Take a Knee on Taking a Knee

10 Views

This past weekend saw NFL players taking a knee or not coming out for the Star Spangled Banner during football games, and both Left and Right went ballistic. The Left cried “free speech” (along with “Trump is a racist/sexist/homophobe/islamophobe/phobe-du-joir), and the Right cried “disrespect.” So, where does your favorite free speech loving, ruggedly handsome independent blogger stand on kneeling?

To put it mildly and in the form of a Facebook relationship status, it’s complicated.

Both sides of this controversy have good points, and both are completely wrong. (Told ya it was complicated.) The football players who decided to protest have a right to express themselves in the ways they did. You may not agree with why they were protesting, but it’s not even up for debate: they have the right to protest.

The people saying their protest was disrespectful to America, the flag, and our fighting men and women are correct. I see it as only slightly less offensive than Michael Moore’s eating habits. But free speech isn’t limited to speech we like. If we limit free speech only to speech we like, we could be looking at a situation where only a handful of people (probably people who post cute dog and cat pictures on the Internet) would be allowed to speak, and even they would be able to be silenced with a single complaint.

So, where exactly do I stand? In favor of free speech for the protesters, and the protesters of the protesters. In a situation like this, I will always opt for whatever guarantees the maximum amount of freedom for the maximum number of people because the alternative sucks. When you put a lot of power in the hands of only a few, abuse occurs. Case in point: the IRS under Lois Lerner. Or the IRS in general.

But I do hope the protesters are open to having their actions criticized in the name of the same free speech they cloak themselves in when it suits their needs. Otherwise, their concern for free speech/protest would look rather…superficial.

Disrespect is Never Right

12 Views

At all sporting events. From High School through the professional level they have one thing in common. At the beginning of every contest our National Anthem is played.

A stillness falls on the playing field and crowd that was just a moment before full of energy and movement. Everyone rises to their feet if they are physically able to do so. Everyone either places their hand on their heart or, if in Uniform, salutes the Flag of the United States of America.

But lately in our world of professional sports we have had a player and now a whole team not give the respect to our Flag as they should. This has started in the NFL with Colin Kaepernick of the San Fransico 49ers and has now spread over to the entire Seattle Seahawk team.

This is wrong on so many levels. Our young children look to these professional players as heroes and role models. And they will be emulated by those children and even other adults.

Standing at attention and giving the proper respect to our Flag during the National Anthem played at our sporting events is the only proper thing to do. Any other action is a lack of respect. Not only for the Flag, but for those who are in service to our Nation. All the men and women in uniform. All of those men and women who gave their lives in uniform.

You do have the right to protest against any perceived injustice. Real or imagined. But showing disrespect during the National Anthem is not the time or the place for such protests.

These millionaire protesters should be fined by the NFL for this blatant show of disrespect. And I’m not talking the pennies they are fined when violating some minor NFL rules. I’m saying they should be fined at least one million dollars at every occurrence that they do not show any respect for the Flag and what it represents.

And when an entire team shows the same disrespect. Then that is a reflection of the coach and the owner of that team. They should be fined as well. Including forfeiture of games, an automatic loss of a game. Perhaps then they shall understand the gravity of showing respect.

As for these millionaire’s protesting this perceived injustice. What have you done about it Colin Kaepernick? How much of your money have you spent on fighting it? How much of your free time have you spent helping anyone out of injustice? Have you considered public office, leaving the NFL and becoming one of those who can actually make a change in public policy? Or are you enjoying the fruits of your time in the limelight of sports.

What’s Eating Colin Kaepernick?

10 Views

Before the first kickoff of the NFL regular season, we have our first NFL-related controversy not involving a dirty rotten cheater named Tom Brady. (Not that I have an opinion on Brady, mind you.) From our good friends on the West Coast, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided not to stand for the playing of the National Anthem before a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. Kaepernick explained his actions on Twitter, saying it was because there are so many blacks dying in the streets and that he felt it was part of the American culture, as symbolized by the flag.

While his statements and actions have been inflammatory, the beautiful thing about America is he has a right to say it without the government smacking him down like a linebacker getting a sack on him. As much as it pains me to do it, I have to defend his right to make a stand, no matter how misguided it is.

Of course, that same right gives us the ability to mock him for the benchwarming, Super Bowl losing, underperforming and overpaid, selfish douchenozzle he is.

After the incident, Kaepernick said he was inspired by Black Lives Matter, a network of people who have made it a point to cry “police brutality” in lieu of “wolf” and turn a blind eye to the problems in their own communities. Kaepernick himself is biracial, with a white mother and a black father. His birth mother gave him up for adoption, where he was adopted by a white family and got a lot of benefits from that experience.

But, yeah, he’s totally legit when it comes to The Struggle.

Granted, Kaepernick has been vocal in his support for Black Lives Matter in the past, so this most recent of acts shouldn’t come as a surprise, but I have to question the timing. To put it mildly, last season wasn’t the best for him. Not only did he find himself riding the bench like a stripper in a rich man’s lap, but his prospects of making this year’s team are dwindling faster than the aforementioned rich man’s wallet with said stripper. Imagine the uproar if Kaepernick would be cut, benched, or traded to another team after this incident. Regardless of the facts involved, there would still be people who would think it was because the 49ers organization was racist and would protest in that vein.

Yeah. You might want to ask Michael Sam how that approach worked out for him. That is, if you can catch him between shifts at the Frialator.

Whether it’s a position based on firm conviction or selfishness, Kaepernick made his bed, and now he has to lie in it. Of course, being the kind soul that I am, I’ve devised a way for him to help.

Just give the portion of your contract that derives from white fans and give it to the communities you feel are most racially oppressed. Of course, the FBI states more white are killed by cops than blacks, so logically that would mean whites are more oppressed by cops when it comes to death by police officer.

In other words, you’d be giving your white fans refunds. And instead of blaming it on The Man, you can be The Man and help oppressed people like me avoid getting shot by police. That might mean you have to give up some of your wealth and ability to buy nice things for yourself, but isn’t it worth it knowing you’re helping stamp out oppression?

The Return of Football

4 Views

We are less than a month away from the start of the college football season and just 40 days from the start of the NFL season. At last football will return to the living room screens across the nation.

This is a small post but a fun one to toss in there between all the political stuff going on this year. But football will be a welcome diversion. So I’ll have to give a few shout outs.

For college teams, I’m gonna have to go with 2 of the 3 teams from my home state.

Go Panthers of UNI
Go Hawks of Iowa

And then I must give a shout out to my wife’s team. Because you either are born into it or you adapt if you marry into it.

Go BIG Red

For the NFL, well there has only been one team that I have been a fan of all these years and will always be a fan of them. Maybe we can have a good season this year.

Skol Vikings!

But as always there is always football downtime. But no more as there is a table-top football game you can play. It’s right here at the menu of the blog. Just click on the link for it, at the bottom of the rules is a download where you can get a PDF of the rules for yourself and your friends.

That way you can enjoy football YEAR ROUND!