Stand for the flag, kneel for the Cross
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