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Paul Hayden

Veterans and the NFL Boycott

November 13, 2017

There is a lot of confusion in the press and among the public about why NFL players sitting or kneeling during the National Anthem has anything to do with our veterans. I will dispel the smokescreen and allow the facts to be seen. 

  1. The NFL Commissioners claim that players have a First Amendment “right” to protest in this way. That is a lie. The League has refused to allow players the right to individual expression dozens of times. For instance, a year ago the NFL refused to Dallas Cowboys players the right to wear small decals on their helmets honoring five slain police officers. (They did allow the decals in training camps, where no one would see them.) The bottom line is that there are no absolute First Amendment rights in the workplace. If a police officer (or a UPS driver, for that matter) decided to wear a pink uniform on duty to promote breast cancer awareness, it would not be permitted. If a firefighter decided to sit down rather than fighting a fire because the building was a homosexual nightclub he or she would be fired on the spot.
  2. Colin Kaepernick, who started all this, said at the beginning: "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way.” Another lie. After he found himself unemployed, he let all the teams know that if they hired him, he would stand for the anthem. So it wasn’t a matter of principle. It was all about self-promotion for him.  
  3. The protests were never about race relations. If that had been the case, there are many venues in which famous multi-millionaire sports figures would be welcome to spout whatever grievances – real or imagined – they had about American society. This whole campaign to show disrespect for our flag and our National Anthem emanates from the far Left, which has now taken over the NFL philosophically. Just as they have made the media and most of our universities part of the Socialist/Democrat propaganda machine, they have co-opted the NFL. Fortunately, baseball and basketball have remained patriotic. And as they observe the boycott of the NFL and the money the League loses, they will probably stay that way.
  4. If the NFL players were really concerned about police relations with minorities (rather than showing off or jumping aboard a trend) they would do something about the problems that contribute to higher crime rates in minority neighborhoods. These include fatherless children (many NFL players brag about how many women they have impregnated); drugs (many of them have been arrested for dealing and using drugs); and domestic violence (many have been arrested for domestic violence and battery). And, yes, “NFL players, had a higher arrest rate for violent crimes, like assaults and homicides” than the general population according to The Guardian. In any given year, one out of 40 NFL players is arrested for a serious crime (traffic violations are not included). On average one player is arrested every week. See the USA today article below detailing NFL Player Arrests.
Please note concerning the crime statistics mentioned above: Some studies (probably commissioned by the NFL) show that these players have a lower arrest rate than the average American. But if you read carefully, you will see that in every case they compare the NFL arrests to American males in their twenties and thirties instead of the U.S. population. But many continue playing in the NFL into their forties. And lots of NFL retirees commit violent crimes after they retire.
We also have to consider the fact that the reported crimes (from which the statistics are drawn) are almost certainly much lower than reality. All crimes aren’t noticed by the media. And many that are noted don’t get reported either because the reporter is a sports fan, or in some cases has been bought off. Finally, remember that the conviction rates of multi-millionaires will always be lower than those of regular guys who can’t afford to hire an entire law firm.
Now that we have debunked the lies about the mysterious case of the kneeling millionaires, how does all this relate to veterans? The players claim that kneeling and raising their fists in the salute made famous by the violent Black Panther Party are not meant to show disrespect for the Anthem, the flag or the veterans who fought and died for it. That may well be true for some of them. But the majority of those kneeling are just angry guys who want to cause trouble. Look at the hate in their expressions while they’re sitting or kneeling.   
So does disrespect for the flag and the National Anthem equate to disrespect for veterans, as most Americans believe? As a former Marine, I certainly believe it does, as do most veterans and active duty personnel.
The Liberal news media is reporting that some veterans support the NFL protests. If that is true, I’m sure they are Democrats toeing the party line. More likely what they have told reporters is what I have heard many vets say: “I fought for their right to act like idiots. But they’re dead wrong in the way they’re expressing their views. The singing of the National Anthem is not the time or place for political demonstrations.”
Hundreds of thousands of veterans are so incensed by a year of this nonsense that they have organized a boycott of the NFL in general, and the 2018 Super Bowl in particular. Their Facebook page already has more than a quarter of a million “likes.” You can add your support by liking https://www.facebook.com/Boycott-The-NFL-119285205413259/  
Why do military people feel personally dishonored by the disrespect for our nation? Well, first of all, vets, active duty troops, and hundreds of millions of Americans consider the flag, the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance sacred. Not in the religious sense. (The word “sacred” means “set apart for God’s use.”) But these symbols of our country are the closest thing to being holy that a nation can have. Even many Democrats get upset when punks burn the flag or trample on it.
But in general, the Left (whether Democrats, Socialists, Progressives or Communists) ridicule these symbols of our great nation. And – unbelievably – they mock patriotism itself. It is hard for me to understand how anyone could live in this country and enjoy its freedoms and not love it.
Listen to an anonymous post by one Leftist, which I see echoed on many Democrat and Progressive sites: “Patriotism in your country is stupid because it makes a simplistic view of a very complex world. No one country is better than all others, and it is stupid to think that your's is. Patriotism can lead to jingoism or blind love for your country, which can make critical thinking of its actions very hard. This ties in with Nationalism, they both lead you to be blind to the realities of the world and make you inherently worse off because of it.”
They actually believe that patriotism is stupid and that nationalism is evil. That’s why the Left hates Trump. Not because he beat Hillary, as so many seem to think. They hate him because he believes it is his job to put America first. They are globalists. We are patriots. They think they are citizens of the world and owe no allegiance to America. We know we are citizens of the United States, and we pledge our allegiance to it.
The Left is on an all-out campaign to strip us of all that defines America, so that we can be absorbed into the one world government they long for so badly. The Democrat-controlled national teachers’ union got rid of the Pledge of Allegiance in most public schools long ago. Universities are getting rid of the American Flag because it makes their students feel “unsafe.” (The poor, pitiful babies.) And now the NAACP has labeled the National Anthem “racist.”
Here’s one more reason that contempt for the symbols of our nation equates to disrespect for our troops and our veterans. These men and women fought and in many cases died for our country and the symbols that represent it. There are dozens of true stories of Americans risking their lives to preserve American Flags, and some have even died doing so.
“Why would anyone risk their life to save a piece of cloth?” The people who would ask that question will never understand the answer. But anyone who has ever served in uniform, and most American patriots understand. It's not a piece of cloth. It represents all that is good about America, and it represents the men and women who over the years have loved her so much that they were willing to give their lives for her.  

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Veterans Boycott the NFL

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Copyright ©2017

Dr. Tom Barrett is a pastor, teacher, author, conference keynote speaker, professor, certified executive coach, and marketplace minister. His teaching and coaching have blessed both church and business leaders. He has been ordained for over 40 years, and has pastored in seven churches over that time. Today he “pastors pastors” as he oversees ordained and licensed ministers in Florida for his ministerial fellowship.

He has written thousands of articles that have been republished in national newspapers and on hundreds of websites, and is a frequent guest on radio and television shows. His weekly Conservative Truth article (which is read by 250,000) offers a unique viewpoint on social, moral and political issues from a Biblical worldview. This has resulted in invitations to speak internationally at churches, conferences, Money Shows, universities, and on TV (including the 700 Club).

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