Sadly, I spoke too soon yesterday in praising my favorite NFL team, the Dallas Cowboys, for not joining in the literal kneejerk protest of President Trump’s criticism of players for kneeling during the National Anthem. Before last night’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, owner Jerry Jones linked arms with the entire team as they “took a knee.” Jones had previously made it clear that he found it “really disappointing” when players disrespect the flag and Anthem, and he kept politics off the field. Well, he allowed them on last night, and I hope the boos of Cowboys fans let him know what they thought about it.
Jones tried to draw a line between what the Cowboys did and other protesters-in-cleats (noting that they kneeled before the Anthem, not during). He said this was a “show of unity,” but unity with what? With people who do kneel during the National Anthem, as a symbol of how they think the police are racist killers? (Let’s not ever forget that what started this whole practice was one whiny quarterback who hates cops and depicts them as pigs.)
Does Mr. Jones recall that five Dallas police officers were gunned down while heroically protecting the lives of Black Lives Matter supporters who were protesting them? How about showing solidarity with the Dallas Police by not joining in these protests? Or does he feel a greater need to show solidarity with an NFL commissioner who defends anti-police protests as free speech, yet banned the Cowboys from wearing decals on their helmets honoring those fallen Dallas officers? Hats off to the Arizona Cardinals for refusing to literally bend their knees to the gods of political correctness. Instead, they showed “solidarity” with football fans, who are fed up with having leftist politics infesting and ruining every once-non-partisan common area of American life.
If you want to protest police, then picket the police station. If you want to protest Trump, picket the White House. But why desecrate the honor of the flag and National Anthem with leftwing symbolism that is based on hating America? (And indulging in the same ritual, only slightly before the Anthem starts playing, is just weaselly hair-splitting.)
Apparently, the only way to make it clear to the players and team owners that fans are sick of this political grandstanding is to hit them in their pocketbooks. I hope Dallas fans who buy tickets and merchandise and who paid for the Cowboys’ otherworldly stadium with their taxes and who are upset about Jones’ about-face make their outrage known loud and clear. You can’t be America’s team if you’re going to “express solidarity” with people who go out of their way to show disrespect for America.
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