In the wake of the National Anthem policies set forth by the NFL, fans wonder how it will affect their own team's players and policies.
The issues surrounding the NFL, and our National Anthem are far from resolved. In May, the league made a decision to allow teams to punish players for protesting during “The Star-Spangled Banner”, stating they must respectfully stand, or remain in the locker room until its completion.
The NFLPA then stepped in, filing a grievance regarding the altered NFL policy. Since then, The National Anthem policy has been put on hold altogether until a suitable resolution can be found.
“The NFL and NFLPA, through recent discussions, have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue. In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA’s grievance and on the NFL’s anthem policy. No new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing,” the statement read. “The NFL and NFLPA reflect the great values of America, which are repeatedly demonstrated by the many players doing extraordinary work in communities across our country to promote equality, fairness and justice. Our shared focus will remain on finding a solution to the anthem issue through mutual, good faith commitments, outside of litigation.”
This came following an Associated Press report that the Miami Dolphins policies regarding such protests will be met with disciplinary actions under their “conduct detrimental to the team”. The New York Giants however, have taken an opposing stand, stating their players will not be punished.
Talks will continue and hopefully some semblance of an agreement will happen. But in the meantime, fans around the country now wonder what will happen if indeed their team's players decide to kneel for our nations flag.
While I do not agree with any act that can be construed as disrespectful to our country and to our soldiers, my own feelings are essentially irrelevant. In this great country of ours, the right to disagree is extremely relevant.
Some soldiers take great offense, while others simply shrug it off and allow that their efforts have made the protests possible. That is, afterall, why many of us enlist to begin with. Our flag should mean something to any who live within its reach. With that said, it also means that we have the right to protest.
Will the various front offices throughout the NFL also fine, or suspend players under their own conduct policies? Will they allow protests and kneel alongside their players? Do fans agree, or disagree? As simply as I can put it, yes, no, maybe, likely, absolutely not, and without a doubt. Take your pick.
Perhaps all involved should take notice of the handling of the issue in Cleveland. While the Cleveland Browns players initial protests brought familiar ridicule, their follow-up protest which included joining arms with first-responders was an acceptable, and heartfelt statement.
The origination of the protesting was afterall on the issues of police brutality and racial injustice, so what better way to make a statement than to join arms with those who signify the heart of the issues at hand. Perhaps first-responders and soldiers should play a role in resolving the league-wide debate as well.
The issue of the flag itself rings much larger than any single person, or player. There is no right, or wrong, simply a disagreement of various perspectives. You feel how you feel, and I feel how I feel. Perhaps the only sentiment that is unified, is that we can thank our troops for allowing such debates, protests, and differing feelings to be acceptable.
The debate continues on a league wide scale as well as within individual front offices. Yet for every action, it seems only more questions arise.
Where is the line between respect, disrespect, and freedom?
Does the flag still matter?
Do the issues brought forth in such protests matter?
It all certainly matters, so how do we find balance?
For many, myself included, the politics that have invaded our beloved game of football is truly disheartening. The issues facing our country are urgently important, but as far as football goes, can't we just go back to wondering what a catch is?
I say we leave the politics to the Idjits and Asshats and play some football. If you have a point to prove, don't offer disrespect while doing it. Thank a soldier - They have earned it!
Thank you for reading - Backwoods Unfiltered
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