To the Big Buck Jocks: It’s Time for the Kneeling and Sitting to End

By Joe Darby

I haven’t had a rant in a good while. But it’s time.

Measured by a yardstick of how much they really contribute to our society, professional athletes in the United States are among the most overpaid people in any profession. Compared to the salaries of people in the military, the police, firefighters, nurses and teachers, the extent of their overpayment is truly obscene.

But they can catch a football, hit a homerun or sink a basket better than almost anybody else, so they make millions a year. It would be nice, therefore if they, in turn, were good citizens. Some of them are donating big bucks to worthy charities. But many of them are poor role models, with allegations of drug abuse, domestic violence and downright thuggery being quite common.

So these guys now take it upon themselves to disrespect our country by kneeling, sitting or whatever when the National Anthem is played.

It started out, they say, because they wanted to protest injustice and violence in our country. For a few decades now, some of our citizens have expounded on all of the wrongs the US has committed in its history. As if any country on the planet were free of injustice and violence.

But the disrespecting of the Anthem by athletes is spreading, now that the Tweeter in Chief has begun contributing his two cents to this national conversation. With all the tact and diplomacy of Attila the Hun, President Trump has only added fuel to the fire and stirred the pot. Sometimes he just needs to put down his electronic hand-held device on which he Tweets and simply shut up for a while.

But most of my wrath in this rant shall be reserved for the kneelers, the sitters and the otherwise unthinking jocks.

They owe a heck of a lot to this country. This country has been darned good to them. But they choose, like a near sighted, narrow minded simpleton, to see only the bad. Sure, there’s been bad, and a lot of it, with slavery being the worst. But, as alluded to above, every nation on earth has a violent history and traditions of injustice.

The Europeans fought each other in wars for centuries, killing each other by the millions, then took over much of the rest of the world for a couple of hundred years.

Asians, including the Chinese and Japanese, have quite violent histories, with war-like traditions of conquering weaker peoples. The Samurai were not gentle folk, for example.

Africans often had intertribal wars and are still having them today. Arabs have been aggressive since Mohammed first preached jihad in the 700s and Arabs held black Africans in slavery well into the 20th century, many decades after slavery ended in the West.

Before the coming of the white man, American Indians fought each other, with the highly sophisticated Aztecs, among others, routinely engaging in human sacrifice. Tribes as near as the Natchez, in what’s now Mississippi, did the same.

So, one must conclude that it’s not the US of A that is a tough neighborhood, but the whole of our planet. The story is called human history. Now I’m not saying two wrongs — or even many wrongs — make a right. But to single out one’s own country, in view of our planet’s often sorry history, just seems wrong to me.

So I say, jocks, lay off disparaging your own nation, do a little constructive thinking and be grateful for what America has provided for you. This weekend, the Saints will play in London. I hope and pray that they do not pull the kneeling routine on foreign soil.

But, given the mindset of these physically gifted but often unthinking young men, that may be too much to hope for. But, hey, surprise us, guys.

Do what’s right, why don’t you?

43 thoughts on “To the Big Buck Jocks: It’s Time for the Kneeling and Sitting to End

  1. People can debate the issue all day long, but there are things happening in the NFL football league that should not be happening, and from what I see and hear and read, the problems started with some of the players taking a knee instead of standing as the NFL rule book states that they must do for the National Anthem.

    It appears that there was a lot of animosity between a white quarterback and the black offensive line that was supposed to protect him as was recently reported. He was sacked time after time after time, until finally he was left with a fractured spine after suffering a near career-ending injury on the football field. Only a week before, the quarterback stood for the anthem, while his black teammates did not. The teammates made the statement that “he can stand alone on the field.” This statement too was just reported.

    This is where things can go if there is discord on the field. To prevent that, all the owners had to do was say it’s in the book guys, we are all going to stand as the book tells us to do. Instead nothing was said, now a guy has a serious injury. You have got the guys that don’t stand letting the guys that do stand know that it is not acceptable. This is wrong. They were trying to force a man to go against the rules #1, and not honor the flag and the national anthem #2.

    The players, the fans and the entire country is weighing in on this and have a lot to say about it, as has been evidenced here. If they want to turn away from the flag and sit for the anthem on their own time, I don’t care. But if you have possibly over half the country thinking they are wrong to do that, and the fans don’t want them taking a knee, and then fans then choose to stay away from the games, these football players need to realize that they have a problem, a big problem. And it’s not just an attendance issue that they have to worry about. it really goes a little deeper than that. No attendance, no company advertising during the game, no sales of jerseys, means not enough money, and we all know what it means when there isn’t enough money to pay the bills.

    “If this story is true, you’ve got an animosity between a white quarterback and a black offensive line that you can’t fix very easily,” they said. “Now this is getting into paranoia … and the fan base and the whole country.” was the report in one of the articles I read.

    Are they throwing the game just once, or will it happen again?

    So is this a one-time punishment for the white dude? Did they get together and talk? Or are the black guys in the team not going to block for the white guys? When they tackle a white guy, will they give the black panther salute as observed in earlier games? Sorry, I believe this is more serious than just whether or not football players are standing for the national anthem. Many people had a bad feeling from the first time it happened, but hoped it would remain just one guy. It didn’t remain just one guy, now its most of the players. And if one player comes out of the dressing room to put his hand over his heart to face flag and listen to the anthem, and later apologizes to the coach and team. What? Why? He was a hero, an Army Ranger? But he apologized, so that’s his business, and he said he threw his team under the bus, and that’s his business, too. I am not making any judgments here. I’m simply looking at this as the owners should.

    I still don’t understand why the owners didn’t stop this before it got to this point, because it was pretty obvious that it would get to this point. Now we have racial tensions on the football field and that’s one of the places that I thought the guys on a team are like brothers. Protecting the offensive players and especially the quarterback. The white quarterback that was just insured badly by all those sacks was not sacked once last year. They protected him last year. What changed? Now he may never play football again. Why? Because the owners didn’t have the guts to stop this before it got to this point. They didn’t have the foresight to see this barreling toward them like a freight train. What a shame. I hate it for football. I hate it for fans. I hate it for all the players. But most of all I hate it for a young man who was living his dream of playing pro-ball, but now may never play again. That is so sad. Men on his own team, his friends, his teammates were no longer there for him. They had been, but no longer.

    I am writing this to explain why I feel the way I do, and I am not writing this as a response to a certain person posting on here. This is how I feel about this fiasco, and I hate that it is happening in the United States of America. I hate that it is causing problems between black and white. I want to see unity in this country. I will not post again, no matter what the anonymous poster has to say. Thank you for letting me have my say one last and final time. I appreciate it.

    • And prayers for the victims and family members of the victims of the Las Vegas madman. Why does anyone do such a thing? No matter what the justification or supposed political or religious agenda, someone has to be very very damaged to inflict such suffering on strangers.

      And, again, thank you for your insight about the NFL controversy. I find your position stated here reasonable and convincing.

      Have a great day.

  2. Your protest method shouldn’t over shadow your cause. The arm linking is supposed to be in support of the original fool that started this depending on who you’re talking to. Which if so it goes back to the police which I don’t by into. Don’t commit crimes and comply when you do and get caught!

  3. First of all, a correction to a statement Emilee made about US aid to Puerto Pico, which was that aid was refused by the POTUS. That is incorrect, it was spread by news media that seems intent on keeping this country in turmoil. There are ships, planes, medical personnel, first responders of every kind down there from the United States. It really does pay not to believe everything you read or hear these days. There has been help for every area hit by hurricanes in the past months.

    Now, let me give my feelings on the not standing for the National Anthem. Now I hope you guys with the quick sarcastic word will give me, a grandmother, a little kinder response than has been given others among you, but if not, I guess I can handle that too. I was taught from an early age that the flag stood for something. Men had died fighting for the freedoms we enjoy, so we honor the flag. Flag have flown over battles, I’m sure most will remember the little bronze casting of the men raising the flag over Iwo Jima, then in later years, the first responders raising the flag at the Twin Towers on 9/11, a day that many of us will never forget. The flag is a ‘symbol’ not an idol or something we worship, it something we honor because it represents so much. I saw a statement written today that if the flag doesn’t mean much to you, then you have never had it folded and handed to you after the loss of a loved one. I imagine that’s true. So many don’t respect the flag, I feel like countries who are not our friends, countries who would like to destroy us, to make us a third world country, look at us with glee, because they see a mighty nation dividing, again.

    If they want to protest police actions against blacks, they should, first of all do so without violence. Second, protesting by not respecting the flag is showing disrespect for all that flag stands for, the military is what first comes to my mind. That is not what I think you want to do.

    Finally, and I’m sure you are glad, these players are violating the NFL Rule Book. It states that the teams should be on the field before the national anthem, standing with helmet in left hand, right hand over heart, no talking, but standing still facing the flag. We all have seen men suspended for much less than is going on today. If it’s in the book, and they break the rule, they should be suspended. Owners could have stopped this fiasco at the beginning if they weren’t such sissies. They could have laid it out, this is the way it will be. No staying in the locker room. no kneeling because it’s better than sitting on the bench. You do what the rule book says, then if you want to do something to protest after the game, do it on your own time. Our tax dollars for the past 17 years have built stadiums for these multimillionaires. I pretty much object to that, but what’s done is done. I think if you expect people to buy tickets to watch you play, then honor you by buying you jersey number in the gift shop, buy hotdogs for the kids and spend lots of money, then you better keep those fans happy. Or you see what happens. Also the black panther salute after sacking a white guy to me is disgusting. Totally disgusting.

    You are dividing America, and it saddens me. A lot. I hope they will reconsider their actions, but somehow I doubt it. Good night all.

    • As a grandfather who has had a folded flag handed to them at Arlington National Cemetery, I believe one honors the meaning of the symbol more by tolerating and encouraging the exercise of our freedoms, than by demanding everyone “respect” the cloth symbol by mimicking some hollow gesture imposed by others. If you read actual documents written by the Founding Fathers (one of whom is my direct ancestor), you will NOT find instructions about behavior toward flags and anthems. Instead, the Declaration of Independence and Constitution (many defenders of the flag seem unaware of what these documents contain) promote the protection of individual rights, including the right of free speech whether or not you happen to agree with it. Squashing opinions merely because they may be unpopular to some, does tremendous disservice to the what the symbol stands for. Why is that so hard to understand? It’s like killing someone to prove killing is bad.

      • You are promoting MATERIALISM, Anonymous Patriot. There is no such thing as ‘anthem worship’ or ‘flag worship’. There is only ‘president worship’. I have a PoliSci degree, you should listen to me. P.S. I am a veteran who directly descends from John Hancock.
        Nicholas Ryan Wright

      • Dear Unanonymous Patriot,

        Thank you for your insightful comments. I had no idea I was promoting MATERIALISM, whatever that means.

        Don’t Bogart that joint, my friend; hand it over to me.

        Love you, Dude.

      • anonymous patriot, it doesn’t take much to understand that we don’t see things the same way, but I’ll tell you one thing, the way you talk down to us lowly people will never win any arguments for you. You seem to think I’m a totally illiterate person because I don’t brag about my forefathers as is your habit. I believe the flag of the USA should be honored, but it you want to go out and walk on it, then go for it, I know you have that freedom for others fought for you to have that freedom. Your arrogance is a bit disgusting, but I know you have that right also, for there were men who died fighting to give you that right. I believe what these players are doing before each game is wrong, and I have the right to believe that way, no matter what you say. As you say, I do have that right.

        As for what they are doing, and is it wrong? Yep, it’s wrong, and it has nothing to do with the flag or any of us idiots who think they should stand and honor the flag. There is a book that is called the NFL Rule Book or something like that. Now the NFL players are supposed to abide by the rules in that book, and players in the past have been suspended for not following the rules or policies given in that book, so it must be a book that is important to the NFL. In that book, there is a section on the national anthem and the flag. Players are to be on the field before the national anthem starts playing. They are to line up, helmets in their left hand, their right hand over their heart, standing and facing the direction of the flag. They are to stand still, no talking to one another. So you might also do some reading, but in this book. There is a new thing happening on the field now. Have you seen it? The black panther salute given when a white player is sacked. That seems to me to be something we really don’t want to see done, it’s wrong.

        So, anonymous patriot, you have the right to arrogantly to talk down to people, I have the right to believe that we should honor. Oh, by the way, I never said it was in the papers our founding fathers wrote, but you jump on my case for not having read those papers. You’re wrong, I have read them, but didn’t use them as part of my argument that people should respect the flag. So you go about your day feeling good about your super intelligence. I will go about my day knowing that all men (and women) are created equal and have the right to speak out on their beliefs, even if you don’t agree with them. And if it’s written in the paper, they will most definitely have to read your drivel. Have a nice day one and all. I still don’t plan on watching any football games, unless it high school, where they still know the right way to honor the flag and the national anthem.

      • Sorry to have really hit a nerve there. Calm down.

        No one is suggesting you don”t have to right to express your personal beliefs; that is the point, isn’t it?

        If “ignorance of the law” is no excuse, then “ignorance of the Constitution or history” is no excuse either. Instead of providing cogent arguments in favor of the meaningless rituals you enjoy and feel ought to be forced on everyone else, you attack my supposed “disgusting arrogance” without addressing the, I suppose, “arrogant” positions I offered. Obviously you really don’t understand the “arrogant” point about dishonoring the very symbol you revere when you demand everyone conform to your beliefs about it. I respect your right to your beliefs; why is it so difficult for you to understand and respect my “arrogant” ones? Lighten up. I am only trying to remind you the meaning of the values we both seem to hold so dear.

        I am not going to contradict your argument regarding the NFL Rule Book. But that, as they say, is a whole different kettle of fish.

        Have a great day. No pun intended.

    • Final note:

      “I will go about my day knowing that all men (and women) are created equal and have the right to speak out on their beliefs, even if you don’t agree with them. And if it’s written in the paper, they will most definitely have to read your drivel.”

      You talk the talk, but you don’t walk the walk. The way you characterize me (“arrogant”) and my opinions (“drivel”) suggest you really don’t respect any opinions but your own.


      • On another issue, does anyone know why the water is brown again? Yesterday it was beginning to look clear, but now the rather disturbing tone of fecal brown has returned. Regardless of our opinions about the NFL or respect for the flag, I think we can all agree that clean water should be provided by the city.

      • There you go again. I think most other people understood what I’m saying. You do have an amazing ability to twist what others say into what they did not say. I don’t know where you got the idea that I really don’t respect any opinions but my own. I have respected a lot of opinions posted. I just don’t happen to respect yours or the arrogant way you have to writing your replies to people. As in the statement you made that I talk the talk but I don’t walk the walk. It is impossible to have a discussion with some people, and you are one of those people. I am so glad that we have one of your superior intelligence to tell the rest of us what things mean and how things of this world operate. I know we all appreciate it so very much.

        I’m through now, and what I wish from you is that your pencil lead breaks, or your pen runs out of ink, basically whatever needs to happen to assure your silence.


      • Oh well. Aside from once again failing to understand or address any of my points, your tendency to resort to name-calling could be considered childish and rude. So much for your earlier:

        “Now I hope you guys with the quick sarcastic word will give me, a grandmother, a little kinder response than has been given others among you, but if not, I guess I can handle that too.”

        Apparently not.

        Chill. Your intolerance is showing. Thanksgivings with you must be a hoot.

        Have a nice day.

      • And, hopefully, finally:

        “I’m through now, and what I wish from you is that your pencil lead breaks, or your pen runs out of ink, basically whatever needs to happen to assure your silence.”

        Duh. Obviously if you stop responding to me it will assure my silence.


      • Rereading your reply to me propels me to a more complete response to you. Against my better judgment, because I don’t wish to give a “grandmother” a conniption fit.

        But, here it goes:

        “There you go again.”

        I am touched you choose to quote Fearless Leader Ronald Reagan’s condescending remark to President Carter during the 1980 presidential debates, benefiting from the Carter debate prompt book stolen and delivered to the Reagan campaign headquarters. Reagan’s “integrity” in this case using stolen material compares poorly to the incident in 2000, when the Gore campaign was given Bush’s stolen debate prompt book and reported it to the FBI.

        “I think most other people understood what I’m saying.”

        Let’s take a poll. Perhaps you are so quick to assume you speak for the majority because you really never hear opinions diverging from your own. Hence your open-minded “basically whatever needs to happen to assure your silence.” Best to silent those disagreeing with you, I guess.

        “You do have an amazing ability to twist what others say into what they did not say.”

        If directly quoting someone and answering the quote is your definition of trying “to twist what others say into what they did not say,” you need to be more careful what words you use in the first place. I assume you know the meaning of the words and phrases in your comments, hopefully better than the meaning of the symbols we have been debating. Maybe not.

        “I don’t know where you got the idea that I really don’t respect any opinions but my own.”

        Uh, read your responses to my contributions to this dialog.

        “I have respected a lot of opinions posted.”

        No doubt the opinions that agree with yours. Pretty easy, eh?

        “I just don’t happen to respect yours”

        Oddly enough, I do respect your opinions, even if I find them confused, misinformed, ill-mannered, and insulting. Unlike you, I don’t wish to silence those disagreeing with me. You seem to be a decent person, if somewhat narrow-minded when it comes to some issues.

        “or the arrogant way you have to writing your replies to people.”

        I am always amazed by how your use of “arrogant” entitles you to dismiss anything I say; I suppose it is easier to insult me (your snide and arrogant–to use your favorite terms–“superior intelligence” comments). You really are sensitive to feeling intellectually challenged by me, just because I present ideas you would rather emotionally react to than refute.

        “As in the statement you made that I talk the talk but I don’t walk the walk.”

        Your response speaks for itself.

        “It is impossible to have a discussion with some people, and you are one of those people.”

        Look in the mirror.

        “I am so glad that we have one of your superior intelligence to tell the rest of us what things mean and how things of this world operate.”

        It doesn’t require superior intelligence; my average intelligence is enough to point out inconsistencies in your comments. I shudder to imagine why you sarcastically call me “superior;” not sure what viewpoint that implies on your part.

        “I know we all appreciate it so very much.”

        Sarcasm again, Which, to be frank, I really mind less, since it does bespeak some intelligence, than your general unwillingness to think very carefully about any of these issues.

        Believe it or not, I find it disheartening to realize that so many have such strongly held opinions backed by emotion rather than reason. If you really cherish this country and the symbols that represent them, show it by granting me the respect I have tried (perhaps not too successfully) to show you.

        I have no desire to drag out this discussion (nor do you, I imagine). But if you decide again to personally attack me . . .

        Then I must wish you to have a great day! Love you.

  4. Friends and other readers. I, and I presume my bosses at the Natchitoches Parish Journal, are quite pleased to see such diverse opinions expressed in our forum on this matter. Certainly free speech is alive and well in Natchitoches. Everyone has made points important to them and obviously sincerely held in their hearts. Again, I appreciate all of your interests and comments on such an emotional subject.

  5. A note to anonymous patriot. As a man who has been involved in professional journalism since 1963, I certainly understand the value and necessity of free speech. I’m not saying the athletes have no right to do what they’re doing. I just think it’s ill advised, in very poor taste and ungrateful. There are many ways to express one’s belief without showing disrespect to the National Anthem, which does mean a lot emotionally to the great majority of Americans. I don’t “worship” the anthem, however.
    As to the specific issue of the original protests, before Trump got involved, police violence in the black community — and I know you’ve heard this before — is a miniscule percentage of the violence that young black men inflict on each other. That’s a fact, like it or not. To save black lives, the athletes should concentrate on alleviating that violence. Once the disadvantaged black communities becomes less violent places, it will naturally follow that police actions will also diminish. Thank you for your interest and comments.

    • I don’t disagree with you that, considering the negative reactions these actions seem to have engendered, the this “anthem” display behavior by some athletes is ill-advised and perhaps, counter-productive.

      But, to address your thankfully restrained response:

      1. “There are many ways to express one’s belief without showing disrespect to the National Anthem, which does mean a lot emotionally to the great majority of Americans.” I do think unnecessarily offending the strongly held beliefs of someone is tasteless and rude, despite the fact that often those most offended by their own symbols and beliefs being disrespected, have no problem doing so to others who don’t share their ideas (witness recent comments and behaviors towards Muslims). However, the issue, ignored by many, is that the local police, who should be working with members of the community “to protect and serve,” are murdering unarmed individuals, and getting away with it.

      2. Me white boy. Oh, and have been on the receiving end of out-of-control cop with a clear record of abusive behavior. Instead of being thrown off the force and prosecuted for assault and battery, was lightly reprimanded. The issue is one of psychological fitness of the officer. Better training and weeding out the bullies, racists, and psychopaths would help improve the quality of the police force, members of which are my friends. And punishing the jerk would have gone a long way toward reinforcing my faith in their institution.

      3. Weaponized/militarized police forces. Israel has been training many of our police to treat our civilian population with the contempt they treat the Palestinian population as sub-humans. The police should be part of the community they serve, not antagonistic to them. When the police work with the community, incidents resulting in tragic shootings decrease.

      The recent spate of murders of unarmed black men arises from an unfortunate combination of factors. The athletes, whether you agree with them or not, are not trying to disrespect the flag or offend those more attached to the symbol than its meaning, but to draw attention to a problem not going away.

    • “To save black lives, the athletes should concentrate on alleviating that violence. Once the disadvantaged black communities becomes less violent places, it will naturally follow that police actions will also diminish.”

      Your facts are solid, but you are admitting to a bigger issue and ignoring another one with this sentence entirely.

      By making this statement you are acknowledging and admitting that police are more naturally afraid of black communities because they are seen as violent. While black on black violence is an issue, no cop should automatically be afraid and so ready to pull a gun on citizens. Last I checked, not all white people were racist and not all black people were violent. Stating that black communities being violent within is leading to their death in the streets is continuing a horrible stereotype, which in itself is part of the problem.

      You are also ignoring that a lot of deaths being protested did not occur in predominantly African American neighborhoods, and most of them were unarmed. I am in an interracial relationship and I have experienced first hand in NATCHITOCHES and other parts of Louisiana, police intimidation purely because my husband was brown. Guess what? We have no criminal records, own no guns, do no drugs, college degrees, and live in an equally representative neighborhood. It does not stop store clerks from following us through the store, officers asking him and only him to step out of the car, even if I was the one driving. Natchitoches, like most of America, hides it’s racism, it’s just bubbling under the surface.

      Someone else said it, these actions will “diminish” (as you put it) when police are trained. When police undergo psychological evaluations, sensitivity training, better consequences for those who feel they are above the law. When the police are a part of the community and not a threat to it, yes it will diminish. Trust works both ways, and last I checked the police did less to protect and serve if you have melanin in your skin.

  6. Gotta love these free speech purist….that is just so long as the protest and speech is for something they believe in and don’t find offensive. And as we have seen recently, if the speech is saying something they don’t like they will burn and destroy public and private property attack and beat people they disagree with and then make excuses for those that do.

    • Huh?
      Yo, mama.

      “If the speech is saying something they don’t like they will burn and destroy public and private property attack and beat people they disagree with and then make excuses for those that do.”

      Wow! I don’t particularly like what you just said, but let me know when I come and attack and beat you, and then make excuses for it or others so compelled. Labels and generalizations–the viruses that destroy civilized behavior and understanding. Hey, even Dr. Phil says he is not a fan of labels.

  7. The kneeling was meant to to be more respectful way to protest after he sat through three games. He met with a Veteran from another team and they agreed kneeling would be a way to honor our men and women who died for us to have this freedom of expression.

    Their is no right way to protest. And if anyone here believes that it’s a matter of not breaking the law and complying with police, you are naive. I’ve witnessed harassment first for people of color, for doing nothing more than walking down the street.

    We are taught as young as Kindergarten that when one child is bad, the whole class can get in trouble. I know all police to officers are not bad, but when you see the few abusing their power, they paint that picture. This goes for every group, Antifa, BLM, Liberals, Conservatives, etc.

    Tell me, Mr. Darby, what research have you done before forming your opinion? How many videos have you watched? How many articles have you read? How many hours have you spent researching both sides of an argument to form your opinion? And what do you propose is done differently? What can people of color do that won’t be “disrespectful” but still advocate for their cause?

  8. Hey Joe,

    One point of the U.S. Constitution is to allow free expression of opinion and tolerating ideas that differ from your own. You may be free to engage in what I consider blasphemous “anthem-worship” or even more blasphemous “flag-worship” (graven images if ever there were ones), but not everyone shares your view (thank God!). How ironic that those most rabid in their “patriotic” defense of the National Anthem and the American Flag due more disservice to the freedoms they stand for than those who fail to follow a silly ritual imposed by the mob. Instead of teaching such nonsense as “Capitalism and Free Enterprise” (the corporate agenda) in our schools, we should be spending more time teaching government and civics, and try to explain to those in the dark what exactly the American laws and freedoms really stand for.

  9. You are offended by the quiet protest of kneeling during the national anthem, that it disrespects our country. Yet, do you disrespect the president and our country when you refer to him as the “Tweeter in Chief” and tell him to “shut up”!? Those overpaid athletes know they are fortunate and refuse to put on the rose colored glasses and ignore the injustices they see. There is no correlation between occupation and income. Most of our congress members are millionaires and our president is a billionaire. America has been good to them. Maybe they see only the good. Someones got to see the bad!

    • Employees of private companies do not have constitutional rights against their employers.
      Therefore No professional athlete has a First Amendment right to protest at game.
      The simple.fact is the owner’s as well as the NFL could stop this any time they see fit by issuing guidelines and enforcing them. The NFL.teams should be delivering entertainment to its fans. The athletes who feel the need to “take a knee” in.order to protest some issue they believe in calling.attention to should do so during their own time.

  10. Mike,

    How do you explain the times the police open fire on innocent people? Tamir Rice was playing with a airsoft pistol and was shot by police. The mental health counselor that was on the ground complying with police and was shot because putting his hands up was perceived as a threat. Why is it that no matter what African Americans do they are always in the wrong when police shoot them.

    Can someone also explain what is the proper way to protest for African Americans? If they protest violently they are “thugs” and “gangbangers”. If they peacefully protest they are being disrespectful. They are damned if they do damned if they don’t.

    • What is the proper way for African Americans to protest? The proper way for anyone to protest, in my opinion, is all the same. First let me mention several ways that are not proper: using violence, destruction of property, using derogatory remarks against another group, or by putting down or making fun of our country or not showing respect to our national symbols.

      I have always believed that when you protest and insult an entire group of people, you will never get anywhere, in fact you take a few steps backwards. We are all American, and we all have rights, skin color does not matter. Now I know there are groups who don’t agree with me on that. Skinheads hate blacks and black panthers hate whites, and there are many degrees of hate between those two. That is such a shame. With the different degrees of hate, I always came a different kind of protest. That is not always true, but I do believe it happens.

      One thing you can count on, if there is hate, there is violence, and it only brings more hate & violence, and on and on it goes. It never accomplishes anything. To me the proper way to protest is after trying to talk and that has failed. I truly believe talking & working out the problems, bit by bib is the right way.

      One way of protesting that I’m definitely against is the disregard of respect that has always neen shown the American flag and the national anthem,We were taught this respect in the earliest school grades. Thestart of this protest by the NFL players was to bring attention to the treatment of blacks by police officers. It has NOT accomplished that, but what it has brought attention to isthat our nation is divided. This is just what the people of unfriendly nations
      Have been waiting for. We were a strong nation, the strongest there was. Now they see us not standing for our national anthem, they see us hating one another, they see us divided. And they have glee in their hearts.

      If you want to protest police treatment of blacks, plan a big cookout in a big park. Invite the policemen. Show them what an average american black family is likely You don’t win an argument or debate by allowing the other side prove they are right. You prove they are wrong. Do it all the smart way, and see how things can change.for the better.

      • “One way of protesting that I’m definitely against is the disregard of respect that has always neen [sic] shown the American flag and the national anthem,We were taught this respect in the earliest school grades.”

        I repeat: If you read actual documents written by the Founding Fathers, you will NOT find instructions about behavior toward flags and anthems. Instead, the Declaration of Independence and Constitution promote the protection of individual rights, including the right of free speech whether or not you happen to agree with it. This includes, whether you like it or not, their personal decision of how to respond to the National Anthem or the American Flag, without feeling they should be bullied into other people’s beliefs or behaviors about these symbols.


        You seem endowed with special knowledge to how other countries view our present controversy: “Now they see us not standing for our national anthem, they see us hating one another, they see us divided.” No. Most other countries find the American “flag-worship,” anthem-worship,” and “pledge-of-allegiance-worship” (“worship” as in treating these as sacred and worthy of unquestioned reverence) rather silly and trivial, especially considering how ignorant many of those most loudly demanding conformity can’t quote any significant part of the most important documents that created the ideas and laws of this country.

        I highly value this country and its laws and freedoms, and am uncomfortable with those who treat American symbols with disrespect. But that is their right. And I don’t believe in deliberately offending the beliefs of others. But don’t justify your arguments by falling back on “We were taught this respect in the earliest school grades.” So was I, without any explanation of the meaning of the symbols or the purpose served by parroting the accepted behaviors. All the so-called patriotic expressions, from the anthem to pledge to flag treatment, were added recently to suit political agendas, not by the Founding Fathers, who would be horrified by the misuse of such symbols for political conformity. If the ideas are strong and resonate with an individual, fine. If not, you owe it to your flag, pledge, anthem to respect opinions by those who may interpret these symbols differently than you.

        Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. (Samuel Johnson) We see this in the comments of the Divider-In-Chief.

  11. I’m going to have to respond to this rant with a rant of my own.

    I’ve been following this debate since it started. I was originally angry at Colin Kaepernick for the same reasons. I love my country and I am as patriotic as the next person. However, I actually took the time to read and see the underlying reasons behind the protests and that really changed my mind. Now, if this aggravates you so much, how about proposing a better solution? How else can they get the attention on such an issue? Admit it, you wouldn’t care otherwise. The protests are obviously working.

    Let me tell you something that might fit into the scope of the NPJ (our quaint, peaceful small town). I have lived in Natchitoches since I was in the first grade. This is my home, I love it, and I love the people here. Our police are some of the nicest people you can come across (there’s a few exceptions, of course) and our town never hears of any of the terrible things that happen to people of color in other areas and larger towns. Out of sight out of mind for our citizens. And this is the problem. We do not see these atrocities in our own lives, therefore they do no exist in our small-town, FOX news echo-chamber.

    It’s hard to not get upset over a woefully ignorant “rant” such as this, but I am going to keep it civil because there is a difference between ignorance and stupidity. The author is obviously not stupid, but he obviously fits into the small-town, privileged white category who has never experienced or seen with his own eyes the atrocities that are being protested (out of sight out of mind, it’s understandable). So I will go with ignorance. Of course white people don’t see it, because it doesn’t happen to them! Whereas there’s daily anxiety by people of color that they are being looked down upon whether it’s happening or not. It DOES actually happen sometimes and yes it even happens in our small town of Natchitoches (though usually on a much smaller scale). Let me take a step back. I am 80% white and 15% African (23andme results). One of my parents has darker complexion and by all definitions of southern culture is “black.” I look almost completely white. I’ve experienced discrimination on both ends and I have never truly fit into a “race” category, so I believe I have a unique perspective on this issue.

    Here at Natchitoches Central I was actually told by some of my white friends, when they found out my parent was “black” that they could no longer hang out with me because I wasn’t white. Yes, this happened in Natchitoches, my beloved town that is so proud of it’s supposed inclusion. I have noticed a painful ignorance of real world struggles that our white population who live quite sheltered lives in our safe, quiet little town and this unfortunately is something that needs to be called out. I even witness conversations where good-natured people who do not fashion themselves racist in any fashion actually say things, though unintentionally, that come of as very racist and condescending. Most of the time, I don’t say anything and the person of color doesn’t either, and I think that is a travesty because that person will leave the conversation none the wiser that they actually said something offense. A good example was a conversation I had with a friend of mine recently. We were talking about construction and she made a derogatory joke about Mexicans. She must have noticed the look on my face and she apologized saying “I’m sorry, I know that came off as ignorant, but I did get raised saying things like that and even saying the N word. It is hard to change that sometimes.” I think this is where a lot of our white citizenry is at right now. They were raised with strong racist slurs and unintended superiority complexes that they are trying to overcome them, but it is unfortunately so ingrained in their psyche that it will take constant work to overcome that. What these protests do is remind us that we need to continue to work on fixing our ingrained mentality on races, even as small or slight as they may seem to be. They have one of the best platforms to make this message.

    The reason this issue is hitting home for a lot of people isn’t that these men are disrespecting the flag. No, kneeling is actually a universal sign of submission–I would argue kneeling is more respectful, and humble, than standing. No the reason is that it is a constant reminder that despite our white societies efforts to not be racist, they know deep down they still struggle with their upbringing. They know that these issues so rooted so deep, and in good conscience its painful. Disrespecting the flag is a scapegoat for the pain these deep feelings bring. It’s okay. That’s the first step. Now let’s work towards fixing the problem instead of fighting over a moot point. The quickest way to stop these protests? Nationwide acknowledgement of a problem instead of deflecting it like “this is how it’s been for centuries all over the world.” THAT perpetuates the problem.

    . Have you even done that or are you just stuck in your own echo chamber? going to leave you with a quote from an article reminding us why this is about race and that kneeling replaced sitting because a former military serviceman said that was a more respectful way to protest.

    How about reading straight from the source of the people who are doing these protests for a cause?

    Oh wait, it’s from CNN…can’t be a good source…

    This is my concluding question as well as someone who has experienced this in Natchitoches:

    “What I had concern about was why in the world…he couldn’t call those individuals — the neo-Nazis, the white supremacists — why couldn’t he call them sons of bitches?” said Mark O’Brien, a Trump supporter disheartened by some of the President’s latest comments.

  12. Cry me a river! These guys wanna to make a statement, walk off the field! Humm can’t do that will miss a check! Support the one fool who started this who was raised by rich white parent again cry me a river. Best way to avoid the police is to NOT break the law it’s that simple. And if you can’t keep from breaking the law COMPLY when you get caught! If you just don’t like police call a crackhead when you need one! Just can’t fix stupid!

    • You are quite right: you can’t fix stupid. Try looking in the mirror and talking to the knucklehead facing you about his ill-informed comments. Police are human and are often racist, bullying jerks who join the force to grab a gun and badge to use to intimidate others. Many are brave and kind, not reckless bullies. But to presume anyone dealing with a policeman has necessarily “broken the law” is naive at best, dangerously ignorant at worst. I admire decent policemen as much as I have rousing contempt for their number that abuse their power. It’s a difficult job, but, as has been pointed out many times before, it is only easy to be a policeman in a police state. Your feeling that the police are always right, gives the worst ones the feeling that they can get away with murder, which, in fact, we have recently seen nationwide.

  13. The kneeling was done intially in order to get attention, and then say a message.  The message was ‘to ask everyone to work towards eliminating disparity in treatment and abuse by those placed in authority to protect and serve’.  The idea of continueing to allow hate groups to march and peacably assemble while displaying flags that are not the ‘US Flag’ and wanting to stiffle individuals for kneeling for the purpose of bringing attention to what the US Flag is suppose to represent which is ‘Freedom and Justice for All’ does not seem to be evenly tolerant. PLEASE EXCUSE ANY GRAMMER OR SPELLING ERRORS

    • The.Constitution does not grant or protect employees of private companies. I do not want to stop any individual from expressing their opinions or from calling attention to the issues they feel are an injustice. However, I do expect these people to protest in an appropriate place.and time(not at.your job) and in manner that does infringe upon my rights.
      Common courtesy, empathy and good old manners are dead.

  14. You are so right! I’ve been a sports fan all my life but if there is any injustice here it is the salaries professional athletes receive. The cost of attending a pro football game is so much the average worker in this country can’t afford to go. We should take a ‘knee’ to pro football.

  15. They’re not demanding reparations for slavery, that’s not at all the point. In fact, that’s never been brought up. The players, who mostly come from very poor backgrounds have been subjected to and know of people brutilized by unnecessary police violence. They’re kneeling for their neighbors and families and friends.

    They have a place in the spotlight where it’s most advantageous to use their time in front of the US doing something that matters, unlike our dear President, who has even refused aid to the Pueto Ricans who are suffering from Maria, but he has plenty of time to call shots at players online who are excersing their rights.

    You cannot deny there is an issue with police brutality. There have been several issues popularized by the media in just the past two months.

    Not wvery cop ir law enforcement officer is bad, we know that, but there is general oversight in investigations of incidents involving one of their own that make me question what matters more to them.

    Calling attention to the problems adversly affecting the poor and minorities is never a bad thing.

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