When the NFL Is More Important Than America

found online by Raymond

From James Wigderson:

So, according to Murphy, Trump is making “divisive and offensive statements” about the players and the NFL. Not that the unprofessional and unpatriotic conduct by the players is “divisive and offensive,” but the president’s statements defending patriotism and respect for our country are “divisive and offensive.” Murphy even believes, from his statement, that the “players are leaders and positive influences.”

Both Packers Coach Mike McCarthy and Quarterback Aaron Rodgers have also expressed support for players protesting during the national anthem.

And NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell went a step farther, “Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.”

That’s correct. In asking that the NFL show more respect for our country, at least publicly, the president has demonstrated “an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL.”

Should Trump have made those comments? Of course he should have.

– More –

17 thoughts on “When the NFL Is More Important Than America”

  1. Mr. Deming, please don’t mistake my previous statement as support for President Trump’s boorish comments. While I am sympathetic to the principle, he stated it in an unnecessarily provocative way.

    Further, I agree that if the NFL, owners, and coaches are okay with the players doing so, then they have a right to be disrespectful to our flag, anthem, and nation while exercising their freedom of speech. I vehemently disagree with them, but that is their right. I wish I had the same first amendment rights with my company without negative repercussions though, like if I wished to espouse my support for traditional marriage at work.

    Oh, and the hypocrisy of the NFL is striking. The NFL would not allow players to wear patches in support of the Dallas police officers killed by a BLM-inspired killer, but they will allow protests against the police and our “racist” nation.

    I think the longer this goes on, the more the NFL will lose viewers and fans in the stands. Even DirecTV has now been forced to give myriads of refunds for their NFL packages directly because of these protests.

    Here is another poll showing that I am not alone in my disgust, and the numbers will likely prove out that most Americans don’t approve of the players doing this.


    1. I dunno, T. Paine.

      Jeff Roe is a Republican activist here in Missouri with a reputation for brutally attacking anyone who gets in his way. Those who know him say he makes Rove and Atwater look like Girl Scouts. That’s a quote. The vicious attacks he invented are credited with driving fellow Republican Tom Schweich to suicide.

      It’s still possible the Remington Group conducts thoroughly impartial polling. On balance, I think I’d still go with Reuters and Ipsos. A solid majority of Americans do not go with my President on this one.

  2. A bunch of American man-children obsessed with watching a game of moving a ball back and forth across a field are enraged that the actual players of said game indirectly draw them out of their entertainment in their safe space. How did the players do this? By making a non-verbal, benign “political” statement by refusing to mimic the meaningless but ritualized body positioning expected during a song that is played every game.

    These man-children insist, as they always do, that any deviation from their traditional displays of empty, feel-good patriotism is disrespectful to the country and to the military…

    …even though the players themselves–the only ones who can really tell us their intentions–explain that their actions are meant to either (1) call attention to problems in the country so that they can be solved or (2) protest Trump’s classless, ignorant, unnecessary, and provocative attacks on them…

    …even though symbolic objects and gestures do not have objective, absolute meanings and a person’s failure or refusal to observe them one way or another does not mean that he does not care about what those symbols usually represent anyway…

    …even though sports games are a bizarre place to practice flag-waving…

    …even though audiences can choose to not watch the brief protests or even to not care that fellow citizens (or more fundamentally: human beings) do not believe or practice “patriotism” exactly as they do…

    …even though home audiences themselves largely do not practice the same decorum because they are not pressured by thousands of people around them doing it mindlessly…

    …even though the man-children will, once the ritual ends, go right back to stuffing their faces with hot dogs and beer, cheering for meaningless victories, praying for their petty god to intervene to help their team win, cursing and screaming at the team from another city, ultimately forgetting all about the “true patriotism” that they claim to care so much about.

    Meanwhile, millions of people in their own country are suffering from actual problems that patriotic fuzzies not only fail to address, but may aggravate, especially insofar as they discourage criticism of the country.

    I am so damn SICK of people like this and of conservatives who are always trying to dictate the terms of patriotism and making anyone who fails to abide by those terms out to be scum. My feelings toward Trump and his supporters go without saying. An enemy of reason is an enemy of humanity.

  3. It’s interesting to note a cop killer can be “a BLM-inspired killer”, but a murderer of a doctor who performs legal abortions cannot be called a “Christian-inspired killer”. Why is that?

    Bad cops can get away with shooting Blacks in the back, and are exonerated because they said they were afraid. But those protesting those bad cops and the rigged justice are “sons of bitches”. Why is that?


    Well said.

    “conservatives who are always trying to dictate the terms of patriotism and making anyone who fails to abide by those terms out to be scum.”

    Conservatives have long been usurping the power to unilaterally define and dictate terms of identity, morality and patriotism. They alone may define “liberal” and “left”. Why is that?

    They alone have the power to interpret our Constitution, despite theocrats like the Alabama judge and Senate candidate who violated and defied our Constitution with a tax-payer funded monument to the Ten Commandments at a courthouse. Why is that?

    They alone have the power to interpret our Constitution and applaud the pardon of the contemptible birther and racist Arizona sheriff whose profiling tactics and detentions were in clear violation of our Constitution. Why is that?

    All of this tells us, “It’s OK if you are Republican”, because only Republicans are allowed to judge what is OK. To finish my rhetorical line of questioning, why is that?

    You are entirely correct about their “safe place” being corrupted by matters of conscience.

    Trump asked for this fight. Now he’s got it.

    1. It is for reasons like those that I will never be a Republican. Even as Democrats drift leftward of my positions and contend with troubling factions driven by identity politics, all I need to do is glance at what Republicans are doing at any given moment to remind myself that the alternative is far worse.

  4. Dave and Ryan, you both convinced me.

    I am sorry.

    This country is indeed a racist, ignorant, sexist, homophobic nation that obviously doesn’t care about its poor and oppressed.

    A stupid game, of course, is a logical place to show our contempt for this God damned country accordingly. Oops… didn’t mean to throw God in there and offend the non-believers.

    Decorum and some small amount of respect should probably no longer be required when our war-mongering national anthem is played anymore.

    This is all just a big to-do about nothing of importance, right guys?

    It doesn’t matter one damned bit about this nation or its flag.

    … unless you have been handed a flag that covered the coffin of a family member or friend who served.

    Freaking amazing. (And I had to use great restraint in my word choice of “freaking” so as not to upset Aunt Tildy.)

    Maybe Jefferson’s Guardian is right and this is all a fool’s errand to try and civilly debate and find common ground. One sees our nation as hallowed ground, while the other see it as a cesspool worthy only of their scorn and derision. Why do we even bother entering each other’s political echo-chambers anymore?

    1. You are the reason I stopped participating here. I absolutely cannot stand you anymore. This particular issue irritates me on many levels, so I decided to vent some anger among the like-minded–and here you are with your nonsense again. It is utterly beyond me how people here can have any respect for you when you say things like this.

      “show our contempt for this God damned country”

      “One sees our nation as hallowed ground, while the other see it as a cesspool worthy only of their scorn and derision.”

      If you see contempt in sports teams kneeling in protest of (a) problems that they see in our country and (b) a blowhard president attacking them, then you are delusional. Even burning a flag doesn’t necessarily mean contempt for the country, but that is far from what these people are doing. They are KNEELING at a SPORTING EVENT! Where is your perspective!?

      As for your ridiculous description of the two sides (why only two?), no one here said anything about a cesspool. Acknowledging and calling attention to problems in this country, whether you agree that those problems exist or not, is not the same as declaring it garbage. Hundreds of millions of people complain daily but still live here, after all. I don’t understand how this simplest of nuances can escape you, but at least you aren’t alone.

      “… unless you have been handed a flag that covered the coffin of a family member or friend who served.”

      Spare us your pathetic appeals to emotion. The flag is not the soldier. The flag is not the country. The flag is not goodness. The flag is not God. Any soldier who fights for a patterned cloth instead of for the country or ideal that he believes it symbolizes is an idiot. Fortunately, I’ve never heard of anyone actually doing that. So why is it that you conservatives have such trouble separating the signifier from the signified? Why is it that you can’t wrap your heads around the fact that a symbol can mean many things? Why can’t you understand that people can love their country even when they don’t engage in all of the rituals and symbol-worshipping that inexplicably matter so much to you?

      Take me as an example. When I was in high school, I eventually stopped saying the pledge of allegiance. I didn’t hate the country and I don’t now. I DO hate the expectations of ritual in general and the inevitable apathy that it creates. The vast majority of students who stood and recited the pledge did it merely because it was habit, because it was expected of them, because they thought they might get in trouble otherwise, etc. None of those reasons is patriotic. In fact, there’s nothing really patriotic about saying the pledge every day anyway. As far as I’m concerned, if a “true patriot” recites the pledge sincerely just once or even just believes in it without making a public display, that should be enough. It is a pledge, after all–not some incantation that needs to be recast every day to keep the commies away. A pledge, of course, is not the same as an anthem, but the same reasoning applies.

      What I find truly disrespectful and unpatriotic are the sort of people I described in my first comment, who use patriotism as just another empty means of defining their tribe so as to feel good and exclude their enemies. They are the sort of people who feel no shame for electing a dangerous idiot like Trump, who avoided serving and who actually insulted McCain *for being a POW.* They are often the sort of people most likely to call for a war that would “patriotically” get more Americans killed.

      But yeah, I should care about the kneeling football players and the people who don’t fold the flag just right and the people who don’t want to give the military more and more money. Give me a “freaking” break and get a grip.

      This is the end of my dialogue with you.

  5. No flags were mutilated, but one could be of the impression it was desecrated beyond recognition by a raging gang of BLM terrorists.

    Cons have always loved to mock the delicate feelings of liberals. My, how the worm has turned.

    In a black and white world view, conservative “patriots” love the flag, a symbol, more than they love half of their fellow Americans, and the Constitution, or in other words they love the symbol more than what it represents.

    In a black and white world view, conservative “patriots” honor chickenhawk draft dodgers more than Democrats who served in the military.

    I’m still suspecting we don’t live in their black and white world, although they seem to want to impose it upon us.

    1. One more voice speaks on this issue:

      “I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice”. – Martin Luther King Jr.


  6. “You are the reason I stopped participating here. I absolutely cannot stand you anymore. This particular issue irritates me on many levels, so I decided to vent some anger among the like-minded–and here you are with your nonsense again. It is utterly beyond me how people here can have any respect for you when you say things like this.” ~ Ryan

    Ryan, I am sorry if my having stated my views was the cause of your no longer participating here. I will remedy that after this last comment so that you can vent your anger unimpeded amongst all of your like-minded Leftist fellow-travelers from this time forward. And I am absolutely certain that it is indeed beyond you to have respect for me when I espouse what millions of other Americans feel when this country is denigrated and trashed with such arrogance, derision, and condescension by those “enlightened folks” who seemingly know so much more than us hicks and rubes.

    The attempt at finding common ground and civil debate any longer is evidently nothing more than an illusion.

    As for your contempt at my “appeals to emotion”, I suspect you have never sacrificed for your country or any cause greater than your own self-interests. If you had, perhaps you would understand how offensive this reaction of many NFL players is to those that have lost limbs, seen friends horrifically wounded in combat, or even buried a brother-in-arms. I certainly do not expect you to understand, but I certainly won’t let your asinine accusation stand that my statement was nothing more than a sentimental appeal to emotion in order to make a political point.

    This is the end of my dialogue with you, sir. Respond or not, I do not care as I will no longer be here to read it by being the lone conservative voice on this blog anymore to be savaged by rude and condescending people with anger in their hearts. To the few good folks here that debated civilly and with sincerity, I appreciate your courtesy.

    Sorry, Mr. Deming. You are indeed a friend and I wish you well, but I suspect you will see a lot fewer comments and interactions on your site without me being the only foil for your readers to take measure against. I will continue to keep your Marine in prayers too.

    I truly wonder if he shares my sentiments on this matter?

    1. I kind of like having you here, T. Paine. Partly it’s because you are a friend, and partly because I like the clash of ideas. You are quite good at both.

      Ryan, in the past, has poked at my religious beliefs. I confess I enjoyed that as well.

      I recognize Ryan’s reasons for participating as valid. He wants to vent his anger among like-minded people. Different strokes and all.

      This may get me in trouble with Aunt Tildy: A friend once took a jab, telling me that my internet debate was simply a form of mental masturbation. I told him that I prefer to think of it as intellectual intercourse, thus demonstrating the advantage good memory has over sharp wit.

      I hope both you and Ryan continue to find your way here. I will try to remain an inviting target.

      1. That has not been my usual reason for participating. If I simply wanted that, I could go to all sorts of non-conservative blogs, many of them much more populated (the world simply hasn’t realized your greatness yet), to revel in likes and thumbs up. I ended up here through John Myste and the Heathen Republican, may they rest in peace, and stayed for your writing as well as the exchanges that I had with everyone, including T. Paine to some extent.

        But it has been years. Everyone’s positions and the reasoning behind them are clear and I haven’t noticed any real changes among them over that time. The brief debates that rise up here echo ones I remember from months before, which is unsurprising because there is only one frequent conservative participant. It just so happens that said participant grates on me in a particular way–and not just, as he suspects, because of his religion or conservative positions. (For some minor evidence: I did not feel the same way about the Heathen Republican.) In the era of Trump especially, I find myself angry very often simply from reading the news, then angrier from reading the comments about it, so I don’t benefit from coming here and having fights with someone who casually conflates kneeling during the anthem with having contempt for the country or tosses in snide comments about non-believers, especially in lieu of actually addressing my points. (I don’t like to see that from liberals either, though I confess to being somewhat less inclined to call them out on it for fear of losing all allies.) If I’m going to debate, I want to get more out of it than high blood pressure and a lingering resentment toward half the country.

        But at least this place is blessed by either fortune or good moderation to not be plagued by the many Majormajors of the world.

        1. I miss John and Heathen as well.

          MajorMajor was here for a while. Aunt Tildy warned him not to post spam and deleted a “contribution” consisting only of a link to an unrelated site. Haven’t heard from him since.

  7. I too appreciate hearing Mr. Paine’s views, no matter how far off in Right field they may be. He shares his beliefs in as honest a manner he can, I’m sure. Those views formed by his life experiences, influences and reflections should be aired. And they should be examined. As well we should our own. If we can’t question our own thinking, we can’t capably question appearances, narratives, opinion or authority.

    The frustration and anger arising from clashes of passionately held views is felt by both sides. I speak of experience. I have cast unkind words in anger that were harsh and hurtful. Some of them at Mr. Paine, and some at others. I was reminded that, while emotion can be conveyed quite easily, this was not the best way to communicate information or opinion.

    This is how I see this issue in the simplest terms.

    Patriotism has been pitted against protest.

    Patriotism is in this case one side’s version of patriotism, as represented or even embodied by the national anthem and the flag. This version of patriotism has been pitted against a Constitutional protest over unaccountable killings of Black Americans by bad cops.

    One side views the protest being against the anthem, against the flag, against the military, against all of law enforcement, and even against the entire country.

    The other side sees it as Constitutional protest over unaccountable killings of Black Americans by bad cops.

    There’s the difference of views. This clash of views has produced division, anger, and hate. One person in particular has incited this division, anger and hate.

    Trump. He basks in the “great anger” he stirs. Trump is the man ramping up hate and fueling an ideological civil war among our people.

    This sickness of soul is his curse on America.

    The sooner we understand this, the better.

    1. Except the protesters are the ones who get to define what they’re protesting, whether the protest is justified or not. Conservative attempts to malign their character and intentions by declaring them anti-American rather than merely misguided come from a place of either dishonesty or ignorance. If this simply came down to disagreement over the extent and harm of racism in law enforcement, I would not care nearly as much. It also would make no difference if the situation were reversed, such that these teams were protesting some issue I don’t believe in or don’t find worthwhile. It might annoy me, but it would have nothing to do with “disrespect” of some symbol.

      We should all be wise enough to distinguish symbols from what they symbolize and protest from actual harm, understand that respect and disrespect can be demonstrated in many ways, and recognize that observing patriotic decorum does not make one a patriot and can easily become a part of rather anti-patriotic tribal behavior.

      As for Trump, I agree that he is making things worse, but these problems were around long before he was and they will persist when he is gone.

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