I have some bad news for those who are supporting the kneeling football players, suggesting their protest is about free speech. The NFL has never been about free speech since Roger Goodell became Commissioner. The NFL has become a league of free speech for some, and penalties and no speech for others. Think I’m lying? Then let’s have a look at Goodell’s record:
2013, the NFL fined WR Brandon Marshall for wearing green cleats to raise awareness for those with mental health disorders (NOTE – Marshall has stated he suffers from Multiple Personality Disorder)
2014, RGIII entered a post game press conference wearing a shirt that said “Know Jesus Know Peace”, but was forced to turn it inside out before speaking at the podium by an NFL uniform inspector. (Note that this was at a post game press conference, not during the game)
2015, DeAngelo Williams was fined for wearing eye black which said “find the cure” to raise awareness for breast cancer. (Note, the NFL allows for pink cleats to raise awareness for breast cancer – and the NFL rulebook does not specifically ban messages written in eye black)
2015, William Gay was fined for wearing purple cleats to raise awareness for domestic violence – something that Mr. Goodell and Ray Rice probably know something about. Seeing as Ray Rice was only originally suspended for 2 games after beating his fiancée on video, a video which Goodell claims to have never seen, even though it was in his possession.
2016, when the Kaepernick protest was in its infancy, the league disallowed the Dallas Cowboys from wearing a decal on their helmet in honor of the 5 Dallas Police officers who were killed in the line of duty protecting both innocent white and black citizens from a homicidal maniac.
2016, the NFL threatened to fine players who wanted to wear special cleats to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the terror attacks on September 11.
So to our buddies on the liberal side of the aisle who think this is a matter of free speech, no it is not a matter of free speech. No employee of any company (and the NFL is a company) can disrespect the customers of that company (aka we who pay for the tickets to the game or for subscriptions to DirecTV or buy from the NFL Store) without there being some type of consequence. If I managed a McDonald’s fast food outlet, and one of my employees stated that he/she hated working at McD’s then pretty much everyone would agree that I have the right to fire that employee. Or if I owned a car dealership, and one of my sales staff wore a shirt which said “F000 ALL COPS”, I’d perfectly be within my rights to fire or discipline that employee, and no court of law and 95% of the public would agree I have that right to fire the employee. So why the difference here?
Simple – a small group of malcontents is trying to destroy the inner foundations of our great Republic, and the NFL owners/commissioner are either blind to this fact, or in the case of Jed York of the SF 49ers and maybe a few other owners at some level support what these counterculture communists are trying to do. Remember that it is league policy that each player must stand at attention for the singing of the Anthem, and that each team must be on the field for the anthem. This whole thing could have been taken care of in September 2016 if our glorious Commissioner Roger Goodell had sent a note to the SF 49ers saying that Colin Kaepernick must stand at attention for the National Anthem or the league would discipline him. Mr. Goodell has never been afraid to discipline anyone before – aka Bounty Gate when the league improperly fined and suspended many New Orleans Saints players for allegedly being involved in a cash for hits set up by the Saints defensive coach Greg Williams. These suspensions were overturned. Goodell suspended Tom Brady for 4 weeks during Deflate Gate. Not for possibly deflating footballs, but for not having turned over his Smartphone to the league (good chance Brady had already replaced and discarded his phone). The list goes on and on. So the one time Goodell was on solid ground to suspend or discipline a player, he refused to do so, and now we have a circus going on in the country.
So this is not about free speech for all, this is about free speech for some and not for others. This is about you the American public do what we liberals say or we will ostracize you. However this time, the liberals went several steps too far, and they may bring down an American tradition, and a lot of rich minority athletes along with it.