A Brief History
As the NFL completes week 5 of the 2016 football season, Forbes informs us that the sit down, kneel down protest mania sparked by San Francisco Forty Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick is hitting the NFL where it counts, costing the venerable football league as many as a third of its valued television viewers.
Kaepernick and other NFL players are protesting against their perceived racism by the police in the United States, and are claiming police are gunning down African-American men and boys for no apparent reason. Although a sizable minority of Americans seem to agree with that analysis of our society, it seems many Caucasian and other Americans have more regard for the police than that and are deeply offended by the what they perceive as disrespect to the Flag and National Anthem of the United States.
Many military members and retired star athletes have expressed support for Kaepernick and his protest, but often with the reservation that they personally would not express it in quite that manner. Others, such as African-American Allen West, a retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel and Bronze Star recipient, have been far more critical.
Some NFL observers say they really do not know why viewership is down, kind of ignoring the obvious difference between this year and last year. The NFL seems to claim that the problem is not with the Anthem protests, but other factors.
Not surprisingly, many people have different opinions about whether or not pro athletes should protest publicly while on the clock for the people that pay them. Hopefully no one thinks these athletes have no right to protest, just not when they are working, like other people. Perhaps the specter of pro athletes that Joe Sixpack sees as a spoiled rich goof that got lucky because he could run fast and is ungrateful to a society that pays the athlete so well out of proportion to his contribution to humanity is the problem. At least we have heard that in casual conversation.
What do you think? Should pro athletes be allowed to sit or kneel or otherwise disrespect the Flag and the National Anthem for their own personal political beliefs, or should such protests be made “on their own time?” Please share your opinions with our readers.
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