Why I Support the NFL’s Right to Ban Kneeling

by Evil HR Lady on May 26, 2018

Two things you should know about me before you read this.

1. I absolutely believe in free speech. The government should never, ever punish anyone for voicing their opinion. You should be able to say whatever you want–even if it’s absolutely horrible–without fear of government reprisal. I will support you 100 percent in your quest to make a speech, hold a march, or even burn a flag.

2. I don’t care one whit about football and the NFL. I find government subsidies of football stadiums to be a horrendous thing and would never, ever vote in favor of such a subsidy. I find the NFL’s treatment of cheerleaders to border on criminal, and I don’t think they do enough to prevent brain injury. Would I say I have a positive view of the NFL? Absolutely not.

That out of the way, I support the NFL in their rule banning kneeling on the field during the National Anthem. Why? Because the players are at work.

To keep reading, click here: Why I Support the NFL’s Right to Ban Kneeling

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous May 26, 2018 at 1:11 pm

Racist. Unsubscribing.

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Goober May 28, 2018 at 7:47 am

Aw, now Parker, we all know you’ll be back tomorrow, imparting more of your timeless wisdom, without which we would all wander, lost in the eternal darkness of our ignorance.

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Parker May 26, 2018 at 1:20 pm

You are absolutely on target here. The “employer” has the right to tell the “employee” what they need to do the perform the job they are being paid for. As you stated and has been clear, it is what the “customer” of NFL football wants. The employers’ right to enforce this rule is backed up by this customer :demand.”

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Ponderance June 5, 2018 at 4:35 am

Except that in some states, the employer can’t remove the employees right to speak. Nj, N.Y., California, and at least 18 other states offer the players the right to kneel in their state constitution.

It’s not about what you think is right, it is about what are the players legal rights. And depending on what state they are in, rights vary.

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Ponderance June 5, 2018 at 4:35 am

Except that in some states, the employer can’t remove the employees right to speak. Nj, N.Y., California, and at least 18 other states offer the players the right to kneel in their state constitution.

It’s not about what you think is right, it is about what are the players legal rights. And depending on what state they are in, rights vary.

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Mr Cynical and Contemptuous May 26, 2018 at 2:19 pm

I can only hope that the kneeling issue “brings to its knees” the football cartel, with its massive tax-subsidies for wealthy owners, corruption of academics (O Evil HR Lady, please contrast how real “football”, soccer, is financed and attracts players in Europe without any universities), concussions, criminality, exploitation of cheerleaders, etc.

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Craig May 26, 2018 at 3:45 pm

I agree with your analysis as the correct response in a vacuum, however I think it is ignoring the broader context.

1. The NFL waited until it became a controversy to react.
2. By the time they reacted, the government in the form of Trump, had demanded this action.
3. (predominately) White NFL owners are enforcing this on (predominately) black NFL players.
4. The NFL clearly implemented this policy as an enforcement of standing is the “respectful” thing.

I think these issues change the context. The NFL clearly has the RIGHT to implement this policy. However, it is sad that they chose this path and brings up serious questions about the role of the US government (in the form of the president) in private enterprise.

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Goober May 28, 2018 at 7:40 am

Yeah, they made a bad call initially. Now they’re trying to correct it, and the same people are complaining about them doing what the complainers say they should have done in the first place.

But when talking about a legally sanctioned monopoly (and both NFL and MLB are), the role of the government is always complicated, but necessary.

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Cheryl May 26, 2018 at 5:05 pm

So, if my boss demands I stand & salute the flag, sing the National Anthem, voice my support of the current president, donate to a PAC I totally disagree with, & watch Fox News that is going on during the entire workday; I am required to do so if I am on the clock. The reason given is that some of our clients are political conservatives & if I don’t demonstrate support of their political beliefs, we might lose them. The NFL was losing viewership at a rapid rate before anyone kneeled. Must be nice to live in another Country & not have to worry about racism, police brutality, etc.

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Dawn May 27, 2018 at 3:53 am

They cannot require you to give money because that would be reducing your wages.

As for me, I am in a workplace that is predominately liberal and I have to keep my mouth shut about my conservative views (for the most part).

It would be nice if we could have calm, civil discourse about ideas and issues without people starting to fling “racist” and other labels.

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Jamie May 28, 2018 at 6:22 am

Hmm, if your boss did those things you probably live in another country altogether. Compelling speech and what you do with your pay, and telling you what to watch isn’t legal over here, last I checked. And I bet your conservative clients don’t want you to echo their views, so much as they don’t want you spitting on theirs (which you seem inclined to do).

On the other hand, I did once work for a liberal newsroom, and all they ever had on was CNN. Unfair! Racist! Right? Right?

And I’m sorry, but if you think a bunch of millionaires having to follow pre-existing work rules is racist, then the word has no meaning whatsoever. We’re already at the point where we can’t tell if the accusation means someone is actually racist, or if they merely disagreed with a liberal. You and people like you, who mindlessly fling the word around, are precisely the reason why. #itsonyou.

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Becky Mcintyre May 26, 2018 at 5:50 pm

I totally agree with you. They are employees. While they are doing their job, they need to follow the guidelines set out by the employer as long as those rules are not discriminatory. I don’t care what race they are. That doesn’t make any difference, nor does it make me racist. If they don’t like the rules, work for someone else.

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Foiledbypigeon June 5, 2018 at 4:42 am

Huh. The NFL takes money to promote ‘patriotism’ -but does not pay the players to do so. The anthum is dine outside of the players work hours, Thus the employer cannot direct the players performance or limit their 1st amendment rights.

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Phil May 26, 2018 at 10:41 pm

While the stadium may be a workplace and the players employees there is a qualitative difference between this and an office. First, a couple of million people are not watching you in the office. And you aren’t being interviewed by reporters. This gives them a platform from which to express their opinion. And as far as I’m concerned ALL players should take a knee at the first game of the season.

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Jamie May 28, 2018 at 6:39 am

The distinction is not there, regardless of how many people are watching. It makes no difference. If anything, the “millions of viewers” makes their self-inflicted problem worse, because they deliberately opted to annoy half the country when they had the option of not doing so. If your business relies on national goodwill, then purposely creating bad will with political messages is bad business.

The NFL already had rules about standing/kneeling for the anthem, but they chose only to enforce them when players wanted to honor 9/11 victims, or to honor the cops shot in Dallas as a result of hateful rhetoric. They didn’t enforce those rules for players who are anti-cop; who portrayed policemen as pigs. Ergo, rational people could justifiably conclude the NFL was taking sides. Hence the loss of ratings. And no, the NFL doesn’t get to hide behind the idea that it’s racist to support cops: plenty of blacks, Latinos, and Asians are cops, too, and white cops are not of the devil.

You speak of a platform — yes, indeed, the players have one that they can exercise on their own time. Nothing compels them to be disruptive at work. You honestly think that a random NFL player couldn’t get an interview when he wants one? On his off hours? When he isn’t working? Not remotely true. The average office worker can’t make that claim.

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BethRA May 28, 2018 at 3:18 pm

Oh, I support and respect their RIGHT to ban kneeling – I just have less than zero respect for them or the manufactured patriotism they’re trying to sell (businessinsider dot com/the-pentagon-pays-the-nfl-millions-to-honor-veterans-at-games-2015-5) and have not forgotten their utter lack of concern (and their “cutomers” lack of concern) when Tim Tebow took a knee to protest abortion.

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Semi-evil Tech Manager May 28, 2018 at 3:38 pm

Last I checked, nobody is compelled to watch the NFL nor are any of those players forced into playing or working for them. People (on both sides) just need a reason to b*tch about everything. As someone else stated, they can “protest” on their own time which they should have every right to do. However, free speech and freedom of association cuts both ways. The right to free speech says you can’t be *prosecuted* for voicing your beliefs/views. It doesn’t protect you from being *persecuted* for them. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. It’s a workplace regardless of the public nature of it. If I did something to alienate customers regardless of the political/social/religious bent, I would expect my employers to take action. Don’t make it any more complicated than that.

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grannybunny May 29, 2018 at 4:38 pm

I absolutely disagree that the protests were — in any way — disruptive. They were quiet, dignified — what’s actions is possibly more reverent than kneeling? — and done during a part of the game (the National Anthem) normally not even shown on the Nation-wide telecasts. Once the President successfully mischaracterized the protests as intended to disrespect the Flag — as opposed to protesting racial inequality — the Dallas Cowboys (my city’s team) came up with the elegant solution of kneeling PRIOR to the Anthem, then standing during the Anthem, all the while linking arms in solidarity. I sincerely hope more teams do that now. Clearly, the League has the right to institute this rule, but — by doing so — they are kowtowing to political pressure and placing themselves on the wrong side of history.

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Tech Manager May 29, 2018 at 11:42 pm

The NFL stadiums are often funded by tax dollars. The NFL is a monopoly that does not allow always allow the workers to choose which team will employ them. The NFL can require its employees to be present during whatever political or religious opening they want. But the NFL should not be able to force its players to promote or support those actions of belief that the players do not believe in.

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Shannon May 31, 2018 at 10:20 pm

You might want to review your labour relations learnings, before making these posts. Firstly, the anthem time isn’t covered under their “hours of work”. Secondly, until this arbitrary rule was introduced, there was nothing that compelled players to stand for the anthem. Thirdly, as it’s not part of their collective bargaining agreement, it’s possibly not enforceable.

Also, many states in which these teams are located have first amendment protections, even in the workplace.

Lastly, bowing to ultra conservative whackjobs, even those in the White House, whilst attempting to remove constitutional rights from citizens seems very anti-American to me – but then again, what I learned about the US was learned before you all started to go right stupid. Or is that stupid right?

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Dr .Loden Rogers June 11, 2018 at 9:35 pm

Aw, now Parker, we all know you’ll be back tomorrow, imparting more of your timeless wisdom, without which we would all wander, lost in the eternal darkness of our ignorance.thanks

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