With the continued protests against the national anthem by NFL players, patriotic fans are growing increasingly irritated by the disrespect.
Tomi Lahren, political commentator, said the NFL players will face stiff boycotts if they don’t change their ways, “Those that live in middle America, those that live in the heartland of this country that are the football watchers, the fans, we’re just sick of it. We don’t like it. It’s a disgrace to us. We love our country. We’re just going to shut off the TV, we’re not going to go to games. And they’ll pay for it.”
NFL owners, executives, and NFL Players Association members met together on Tuesday in order to achieve a compromise and discuss the growing divide the protests are creating among fans.
Yet the meeting accomplished very little. Many expected a discussion about the creation of a rule to require players to stand during the Anthem, but according to the reporters present, it wasn’t even discussed.
Albert Breer, one of the reporters on the scene, said on Twitter, “One thing I gathered from players coming out of the meeting: No rules changes on the anthem were even brought up by owners in the meeting.” He emphasized, “And I’m saying not only was there no proposal, it wasn’t even brought up. So suffice it to say, players aren’t expecting any new rule.”
And I'm saying not only was there no proposal, it wasn't even brought up. So suffice it to say, players aren't expecting any new rule.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) October 17, 2017
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell described what they did talk about, “We spent today talking about the issues that our players have been trying to bring attention to, about issues in our communities to make our communities better. I think we all agree there’s nothing more important than getting back into our communities and trying to make our communities better. That was the entire focus today.”
Lahren called Goodell “spineless” for not taking a side on the controversial issue. She stated that the NFL doesn’t need to penalize players, fans will, “You know what, here’s the deal, they don’t need to penalize players for kneeling, we will do so, and we have been and it’s going to continue.”
She also questioned why the players were kneeling and why they specifically chose to disrespect the flag to voice their opinions. In her opinion, 100 players could give 100 different reasons about why they were kneeling.
Brian Kilmeade supported Lahren’s claim by saying that some of the NFL players have stated that their protests aren’t just about racial inequality or police brutality, like Collin Kaepernick’s were, or even about opposing President Trump, but also about issues like the “gender pay gap”.
Lahren ridiculed this notion of expanding the protests to include all social justice issues saying the NFL should be more inclusive if they want to go down that road, “I want to see more Asian players in the NFL, I want to see more white players in the NFL, I want to see more women in the NFL, I want everybody to be accepted in the NFL. Why even do it based on merit anymore? Why don’t we just let everyone play in the NFL? If you want to go far, if you want to talk about social justice, let’s go, let’s get the ball rolling.”
It’s understandable that NFL fans are growing tired of the disrespect towards the flag and all it represents, especially when many players have used the protests as a catchall platform for unrelated social justice issues.
If the players want to fight against social justice issues on their own time and in their own way, that’s fine. If they want to detract from what they were hired to do and create controversy and division among fans, that’s also fine, but they should be prepared for the financial consequences and loss of support.
And if the NFL doesn’t want to hold players accountable for the negative effect they’re having on the organization as a whole, then they shouldn’t be surprised when the organization ultimately collapses because business partners and fans have walked away.