In the great scheme of things, the battle over kneeling during the national anthem at National Football League games is becoming a hot button of controversy, now pitting NFL owners against players and coaches. The original protest started in the 2016 pre-season when Colin Kaepernick, then-quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, knelt at the sidelines. In an interview after the game, Kaepernick stated that he knelt to bring attention to the problem of racial injustice in the United States.
Since that first instance of kneeling, the radical right wing nutjobs have been trying to discredit the entire movement by saying that the players are disrespecting the flag, the anthem, the country, and the very soldiers that fought for their right to #TakeAKnee.
While none of that could be farther from the truth, it continues to gain traction by being blasted across Twitter by the pretender-in-chief, Donald Trump. Trump even used his bully platform at a campaign fundraiser/rally for Luther Strange in Alabama to call Kaepernick out by name and blast any players that knelt, saying that owners should just fire them all.
But there is a problem with that.
It’s called the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. It is what our soldiers fight for — the allow each citizen of the country to have the right to stand up (or kneel) in support of something they feel strongly about.
Today, Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, put out a press release stating that any Dallas player that knelt during the anthem would not play. In response, the NFL Players Association posted the following statement:
‘NFLPA Statement on Players’ Constitutional Rights’
‘NFL players are union members and part of the labor movement that has woven the fabric of America for generations. Our men and their families are also conscientious Americans who continue to be forces for good through our communities and some have decided to use their platform to peacefully raise awareness to issues that deserve attention.
‘It is a source of enormous pride that some of the best conversations about these issues have taken place in our locker rooms in a respectful, civil and thoughtful way that should serve as a model for how all of us can communicate with each other.
‘We should not stifle these discussions and cannot allow our rights to become subservient to the very opinions our Constitution protects. That is what makes us the land of the free and home of the brave.’
It is pretty clear that the player’s union is not having any of the threats issued by team owners. In their statement, they deftly picked up the gauntlet tossed by Jerry Jones and whacked him upside the face with it. Our NFL players are patriotic to a fault and they KNOW that America can do better.
Watch this informative video from the NFLPA:
Featured image from NFPLA video