NFL owners, save one, voted to require players on the field to knee for the national anthem and “presenting of the colors” during pregame ceremonies. As I had predicted, players are reacting in a childish manner and showing they are resistant to ANY authority, including that of their employers. Many are being quoted as calling our President an idiot and some have referred to owners as slave holders. These highly paid athletes are far from being slaves and receive salaries that exceed 95% of the general population. Such salaries are hardly plantation wages. As I’ve stated before, police have arguably the most difficult job in the country. They are expected to perform flawlessly in every situation despite knowing that they are often targeted by individuals who feel police are the enemy. Police already know that they are hated by criminals who prey on innocent people, regardless of skin color. Victims of crimes don’t necessarily see the police as enemies. Minorities often don’t believe they are treated equally in encounters with police. Our military have learned that their own behavior is affected by the level of perceived threat. In a potentially hostile environment, military members (and police) do react more aggressively to neutralize what they see as a threat. This is not to say that all police are angels in blue, but they are human and have a survival instinct like the rest of us. Many police departments recognize some inherent bias and are offering self-awareness classes to minimize this aspect. I don’t think any of us can predict how we would react in any given situation until actually faced with it. I try to live by the scripture, “Judge not lest ye not also be judged.” Although I am not a minority, when stopped by police I show respect and follow directions. I believe belligerent attitudes make these encounters worse.
I stopped watching pro football when the kneeling movement first began. The responses I’m hearing since the NFL decision will likely mean no professional football this year either. Seems to me the word “professional” is really an oxymoron. A professional will perform the assignment given them despite distractions. It is easy to be judgmental when your life is not on the line each time you report for work. I certainly support law enforcement over NFL players and will confine my interests to college sports. Some see this as a freedom of speech issue, but I see it as disrespecting military members who have defended our flag at the risk of death or dismemberment. Apply your first amendment rights in a different venue. Players are losing credibility with fans and veterans over their behavior.