Stand for the flag, kneel for the Cross

Ripon Bulletin - - Local/state -

Ed­i­tor, Man­teca Bul­letin The Amer­i­can flag is a sym­bol of free­dom and our na­tional an­them is the song of free­dom rec­og­niz­ing those who fought and died for our free­dom. It is proudly sung be­fore cer­e­monies and sport­ing events to bring all Amer­i­cans to­gether re­gard­less of their dif­fer­ences of re­li­gion, race, sta­tus, or po­lit­i­cal view. The sports arena has al­ways been one place all Amer­i­cans were al­lowed to come to­gether to root for their team.

Un­for­tu­nately, the NFL has changed ev­ery­thing by the ig­no­rance of Com­mis­sioner Roger Good­ell when he al­lowed Colin Kaper­nick to protest the Na­tional An­them and the Amer­i­can Flag in 2016 in his protest of “po­lice bru­tal­ity.” He dis­re­spect­fully wore socks sym­bol­iz­ing po­lice as pigs. Good­ell and oth­ers ig­no­rantly call it free speech; but Good­ell said, “No” to the Dal­las Cow­boys who in­quired to wear a sym­bol on their uni­form hon­or­ing po­lice of­fi­cers mur­dered in Dal­las. Good­ell also fined Quar­ter­back Robert Grif­fin III (RG3) for wear­ing non-ap­proved cloth­ing forc­ing RG3 to re­move his “Know Je­sus, Know Peace” shirt and turn it in­side out.

While Good­ell en­forces some rules, he is not en­forc­ing the NFL League Rule book pages A62-63 per­tain­ing to the Na­tional An­them which states, “The Na­tional An­them must be played prior to ev­ery NFL game, and all play­ers must be on the side­line for the Na­tional An­them.” ”Dur­ing the Na­tional An­them, play­ers on the field and bench area should stand at at­ten­tion, face the flag, hold hel­mets in the left hand, and re­frain from talk­ing.” “Fail­ure to be on the field by the start of the Na­tional An­them may re­sult in dis­ci­pline, such as fines, sus­pen­sions, and/or, the for­fei­ture of draft choice(s).

Good­ell is the son of a lib­eral New York Se­na­tor and he ig­nored the NFL Rule book, while al­low­ing play­ers to bring their pol­i­tics to the sta­dium of “racial in­jus­tice.”

This is not about “Free­dom of Speech” since the NFL is a busi­ness. Just as the av­er­age cit­i­zens are not al­lowed to en­gage in po­lit­i­cal protests or po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­ity while work­ing, nei­ther is the NFL. Once a player walks onto the field, he is be­ing paid for his ser­vices.

These play­ers who ex­hort their po­lit­i­cal views in protest at the same time ex­pect­ing to get paid wealthy checks that Amer­ica pro­vided them are hyp­ocrites. If these NFL play­ers feel the need to protest, don’t show up on game day, make your state­ment, and don’t get paid. Then you won’t be hyp­ocrites and you can go find a venue and lead your own move­ment.

Pro­fes­sional ath­letes are sup­posed to be ex­am­ples for the youth of Amer­ica. These NFL play­ers are a dis­grace, ex­cept for some few ex­cep­tions. One ex­cep­tion is Pitts­burg Steel­ers’ Ale­jan­dro Vil­lanueva, who as an ex-Army Ranger broke away from his team to stand solo in recog­ni­tion of flag and coun­try. Af­ter­ward, sales of his jer­sey soared to num­ber one, while his coach crit­i­cized his pa­tri­o­tism.

I have shut off the NFL net­work and I will no longer at­tend any game where a player feels he can make a di­vi­sive po­lit­i­cal state­ment re­gard­less of the sport. I have bet­ter things to do than to watch po­lit­i­cal foot­ball.

The only player that should kneel are those play­ers who meet at mid­field fol­low­ing each foot­ball game to join to­gether, kneel, and pray to Je­sus.

These are the real play­ers. They are the ones that stand for the flag and kneel for the cross.

Frank Aquila Man­teca

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