The demise of athletics?

The Death of Sports?

Craig HueyConstitutional Rights, Culture Wars, Donald Trump, Uncategorized 4 Comments

At a football game, for example, you might find the following people, together in the stand:

  • Conservatives and liberals
  • Libertarians and socialists
  • Christians, “nones,” and atheists

Siting side by side, cheering on their favorite teams, standing when a great play is made. These groups, although divided in some ways over many important issues, can join together over a common interest and passion, and forget about their differences for a few hours.

That’s one of the most wonderful thing about sports.

But is that all coming to an end?

Beginning with NFL player Colin Kaepernick, players have begun to openly protest police brutality and racial injustice in America by showing active resistance to the national anthem.

Now, the biggest highlight in sports is not the scores, but the political controversy generated by protests shown by NFL players.

These players forget that the very same flag they’re protesting is the same one under which they received their rights as Americans.

On Friday, President Trump pointed out that players disrespect the American Flag when they kneel during the anthem, saying that those players should be fired.

Some people are outraged by Trump’s response, including CEO of the San Francisco 49ers, Jed York, who said his comments were “offensive.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also responded to Trump by saying that the players have a right to kneel, saying that his comments were “divisive” and showed an “unfortunate lack of respect” for the NFL and its players.

What York and Goodell may not see is that it’s hypocritical to say Trump shouldn’t involve himself in this situation, and yet the players have the right to politically protest.

While President Trump could have been more polite in his delivery of his message, disrespecting the American flag is protest against the wrong entity. It also dishonors and disrespects the people who have laid down their lives to serve our country in the military.

If the NFL chooses to turn its back on the American flag, fans have the right to turn their backs on the NFL, or on the actions they find offensive.

Says one fan, “We used to love football Sunday but it has become a ‘political football’ and when enough people quit watching and these ridiculous salaries disappear, it will be a rude awakening to what most people deal with every day.”

What 70% of fans don’t see are these 2 narratives:

  1. Patriotism vs. Protest
  2. Sports vs. Politics

Players are protesting, mixing these narratives and causing politics to enter into the sports arena.

Personally, I refuse to go to a game where players disrupt media and sportsmanship on national TV.

This is not about free speech, or about being a Republican or a Democrat. It’s about respecting the fans and entertainment. It’s also about respecting America, and the people who have served our country to help make it what it is.

Speak out and protest…but not during a game.

Fortunately, there are those who are standing up for unity and patriotism.

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and former presidential candidate Ben Carson shared his opinion this past Sunday, saying that NFL Sundays used to “represent a time of fun, games and unity.”

All of that has been compromised by the recent controversy, as attention has been turned to politics during the games.

Carson reminded fans “that even though we’re rooting for different sports teams, we are united as a country.” He added that there is a proper “time and place for everything”- even politics.

There are also those within the NFL who are actively showing respect and honor for the flag in the midst of controversy.

NFL player Alejandro Villanueva of the Pittsburgh Steelers walked out during a game and stood by himself during the national anthem, while the remainder of the team stayed inside the locker room.

Although his own coach Mike Tomlin encouraged him to stay inside with the rest of the team, Villaneuva refused to disrespect the flag and chose to say the national anthem.

Villanueva has since been accused of apologizing for the action, but his only regret is not having the rest of his team with him.

He says that if his team knew he was going to take a stand and say the anthem, “the entire team would’ve been out there with me, even the ones that wanted to take a knee.”

He put his country before his team, and showed incredible unity and respect in the process. His popularity has skyrocketed since.

According to a Reuters poll, 58% of Americans feel that professional athletes “should be required” to stand during the national anthem.

But the liberal media would like you to think that even veterans are opposed to the protests.

CNN arecently reported that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, a former Marine general whose son was killed in Afghanistan, spoke out against President Trump’s response to the protests. But in reality, Kelly was “appalled” by the protests, saying,

“I believe every American, when the national anthem is played, should cover their hearts and think about all the men and women who have been maimed and killed. Every American should stand up and think for three lousy minutes.”

I couldn’t agree more.

One idea for the NFL is this: invite veterans who have served America to games, to stand on both sides of the field. Then everyone- players, fans, coaches- can stand and sing the anthem to honor their sacrifices.

Here’s the number for the NFL headquarters: 212-450-2000. Tell them what you think.

It is my personal hope that we can return to a time when sports encouraged and represented unity and honor.

Comments 4

  1. It’s so sad that the NFL sees nothing wrong in disrespecting the flag that so many people have died for. This really isn’t about “Civil Rights” or BLM or any of that, it’s about cold, disrespecting, sinful, hate filled hearts. It’s about godlessness and political correctness trying to hold us hostage!

  2. There are many issues and problems going on in the nation right now, but one thing we have to understand is that the word “nation” comes from the Greek word “ethos” which means “ethnic” or “ethnic people”, which is translated to be “people of all colors, people of all ethnic groups”. There is nothing wrong with the “country” as such, but a lot wrong with the people, and the people are rising up against each other. We don’t have a divided country, we have a divided people: ethnic group against ethnic group as Jesus said in Matt. 24:7a, as a one of the signs of the last days.

    I agree with protesting injustices, unfairness, and just plain hatefulness against any people no matter the color, but there is a “way” to do it where nobody is hurt, offended or disrespected. If we stop for a moment to ask ourselves: “how would Jesus handle these issues; how would He stand in protest?” I can honestly tell you as my mind scans through the four Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry, that He wouldn’t protest the way it is being demonstrated today. The main thing I see about Jesus is that He never at any time disrespected or dishonored His Father first, nor the people, nor the political government in Rome (i.e., Caesar, Herod, Annas, Pontius Pilate, and even the Roman Centurian guard), nor even the religious leaders (i.e., the Pharisees, Sadducees, chief priests like Caiaphas and the religious council, scribes, lawyers, and the religious elders, all who conspired together to kill him); nor even Peter who denied Him three times, nor the thief Barabbas who mocked Him as he was being crucified on his cross on the side of Jesus for his crime. No, Jesus’s response would be: “Verily, verily I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do; for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise” (John 5:19). Yes, our Lord would do whatever He saw His Father do, and the Father wouldn’t disrespect, dishonor, offend or hurt anyone, because He loves people and hates evil of every kind because He knows Satan is the “evil one”, the lawless one, and the master of hate.

    So I said all of that to say that all of the riots, the violent protests, the destruction of private property, the “knee-bowing” (and now the decision to not even come out onto the football field at all), against the National Anthem at football games, etc., etc., is not how Jesus would protest. He hates injustices of every kind just like we do but He would do what He sees His Father do, which is show compassion for the people, teach the way of Truth, and minister to their issues which would help to bring the unity of all the people together. He knows not everyone will come to Him to hear Him, nor accept Him or anything He has to say, but because His nature is not evil and lawless, He would not condone the protests and demonstrations as they are displayed right now. He does not agree or condone the Black Lives Matter-type protests, the Black Panther Party-type protests, the violent-type protests, the un-American, un-patriotic-type protests, because they are ungodly and lawless–this is just not His way, and quite honestly, no Christian–no true disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ–should be physically involved in any of these protests, especially when we are the ones who have the solution, the answer to all of this. Our place is on our knees crying out to the living God for what He would have us to do–without bias, prejudice, judgment, criticism, and taking any specific side except God’s side. We do not stay neutral or stand on the sideline and just watch without doing anything about it, but we must engage in the fight against the evil adversary who is the source and at the core of all of this. Our focus needs to be on what is right and true according to the Word of God.

    Our engagement is a righteous indignant one with the heart of our Father Who sees all and knows all–knows what’s really happening and why. I will not do as the world does in this time of national crisis, I choose to seek God in prayer for what my God-assigned part is. I do believe the “knee-bowing” against the flag and the singing of the National Anthem is disrespectful and dishonorable to God first because He has made a covenant with this country through our Constitution which has given us our first amendment right, which is a great blessing from Him to us. Exercising our free speech right doesn’t mean we get to be disrespectful, dishonorable, lawless, and taking matters into our hands because of an injustice. God hates injustices more than we do yet He had to endure watching it happen to His own Son by a world He so dearly loved and set out to save and reconcile back to Himself. Selah! Because of this truth, God is the only One Who can say how to remedy this situation, the body of Christ–regardless of we think or feel–is responsible for praying, listening to God and receiving His wisdom and instruction on how to proceed so that everybody benefits.

    God’s way IS ALWAYS the best and ONLY way.

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