The reaction to NFL players kneeling during the national anthem has been…
The reaction has been louder than the protest. You can’t protest in a way that offends the majority of your fanbase and not expect backlash. Every team that kneeled (during the anthem or not… looking at you Cowboys) was mercilessly booed and rightfully so. People don’t like it when professional athletes do controversial things, and they just opened the floodgates. NFL ratings are in the toilet, people actually agree with Trump for once, and numerous polls (Reuter 58% stand, Remington 64% stand) prove that the majority of Americans think NFL players should stand for the anthem.
The NFL players and teams have done a great job in drawing attention to what they’re doing, but I think the message they’re trying to convey has been lost in the protest itself. I appreciate the players protesting in a non violent way but I don’t think it’s adding a whole lot to their initial cause.
My reaction to the kneeling was one of disgust. I understand the message they are trying to send but they have to realize that kneeling for the anthem and the flag is extremely disrespectful and out right stupid. It’s very hypocritical as well, the teams and players are claiming that they are uniting against racist America and Donald Trump, but they have to realize that they are further splitting the country. They talk about unity, but then they go on and further divide the country through their actions. I’m not advocating for forcing them to stand. This isn’t North Korea where the government dictates those type of things, and punishing them for what they have done is ridiculous. They have expressed their First Amendment rights peacefully, nothing wrong with that. I just believe the actions they have taken are idiotic and very miscalculated, just look at the percentage of people they have alienated through their actions. I would urge them to just play football, politics isn’t their forte.
All over every single media platform, that’s where it’s been. Everytime I’ve opened Twitter or Facebook, all I see are people’s opinions and reactions to the topic. The protest has been taken to a whole new level with anybody and everybody voicing their opinions on social media. The players had to have realized that if they displayed their rally on one of America’s biggest stages (the NFL), they would get a huge reaction from it. I think that was their intention: to get people talking about it, get people reacting to it. I just don’t think it was the best way to do so, with all the controversy it’s now brought to a sport that had little, if nothing to do with the political world before.
NFL teams have every right to protest with the right of the First Amendment. Those who criticize when players kneel and lock arms need to face reality, fans reaction to the anthem protest is about patriotism and not about racism. I fully feel it is right to stand for the anthem. I have gotten the pleasure to meet many veterans in my life and was very fortunate to have family members serve our country. When that flag is up and the national anthem is sung, that’s who I show my respect to- it’s not about me being American but about the people who volunteered for our country. With that said, I truthfully respect the acts that players and team owners are doing. America isn’t forced to show patriotism, the national anthem is not a test for people who watch and play football need to pass. Many spectators are falling on both sides and taking action by burning jerseys and not watching football completely. Kneeling during the flag is a peaceful protest. Soldiers kneel in front of a fallen soldier’s grave, these players aren’t burning flags. They want to be heard and without words or acts of violence, they have done it.
Sports used to be a place where people could get away from politics. Now you can’t watch SportsCenter or any football game without hearing about the big protest that essentially started with just one quarterback in the NFL. Kneeling during the national anthem is disrespectful to the people who risk their lives for this country. What happened to standing tall and proud for those soldiers? I do believe that people have every right to fight for their beliefs and to speak out, but I think that they took it too far with protesting during our anthem.