NFL player tells fans bye if they don't like it

October 1, 2017 |

Tennessee Titans player Delanie Walker has one word for fans offended by players staging protests during the National Anthem: “Bye.” And a few more words: “I mean, if you feel that’s something, we’re disrespecting you, don’t come to the game. You don’t have to. No one’s telling you to come to the game. It’s your freedom of choice to do that.”

As I’ve pointed out before, all the arguments about the First Amendment, the importance of the issue, how passionately the players feel, etc., are irrelevant. The players have a First Amendment right to protest anything they want when they’re off the clock. But the NFL is a business. It has an employee manual that mandates in detail how to behave during the National Anthem, and player contracts that state that behavior that harms support for the team is a contract violation.


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If a grocery checker insisted on lecturing you about veganism before ringing up your hamburger, you’d demand he or she be fired. So what makes stadiums different from every other workplace in America – aside from the fact they’re largely underwritten by taxpayers, which makes the partisan political statements even more inappropriate?

League officials and team owners are likely clutching their chests right about now at the thought of all the furious fans saying “Bye” in return. They should ponder what they’ve wrought by kneeling in “solidarity” with employees who are now actually telling their paying customers to stay home if they don’t like having political messages forced on them during the National Anthem. Funny, I thought the reason everyone came to the stadium – fans and players alike – was to participate in a football game. If it’s now more important to have a political protest than to have fans, then why even bother to play the game? Why not just turn it into a three-hour social justice protest? Bet that’ll sell a lot of tickets. Or at least, maybe a few Che Guevara T-shirts.

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Comments 51-84 of 84

  • Liz Harrison

    10/02/2017 04:36 PM

    Gov. Huckabee, Bob and I are so very grateful for the stand you take for our nation and in support of President Trump!! Also your daughter is doing an excellent job on Fox News!!!
    We, too, are absolutely heartbroken over the kneeling of some of NFL during our National Anthem!! Our parents taught us patriotism and we've taught our children and grandchildren the same!! My Dad served in the U.S. Navy and Bob served in the U.S. Air Force! We are proud and very thankful to be American!!! The NFL should consider themselves blessed to be able to play and earn such an unreal salary in the Good Ole U.S.A. and to be grateful for those that have gone before us to fight for our FREEDOM!!! We love football but do not even want to give credit to viewers of the NFL games! Thank you for the opportunity to express our feelings!!!

  • craig richie

    10/02/2017 04:29 PM

    Where do we get a list and contact information for sponsors of the NFL and also the teams and the NFL itself? Hopefully this is electronic contact information as well as for letters. Is anyone proposing or disseminating this information?

  • Howard Arthur Sachs

    10/02/2017 03:41 PM

    They should go to NORTH KOREA and protest > THEY WOULD BE SHOT DEAD
    before they finished their first sentence.

    They love OUR MILK & HONEY BUT PREACH ABOUT ANOTHER WAY OF LIVING

  • Anna Geddes

    10/02/2017 03:28 PM

    the government is subsidizing these stadiums. They should quit giving them money. The fans aren't coming anymore so they won't have the money for the large wages. The players will not be protesting anymore when it starts hitting their pockets. I have emailed all the companies that support these teams and made my position clear. I expect them to dump these teams

  • Steve Wilson

    10/02/2017 03:26 PM

    We all live in a world plagued by natural disasters, disease, war, division, and crime. We all also have our own personal struggles with which to deal such as financial, relational, or health issues.
    One of our primary means of coping is to find a temporary escape from time to time. That’s where the entertainment industry comes in. Whether it’s the arts, sports, or just sharing time with a friend we are all willing to dole out tidy sums of our hard earned income in order to find a few short hours of relief.
    While there, we aren’t concerned with who is sitting in the seat beside us. Their skin color, religion, political persuasion, or sexual orientation is of no consequence. We just want to enjoy our moment of blissful ignorance long enough to think that if our team wins, or the hero gets the girl, that everything will be OK.
    Deep down inside we know better but we just want some time away from the ills of society.
    Then some muscle bound lamebrain who is getting rich off our ticket and paraphernalia purchases comes along and decides to steal our joy by reminding us of the things we are trying to forget for just a few hours because they somehow think their agenda is more important than our coping mechanism.
    None of us really think that entertainment is going to change anything. Ultimately we know that if our team loses nothing changes. But we continue attending these little snippets of entertainment because they allow us to mentally unwind. When that is taken away from us we no longer have any real reason to attend, much less spend money we really don’t have in order to support the industry.
    So to sum it all up, it’s ultimately not even about the lack of patriotism on the part of the NFL, even though that is a very sensitive subject. It’s really about the very reason we attend or watch games or participate in any form of entertainment in the first place. If you take away the very purpose of entertainment, i.e. a time and place of mental regeneration, then we no longer need it. At least I don’t. So long NFL, you’ve forfeited your value.

  • david dwinell

    10/02/2017 03:11 PM

    It is the attitude of the NFL players, that their benefactors (FANS) whose largesse pays NFL Salaries, can take it or leave it, I will pick up that challenge every time and spend my money elsewhere. Overpaid, under motivated, and an embarrassment to watch. The entire NFL is infected with the Chicago Bears attitude, just pay me and maybe i will perform.

  • G J Horton

    10/02/2017 03:10 PM

    Totally agree! This is getting ridiculous

  • Brenda Turner

    10/02/2017 02:53 PM

    NFL=NOT FOR LONG

  • Arthur Gee

    10/02/2017 02:38 PM

    I don't guess the Titans management has learned anything since they were in Houston. They should have cut or suspended that player. He will be gone soon anyway, but allowing him to insult the fans is very poor business. Even if they only lost 5 or 10% of the fans that is millions of dollars in profits.

  • Mary Jo Wilson

    10/02/2017 02:18 PM

    Our entire Country was shown 8 years of disrespect by Mr. Obama. He led the way and stirred the race issue at every opportunity. This is what we have to show for it. It's heartbreaking.

  • Martie Seado

    10/02/2017 01:58 PM

    American's should remember this! In response...forget the games! When they can't sell the seats, just maybe they will have a change of heart, but by that time I can almost guarantee that I will have no interest in watching professional football!

  • James Randall

    10/02/2017 01:55 PM

    It is nice to think about Nissan Stadium with all 69,143 seats being empty for at least one game. Sadly, that is not likely to happen, or even half that number. History shows that there are many more people willing to speak up than to stand up for what they believe in. Too many objectors to this "protest" will rationalize their attendance, e.g. "These seats cost me $400", instead of making their own sacrifice to make a statement.
    Those in the kneeling NFL have millions, large media support/coverage, and (thanks to spineless owners and League) job security. However, the zealous or ever casual fan of a team or the League is what pays the bills. For players, owners and the League.
    The decision to put a stop to this nonsense is in the hands of fans unified to do so.

  • Nadine Huskey

    10/02/2017 01:42 PM

    They are all glory hounds! They will do anything to have their name out before the pubic be it postive or negative! We have chosen not to support NFL teams that feel fans are not important, and truthfully they aren't as long as their contract is paid! No longer a fan of NFL!!!

  • Woody Savage

    10/02/2017 01:22 PM

    All of the hype is adding fuel to the fire. I do believe they should stand in respect to the American flag and protest another way. I agree with you in your comment but their employees haven't made it a condition of their employment. Do many other issues that need to be dealt with.

  • Nancy Carolan

    10/02/2017 01:21 PM

    I don't like sports and while I respect anyone's right to peaceful protest I don't feel this is the correct venue. I'm so sick and tired of all of the complaining going on here in the US. Especially from a bunch of men who are making a crazy amount of money just for playing football. They should be taking a knee and kissing the US soil. Instead of protesting take some of your millions and try to do something constructive.

  • Woody Savage

    10/02/2017 01:17 PM

    Stand Up for America
    When I watch a sporting event on TV or pay to go to a game, I expect to see these professional players focused on their jobs rather than making political statements. If you or I acted like this in our own workplace, we would likely be reprimanded or fired for doing so. Players and Coaches and Owners need to relegate their political actions to social media and other platforms not associated with tax funded football stadiums.
    Here are some NFL facts you might be surprised to learn:
    • NFL Player 2017 Minimum Salary $465,000
    • NFL players average salary of $2.4 million with many quarterbacks earning as much as $20 million per year
    • NFL Head Coaches typically make from $3 million to $8 million per year
    • The NFL's ten wealthiest team owners are now worth a combined $61 billion
    • With 53-man rosters, NFL teams pay their players a total of $4.1 billion, more than $330 million more than any other sports league in the world.
    One report on Watchdog.org said that over the past two decades, the NFL has raked in about $7 billion of taxpayer money to spend on stadium renovation and building.
    Another study from the Brookings Institution showed that federal taxpayers have subsidized the construction of 36 stadiums at a cost of over $3.2 billion since 2000.
    Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. was recently quoted as saying ... “In America, if you want to play sports, you’re free to do so. If you want to protest, you’re free to do so, but you should do so on your own time and on your own dime.”

  • Susan K. Meyer

    10/02/2017 01:08 PM

    I think the NFL owners aren't going to toe the line until their earnings take a huge hit. I doubt they care much about the TV viewer, but if fans stop attending games and buying the usual 'stuff' there and at NFL shops, the profit margin will drop enough they will be forced to do something. What happens when they can't make the paychecks to the high-priced pouters? I feel sorry for the people who work the stadiums and make their living at concession stands, cleaning up, etc.....they could lose their livelihood all because the legends in their own minds are taking what was supposed to be a game, a chance to block out real life and enjoy athleticism. If people want to talk politics, there are plenty of news (so-called) programs they could tune in. Take your protests and get them off the field....and maybe if the media didn't show it, didn't comment on it, and simply stuck to talking sport, we could get back to sport.

  • Laura McKenzie

    10/02/2017 01:08 PM

    Tennessee Titans player Delanie Walker - & the rest of NFL - might as well say "Bye" - we've already left!

  • Richard Shinta

    10/02/2017 01:01 PM

    What these players failed to realize is , Little old ladies that don't know a seahawk from a redskin , but they know our Flag . That is who you made mad , a 100 million people don't live in your little football world you live in . Our National Anthem is sacred to many Americans , Blood is thicker than your little ball .

  • Connie Olsen

    10/02/2017 01:00 PM

    We've enjoyed watching football in the "good ole days" but those days seem long gone! We've thought the NFL player salaries, etc. are obscene! They and their sponors want to add to the breakdown of our country...well, guess it's their choice! Our choice is this: NO more NFL for us...and we will not support anyone who supports them!

  • Jack Webb

    10/02/2017 12:54 PM

    When the National Anthem plays you stand face the flag put your right hand over your heart and quietly wait. If you do anything else you are showing disrespect for the country the flag and every person that has ever served in our military. Those people I will not have respect for them and I will not watch them and
    I sure won't be giving any money to the NFL as long as they have these people working for them, only after the NFL fires them will
    I consider watching the NFL again!!!

  • Allan Leroy Folsom

    10/02/2017 12:53 PM

    My response to the NFL;

    https://youtu.be/i0BTdo6qGwo

  • Jenny clark

    10/02/2017 12:44 PM

    Bye bye N F L

  • michael dungey

    10/02/2017 12:41 PM

    Another major concern is, what will Olympic medal recipients do when our national anthem is played? It would crush a lot of future athletes who would have been proud to stand and place hand over heart. let me know your thoughts mike.....

  • Kathryn Cormier

    10/02/2017 12:21 PM

    You know, I could take or leave football as a game, heck, I don't even know how it's played in its entirety! LOL! But, this I know, my family of over 50 people enjoy the camaraderie of cheering for our team, the New England Patriots. It's connected to where we all grew up and an activity that we all were "connected" through. When I go to work, I don't discuss politics or religion openly because it is just a given that we cannot stand in the corner of the office and shout Bible versus. (Though many offices would benefit from that, probably!) The point is, I can't. These players are going to work - it is not the place to "shout" their dismay with political issues. It is a football game. Neither spectators nor co-workers should be subjected to it. The very act hurts my heart on the deepest level.

  • Ron Carmony

    10/02/2017 11:59 AM

    I would like to believe that the owners would wise up and do the right thing, but I think the world is too far gone for that to happen. Doing what's right is no longer in vogue, so I don't look for anything to be done to right this wrong. The miscreants will tire of the protest, the games will go on and nobody will ever be held accountable. Ever since November of 2008, that's just the way life is now.

  • Ellis Traub

    10/02/2017 11:56 AM

    We’re too sensitive!

    When I was a kid, we learned that “sticks and stones can break my bones; but names will never hurt me.” Not to understand this was consummate immaturity. More lore: “Your right to swing your arm stops where my nose begins.”

    Now that I’m a little older—and in the same vein—I’ve learned that, when someone asks my opinion about an issue I don’t know enough about to voice a competent opinion, I answer “I know about as much about [that issue] as the average movie star knows about political issues.”
    The same goes for kneeling, professional athletes. They get paid the big bucks for performing physical feats, working together as a team, and doing it well. So long as they do that, we should have no complaints. Let’s just ignore it when they express a point of view about anything else. Not to do so gives their opinions more power than they’re worth.

    Whether we are professional athletes, God-fearing evangelicals, blacks whose lives certainly do matter, or the President of the United States, we all need to grow up, grow our skins a little thicker, and make sure we know more about the issues that offend us—at least enough to find out what makes others think they’re right when they’re so wrong.

    But let’s also come down like a sledge hammer on those who think they have a right to swing their arms and bloody our noses. The Constitution that protects their right to protest clearly gives us the right to punish them when they destroy the property or harm the persons of others—whichever side of the political divide they may be on.

  • Alice Mayer

    10/02/2017 11:07 AM

    I used to be a Rams Fan (when in St. Louis). Then at the beginning of each season I would pick the team to follow (definitely not the Rams). At the beginning of this year, my choice of a team depended upon which team did not allow any players to kneel during the National Anthem. Needless to say, I am NOT watching football this year. I have better things to do with my time than to support those that don't respect those that gave up so much for our freedom. It is a disgrace.

  • Henry Long Jr

    10/02/2017 11:03 AM

    Sure would LOVE to see Nashville fans boycott their next home game and see what happens.

  • Cindy Richardson

    10/02/2017 10:49 AM

    I believe that most (if not all) of the hullabaloo over the National Anthem is merely a precursor to get it abolished and not played at any sporting events again. If you have time, please go to youtube; look up JD Faraq; and watch his teaching from 10/1/17. He expounds on the division of America from a biblical perspective that is quite provocative.

  • Connie Carrell Grimes

    10/02/2017 10:36 AM

    I live in Texas, but I am from Tennessee. I have been supporting the Titans since they moved from Houston to Nashville. I, also, say, "Bye," until Titans' owners or the commissioner do something about it. We don't have to come or watch. Fine. Let's see what happens to your salary and endorsements, as is happening with other players.

  • Lendall Wilson

    10/02/2017 10:18 AM

    Very good point. If anyone else tried this type of stuff on the clock they would be fired. I'm so tired of entertainers using the stage they occupy, to try and shove their views down our throats.

  • KimD Freeman

    10/02/2017 10:03 AM

    No more pro football for me. Bye.

  • Michael Wait

    10/02/2017 09:45 AM

    2 words: economic boycott
    NFL owners, the real people who fund the enterprise, will quickly get wise and reintroduce the concept of guidelines, policies, and compliance. The pampered miscreants who found employment by making a leather prolate ellipsoid travel through the air or ground across a chalk line will soon learn that their "job" --which is completely irrelevant, accomplishes nothing, produces no product--is as relevant as make believe is in Hollywood.

NFL player tells fans bye if they don't like it

October 1, 2017 |

Tennessee Titans player Delanie Walker has one word for fans offended by players staging protests during the National Anthem: “Bye.” And a few more words: “I mean, if you feel that’s something, we’re disrespecting you, don’t come to the game. You don’t have to. No one’s telling you to come to the game. It’s your freedom of choice to do that.”

As I’ve pointed out before, all the arguments about the First Amendment, the importance of the issue, how passionately the players feel, etc., are irrelevant. The players have a First Amendment right to protest anything they want when they’re off the clock. But the NFL is a business. It has an employee manual that mandates in detail how to behave during the National Anthem, and player contracts that state that behavior that harms support for the team is a contract violation.


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If a grocery checker insisted on lecturing you about veganism before ringing up your hamburger, you’d demand he or she be fired. So what makes stadiums different from every other workplace in America – aside from the fact they’re largely underwritten by taxpayers, which makes the partisan political statements even more inappropriate?

League officials and team owners are likely clutching their chests right about now at the thought of all the furious fans saying “Bye” in return. They should ponder what they’ve wrought by kneeling in “solidarity” with employees who are now actually telling their paying customers to stay home if they don’t like having political messages forced on them during the National Anthem. Funny, I thought the reason everyone came to the stadium – fans and players alike – was to participate in a football game. If it’s now more important to have a political protest than to have fans, then why even bother to play the game? Why not just turn it into a three-hour social justice protest? Bet that’ll sell a lot of tickets. Or at least, maybe a few Che Guevara T-shirts.

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Comments 51-84 of 84

  • Liz Harrison

    10/02/2017 04:36 PM

    Gov. Huckabee, Bob and I are so very grateful for the stand you take for our nation and in support of President Trump!! Also your daughter is doing an excellent job on Fox News!!!
    We, too, are absolutely heartbroken over the kneeling of some of NFL during our National Anthem!! Our parents taught us patriotism and we've taught our children and grandchildren the same!! My Dad served in the U.S. Navy and Bob served in the U.S. Air Force! We are proud and very thankful to be American!!! The NFL should consider themselves blessed to be able to play and earn such an unreal salary in the Good Ole U.S.A. and to be grateful for those that have gone before us to fight for our FREEDOM!!! We love football but do not even want to give credit to viewers of the NFL games! Thank you for the opportunity to express our feelings!!!

  • craig richie

    10/02/2017 04:29 PM

    Where do we get a list and contact information for sponsors of the NFL and also the teams and the NFL itself? Hopefully this is electronic contact information as well as for letters. Is anyone proposing or disseminating this information?

  • Howard Arthur Sachs

    10/02/2017 03:41 PM

    They should go to NORTH KOREA and protest > THEY WOULD BE SHOT DEAD
    before they finished their first sentence.

    They love OUR MILK & HONEY BUT PREACH ABOUT ANOTHER WAY OF LIVING

  • Anna Geddes

    10/02/2017 03:28 PM

    the government is subsidizing these stadiums. They should quit giving them money. The fans aren't coming anymore so they won't have the money for the large wages. The players will not be protesting anymore when it starts hitting their pockets. I have emailed all the companies that support these teams and made my position clear. I expect them to dump these teams

  • Steve Wilson

    10/02/2017 03:26 PM

    We all live in a world plagued by natural disasters, disease, war, division, and crime. We all also have our own personal struggles with which to deal such as financial, relational, or health issues.
    One of our primary means of coping is to find a temporary escape from time to time. That’s where the entertainment industry comes in. Whether it’s the arts, sports, or just sharing time with a friend we are all willing to dole out tidy sums of our hard earned income in order to find a few short hours of relief.
    While there, we aren’t concerned with who is sitting in the seat beside us. Their skin color, religion, political persuasion, or sexual orientation is of no consequence. We just want to enjoy our moment of blissful ignorance long enough to think that if our team wins, or the hero gets the girl, that everything will be OK.
    Deep down inside we know better but we just want some time away from the ills of society.
    Then some muscle bound lamebrain who is getting rich off our ticket and paraphernalia purchases comes along and decides to steal our joy by reminding us of the things we are trying to forget for just a few hours because they somehow think their agenda is more important than our coping mechanism.
    None of us really think that entertainment is going to change anything. Ultimately we know that if our team loses nothing changes. But we continue attending these little snippets of entertainment because they allow us to mentally unwind. When that is taken away from us we no longer have any real reason to attend, much less spend money we really don’t have in order to support the industry.
    So to sum it all up, it’s ultimately not even about the lack of patriotism on the part of the NFL, even though that is a very sensitive subject. It’s really about the very reason we attend or watch games or participate in any form of entertainment in the first place. If you take away the very purpose of entertainment, i.e. a time and place of mental regeneration, then we no longer need it. At least I don’t. So long NFL, you’ve forfeited your value.

  • david dwinell

    10/02/2017 03:11 PM

    It is the attitude of the NFL players, that their benefactors (FANS) whose largesse pays NFL Salaries, can take it or leave it, I will pick up that challenge every time and spend my money elsewhere. Overpaid, under motivated, and an embarrassment to watch. The entire NFL is infected with the Chicago Bears attitude, just pay me and maybe i will perform.

  • G J Horton

    10/02/2017 03:10 PM

    Totally agree! This is getting ridiculous

  • Brenda Turner

    10/02/2017 02:53 PM

    NFL=NOT FOR LONG

  • Arthur Gee

    10/02/2017 02:38 PM

    I don't guess the Titans management has learned anything since they were in Houston. They should have cut or suspended that player. He will be gone soon anyway, but allowing him to insult the fans is very poor business. Even if they only lost 5 or 10% of the fans that is millions of dollars in profits.

  • Mary Jo Wilson

    10/02/2017 02:18 PM

    Our entire Country was shown 8 years of disrespect by Mr. Obama. He led the way and stirred the race issue at every opportunity. This is what we have to show for it. It's heartbreaking.

  • Martie Seado

    10/02/2017 01:58 PM

    American's should remember this! In response...forget the games! When they can't sell the seats, just maybe they will have a change of heart, but by that time I can almost guarantee that I will have no interest in watching professional football!

  • James Randall

    10/02/2017 01:55 PM

    It is nice to think about Nissan Stadium with all 69,143 seats being empty for at least one game. Sadly, that is not likely to happen, or even half that number. History shows that there are many more people willing to speak up than to stand up for what they believe in. Too many objectors to this "protest" will rationalize their attendance, e.g. "These seats cost me $400", instead of making their own sacrifice to make a statement.
    Those in the kneeling NFL have millions, large media support/coverage, and (thanks to spineless owners and League) job security. However, the zealous or ever casual fan of a team or the League is what pays the bills. For players, owners and the League.
    The decision to put a stop to this nonsense is in the hands of fans unified to do so.

  • Nadine Huskey

    10/02/2017 01:42 PM

    They are all glory hounds! They will do anything to have their name out before the pubic be it postive or negative! We have chosen not to support NFL teams that feel fans are not important, and truthfully they aren't as long as their contract is paid! No longer a fan of NFL!!!

  • Woody Savage

    10/02/2017 01:22 PM

    All of the hype is adding fuel to the fire. I do believe they should stand in respect to the American flag and protest another way. I agree with you in your comment but their employees haven't made it a condition of their employment. Do many other issues that need to be dealt with.

  • Nancy Carolan

    10/02/2017 01:21 PM

    I don't like sports and while I respect anyone's right to peaceful protest I don't feel this is the correct venue. I'm so sick and tired of all of the complaining going on here in the US. Especially from a bunch of men who are making a crazy amount of money just for playing football. They should be taking a knee and kissing the US soil. Instead of protesting take some of your millions and try to do something constructive.

  • Woody Savage

    10/02/2017 01:17 PM

    Stand Up for America
    When I watch a sporting event on TV or pay to go to a game, I expect to see these professional players focused on their jobs rather than making political statements. If you or I acted like this in our own workplace, we would likely be reprimanded or fired for doing so. Players and Coaches and Owners need to relegate their political actions to social media and other platforms not associated with tax funded football stadiums.
    Here are some NFL facts you might be surprised to learn:
    • NFL Player 2017 Minimum Salary $465,000
    • NFL players average salary of $2.4 million with many quarterbacks earning as much as $20 million per year
    • NFL Head Coaches typically make from $3 million to $8 million per year
    • The NFL's ten wealthiest team owners are now worth a combined $61 billion
    • With 53-man rosters, NFL teams pay their players a total of $4.1 billion, more than $330 million more than any other sports league in the world.
    One report on Watchdog.org said that over the past two decades, the NFL has raked in about $7 billion of taxpayer money to spend on stadium renovation and building.
    Another study from the Brookings Institution showed that federal taxpayers have subsidized the construction of 36 stadiums at a cost of over $3.2 billion since 2000.
    Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. was recently quoted as saying ... “In America, if you want to play sports, you’re free to do so. If you want to protest, you’re free to do so, but you should do so on your own time and on your own dime.”

  • Susan K. Meyer

    10/02/2017 01:08 PM

    I think the NFL owners aren't going to toe the line until their earnings take a huge hit. I doubt they care much about the TV viewer, but if fans stop attending games and buying the usual 'stuff' there and at NFL shops, the profit margin will drop enough they will be forced to do something. What happens when they can't make the paychecks to the high-priced pouters? I feel sorry for the people who work the stadiums and make their living at concession stands, cleaning up, etc.....they could lose their livelihood all because the legends in their own minds are taking what was supposed to be a game, a chance to block out real life and enjoy athleticism. If people want to talk politics, there are plenty of news (so-called) programs they could tune in. Take your protests and get them off the field....and maybe if the media didn't show it, didn't comment on it, and simply stuck to talking sport, we could get back to sport.

  • Laura McKenzie

    10/02/2017 01:08 PM

    Tennessee Titans player Delanie Walker - & the rest of NFL - might as well say "Bye" - we've already left!

  • Richard Shinta

    10/02/2017 01:01 PM

    What these players failed to realize is , Little old ladies that don't know a seahawk from a redskin , but they know our Flag . That is who you made mad , a 100 million people don't live in your little football world you live in . Our National Anthem is sacred to many Americans , Blood is thicker than your little ball .

  • Connie Olsen

    10/02/2017 01:00 PM

    We've enjoyed watching football in the "good ole days" but those days seem long gone! We've thought the NFL player salaries, etc. are obscene! They and their sponors want to add to the breakdown of our country...well, guess it's their choice! Our choice is this: NO more NFL for us...and we will not support anyone who supports them!

  • Jack Webb

    10/02/2017 12:54 PM

    When the National Anthem plays you stand face the flag put your right hand over your heart and quietly wait. If you do anything else you are showing disrespect for the country the flag and every person that has ever served in our military. Those people I will not have respect for them and I will not watch them and
    I sure won't be giving any money to the NFL as long as they have these people working for them, only after the NFL fires them will
    I consider watching the NFL again!!!

  • Allan Leroy Folsom

    10/02/2017 12:53 PM

    My response to the NFL;

    https://youtu.be/i0BTdo6qGwo

  • Jenny clark

    10/02/2017 12:44 PM

    Bye bye N F L

  • michael dungey

    10/02/2017 12:41 PM

    Another major concern is, what will Olympic medal recipients do when our national anthem is played? It would crush a lot of future athletes who would have been proud to stand and place hand over heart. let me know your thoughts mike.....

  • Kathryn Cormier

    10/02/2017 12:21 PM

    You know, I could take or leave football as a game, heck, I don't even know how it's played in its entirety! LOL! But, this I know, my family of over 50 people enjoy the camaraderie of cheering for our team, the New England Patriots. It's connected to where we all grew up and an activity that we all were "connected" through. When I go to work, I don't discuss politics or religion openly because it is just a given that we cannot stand in the corner of the office and shout Bible versus. (Though many offices would benefit from that, probably!) The point is, I can't. These players are going to work - it is not the place to "shout" their dismay with political issues. It is a football game. Neither spectators nor co-workers should be subjected to it. The very act hurts my heart on the deepest level.

  • Ron Carmony

    10/02/2017 11:59 AM

    I would like to believe that the owners would wise up and do the right thing, but I think the world is too far gone for that to happen. Doing what's right is no longer in vogue, so I don't look for anything to be done to right this wrong. The miscreants will tire of the protest, the games will go on and nobody will ever be held accountable. Ever since November of 2008, that's just the way life is now.

  • Ellis Traub

    10/02/2017 11:56 AM

    We’re too sensitive!

    When I was a kid, we learned that “sticks and stones can break my bones; but names will never hurt me.” Not to understand this was consummate immaturity. More lore: “Your right to swing your arm stops where my nose begins.”

    Now that I’m a little older—and in the same vein—I’ve learned that, when someone asks my opinion about an issue I don’t know enough about to voice a competent opinion, I answer “I know about as much about [that issue] as the average movie star knows about political issues.”
    The same goes for kneeling, professional athletes. They get paid the big bucks for performing physical feats, working together as a team, and doing it well. So long as they do that, we should have no complaints. Let’s just ignore it when they express a point of view about anything else. Not to do so gives their opinions more power than they’re worth.

    Whether we are professional athletes, God-fearing evangelicals, blacks whose lives certainly do matter, or the President of the United States, we all need to grow up, grow our skins a little thicker, and make sure we know more about the issues that offend us—at least enough to find out what makes others think they’re right when they’re so wrong.

    But let’s also come down like a sledge hammer on those who think they have a right to swing their arms and bloody our noses. The Constitution that protects their right to protest clearly gives us the right to punish them when they destroy the property or harm the persons of others—whichever side of the political divide they may be on.

  • Alice Mayer

    10/02/2017 11:07 AM

    I used to be a Rams Fan (when in St. Louis). Then at the beginning of each season I would pick the team to follow (definitely not the Rams). At the beginning of this year, my choice of a team depended upon which team did not allow any players to kneel during the National Anthem. Needless to say, I am NOT watching football this year. I have better things to do with my time than to support those that don't respect those that gave up so much for our freedom. It is a disgrace.

  • Henry Long Jr

    10/02/2017 11:03 AM

    Sure would LOVE to see Nashville fans boycott their next home game and see what happens.

  • Cindy Richardson

    10/02/2017 10:49 AM

    I believe that most (if not all) of the hullabaloo over the National Anthem is merely a precursor to get it abolished and not played at any sporting events again. If you have time, please go to youtube; look up JD Faraq; and watch his teaching from 10/1/17. He expounds on the division of America from a biblical perspective that is quite provocative.

  • Connie Carrell Grimes

    10/02/2017 10:36 AM

    I live in Texas, but I am from Tennessee. I have been supporting the Titans since they moved from Houston to Nashville. I, also, say, "Bye," until Titans' owners or the commissioner do something about it. We don't have to come or watch. Fine. Let's see what happens to your salary and endorsements, as is happening with other players.

  • Lendall Wilson

    10/02/2017 10:18 AM

    Very good point. If anyone else tried this type of stuff on the clock they would be fired. I'm so tired of entertainers using the stage they occupy, to try and shove their views down our throats.

  • KimD Freeman

    10/02/2017 10:03 AM

    No more pro football for me. Bye.

  • Michael Wait

    10/02/2017 09:45 AM

    2 words: economic boycott
    NFL owners, the real people who fund the enterprise, will quickly get wise and reintroduce the concept of guidelines, policies, and compliance. The pampered miscreants who found employment by making a leather prolate ellipsoid travel through the air or ground across a chalk line will soon learn that their "job" --which is completely irrelevant, accomplishes nothing, produces no product--is as relevant as make believe is in Hollywood.

NFL player tells fans bye if they don't like it

October 1, 2017 |

Tennessee Titans player Delanie Walker has one word for fans offended by players staging protests during the National Anthem: “Bye.” And a few more words: “I mean, if you feel that’s something, we’re disrespecting you, don’t come to the game. You don’t have to. No one’s telling you to come to the game. It’s your freedom of choice to do that.”

As I’ve pointed out before, all the arguments about the First Amendment, the importance of the issue, how passionately the players feel, etc., are irrelevant. The players have a First Amendment right to protest anything they want when they’re off the clock. But the NFL is a business. It has an employee manual that mandates in detail how to behave during the National Anthem, and player contracts that state that behavior that harms support for the team is a contract violation.


Commentary continues below advertisement


If a grocery checker insisted on lecturing you about veganism before ringing up your hamburger, you’d demand he or she be fired. So what makes stadiums different from every other workplace in America – aside from the fact they’re largely underwritten by taxpayers, which makes the partisan political statements even more inappropriate?

League officials and team owners are likely clutching their chests right about now at the thought of all the furious fans saying “Bye” in return. They should ponder what they’ve wrought by kneeling in “solidarity” with employees who are now actually telling their paying customers to stay home if they don’t like having political messages forced on them during the National Anthem. Funny, I thought the reason everyone came to the stadium – fans and players alike – was to participate in a football game. If it’s now more important to have a political protest than to have fans, then why even bother to play the game? Why not just turn it into a three-hour social justice protest? Bet that’ll sell a lot of tickets. Or at least, maybe a few Che Guevara T-shirts.

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Comments 51-84 of 84

  • Liz Harrison

    10/02/2017 04:36 PM

    Gov. Huckabee, Bob and I are so very grateful for the stand you take for our nation and in support of President Trump!! Also your daughter is doing an excellent job on Fox News!!!
    We, too, are absolutely heartbroken over the kneeling of some of NFL during our National Anthem!! Our parents taught us patriotism and we've taught our children and grandchildren the same!! My Dad served in the U.S. Navy and Bob served in the U.S. Air Force! We are proud and very thankful to be American!!! The NFL should consider themselves blessed to be able to play and earn such an unreal salary in the Good Ole U.S.A. and to be grateful for those that have gone before us to fight for our FREEDOM!!! We love football but do not even want to give credit to viewers of the NFL games! Thank you for the opportunity to express our feelings!!!

  • craig richie

    10/02/2017 04:29 PM

    Where do we get a list and contact information for sponsors of the NFL and also the teams and the NFL itself? Hopefully this is electronic contact information as well as for letters. Is anyone proposing or disseminating this information?

  • Howard Arthur Sachs

    10/02/2017 03:41 PM

    They should go to NORTH KOREA and protest > THEY WOULD BE SHOT DEAD
    before they finished their first sentence.

    They love OUR MILK & HONEY BUT PREACH ABOUT ANOTHER WAY OF LIVING

  • Anna Geddes

    10/02/2017 03:28 PM

    the government is subsidizing these stadiums. They should quit giving them money. The fans aren't coming anymore so they won't have the money for the large wages. The players will not be protesting anymore when it starts hitting their pockets. I have emailed all the companies that support these teams and made my position clear. I expect them to dump these teams

  • Steve Wilson

    10/02/2017 03:26 PM

    We all live in a world plagued by natural disasters, disease, war, division, and crime. We all also have our own personal struggles with which to deal such as financial, relational, or health issues.
    One of our primary means of coping is to find a temporary escape from time to time. That’s where the entertainment industry comes in. Whether it’s the arts, sports, or just sharing time with a friend we are all willing to dole out tidy sums of our hard earned income in order to find a few short hours of relief.
    While there, we aren’t concerned with who is sitting in the seat beside us. Their skin color, religion, political persuasion, or sexual orientation is of no consequence. We just want to enjoy our moment of blissful ignorance long enough to think that if our team wins, or the hero gets the girl, that everything will be OK.
    Deep down inside we know better but we just want some time away from the ills of society.
    Then some muscle bound lamebrain who is getting rich off our ticket and paraphernalia purchases comes along and decides to steal our joy by reminding us of the things we are trying to forget for just a few hours because they somehow think their agenda is more important than our coping mechanism.
    None of us really think that entertainment is going to change anything. Ultimately we know that if our team loses nothing changes. But we continue attending these little snippets of entertainment because they allow us to mentally unwind. When that is taken away from us we no longer have any real reason to attend, much less spend money we really don’t have in order to support the industry.
    So to sum it all up, it’s ultimately not even about the lack of patriotism on the part of the NFL, even though that is a very sensitive subject. It’s really about the very reason we attend or watch games or participate in any form of entertainment in the first place. If you take away the very purpose of entertainment, i.e. a time and place of mental regeneration, then we no longer need it. At least I don’t. So long NFL, you’ve forfeited your value.

  • david dwinell

    10/02/2017 03:11 PM

    It is the attitude of the NFL players, that their benefactors (FANS) whose largesse pays NFL Salaries, can take it or leave it, I will pick up that challenge every time and spend my money elsewhere. Overpaid, under motivated, and an embarrassment to watch. The entire NFL is infected with the Chicago Bears attitude, just pay me and maybe i will perform.

  • G J Horton

    10/02/2017 03:10 PM

    Totally agree! This is getting ridiculous

  • Brenda Turner

    10/02/2017 02:53 PM

    NFL=NOT FOR LONG

  • Arthur Gee

    10/02/2017 02:38 PM

    I don't guess the Titans management has learned anything since they were in Houston. They should have cut or suspended that player. He will be gone soon anyway, but allowing him to insult the fans is very poor business. Even if they only lost 5 or 10% of the fans that is millions of dollars in profits.

  • Mary Jo Wilson

    10/02/2017 02:18 PM

    Our entire Country was shown 8 years of disrespect by Mr. Obama. He led the way and stirred the race issue at every opportunity. This is what we have to show for it. It's heartbreaking.

  • Martie Seado

    10/02/2017 01:58 PM

    American's should remember this! In response...forget the games! When they can't sell the seats, just maybe they will have a change of heart, but by that time I can almost guarantee that I will have no interest in watching professional football!

  • James Randall

    10/02/2017 01:55 PM

    It is nice to think about Nissan Stadium with all 69,143 seats being empty for at least one game. Sadly, that is not likely to happen, or even half that number. History shows that there are many more people willing to speak up than to stand up for what they believe in. Too many objectors to this "protest" will rationalize their attendance, e.g. "These seats cost me $400", instead of making their own sacrifice to make a statement.
    Those in the kneeling NFL have millions, large media support/coverage, and (thanks to spineless owners and League) job security. However, the zealous or ever casual fan of a team or the League is what pays the bills. For players, owners and the League.
    The decision to put a stop to this nonsense is in the hands of fans unified to do so.

  • Nadine Huskey

    10/02/2017 01:42 PM

    They are all glory hounds! They will do anything to have their name out before the pubic be it postive or negative! We have chosen not to support NFL teams that feel fans are not important, and truthfully they aren't as long as their contract is paid! No longer a fan of NFL!!!

  • Woody Savage

    10/02/2017 01:22 PM

    All of the hype is adding fuel to the fire. I do believe they should stand in respect to the American flag and protest another way. I agree with you in your comment but their employees haven't made it a condition of their employment. Do many other issues that need to be dealt with.

  • Nancy Carolan

    10/02/2017 01:21 PM

    I don't like sports and while I respect anyone's right to peaceful protest I don't feel this is the correct venue. I'm so sick and tired of all of the complaining going on here in the US. Especially from a bunch of men who are making a crazy amount of money just for playing football. They should be taking a knee and kissing the US soil. Instead of protesting take some of your millions and try to do something constructive.

  • Woody Savage

    10/02/2017 01:17 PM

    Stand Up for America
    When I watch a sporting event on TV or pay to go to a game, I expect to see these professional players focused on their jobs rather than making political statements. If you or I acted like this in our own workplace, we would likely be reprimanded or fired for doing so. Players and Coaches and Owners need to relegate their political actions to social media and other platforms not associated with tax funded football stadiums.
    Here are some NFL facts you might be surprised to learn:
    • NFL Player 2017 Minimum Salary $465,000
    • NFL players average salary of $2.4 million with many quarterbacks earning as much as $20 million per year
    • NFL Head Coaches typically make from $3 million to $8 million per year
    • The NFL's ten wealthiest team owners are now worth a combined $61 billion
    • With 53-man rosters, NFL teams pay their players a total of $4.1 billion, more than $330 million more than any other sports league in the world.
    One report on Watchdog.org said that over the past two decades, the NFL has raked in about $7 billion of taxpayer money to spend on stadium renovation and building.
    Another study from the Brookings Institution showed that federal taxpayers have subsidized the construction of 36 stadiums at a cost of over $3.2 billion since 2000.
    Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. was recently quoted as saying ... “In America, if you want to play sports, you’re free to do so. If you want to protest, you’re free to do so, but you should do so on your own time and on your own dime.”

  • Susan K. Meyer

    10/02/2017 01:08 PM

    I think the NFL owners aren't going to toe the line until their earnings take a huge hit. I doubt they care much about the TV viewer, but if fans stop attending games and buying the usual 'stuff' there and at NFL shops, the profit margin will drop enough they will be forced to do something. What happens when they can't make the paychecks to the high-priced pouters? I feel sorry for the people who work the stadiums and make their living at concession stands, cleaning up, etc.....they could lose their livelihood all because the legends in their own minds are taking what was supposed to be a game, a chance to block out real life and enjoy athleticism. If people want to talk politics, there are plenty of news (so-called) programs they could tune in. Take your protests and get them off the field....and maybe if the media didn't show it, didn't comment on it, and simply stuck to talking sport, we could get back to sport.

  • Laura McKenzie

    10/02/2017 01:08 PM

    Tennessee Titans player Delanie Walker - & the rest of NFL - might as well say "Bye" - we've already left!

  • Richard Shinta

    10/02/2017 01:01 PM

    What these players failed to realize is , Little old ladies that don't know a seahawk from a redskin , but they know our Flag . That is who you made mad , a 100 million people don't live in your little football world you live in . Our National Anthem is sacred to many Americans , Blood is thicker than your little ball .

  • Connie Olsen

    10/02/2017 01:00 PM

    We've enjoyed watching football in the "good ole days" but those days seem long gone! We've thought the NFL player salaries, etc. are obscene! They and their sponors want to add to the breakdown of our country...well, guess it's their choice! Our choice is this: NO more NFL for us...and we will not support anyone who supports them!

  • Jack Webb

    10/02/2017 12:54 PM

    When the National Anthem plays you stand face the flag put your right hand over your heart and quietly wait. If you do anything else you are showing disrespect for the country the flag and every person that has ever served in our military. Those people I will not have respect for them and I will not watch them and
    I sure won't be giving any money to the NFL as long as they have these people working for them, only after the NFL fires them will
    I consider watching the NFL again!!!

  • Allan Leroy Folsom

    10/02/2017 12:53 PM

    My response to the NFL;

    https://youtu.be/i0BTdo6qGwo

  • Jenny clark

    10/02/2017 12:44 PM

    Bye bye N F L

  • michael dungey

    10/02/2017 12:41 PM

    Another major concern is, what will Olympic medal recipients do when our national anthem is played? It would crush a lot of future athletes who would have been proud to stand and place hand over heart. let me know your thoughts mike.....

  • Kathryn Cormier

    10/02/2017 12:21 PM

    You know, I could take or leave football as a game, heck, I don't even know how it's played in its entirety! LOL! But, this I know, my family of over 50 people enjoy the camaraderie of cheering for our team, the New England Patriots. It's connected to where we all grew up and an activity that we all were "connected" through. When I go to work, I don't discuss politics or religion openly because it is just a given that we cannot stand in the corner of the office and shout Bible versus. (Though many offices would benefit from that, probably!) The point is, I can't. These players are going to work - it is not the place to "shout" their dismay with political issues. It is a football game. Neither spectators nor co-workers should be subjected to it. The very act hurts my heart on the deepest level.

  • Ron Carmony

    10/02/2017 11:59 AM

    I would like to believe that the owners would wise up and do the right thing, but I think the world is too far gone for that to happen. Doing what's right is no longer in vogue, so I don't look for anything to be done to right this wrong. The miscreants will tire of the protest, the games will go on and nobody will ever be held accountable. Ever since November of 2008, that's just the way life is now.

  • Ellis Traub

    10/02/2017 11:56 AM

    We’re too sensitive!

    When I was a kid, we learned that “sticks and stones can break my bones; but names will never hurt me.” Not to understand this was consummate immaturity. More lore: “Your right to swing your arm stops where my nose begins.”

    Now that I’m a little older—and in the same vein—I’ve learned that, when someone asks my opinion about an issue I don’t know enough about to voice a competent opinion, I answer “I know about as much about [that issue] as the average movie star knows about political issues.”
    The same goes for kneeling, professional athletes. They get paid the big bucks for performing physical feats, working together as a team, and doing it well. So long as they do that, we should have no complaints. Let’s just ignore it when they express a point of view about anything else. Not to do so gives their opinions more power than they’re worth.

    Whether we are professional athletes, God-fearing evangelicals, blacks whose lives certainly do matter, or the President of the United States, we all need to grow up, grow our skins a little thicker, and make sure we know more about the issues that offend us—at least enough to find out what makes others think they’re right when they’re so wrong.

    But let’s also come down like a sledge hammer on those who think they have a right to swing their arms and bloody our noses. The Constitution that protects their right to protest clearly gives us the right to punish them when they destroy the property or harm the persons of others—whichever side of the political divide they may be on.

  • Alice Mayer

    10/02/2017 11:07 AM

    I used to be a Rams Fan (when in St. Louis). Then at the beginning of each season I would pick the team to follow (definitely not the Rams). At the beginning of this year, my choice of a team depended upon which team did not allow any players to kneel during the National Anthem. Needless to say, I am NOT watching football this year. I have better things to do with my time than to support those that don't respect those that gave up so much for our freedom. It is a disgrace.

  • Henry Long Jr

    10/02/2017 11:03 AM

    Sure would LOVE to see Nashville fans boycott their next home game and see what happens.

  • Cindy Richardson

    10/02/2017 10:49 AM

    I believe that most (if not all) of the hullabaloo over the National Anthem is merely a precursor to get it abolished and not played at any sporting events again. If you have time, please go to youtube; look up JD Faraq; and watch his teaching from 10/1/17. He expounds on the division of America from a biblical perspective that is quite provocative.

  • Connie Carrell Grimes

    10/02/2017 10:36 AM

    I live in Texas, but I am from Tennessee. I have been supporting the Titans since they moved from Houston to Nashville. I, also, say, "Bye," until Titans' owners or the commissioner do something about it. We don't have to come or watch. Fine. Let's see what happens to your salary and endorsements, as is happening with other players.

  • Lendall Wilson

    10/02/2017 10:18 AM

    Very good point. If anyone else tried this type of stuff on the clock they would be fired. I'm so tired of entertainers using the stage they occupy, to try and shove their views down our throats.

  • KimD Freeman

    10/02/2017 10:03 AM

    No more pro football for me. Bye.

  • Michael Wait

    10/02/2017 09:45 AM

    2 words: economic boycott
    NFL owners, the real people who fund the enterprise, will quickly get wise and reintroduce the concept of guidelines, policies, and compliance. The pampered miscreants who found employment by making a leather prolate ellipsoid travel through the air or ground across a chalk line will soon learn that their "job" --which is completely irrelevant, accomplishes nothing, produces no product--is as relevant as make believe is in Hollywood.