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.

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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.


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Comments 1-5 of 61

  • Victor Rossi

    10/27/2017 03:50 PM

    they don't have to quit their job or run for office. They can join/support organisations that fight for their cause. They can donate time and money. They can start foundations. They can educate in the disadvantaged communities. Do something real and meaningful. All they are doing is making themselves feel good and pissing people off. Tell them I said so!

  • Ralph Marshall

    10/27/2017 11:33 AM

    Totally agree with you sir. Have always enjoyed watching you debate with the liberal idiots on TV. And off on a tangent here, I must say MS Sarah is a chip off the old block. Glad to see the fantastic way she handles the biased news people and enjoy watching her put them in their rightful place. Best regards to you and her both. Retired 30+ year Vet and retired GS-13, total 46 years Federal Service.

  • Dwayne Hutson

    10/27/2017 09:38 AM

    People need to realize that their Freedom of Speech does not guarantee Freedom of Consequences......

  • Yvette Grisham

    10/27/2017 08:25 AM

    I totally agree with you! Why don't they protest on their own time? Because they don't have too & they THOUGHT we would be forced to watch their protests if they did it on national TV. I am so proud of the American people for actually boycotting the NFL! Americans love their football so this is a huge huge statement to them that we're not gonna take it anymore!! #WooPigSooie!!! #collegeballisbetterthantheNFLanyday #GOHOGS! #ThankGODforGovMikey! GOD Bless America!!!

  • clara murzynski

    10/27/2017 02:09 AM

    Ah yes, this is the new ‘catch phrase’ being peddled by those trying to justify this kneeling nonsense during our national anthem as being just that. I’d like to give a counter point on this dim ideology:
    ~ Is it forced patriotism when we have witnessed over the years, the countless Olympians that have stood on that winner’s platform to hear our national anthem played in their honor with tears streaming down their faces?
    ~ Is it forced patriotism when a young boy stands on the sands of Normandy Beach in France on the anniversary of D-Day holding the flag in one hand and saluting for as long as he could towards the beach where the Allies landed?
    ~ Is it forced patriotism when sound systems have failed at sporting events only to have the spectators break out in singing the national anthem themselves?
    ~ Was it forced patriotism when Rick Monday ripped a flag away from idiots trying to light it on fire in right field at Dodgers stadium?
    ~ Is it forced patriotism when a retired musician takes it upon himself to play Taps everyday at dusk in honor of those who gave their lives for us?
    ~ I’ve saved the best for last. Was it forced patriotism when those brave soldiers hoisted our flag at Iwo Jima?
    Bottom line? There is NO such thing as forced patriotism. Either you love this country or you don’t. It’s that simple. Love it or leave it. Our Constitution and those that fought and died for it have given you that option. The choice is YOURS.