The below listed article by the Thomas More Law Center outlines the conflict that has erupted, because the NFL has not been enforcing its own below listed rules that requires professional football players to honor the National Anthem.
The BBC reported earlier this year that US race relations have become more polarized and tense since January 20, 2009. How did we get here, after millions of white Americans voted in national elections, twice, to elect the first black president in US history?
Unfortunately, over the last 8 years, Obama’s accusation of “white privilege”, and “of systematic racism by Police Officers” and the justice system, aimed at young impressionable black Americans, who were raised in mostly fatherless homes, had its effect. They took Obama’s accusations to heart as victims, it aggravated the alleged victims of the Obama’s described discrimination, and has resulted in demonstrations in the streets that have become increasingly more militant, and hostile, and created the anti-Police radical Black Lives Matter.
Over the last 8 years, Obama never told those young black Americans, that hundreds of thousands of white Americans, died in the Civil War to free America’s slaves—or that America was the first country in the world to free its slaves, because of a Republican president issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
For the last 10 months, Soros and Obama’s Organization For Action have been organizing and funding weekly street demonstrations by transporting violent ANTIFA, Black Lives Matter, and Communist USA anarchists vilifying Police Officers, to well organized demonstrations, while paying them$25/day.
For nearly one year, Colin Kaepernick said he could not have pride in the American Flag or in a country that oppresses black people and people of color, and took a knee when the National Anthem was played before the football games began. Professional football players are now showing their solidarity with Black Lives Matter street demonstrations against Police Officers, and with Colin Kaepernick by taking a knee when the National Anthem is played.
If professional football players want to demonstrate against Police Officers, who incidentally protect them at every football game they play in, they have a Constitutional right to do so. But not in uniform at nationally televised professional football games, in violation of NFL Rules, by taking a knee when the national anthem is played—they can promote demonstrations against Police Officers in as many private locations and venues they care to participate in.
Military Regulations prevent members of the US Armed Forces in uniform from participating in political demonstrations. It is not viewed as restricting their “Freedom of Speech”, because they can attend any political events out of uniform. The NFL Operations Manual prevents professional football players in uniform from disrespecting the National Anthem and the American Flag at professional football games. It is not viewed as restricting their “Freedom of Speech”, because they can demonstrate against anything they chose to demonstrate against, out of uniform and not on the field during nationally televised professional football games
If Roger Goodell did enforce the NFL Rules, for taking a knee when the National Anthem is played, then the professional football players should be disciplined by being fined, or be suspended from playing, if they continued to take a knee. For allowing the members of their football teams to take a knee, when the National Anthem is being played, then the owners of the professional football teams should be disciplined by the forfeiture of their first draft choice(s), in accordance with the NFL Operations Manual.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell “infamously waged a years-long, multi-million-dollar battle with the New England Patriots trying to prove that the balls used in the 2014 AFC Championship (game) between the Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts were under-inflated,” however, he’s taking a “decidedly less fastidious approach to the (NLF) rules governing the National Anthem.”
Instead of applying the rules (listed on page A62-63 in the NFL Operations Manual for professional football players), Goodell is refusing to apply those rules, “Goodell is focusing his anger at President Trump, who said in a speech Friday that the NFL team owners should require their players to stand during the National Anthem.”(WND News, Sept 26, 2017)
Goodell’s failure to apply the rules in the NFL Operations Manual is negatively affecting the game of football with the 80% of the millions of America’s football fans who disagree with players taking a knee during the National Anthem.
Roger Goodell has a double standard in applying NFL Rules , and does so only when they personally suit Roger Goodell. Goodell refused to allow NFL players to wear red, white, and blue cleats in support of the victims of 9/11, and his also refused to allow the Dallas Cowboy football team to add a decal to their helmets to honor the 5 Dallas Police Officers who were gunned down by a black nationalist. Goodell violated the rules in the NFL Operations Manual when he allowed Colin Kaepernick to wear socks depicting Police Officers as pigs. by allowing him to take a knee during the National Anthem for one year, and by allowing hundreds of football players to now take a knee when the National Anthem is being played.
By allowing football players to take a knee during the playing of the National Anthem, Goodell has been offending millions of Patriotic Americans, First Responders, members of the US Armed Forces, Veterans, and he is setting terrible example for young Americans. Millions of Americans view taking knee as disrespecting the National Anthem, the American Flag, and the memory of every Combat Veteran thru the ages who gave the last full measure of devotion for their country, and were returned to the United States in a flag draped casket.
If professional football players persist in taking a knee when the National Anthem is played, with the support of Roger Goodell, then the Pentagon should cancel their annual $53 million advertising budget in support of the NFL Sunday and Monday night games. Cities across the nation should consider cancelling the billions of dollars they provide annually to support the NFL.
The NFL’s Operations Manual, which, unlike its Rule Book, is intentionally not made available to the public states:
“During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
Joseph R. John, USNA ‘62
Capt., USNR(Ret)/Former FBI Chairman,
Combat Veterans For Congress PAC
San Diego, CA