Twelve members of the Cleveland Browns football team knelt during the national anthem before their most recent preseason game. Colin K. initiated the national anthem protest last year over what he perceived as racial injustice in our society. Television ratings for the NFL declined last year; many feel that downturn was related to his anthem protests. This was notable because football had become increasingly popular over the years. Despite the fact that Colin claims he will stand for the national anthem this year, he has yet to be signed by an NFL team. Most Americans view sports as an escape from the many stresses of our daily lives. We are constantly bombarded by political messages on the national news and in our newspapers and magazines. Americans turn to sports for its entertainment value and don’t want to see politics come into play. Instead of gaining sympathy for “the cause” these athletes are creating resentment among working class individuals. How can average Americans relate to someone making millions of dollars to play a game while they work long hours just to get by? A blue collar worker may pay a day’s salary to watch a game. Considering the wealth and adulation they receive, I doubt these athletes suffer social injustices. If entitled athletes begin playing politics with sports, fans will seek other forms of entertainment. Fans ultimately pay athlete’s generous salaries and if they become disenfranchised, athletes will be the losers.
All veterans take pride in our flag and national anthem. Why do you suppose military members are always the flag bearers when the anthem is played? Each vet knows what that flag represents. It stands for all the blood that has been spilled to keep our nation free. Many lives have been sacrificed in defense of that flag and no freedom loving American has the right to disrespect it. Those who served in its defense will continue to defend it to the death. I was looking forward to this football season but this disgusting display has my blood boiling. If this is what we will be seeing this fall, then the NFL will not be a part of my entertainment. The Cleveland Browns made a season ending play before this season even began.