Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson took a poke at me recently for my comments on the NFL players’ protests in which I suggested that if they really cared about changing the world so much, they should give up their lucrative jobs and run for office. Watson tweeted, “The only Americans that are allowed to care about politics are those who quit their jobs and run for office? Stop @GovMikeHuckabee. Just stop."
I have the utmost respect for Mr. Watson’s athletic abilities, his faith and his personal decision to stand for the National Anthem. But I think he missed the point of what I was saying. Sure, his NFL “brothers” have the right to express themselves. But do they have the “right” to do it while in their uniforms and on the field? If so, they have “rights” no one else enjoys—no other employee who is provided a uniform and a job can use their job time or workplace to express political views.
Why are NFL players more special than the rest of America? And if they have the right to show disrespect to the flag and national anthem, fans who pay their personal money to support them have the right to empty the stadiums, stop watching on TV, stop buying merchandise, and verbally criticize them. NFL players are forced to support the USA, but no American can be forced to support them in their whining. And Watson missed my point — if he really wants to be political, then walk away from his job like I did mine, take a big risk of losing it all, and run for office. Trying to make a political point while on someone else’s time and wearing a uniform someone else provides is a cheap way to pretend to “take a stand.” Take your stand on your own time. And if you want to say “Stop it” to anyone, say it to your teammates who are on their knees during the National Anthem.
By the way, I also disagree with the suggestion in the linked article by former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy, that President Trump invite some of the players to the White House to hear their concerns. They have plenty of ways to voice their concerns without showing disrespect to America while on the job. Rewarding them for doing that with a trip to the White House doesn’t set a very good example for the youth of America, who have few enough good examples already these days.
PLEASE LEAVE ME A COMMENT BELOW. I READ THEM!