The NFL bans free speech

January 24, 2018 |

NFL Logic circa 2018: Football players kneeling instead of standing during the National Anthem is “freedom of speech” and can’t be questioned. But a veterans’ organization buying an ad in the Super Bowl program instructing people in proper behavior during the Anthem (i.e., standing) is apparently not free speech but a “political statement,” so that can be banned.

FYI, NFL: protecting political statements is the #1 reason why the Founders protected free speech. Also, what is kneeling during the anthem if not a political statement? Are the players stating that their knees are tired? The game hasn’t even started yet! This is as confusing as their previous stance that a player wearing socks depicting cops as pigs was protected speech, but players wearing decals honoring police officers killed by snipers in Dallas wasn’t.

If you’re going to protect disrespectful behavior by players, at least don’t disrespect our intelligence in the bargain. Be honest. Just admit you won’t accept an ad by military veterans urging people to show proper respect for the flag and the Anthem because the reminder of how genuinely heroic and self-sacrificing those real patriots are conjures up a negative comparison that highlights how self-serving and disrespectful certain players’ behavior has been.

PS - As blogger and veteran Marta Hernandez at VictoryGirlsBlog.com notes, if the NFL were a private organization, it could pick and choose which speech/political statements to allow. But the NFL benefits from nonprofit tax status and huge subsidies of taxpayer money. Why should they be allowed to take every American’s money if they allow free speech only to some Americans?

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  • April Johnson

    01/24/2018 06:46 PM

    How can they be non-profit? Forbes says they are the most lucrative of all sports. https://www.cnbc.com/2014/09/04/how-the-nfl-makes-the-most-money-of-any-pro-sport.html