Pro Foot­ball, Na­tional An­them And United Amer­ica

Escalon Times - - PERSPECTIVE - By DR. GLENN MOLLETTE Guest Colum­nist Glenn Mollette is a syn­di­cated colum­nist and au­thor of 12 books. He is read in all 50 states. Visit www.glen­n­mol­ The opin­ions ex­pressed are those of the au­thor and not nec­es­sar­ily those of this pa­per or its

Pro­fes­sional foot­ball fans were treated to some re­lief last Thurs­day even­ing as the Green Bay Pack­ers and the Chicago Bears stood arm in arm for the singing of the Na­tional An­them. Peo­ple in the stands ei­ther did like­wise or put their hands over their hearts. Amer­i­cans felt proud but mostly re­lieved.

Own­ers of the Na­tional Foot­ball League teams em­ploy the play­ers.

Some of the own­ers ob­vi­ously are okay with what­ever the play­ers do dur­ing the na­tional an­them. I won­der how the own­ers would feel if a player de­cides they are sim­ply go­ing to let the other team score in or­der to make a state­ment? What if they de­cide they are go­ing to stand back and watch while the other team kicks the field goal? Or what if they want to wear their own style of uni­form? There are rules and ex­pec­ta­tions by the league and ev­ery team owner. The own­ers need to step up and be own­ers.

The play­ers are be­ing paid and their job starts when they walk into the sta­dium and put on their uni­form. What if a player wants to make a po­lit­i­cal state­ment by sim­ply re­fus­ing to catch a pass? Where does it end? Play­ers work for own­ers. If own­ers don’t care then fans have to de­cide if they don’t care and sup­port the team or move their loy­alty, money and sup­port to an­other team. Fans al­ways have op­tions. Play­ers av­er­age al­most 3 mil­lion a year based on ad­ver­tis­ing and ticket sales.

I to­tally sup­port free­dom of speech. I also sup­port be­ing a good em­ployee. The own­ers and the league have to work this out and the fans have to de­cide who or what they can sup­port. Fans as a whole will de­ter­mine the fu­ture of the game and just how much pol­i­tics they can stand at sport­ing events.

If ath­letes want to go out on the street and yell and scream or get on their knees af­ter the game then let it be. This is where other Amer­i­cans have to protest.

My wife and I went into a restau­rant to eat to­day. We had a peace­ful en­joy­able meal. None of the servers or cooks made any po­lit­i­cal re­marks or po­lit­i­cal ges­tures that I saw.

We went into a large gro­cery store and bought a few gro­ceries. We walked the aisles and bought our food with­out any of the gro­cery store em­ploy­ees mak­ing any po­lit­i­cal speeches or po­lit­i­cal ges­tures. I would never ex­pect to hear or see po­lit­i­cal com­men­tary in a restau­rant or a gro­cery store.

There should be other places where Amer­i­cans can tune the daily cares of life out and think about some­thing else. Sport­ing events should be one of those places where we can en­joy ath­letic com­pe­ti­tion, a hot dog and a fun time with fam­ily and friends. It should be a place where we can come to­gether and for just a brief mo­ment en­joy and cel­e­brate be­ing United Amer­i­cans, even if only for a mo­ment.

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