Boy­cott NFL games

The Times-Tribune - - Editorial -

Edi­tor: The NFL is se­lec­tive in what it de­ter­mines to be free­dom of speech.

As an ex­am­ple, it lim­its how a player, af­ter scor­ing a touch­down, may demon­strate in the end zone be­cause it may anger mem­bers of the op­pos­ing team and cause them to re­tal­i­ate. In­frac­tions can lead to team penal­ties, fines and sus­pen­sion when faced with de­fi­ance.

On the other hand, play­ers re­fus­ing to ren­der proper hon­ors dur­ing the play­ing of our na­tional an­them or the pre­sen­ta­tion of colors are deemed to ex­er­cise their right to free­dom of speech. So, it is OK to anger thou­sands of fans but not mem­bers of the op­pos­ing team?

Free­dom of speech re­strains only the govern­ment. It does not pro­tect in­di­vid­u­als from ac­tions from pri­vate en­ti­ties. The NFL takes the easy way out by not fac­ing up to re­spon­si­bil­ity to its fans. Worse yet, the ac­tions of those kneel­ing or oth­er­wise demon­strat­ing is mis­di­rected.

The flag and the na­tional an­them are not the cause of their dis­tress. It is un­for­tu­nate that in­di­vid­u­als and or­ga­ni­za­tions dis­obey the law and act against the com­mon good, but re­cent his­tory has shown that ac­tivism has only pre­vailed through peace­ful protest di­rected against those in­volved. Those kneel­ing need to take some of their enor­mous salaries and use the money to fund or­ga­ni­za­tions sup­port­ing their point of view or take to the bully pul­pit to air their griev­ances.

Re­cently, the Lack­awanna County Coun­cil of Vet­er­ans called for a boy­cott of NFL games as a peace­ful protest against those who de­mean our colors and na­tional an­them. Let us sup­port their call for a boy­cott and use our bully pul­pit to ex­pand those ef­forts. When our ac­tions af­fect the NFL and club bot­tom lines I ex­pect they will find a so­lu­tion to this and other forms of dis­re­spect to the sym­bols of our na­tion. MOOSIC

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