The NFL, already under attack from the far Left over its brutality, is furthering its own demise through selective enforcement of rules and policies as they relate to political issues.
For those who aren’t football fans, the league has very strict rules about equipment and uniforms, in order to ensure fairness and parity and to not allow players to distract from the game.
Just as one example, last year the league fined Tennessee Titans linebacker Avery Williamson for wearing “patriotic” cleats commemorating the 9/11 attacks during a game against the Minnesota Vikings because they violated the league’s shoe color/scheme policy. Other players joined Williamson in his patriotic display and were fined as well.
But when it comes to outright political protesting, the league is not only silent, but actively supporting players — much to the chagrin of fans, many of whom are abandoning the sport in droves over mostly black player “protests” of alleged social injustice, protests which began last year with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
As this season kicked off, more protests were launched and now there is a full-fledged war of words between the league and the president of the United States, the latter of whom is appalled by the lack of respect shown their own nation by players taking a knee or sitting during the playing of the National Anthem.
On Friday Trump — campaigning for incumbent GOP Sen. Luther Strange in Alabama, called out owners and said they should suspend or fire players who protested. He also called on fans to “boycott” the NFL, a call he repeated on Sunday as Week 3 began and player protests widened.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b***h off the field right now!’?” Trump intoned at the rally, which was followed up with chants of “USA! USA!” from the crowd.
“If you see it – even if it’s one player – leave the stadium. I guarantee things will stop,” said Trump, who at one time owned the New Jersey Generals of the long-defunct United States Football League (USFL).
The league responded in support of its players and teams. “The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and culture,” said a statement issued by Commissioner Roger Goodell. “Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players,” it continued.
New NFL statement pic.twitter.com/XHPgVvPPfH
— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) September 23, 2017
Of course, the hypocrisy of that statement is apparent: The protesting players, by their very actions, are being “divisive,” as well as political, but the league refuses to clamp down on behavior that is having a major negative impact on viewership and game attendance. (Related: NFL players kneel during anthem again…on FOREIGN soil.)
Asked about Trump’s comments on ABC News Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin defended the president and lambasted owners and the league for picking and choosing which rules to enforce. He also said that the issue isn’t about race or the First Amendment, which the Left has brought up relentlessly in its effort to bash the president once again.
“They have the right to have their First Amendment off the field. This is a job, and the employers have the right when the players are working to have rules,” Mnuchin told interviewer Martha Radditz.
“This isn’t about politics. This is about respect for the country and the people who have made great, great sacrifices for this country,” he added.
“Why does the NFL have all these other rules that they enforce, that they fine players? This is about respect for the military, the first responders,” Mnuchin said. “So the NFL is picking and choosing what they want to enforce.”
“This isn’t about Democrats. It’s not about Republicans. It’s not about race. It’s not about free speech. They can do free speech on their own time, that this is about respect for the military and first responders and the country,” he continued.
Bottom line: What the league doesn’t seem to understand or is refusing to accept is that while players may have a “right” to “protest” before games, fans have a right to be offended by their behavior and abandon the sport for another form of entertainment that isn’t as insulting to them.
J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for NaturalNews.com and NewsTarget.com, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.