It might not be against the law. But it is against the flag code. To disrespect the men and women that have and are serving this country. Is slapping them in the face for what they do. If they really want to fight Trump's comments about racism. They should be taking this to their legislators and doing something about it.

Along with freedom of speech, there is the right to assemble peaceably for the redress of grievances.

That's where this action falls.

During my service the bravest man I knew was a black conscientious objector who volunteered to serve as a field medic. One of the most skillful infantry non-coms and best instructors was a black Georgia sharecropper's son. How many black veterans are in your Post?

Black citizens have legitimate grievances against a system that is stacked against them in spite of its professed ideals. It's past time to listen to them.

I don't believe the Supreme Court has ever head that the right to assembley is true for employees while on the clock.  I went out of my way to agree that they have grievances, and noted only that that this is perhaps the worst possible way to voice them, because not only is it angering people who tune in for sports and get moraliy lessons, most of those people are turning it off, which means less revenue, which in future years will mean less pay for players, the vast majoerity of whom are minorities.  So how is this a good tactic.  I can't hold a book club meeting at my job in the middle of the day just because of the Assembly portion of the Constutution, there are time, manner, place restrictions on those.

Veteran Who Kneeled By Trump's Motorcade Explains Why Protests, Patriotism Go Hand In Hand HuffPost.

I think that it's OK to burn the flag IF you wrap yourself up in it before you set it on fire. As kneeling for the National Anthem, I can't think of any instance that it is OK. I will gladly stand with anyone to help end unfair practices that I know are taking place in our country, but disrespecting our flag and our anthem is not the correct way to do it. I believe that everyone is entitled to be treated with respect and dignity. I also believe that everyone is entitled to anything that they are willing to work for, and everyone deserves an equal opportunity . I believe that anyone who is not able to provide for themselves deserves to be helped, but I do not think that anybody deserves a free ride . I salute all of our armed force personnel and their families. I thank all service members past and present for your service.

Suggest a boycott of the NFL on Veterans Day (Weekend) in support of our nation and the all who served this country.

USAF Vietnam Veteran

You see the what but not the why. I served in Desert Storm and I understand what it means to put your life on the line for this country. If you don't understand why Black Men like me understand the why we need to talk.

So both sides have a valid perspective. As a veteran who spent 23 years of my life defending the rights of these Americans to protest I am glad we live in a country where these rights exist. However, as an American patriot it bothers me deeply the way this is being done. Sorry, but I cannot, will not, watch this. This is my freedom; to turn the channel and no longer patronize the NFL. Those here that claim these teams and players are not disrespecting the flag, our national anthem and the men and woman who have given limbs, life or emotional and mental stability because of what they have suffered - go ask them how they feel. And if you think that this is not furthering the division in this country, think again.

But, as Vanessa Adelson said, "Most players do nothing to make this country better. INSIGNIFICANT. Not worthy of my attention.... " Good for you Ms. Adelson.

The NFL leaders are not leaders, they have no BALLS !! football is sport and enjoyed by millions and should stay that way, all sports are meant to be just that SPORT ! NOT POLITICS ! shame on the NFL and all who paticipate in it !! Sports only,,,,,, Get it !! Since you the NFL should be ashamed of yourselves,,, on GOLD STAR MOTHERS DAY,,,!!! Well it all is the resposibility of the NFL president, it starts there as he sets examples and stands up for the good of the game ! He has dishonored the game, dishonored himself, and the Nation ! Therefore, I feel he should resign, or be FIRED ! Lets start a petition to have him removed from his position now !
Sincerely
Eldon D. "Bud" Baltzley jr.
U.S.Navy Seabees, Disabled American Veteran
Former football player
Former Ford punt, pass, and kick winner

The NFL leaders are not leaders, they have no BALLS !! football is sport and enjoyed by millions and should stay that way, all sports are meant to be just that SPORT ! NOT POLITICS ! shame on the NFL and all who paticipate in it !! Sports only,,,,,, Get it !! Since you the NFL should be ashamed of yourselves,,, on GOLD STAR MOTHERS DAY,,,!!! Well it all is the resposibility of the NFL president, it starts there as he sets examples and stands up for the good of the game ! He has dishonored the game, dishonored himself, and the Nation ! Therefore, I feel he should resign, or be FIRED ! Lets start a petition to have him removed from his position now !
Sincerely
Eldon D. "Bud" Baltzley jr.
U.S.Navy Seabees, Disabled American Veteran
Former football player
Former Ford punt, pass, and kick winner

All I know is that I was happy as I sat down with my chips and drink to enjoy an NFL game. But when I saw football players disrespecting the National Anthem and Flag in various ways, for whatever reasons, their actions offended me. I avoid things that offend me when I can, so now I feel compelled to avoid watching NFL games. People should take their issues somewhere else, not in what "used to be" a Man's Sanctuary. Goodbye NFL.

Throughout my life, I have seen the flag defaced in many ways worse than taking a kneel! Why isn't anyone outrage when the flag is worn on bathing suits, beer cans, celebrity distasteful clothing line and the list can go on! We are so distracted by what’s really going on in our society and allow others hidden agenda to tear us apart.

It appears that what we have fought for throughout our military care has become meaningless!! We have people in Government speaking about the Flag and not fighting for veteran’s issues and concerns that even affect our family members. This is what should be headline news!! How our spouses and children are will be taken care of in the event of our death!

Many politicians may serve two years or more are set for life. Our veterans serve two years or more are still trying to get compensated for military injuries. Yes, we really do a good job in keeping our politicians feed but a poor job in getting homeless veterans shelter. We do a good job ensuring politicians have the best healthcare and do a horrible job in finding the best doctors for our veterans

The Flag can speak for itself as it may have a different meaning to many. Our mission as we served was to protect and serve...Not to divide our country as it is in other countries. We fought for freedom. Many Veterans who served well before I was born went through hell and are still suffering from the impact of racism and division.

I could care less about football and the millionaires but I care so much for my brothers and sisters in arms that I refuse for our President and Congressman to forget that there are other important issues that must be addressed for our future Soldiers and Veterans. Many veterans may have wealth but I am thinking about those who were not fortunate enough to reach the same goals.

So I asked, Will Americans stand for veterans healthcare and benefits they fight for the Flag and National Anthem

What has the NFL(or any other professional athletic organization ) ever done to deserve the honor of having our national anthem played prior to their performance or "game". The only attribute required to be a porfessional athlete is to athletically skilled, period. Athletes shouldn't be looked upon for anything else, certainly not any kind of moral role model.

Facts on race statistics point that white people are killed by Police at a substantially higher rate than black people. Many more people but also at a higher rate than black people. Also, black Police officers are more likely to fire their guns than white or hispanic officers. There are cases where blacks have been unjustly killed but the raw numbers support that the NFL players are not fully understanding of the issues, Further, more Police officers are killed by black people than the number of blacks killed by Police officers.These are facts and are supported by Jason Riley ,a black journalist who has written articles for the Wall Street Journal covering this issue.People are entitled to their own opinions but not their own facts. Let's hope people of good will check the facts before jumping to false conclusions. If sincere efforts are devoted to this issue,as well as others, we will all be better off. America well not perfect is always a nation striving to live up to it's noble purpose. God Bless America.----Thank you----JimConnelly

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

They had every right to do what they did as their employer allowed it. Some say they did it as a protest to the treatment of minorities in our country. Until President Trump said something where were they? What's changed now? They can't have really strong convictions about it.

I also have a right to turn the games off and not buy the products of their sponsors. I plan to do this as it is my right.

I served. Why don't these 8 million dollar ass-holes serve as well? One kneels in church not on prime time TV

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.