In 2016 the former NFL star, Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the National Anthem as a protest against police brutality. Now in 2017 ‘Taking a Knee’ has made its way to NFL Sunday’s, plumeting stocks, sales, and ratings all across the nation.
Sunday Football Packages are now being cancelled and refunded to thousands of former fans who state the protest as the reason for their refund. News sources released headlines such as, ‘NFL’s Opening Night Was a TV Ratings Disaster’, and some fans are going to the extremes and burning their teams merchandise. As of today, the refunding total is $120 thousand dollars, and the refunding will continue for the next thirty days.
Explanations - not apologies - are being issued by team owners defending their players, as well as their own political stances. One NFL player, Alejandro Villanueva of the Pittsburgh Steelers is gaining a lot of headway for being the only team member to come out of the tunnel to stand for our National Anthem. Villanueva, is a US Veteran who served three tours to Afghanistan and was critical of Kaepernicks protest in 2016. Villanueva made this statement:
Villanueva’s jersey skyrocketed to number one in sales, and within a few hours, fans viewed him as a sort of National Hero for respecting our Country and our flag. Villanueva has since apologized for being the lone player from his team standing for the National Anthem on the field. His apology went as follows:
If this were true, the entire team would have in fact been on the field with him, instead of remaining in the locker room. Mike Tomlin made a statement defending the actions of the Steelers, saying the team made a unanimous agreement to stay out of politics completely and remain in the locker room. So far, three teams skipped the National Anthem all together, the others have ‘taken a knee’ in protest.
The USA is the only country in the world to pay athletes $1.9 million a year just for playing. Other countries pay only a few thousand a year if the team wins. This past Sunday, the football game was played in a half-empty stadium, with fans walking out during the kneeling protest. Lifelong fans, patriots, and veterans are all now boycotting the NFL after the disrespect for our great Nation.
The Ravens and the Jaguars teams both kneeled for the National Anthem, but stood at attention for God Save the Queen. These teams disgraced and disrespected our Country, but stood for the one we fought against for our freedom and independence. Are we in the Twilight Zone?
Under the First Amendment, these players absolutely have the right to protest in a peaceful manner, and they are. But this isn’t about rights, this is about respecting the only thing that holds our Country together, our Anthem, and our Flag. Without those, there isn’t much that holds us together as a people. We all come from different backgrounds, cultures, races, and beliefs. It is the Flag and the Anthem that we respect and hold true to our values as a people that holds our Nation together as one unit. Once those are disrespected, or no longer valued, our Nation begins to break apart into small groups with different values and beliefs instead of standing together.
It’s clear by the money being lost by the NFL, and their sponsors who are also being protested against, that the vast majority of American’s are not okay with this behavior or disrespect. There are much better ways to protest and make a point than blatantly ‘giving the flag the middle finger.’
To all of the NFL players who are ‘taking a knee’, disrespecting our Nation and the service members of our Country is going to come back around and hit you in your wallets. Those service members you are disrespecting make less than $40 thousand a year while you make millions a year, and hundreds of millions during the course of your careers. The patriots of this Country are angry, and they are making it very well known. It would be in your best interest to find another way to protest that doesn’t involve your jobs.
If you need more clarity on how America feels about this act, call and ask Colin Kaepernick which team he’s playing for this year.
Thank you for reading.