Local Residents Say Boycott the NFL After Players Take a Knee, Some Call to Publicly Burn NFL Merchandise
REGIONAL – Since election night 2016, when Donald J. Trump became the 45th President of the United States, nearly everything he says or “tweets” makes the following day’s top news headlines. The once beloved billionaire and television entertainer is now referred to as “Hitler incarnate” by most Liberals, especially those with a stage, pulpit or playing field.
Everything from hand gestures to haircuts has sparked outrage by those who hate the President and his constituents, and in recent months, even inanimate objects like raw cotton, Confederate Monuments and Aunt Jemima Pancake Syrup has triggered outrage, protests and violent confrontations.
Since 1931, when the United States adopted the Star Spangled Banner as the National Anthem, U.S. Citizens have revered the patriotic tear-jerking song as beautiful reminder of past wars, heroic sacrifice, and loyalty to a country like no other in the world. But that has all changed and the National Anthem, like the American Flag, have become symbols of hate and divisiveness by a new generation of anarchists, activists, and those who believe disrespecting the United States is just a form of free speech.
Many believe former San Francisco 49ers quarterback – now free agent – Colin Kaepernick was the first to disrespect the Anthem but a similar protest occurred in 1968, when two Black U.S. Olympians, Tommie Smith and John Carlos held their fists in the air during the playing of the National Anthem, after they received the gold and bronze medals for the 200-meter dash.
Disappointed in the growing number of National Football League Players taking a knee, President Trump stated during a rally in Alabama on Friday, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a (expletive) off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!” The President’s comments only seemed to fuel the flames of NFL players, and today, dozens of players from nearly every organization either took a knee or stayed in the locker room during the National Anthem.
We spoke to Denver Bronco fans, Ron and Jennifer Dillon, who were disturbed by the show of disrespect but said they wouldn’t stop watching the game. “I watch football because I enjoy the game… Whatever their politics, world views, opinions – I may not agree, disagree – I don’t care. All I care about is when the whistle blows, do your job,” said Ron.
Jennifer says, “I feel the employers (NFL Owners) should stop it. If they want to make a stand and make a political statement, they should do it on their own time.”
Both believe President Trump’s comments were out of line and is probably what led to even more protests during today’s NFL games. I asked if they thought the NFL would suffer for defending their player’s right to protest. Ron believes the owners “Live on a different level than most of us and are concerned over a possible mutiny by some minority players.”
Ron referred to a recent story, where a little league football team took a knee during the National Anthem, and says, “I hate to see an 8th grade team kneeling for the national anthem – I am completely against that, and I would pull my son from a team in a minute, because that man’s views should not be projected on the youth.”
RNRF received a huge response from our viewers when we asked what they thought about the growing protests. Gary Pickering responded with “Maybe it’s time to have a burn the Bucs and NFL gear rally.” Amy Smedley said, “We will no longer watch any NFL or any other paid football leagues. If you can’t respect the country that made you rich then go where you can respect the country. This is just GREED!” Rochelle Jahn disagrees with a boycott and says, “I don’t agree with kneeling but I don’t agree with the boycott. That’s the beauty of America. It’s called the freedom of speech.”
Some viewers say the focus of protest should be against the inner-city gang violence and not against President Trump. Suzanne Giles says, “Gang violence- exactly. So why doesn’t the players use their money to help. Educate. Reform. Etc. The violence & drug addictions that is the root of the problem?”Even Hernando County Commissioner, Steve Champion, spoke out on the issue and tells RNRF, “My son is an active duty U.S. Marine and for spoiled millionaire babies to disrespect the men and women who fight for this country is a disgrace.” Champion further stated, “I believe the leadership of the NFL should enforce rules that demonstrate respect for our country. I have been an avid fan of football my entire life and this the first day that I didn’t not watch a minute of football.”
Although the overwhelming majority were outraged over the demonstration, some, like Abigail Hollis Gray say, “I agree with their stand on free speech. It may seem like it is about race and partially it might be. Women’s rights being eroded, children’s education being eroded, health care being eroded. “Freedom and justice for all” does not exist. Yes, kneel until the gov. gets it. Freedom of speech is not just for words “you/me/them/they/whomever might agree with it is also the freedom to express opinions that are not popular.”
Disrespecting the Flag and the National Anthem to protest what some believe is a new rise in white supremacy is something that many say crosses the line of free speech.
Only time will tell how much damage has been done to both the National Football League and American race relations.
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