Respect and Honor
Where Has Respect and Honor Gone?
In the United States, many professional football players have lost respect for our flag and the patriots who have fought for our country. During the playing of the National Anthem on Sundays (as well as other days when games are scheduled), many players in the National Football League (NFL) have decided to protest by kneeling or standing with fist-in-air. In my opinion, this is wrong.
As a youngster I became an avid fan of my hometown professional football team. Throughout the years (since about 1957) I have continued to support my team, while also having my personal schedule full of times to view various other teams. When the protests began during the 2016 football season, it caused me to rethink the value of what I was supporting. And when they continued in full force at the beginning of the current season, I joined millions of other fans who now boycott the NFL.
Freedom of Speech
I am a firm believer in freedom of speech as it is laid out in the First Amendment to our Constitution. The protests, which are based upon the injustices that people of color face in America today, is not in question here. At the same time, these protests have become a "political" football.
As I have stated above, the protests are wrong, and for two main reasons. The first reason I believe these protests are wrong is in regards to the venue in which it is being held. The majority of fans who attend the games, and those that watch them on TV, do so for one primary reason: to root for their team and be entertained in the process. The protests are not what the fans paid for either through the purchase of tickets or the time invested in watching the games. Secondly, and probably most important, is that these protests are contrary to what the flag, the anthem, and the veterans who fought for our freedom really represents.
If the NFL players want to protest, they are free to express themselves. But they should do it in a different venue, and not take advantage of the fans who support them. Statistics now show that the league has been losing a significant amount of revenue, as well as the long-term support of the diehard fans, of whom I am one.
Where Do We Go From Here?
There have been several suggestions on how to remedy this situation, but no compromised solutions have been agreed upon. As the season comes to a close, it is highly unlikely this matter will be resolved. For me - and millions of other (former) fans - we are fed up with this situation. I am hoping that a new policy will be established that will bring honor and respect back into the hearts and minds of the players who stand (by kneeling) against our flag, country, and national anthem.
Above all else, as role models for our youth in America, the NFL players are demonstrating, through their protests, how to be disrespectful, discourteous, and dishonoring. It's time for these multi-million dollar athletes to be an example of what is good and right about our country.