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Number 903, December 18, 2016

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How the NFL Makes My Blood Boil
by Sean Gangol

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Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

There has been much controversy about Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers and other football players who are choosing to sit or kneel during the national anthem. Not surprisingly, there are many patriotic Americans who consider this a blatant act of disrespect to this nation and its values. The reason behind these actions has to do with the utter fiction that the Black Lives Matter movement has been peddling about there being some genocidal campaign being waged against black people.

I know that there have been a variety of different thoughts on the whole Kaepernick controversy. There are those on the left who say that Kaepernick’s actions are noble and are protected by the First Amendment. So now you guys believe in free speech? I also read L. Neil Smith’s article where he said the Star Spangle Banner represented American imperialism during the War of 1812. I don’t quite agree with that assessment. The song was actually inspired by a British invasion that had been repelled by US forces, which has more to say about America’s perseverance than imperialistic urges.

I don’t dispute that Kaepernick and his fellow players have a First Amendment right to protest. However, the NFL shouldn’t act surprised when their ratings go down, whenever they show one of their players doing something that many patriotic Americans consider disrespectful. Remember that football is America’s favorite pass-time, so people aren’t going to want to see it trash the values that they hold dear. It is actually quite similar to the case of the Dixie Chicks trashing a president during a time of war. There is no debate that their words were protected by free speech and some would say that their criticism of the president was probably more than fair. The only downside is that they were Country-Western singers, which means that they had the most patriotic fan base in America. So, they can’t really complain when those same patriotic good old boys no longer want to buy their albums.

Now, my biggest problem with this whole National Anthem controversy is that Kaeparnick and players like him are using their protests to support the same false narrative that Black Live Matters has been peddling for the past two years. My solution to this problem is to not give these idiots any undeserved attention, which is the very thing they crave. Though my major issue with the NFL is the set of double standards that they have when it comes to what freedoms they allow in their stadiums. For starters, they wouldn’t allow members of the Dallas Cowboys to wear blue socks in memorial to the slain police officers, but yet they were perfectly fine with Kaeparnick wearing socks with pigs wearing police uniforms. I also love the way the NFL gives ticket buyers the same treatment as the TSA gives airline passengers. They even make woman empty their purses and put their contents in clear bags.

I know that there are some people who would say that the NFL is a private organization and they are allowed to make their own rules at their own stadiums. I would agree with this sentiment if it weren’t for the fact that most of these stadiums are being funded with other people’s taxes. That is where you have these little strings attached that I like to call the Bill of Rights. So, their double standards on free speech as well as their random searches and prohibition on firearms are actual violations of the very bylaws that come with those stadiums. It amazes me that these concepts don’t anger people more than some idiot who refuses to respect the National Anthem. Granted this man who was lucky enough to be raised by an upper-middle class family and is now fortunate enough to have a career in something that most people can only dream about, is utterly clueless about how well he actually has it in this so-called racist country. Still, the bigger outrage should be the way the NFL pretends that our rights don’t exist once we set foot in those billion dollar stadiums that were paid for by our taxes. To me that is a hundred times more unamerican than some ungrateful duce kneeling every time the National Anthem plays.

I have to admit that I have always been more of a basketball kind of guy, but I still think that we should be willing to cut any organization out of our lives that doesn’t respect our rights or our values. Unfortunately, despite their stadiums being paid with our taxes, the cities where they are located are always going to grovel to the NFL’s wishes out of fear of losing revenue. Still there is much that we can do to put the NFL in its place. In the end the only way to get the NFL’s attention is to hurt their bottom line. It’s good that their ratings are down, but we need to take it a step further. We need to boycott all ticket sales, merchandise or anything that supports the NFL financially. This would include boycotting their sponsors as well. Once we get their attention then we can demand that they respect our rights or at the very least they can pay for their own damn stadiums.

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