I'm going to weigh in on the growing controversy of the NFL Players kneeling during the National Anthem before football games.
First, as an American, I believe in the right of free speech and the right to peaceful protest. So, with that said, I do not think that any players should be fired for exercising their God-given rights as Americans.
Second, as an American, I agree that there is social injustice in America...sad but true. So, I understand that the NFL players want to bring attention to the cause of social injustice.
Third, I think however that this is a situation about respect or the lack thereof. Perhaps I am wrong, but I assume that the NFL players want respect for their cause of social injustice. I suppose they want respect and understanding that hopefully leads to change for the better for all victims of social injustice in America. I'm only assuming that change for the better is the actual goal of the protesting NFL players.
Fourth, I find it hard to believe that they expect respect for their cause and improved circumstances for victims of social injustice by showing disrespect. Disrespect earns disrespect not greater respect.
Fifth, the American Flag is the ultimate symbol of the rights of free speech and peaceful protest. So, with that in mind, I find it hard to understand how displaying disrespect for the symbol of your rights to free speech and peaceful protest can lead to increased respect for the cause of social injustice you seek to change. I should think that only through greater respect for the cause of social injustice in America can there be any improvement in the lives of the people they seek to affect.
Sixth, do the NFL players want the help and support of flag loving Americans to get behind their cause? If that is the case then slapping those flag loving Americans in the face is hardly the way to go about it. It's kind of like asking your mother if you can go out and play and then when she says yes you say, "Fuck you, Mom!"
Seventh, perhaps the NFL players do not feel they are being disrespectful. But to prove that they are disrespectful I will only point to the recent NFL game played in London. Where when the American National Anthem played the NFL players kneeled yet when God Save the Queen played for England the players stood out of respect. If they were standing out of respect, then they were kneeling out of disrespect. It's as simple as that. Whether the NFL players like it or not or agree with it or not, kneeling during the National Anthem is seen as a sign of disrespect by millions of Americans.
Eight, as such showing disrespect to the flag, might bring attention to your cause but it will only earn your cause disrespect. And those same Americans who now disrespect your cause will, in turn, hope your cause fails. So, if leading millions of Americans to hope your cause fails is the NFL players goal then they are doing the right thing. However, if the NFL players want respect for their cause and positive social change, then I think they are going about it the wrong way.
Ninth, while American's have the right to free speech and peaceful protest, they are not protected from the consequences of those speeches and protests. Americans have the right to change the channel. They have the right to withdraw their support for the NFL if they feel the NFL players are being a bunch of disrespectful spoiled brats who are bringing attention to a worthy cause of social change in the wrong way.
Tenth, millions of Americans have died to protect the right to free speech and peaceful protest. Expecting positive social change by disrespecting the symbol of those millions of dead is a fool's errand. The sooner the NFL players figure this out, the better off they will be.