I love your passion.
First, I guess I am somewhat confused about whether you agree that this is not a first amendment issue. The first Amendment only deals with the GOVERNMENT suppression of free speech. The GOVERNMENT is not a party to these agreements (thank God) and is NOT a guarantor of free speech at the workplace. This issue has everything to do with the Employer/Employee relationship. It gets into the realm of employment law, which I know almost nothing. My guess is that there is some language in the NFLPA collective bargaining agreement that deals with this stuff. (If there are any employment law guys on the blog…please opine.)
Second, I hardly would equate standing for the National Anthem with clucking like a duck. Standing at the National Anthem is within societal norms…at least it has been.
Third, I think many of us have a problem with the NFL’s hypocrisy on dealing with free speech. I believe there is a justifiable rationale for the public’s discontent with the NFL which stems from the inconsistency displayed in the following “free speech/special cause” statements by players. To wit:
- In 2012 the NFL had an issue with Tim Tebow kneeling for each game to pray, they also had an issue with Tebow wearing John 3:16 as part of his eye-black to avoid glare, and made him take it off. (It also did not allow an ad by Tebow mom in a subsequent Super Bowl which was Pro-Life)
In 2013 the NFL fined Brandon Marshall for wearing green cleats to raise awareness for people with mental health disorders.
In 2014 Robert Griffin III (RG3) entered a post-game press conference wearing a shirt that said "Know Jesus Know Peace" but was forced to turn it inside out by an NFL uniform inspector before speaking at the podium.
In 2015 DeAngelo Williams was fined for wearing "Find the Cure" eye black for breast cancer awareness.
In 2015 William Gay was fined for wearing purple cleats to raise awareness for domestic violence. (Not that the NFL has a domestic violence problem...)
In 2016 the NFL prevented the Dallas Cowboys from wearing a decal on their helmet in honor of 5 Dallas Police officers killed in the line of duty.
In 2016 the NFL threatened to fine players who wanted to wear cleats to commemorate the 15th anniversary of 9/11.
History has clearly illustrated the NFL has taken a position AGAINST actions by NFL players which demonstrate RESPECT for God, social causes such as mental health, cancer, domestic violence, for cops killed arbitrarily for being cops, or for the Memory of 9/11. I and many others find this position really frigging irritating.
Now, all of a sudden, the NFL seems to be greatly concerned about free speech and expression. Now, they will allow demonstrations of DISRESPECT for our National Flag and the National Anthem, if it will help mollify a particular Group and its supporters.
This is what the NFL has shown itself to be, ergo the discontent.
Finally, does anybody want to remember that Kaepernick was benched for his crappy play before all this started?
[First] You’re 100% correct, Amendment #1 concerns the G’s abridgment of free speech. But, the G is abridging free speech if they coerce or conspire with the NFL to abridge free speech of its players. The NFL would probably be a nominal defendant in such an action, unless as argued in previous post, the NFL is considered a governmental unit with regard to free speech.
[Second] Wrong! An employer forcing you to chicken cluck or Anthem stand is the EXACT same thing in the subject context. The only difference is YOUR PERCEPTION that one is appropriate, and one is not. If an employer can make you stand for the Anthem, they can make you cluck like a chicken or pledge allegiance to Kim. The nationalistic biases need to be removed to see the issue with clarity. Employers are not allowed to arbitrarily force an employee do things that are not job related, even if it’s thought to be a good thing; unless it was discussed at hire. Whether the behavior is a “social norm” is categorically irrelevant.
[Third] Again, nationalistic biases must be stuffed. It is a mutually exclusive logical impossibility for one to disrespect our Flag or Anthem while peacefully protesting inappropriate Governmental behavior [Even if the protestor is wrong about the issue]!
One possesses the right not to exercise; but by doing so, they lose the right to claim they’ve achieved max fitness. Likewise, one has the right to opine that Kaepernick’s protest is “disrespectful to the Flag/Anthem.” But by doing so, they place themselves at war with the US Constitution because they’re assigning a value to our Flag/Anthem inconsistent with American Values and Law. They’re converting the US Flag/Anthem into, for example, the N. Korean Flag/Anthem. This opinion is taking a position of hostility to the concepts of American freedom and liberty; they are advocating for despotism.
Intolerance of Kaepernick’s protests prove either ignorance for or hostility toward our Nation’s values and by association disgrace the Anthem and Flag. So, he kneels for the Anthem, it doesn’t change the football watching experience the slightest bit, HTF does this rankle anyone? It’s not like he’s running onto the field naked delaying the game.
The thing totally missed about Kaepernick is he is not acting affirmatively, he’s acting passively. Now if he’s passive during a snap, this is a problem because his job requires him to act a certain way on snap. But, he’s passively kneeling when it was not required of him to stand. If the NFL can make him stand at a point in time that is not required; they can make him flap his arms like a bird or cluck like a chicken.
Not 100% informed on the Tebow praying before a game, I remember the issue being about him praying between plays. And the rest of the stuff was about uniform violations. IMHO, each of these restrictions fall under the goose-gander principle, which considers if you allow 1 guy to do something what happens if all 126 players do it. 1 guy kneeling for the anthem is no different than 126 doing it. If one guy can wear a patch and change his shoe color, imagine if one wears a 3’ by 5’ patch or 40 patches or if 126 guys wear different colors of shoes and socks. The easiest way to enforce a rule and prevent the slippery slope is to prohibit behaviors 100% and perhaps only allow well defined and publicized exceptions.
[Lastly] Not sure why anyone would dump on Kaepernick’s play. He was never close to elite, that’s why he got a pay-as-you-go 2nd contract. But, it is now incontrovertible, the proof is out, he’s a starting NFL QB [Florio, BTW an attorney, said scouting reports of several teams obtained in discovery in the collusion case indicate that Kaepernick was viewed a starting QB]. And everyone here knows he could have started for several teams at various points last year, including GB, and been a back-up on at least 25.
But then, oh wait, this is where the baggage baggage baggage bullshyte enters the pic. Of course, never a god damn fact placed in context. And what the hell does this BS drivel mean? That every NFL player is an absolute choir boy, and the moment they get baggage that no NFL gives them a chance to work? WTF, and I mean WTF are they thinking? There’s hundreds of guys that have much more baggage than Kaepernick and are not considered starter/solid back-up material like Kaepernick. My god Titus Young, Aldon Smith were INSANE and SUCKED or sucked for multiple years and still got chances to work. 6’6 330 Jonathan Martin showed nothing felt bullied and left camp, really? His supposed bullier got suspended and BOTH got more opportunities. There are 100s of guys that were much worse than Kaepernick or Reid that got 2, 3, 10 chances for drugs, PEDs, beating wives, punching-out mates and coaches, sleeping with teammates wives, etc., etc., etc. Hell, if Hernandez were alive and Trump pardoned him, a serial killer would be in a god damn OTA this week.
Since it otherwise makes no sense, this baggage must be the same as Jackie Robinson’s 1947 “baggage!” Jackie’s “baggage” included:
Dixie Walker Brooklyn’s best position [CF] player [1946 #2 in MVP voting to Stan Musial] and very popular player circulated a petition to keep Robinson out in 1947-he had to be traded after ’47 season for a couple of youngsters.
Kirby Higbe, Brooklyn’s best pitcher by far in 1946, refused to play w/ Robinson on the field and was dealt 2 weeks into the season for cash.
White fans organized a boycott, successfully keeping over 20K White fans away on opening day; this was offset by 10K Blacks that come to their first game wearing their Sunday’s best clothes.
But, Branch Rickey said, “eff-off” to all of this “baggage.” There ain’t a single Branch Rickey in the NFL today; just a group of sociopathic cowards. If we replayed the Dodgers’ 1947 season today, would it be better or worse for Jackie?
Interestingly in his autobiography Robinson said, “I Cannot Stand and Sing the Anthem. I Cannot Salute the Flag…[because] I know that I am a black man in a white world." The parallels to Kaepernick are many.
The first Black baseball player was not Jackie Robinson, it was Bill White [Ironic isn’t it?], but he was biracial and passed himself off as White [he played 1 game in 1879]. The first admitted Black player was Moses Fleetwood Walker [“Fleet”]. He played in 1884 for the Toledo Blue Stockings; he was joined later that year by his brother Weldy, who only played in 6 games. Fleet was a catcher and pitchers wouldn’t take signs from a Black guy so Fleet never knew what pitch was coming. And catchers of the day did not wear much protective gear; so whiole catching Fleet routinely had the crap beat out of him by the pitched ball.
In a game in Louisville, Walker was physically chased off the field by fans. And Toledo received the following letter in advance of a game in Richmond, “Dear Sir: We, the undersigned, do hereby warn you not to put up Walker, the Negro catcher, the days you play in Richmond, as we could mention the names of 75 determined men who have sworn to mob Walker if he comes on the ground in a suit. We hope you will listen to our words of warning so there will be no trouble, and if you do not, there certainly will be. We only write this to prevent much bloodshed, as you alone can prevent.” Fleet didn’t play in Richmond! After the season the Owners made a “Gentleman’s Agreement” that there’d be no crying or Blacks in baseball.