Look, I get it, NFL players. You’re rich beyond comprehension compared to the working stiffs coughing up dead presidents to see you not stand for our anthem. And you dislike the country that’s afforded you a platform to earn a really, really lucrative living playing a sport that probably won’t exist in a generation. After all, if you were living in Moldova or Malawi chances are you wouldn’t be anywhere near where you are today now would you?
Rich beyond comprehension. Your job consists of working out, playing football, doing interviews, maybe grabbing endorsements here and there. Not a lot of time in that oh-so-busy schedule of yours to articulate a complaint against America you NFL players probably couldn’t articulate beyond the rote, America-hating nonsense you learned at college during your sophomore year. So instead you disrespect our national anthem.
That’s cool. We have a First Amendment after all. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have a PR problem too.
You’ve got a lot of fans that really dislike the way you disrespect the anthem. You’ve got a lot of potential viewers that are choosing to turn the channel, watch Will and Grace re-runs, whenever your team’s game comes on and you dis “The Star-Spangled Banner” before kick-off. That means you’ve got a problem with advertisers buying commercial time, which means the NFL is starting to feel a little cash dollar leverage applied against its bottom line.
If the NFL isn’t making money, teams aren’t making money. If your team isn’t making money, you might want to read the fine print in your contract player. Nowhere in there does your contract say that your job is a 100% guaranteed sure thing.
Let’s be honest, shall we? Kaepernick was fired from the 49ers for two reasons: a) he wasn’t a great quarterback and b) from a PR perspective he’s a disaster. Every one of you knows then that unless you are the greatest thing in football since Jim Thorpe, you are as expendable as the air Tom Brady squeezed out of footballs once upon a time. EPSN has made at least one tear-jerker of a documentary series about players that coulda shoulda woulda been but for ___________.
There are plenty of less than great players in the NFL. Most continue on because they do what they are hired to do. (That’s right player, you are an employee hired to do a job. Granted, it is a very glamorous job). They show up for games, play their part in that grand ballet that is football, and that’s it. Ask Phil Rivers. The players that get fired are the ones that frankly aren’t that good AND decide to use their position to do things that NFL customers (i.e., fans) don’t like. Things like dissing the anthem.
So I’m here to solve your problem and help keep you in an NFL jersey – at least until the left gets their way and emasculates football in their weird quest to remove all things masculine from our culture. Here’s what you need to do:
– Keep on protesting, brother! If you hate America and think our dead presidents from long ago did us wrong, protest! Heck, protest the living presidents too. Except maybe Obama. Protest. Protest. And then protest some more.
– Protest somewhere else though. A good place to protest would be in the locker room. Instead of joining your team on the field before the anthem, wait until after the anthem’s over to walk out to the field. I know, I know, since you were knee-high to a grasshopper you were taught that you had to trot out on the field with the team before the game. But you’re special now. Kind of better than everybody else; you’ve heard that a lot. So make your protest against America, American bitter clinger values, and all the rest stick by hiding out in the locker rooms until the anthem is done each game.
You see, ultimately all you are is an employee. You weren’t hired by your team to play the role of philosopher or to serve as league political officer. You were hired to play a game. A game played for a team far more special than you alone might ever be. You are playing football for Americans. Hard working men and women that bust their rear ends to pay the cost of tickets to your games – you may spend more in the club on a Friday night than they do to come see you disrespect our anthem when your team comes to town.
Oh, “our”. Interesting word isn’t it? When you are sitting there, in that Hilton of a locker room, waiting for the lyrics written by an American held as prisoner of war to subside, know that you aren’t a part of “our”. When you decided to protest “The Star Spangled Banner” you also decided you weren’t a member of our team – after all, you are oh-so-special now aren’t you, player.
Image: Screen Shot; Fair Use: http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap3000000713882/49ers-kneel-raise-fists-during-national-anthem