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De Smith expresses concern over injection of “patriotism” into anthem issue

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 18:  A wax replica of Uncle Sam centers the "Madame Tussauds Wants You!" exhibit where Independence Day is celebrated every day with a brand new interactive experience at Madame Tussauds on July 18, 2016 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Madame Tussauds) Getty Images

When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell finally addressed the Colin Kaepernick situation, Goodell rooted his position in notions of patriotism.

“I support our players when they want to see change in society, and we don’t live in a perfect society,” Goodell said. “On the other hand, we believe very strongly in patriotism in the NFL. I personally believe very strongly in that.”

The strategy suggests that P.R. guru Joe Lockhart finally has gotten a seat at the table, at least on this issue. By coming out strongly in support of patriotism, Goodell’s comments have created a not-so-subtle impression that Kaepernick is behaving in an anti-patriotic way.

“I’m always sensitive to the labels that the league and media want to attach to our players,” NFLA executive director DeMaurice Smith told PFT. “When someone interjects labels like ‘patriotism’ when this issue is discussed, I’m concerned about whether it’s interpreted as a method to portray someone like Colin Kaepernick as unpatriotic. If so, it completely drowns the point that he and players like him are exercising a right protected by the Constitution, which is secured by thousands of men and women who keep us safe and is therefore an affirmation of what this country stands for.”

Regarding the decision of Kaepernick and any other players to not stand for the anthem, Smith said, “The position of the union is pretty clear and at its core pretty simple. We love it when our players understand and embrace issues in their own communities. We applaud that.”

And for good reason. These actions aren’t a rejection of patriotism; they are an exercise in it. The rights we hold dear as American citizens are meaningless if they can’t be exercised, and the behavior of Kaepernick and others has become a shining example that the Constitution is something more than words on paper.

While those rights include the right to disagree publicly with a player’s decision not to stand for the national anthem, equating standing for the anthem to patriotism suggests that anyone who doesn’t isn’t a patriot. Which isn’t a major leap from suggesting he’s a traitor.

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97 Responses to “De Smith expresses concern over injection of “patriotism” into anthem issue”
  1. upper23 says: Sep 9, 2016 10:19 AM

    If someone steals from a grocery store to feed his family. He is still a thief, even if his intentions are good.

  2. trailerparkking says: Sep 9, 2016 10:20 AM

    Patriotism and the national anthem go hand and hand. These two are like an old married couple bickering over everything lol. I will be disappointed if players don’t stand for the anthem on 9/11. I understand they players have the right to kneel, but I have the right to be upset.

  3. clevelandrocksyourface says: Sep 9, 2016 10:22 AM

    D-S is full of B-S. If Kaeperdick was a white guy protesting injustices to Caucasians, there is zero chance he leaps to his defense like this.

  4. PokeSalad says: Sep 9, 2016 10:24 AM

    When these ‘activists’ actually sacrifice something of value for this ’cause,’ like giving away their salary or taking a stroll through South Chicago, let me know.

    Kneeling is just another virtue-signaling version of changing your Facebook background pic. There, I did something……look at me.

  5. bigswifty74 says: Sep 9, 2016 10:24 AM

    So many people scream about “2ND AMENDMENT RIGHTS!!”, but will rip on someone exercising their 1st amendment rights. I think Kap is being very patriotic by exercising his rights. Our servicemen and servicewomen fought for his freedom to choose whether he sits or stands. He sees several acts of injustice in our country, and he’s exercising his RIGHTS to bring attention to it.

  6. elrock7 says: Sep 9, 2016 10:27 AM

    NFLPA couldn’t do better than Smith?

  7. bigjdve says: Sep 9, 2016 10:29 AM

    Or it could be that the NFL is trying to make sure that it let’s the vast majority of it’s fans know that while it accepts the ability to protest, it also doesn’t necessarily agree with them.

    This seems to me to be an attempt to do the “the opinions of these players are not necessarily the opinions of the league” type disclaimer.

  8. fttr2013 says: Sep 9, 2016 10:31 AM

    North Korea recently executed a party official for slouching during a meeting.
    In the USA the media assassinates a football player for kneeling during the national anthem.
    Beware the path you choose…

  9. scrp2 says: Sep 9, 2016 10:33 AM

    Trust me, Goodell is for anything that makes the NFL more interesting. If it’s bringing viewers then he’s going to allow it.

    If a player wears the wrong color socks though… FINES!

  10. mongo3401 says: Sep 9, 2016 10:35 AM

    “Issues in their own community “. Name one NFL player that lives in an area that is considered improvished. Players are going to donate money to various organizations. Fine. Throwing money at a problem does not change the problem. You can go back as far as you want in time but it’s still the same. Change comes from within.

    There is a snow balls chance in hell that the black leaders will ever admit that publicaly and make that the priority. Until then , some will just keep throwing money at organizations that may help some but never delve into the real problem.

  11. rogerserv says: Sep 9, 2016 10:35 AM

    First, there is no constitutional “free speech” right to violate a private employer’s polices. IF the NFL required players to stand for the anthem, they have no legal right to refuse (unless for religious reasons). Second, exercising constitutional rights and patriotism are not the same thing. You have a constitutional right to say “America sucks” (meaning the government can’t punish you), but it is not patriotic to say “America sucks.” No one has an obligation to support or even respect Kaepernick’s expression, and everyone has a right to call him unpatriotic, including his employer.

  12. freedomofspeechyesway says: Sep 9, 2016 10:36 AM

    Part of the problem is that refusing the stand for the national anthem has nothing to do with protesting social inequity. If anything, he should protest social inequity in a way that actually matters AND stand for the anthem, because we live in a country that allows him to protest said social inequity.

    This is a bunch of players who are getting it all wrong. Sitting for the anthem is great, but what’s the endgame?

    “A national conversation” is an empty goal, as words are wind. I don’t know what change these players want because it’s just empty platitudes they mention when discussing their purpose of sitting/kneeling.

    “I’m protesting social inequity” is a hard sell coming from a top 1 percenter who is refusing to stand for the flag that stands for his right to protest in the first place.

    Madness.

  13. pantherpro says: Sep 9, 2016 10:36 AM

    Trump morons!

  14. wiskybuck says: Sep 9, 2016 10:39 AM

    Since when has standing up for your country mean you’re out of touch?

  15. truehoosier62 says: Sep 9, 2016 10:39 AM

    The act of not standing during the national anthem is indeed an unpatriotic act because unlike marching for equal treatment under the law, it is using a moment of national unity to further an agenda that is divisive. Regardless of where you stand on the subject, the national anthem is neither the place nor the time to address your personal grievances.

  16. PFT loves the Steelers says: Sep 9, 2016 10:39 AM

    Yes. How dare someone bring up Patriotism when it comes to our National Anthem. They obviously have nothing to do with each other. Look…Kaepernick picked a terrible way to protest and he’s dealing with the consequences. I don’t feel sorry for the guy and his arrogant attitude (as if people don’t understand the protest…yes, we understand your cause but don’t like that you disrespected our entire nation), and his Castro shirt (talk about hypocrisy) and his piggy socks don’t help make him a sympathetic figure. It also doesn’t help that the majority of folks in America realize that this is far from a one sided issue. This isn’t just about a small handful of bad cops. Why not address the poverty issue or the high violent crime rate? Maybe there’s a reason some cops lose it.

  17. 75rockrasin says: Sep 9, 2016 10:40 AM

    Maybe Kap should read the facts and not listen to his racist BLM activist girlfriend.

    Then maybe he’ll see that exercising his rights are making him look like a fool.

  18. utahgetme2 says: Sep 9, 2016 10:40 AM

    “…equating standing for the anthem to patriotism suggests that anyone who doesn’t isn’t a patriot. Which isn’t a major leap from suggesting he’s a traitor.” Really? Pretty specious argument there. Using that logic, if not standing for our National Anthem is a show of support to correct social injustices, I guess it “isn’t a major leap from suggesting” that those who do stand are against correcting social injustices. Both are equally ridiculous and unnecessarily inflammatory.

  19. ErinAndrewsStopCallingMe says: Sep 9, 2016 10:41 AM

    I’d love to know their end-goal. They say they’ll stand when injustice is solved. Please. Does that mean when there isn’t one wrong in the world, then they’ll stand? They don’t have an end-goal because they’re to uneducated to actually read and know what they are protesting is based on media-manipulated lies. Plus, what action have they each personally done to help solve the so-called ‘injustice’? Nothing, they just complain, and they don’t really serve a purpose to society, they play with a ball for their career for goodness sakes. It’ll be interesting when fights start breaking out in parking lots because of people wearing Kap’s jersey.

  20. mrhoban says: Sep 9, 2016 10:43 AM

    Forest comment on here:

    “If someone steals from a grocery store to feed his family. He is still a thief, even if his intentions are good.”

    I don’t know what’s worse…the completely asinine analogy or that people actually liked it.

    We’re doomed.

  21. FinFan68 says: Sep 9, 2016 10:43 AM

    Showing respect for the flag/standing during the national anthem are singularly about patriotism. Goodell didn’t inject patriotism into the issue, Kaepernick did, the moment he chose that venue to exercise his freedom of speech. He could have held a press conference or gone to the inner city to address the real issues. He could have even used social media. He chose to disrespect the flag, besmirch what it stands for and insult millions of people in the process. That is on him, not on those who have a problem with his choice of expression. The veracity of his claims and the legitimacy of his cause is for another debate. The majority of people against this demonstration are mad at his disrespect and ungratefulness. While some of them also argue his social cause is fraudulent, that is not the focus of the ire.

  22. srg608 says: Sep 9, 2016 10:44 AM

    Well, everyone has their opinion and in this country you are free to exercise your right to express it. Even De Smith, who will take any opportunity to turn any issue into a CBA issue. My opinion, which I also have every right to express, is that it IS, to a certain degree, a patriotism issue. As a society, the ultra politically correct environment that is being fostered by the left is off the rails. Our youth has never had a higher sense of entitlement or been as intolerant of opinions that are “not there own”.

    I question how many citizens truly understand our constitutional rights, or how close we are to those rights being permanently diminished. Is this a perfect country? Absolutely not. Are there problems that need solutions. Of course there are. But those solutions don’t lie in fostering a belief that all cops are bad people. Wearing “Pig” socks is not constructive and flat out wrong. 99% of police officers are good people doing a thankless job. When people who have a public stage are so misguided, I just shake my head and hope that most people can see thru the bull to recognize the real issues and actually do something to help!

  23. jonathankrobinson424 says: Sep 9, 2016 10:45 AM

    ….it’s time to make the players stand in the tunnel while the national anthem is played…..

  24. pftreader69 says: Sep 9, 2016 10:46 AM

    All righty, so on top of disciplinary issues let’s see if this also becomes part of the CBA discussion.

    I don’t know if what the players are doing is patriotic or not. All I can tell you is that if I tried to use my employer as a platform to promote my own personal views in the media, I wouldn’t have a job for very long.

  25. tmsclade says: Sep 9, 2016 10:47 AM

    bigswifty74 says:
    Sep 9, 2016 10:24 AM

    So many people scream about “2ND AMENDMENT RIGHTS!!”, but will rip on someone exercising their 1st amendment rights. I think Kap is being very patriotic by exercising his rights. Our servicemen and servicewomen fought for his freedom to choose whether he sits or stands. He sees several acts of injustice in our country, and he’s exercising his RIGHTS to bring attention to it.

    20 24
    _____________________________

    It is well within Kap’s first amendment rights to act as he has, however I’m not sure that you understand what the first amendment means. All that it states is that Kap cannot be legally arrested for exercising his right to free speech. People are well within their own first amendment rights to express their disapproval of his actions. This isn’t a first amendment issue at all.

  26. dirtycallahan says: Sep 9, 2016 10:50 AM

    Pat Tillman was a hero who left football and died trying to support these clowns right to take a knee.

  27. supra23 says: Sep 9, 2016 10:51 AM

    pftreader69 says:
    Sep 9, 2016 10:46 AM
    All righty, so on top of disciplinary issues let’s see if this also becomes part of the CBA discussion.

    I don’t know if what the players are doing is patriotic or not. All I can tell you is that if I tried to use my employer as a platform to promote my own personal views in the media, I wouldn’t have a job for very long.

    —————-

    Odds are a lot of people can do your job so you aren’t as valuable as an elite athlete. Sorry bud.

  28. factschecker says: Sep 9, 2016 10:52 AM

    What makes a good Patriot?

    Great philosophical debate a person can have with themselves. One could even replace America with their favorite team and replace Patriot with fan?

    Does a good fan think “we are the best no matter what.”? Does a good fan understand that his favorite team has both strengths they can lean on and weaknesses they could improve?
    Does a good fan look at other teams for examples of things they might do better than my own? Or would that be considered being a bad fan?

  29. dreadnok89 says: Sep 9, 2016 10:52 AM

    Lolol this is still going on? Cut the guy if it’s hurting your profits or it bugs you. This is why guaranteed contracts aren’t usually given out. This dude is a bum.

  30. feelingswillbehurt says: Sep 9, 2016 10:52 AM

    Nationality is an accident of birth, like sex or skin color. Nationalism is a type of mental illness. “Patriotism” is a symptom of that illness. National flags are brightly printed scraps of cloth designed to inflame tribal passions and stop rational thought. All the indignant posters on here howling “USA!” over and over prove my point.

  31. rcali says: Sep 9, 2016 10:53 AM

    Ahhh, I miss the old NFL when it’s employees just played the game and left protesting to the liberals.

  32. nagganike says: Sep 9, 2016 10:53 AM

    Social injustice?? Quit voting for people who just use you and really don’t care about you. As joe Biden said”they just wanna keep you all in chains”. How sad he’s talking about his own party. Some day Mr. Marshall will realize that.

  33. dreadnok89 says: Sep 9, 2016 10:53 AM

    So many dummies. If someone is paying you and they don’t condone or like what your doing they can exercise THEIR right and bp7nce you right out the door.

  34. cobrala2 says: Sep 9, 2016 10:55 AM

    There’s a difference between doing something because you have the right to versus doing something because it’s the right thing to do.

    I don’t question Kap’s choice (or right) to protest. Protest is part of what founded our nation, in fact.
    So he is VERY American to me, in that regard. And I question those who bristle at a difference of opinion… both opinions can matter and can make sense at the same time, this doesn’t have to be so all-or-nothing.

    But I do question Kap’s method.
    Being divisive and polarizing for attention’s sake will ALWAYS burn some bridges, which damages the cause, whatever it may be. I think America has tremendous history of fantastic examples of how to promote a cause and unfortunate examples of how to promote a cause and here’s a not-so-subtle hint: those who did not incense the masses accomplished more.
    I think there are superior, alternative methods that bring attention to a cause without offending so many people so quickly as Kap did. Colin is being reckless and insensitive to promote his cause. It’s easy to support him if you support his cause because you have a common denominator with Colin but at the same time this could be done much better.

    Yes, ALL of this brings up arguments in many different ways from many different perspectives.

    Maybe we can try to work on that and re-learn the lost art of respect.

    …I say that to everyone from all perspectives, not just to a particular mindset… myself, included. We demand perfection from each other but rarely reflect personally. I am just as guilty of that as the rest of you.

  35. metalman5150 says: Sep 9, 2016 10:55 AM

    Collins method of showing distaste for social injustices is an affront to everyone else that stands in favor of our anthem.

    To suggest that only people that kneel or sit for the anthem are the only folks that care about social injustices is affront to all citizens of the democracy.

  36. dreadnok89 says: Sep 9, 2016 10:55 AM

    What is this dude even babbling a out anyway? The united states is actually one of the thee least oppressive governments towards blacks. affirmative action proves that.

  37. cardinealsfan20 says: Sep 9, 2016 10:57 AM

    The anthem and flag are about nationalism, not patriotism.

    Patriots stand, or kneel, for each person’s individual worth and rights.

    Nationalists wrap themselves in flags, sing songs, and care nothing about the person standing next to them.

  38. underdog518 says: Sep 9, 2016 11:00 AM

    This is the subject De decides to open his mouth and stand up for one of his constituents over? People love to beef about how much Goodell makes…how much does this clown get paid to allow Goodell and the owners to perpetually dump all over the CBA? He should feel shame for every penny he takes out of a player’s pocket.

    But, yeah, let’s get worked up over whether Goodell implied CK is unpatriotic. Sure. Well done, De.

  39. suncawy says: Sep 9, 2016 11:03 AM

    So, De Smith is concerned about Goodell’s right to free speech insinuating that players like Kap are unpatriotic, but is totally okay with Kap’s right to not stand for the anthem ? Wait, how does this constitutional rights work ? Its okay for Kap, but not Goodell…way to color the lines there Smith.

  40. capekid11 says: Sep 9, 2016 11:05 AM

    I understand they have a position regarding a social issue and do have the right to express it. BUT I don’t understand how they exercise this right in the workplace? I can’t bring my political, religious, or sexual orientation views into work and stage a protest. If they feel this strongly do it on your personal time not on your employers time. I do believe the employer has the right to end personal protests in the workplace. If you can do this then anything goes at any company when a person has an issue (non-work related) they want to promote.

  41. supra23 says: Sep 9, 2016 11:12 AM

    dreadnok89 says:
    Sep 9, 2016 10:55 AM
    What is this dude even babbling a out anyway? The united states is actually one of the thee least oppressive governments towards blacks. affirmative action proves that.

    ———–

    Because its the least oppressive that should be accepted? How about shooting for equality, just a crazy idea.

  42. steveoluvraiders says: Sep 9, 2016 11:12 AM

    @factchecker that is the best analogy I have heard on this topic and it is spot on. Douche’ my friend Douche’.

  43. eaglesfan290 says: Sep 9, 2016 11:12 AM

    Well that’s because his players are about to sit for the National Anthem on the anniversary of 9/11!

    A day that EVERYONE got hit not just whites, cops, firefighter, and everyone else he claims are oppressing him!

    Look most of these Players were hardly old enough to know what was going on that day! But Kappernick should have the respect to understand his protest can wait a week in respect for all the people who gave their lives on 9/11 and every day after to defend the freedom he claims to be representing.

  44. osiris33 (bandwagon since 1976) says: Sep 9, 2016 11:13 AM

    bigswifty74 says:

    So many people scream about “2ND AMENDMENT RIGHTS!!”, but will rip on someone exercising their 1st amendment rights. I think Kap is being very patriotic by exercising his rights. Our servicemen and servicewomen fought for his freedom to choose whether he sits or stands. He sees several acts of injustice in our country, and he’s exercising his RIGHTS to bring attention to it
    ——————————————————————–
    It’s my right to rip on a rich guy with no appreciation of how blessed he is, too.

    And radical leftists are not “patriots.” Kaep is not patriot.

    They hate America.

  45. Tail says: Sep 9, 2016 11:13 AM

    Gag, The season has started and we still have this, might as well watch the Clinton News Network instead of the NFL channel.

  46. painsyndicate says: Sep 9, 2016 11:14 AM

    He is a traitor and a racist. I could care less if he is patriotic or not.

  47. jdthemd says: Sep 9, 2016 11:15 AM

    …These actions aren’t a rejection of patriotism; they are an exercise in it. The rights we hold dear as American citizens are meaningless if they can’t be exercised…

    This sums up the entire argument for me. You and Smith both perfectly articulated how I feel. People are killing Kaep for the very thing they say the flag represents–regardless of whether you feel is message is valid.

    I’m planning to sit during the anthem (can’t kneel in the stands) when I go to the game–to support HIS RIGHT to peacefully protest.

  48. jcc2525 says: Sep 9, 2016 11:18 AM

    Kaepernick’s exact quote was “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

    So, by his own words, he does not meet the definition of “patriotic.” Which is fine — that’s his constitutional right. But it’s utterly absurd to try and spin this into “Look how patriotic Kaep is for protesting this way…”

  49. hokies4life says: Sep 9, 2016 11:18 AM

    Colin’s actions Brought more attention to the state sponsored executions by police. I hate the mentalities of people that allows this nation to slowly glamour its citizens into believing that most of our police depts aren’t rooted in systemic racism that not only kills unarmed people of color. And they dare try to make you feel unpatriotic if you question and oppose this structure.. The flag represents freedom from tyranny.. Even if a source of that tyranny is its own police..

  50. deneb1973 says: Sep 9, 2016 11:22 AM

    If the NFLPA endorses the intentional disrespecting of the millions of Americans who fought for the very free speech that is being abused PUBLISH A LIST OF ALL PUBLIC ENDORSEMENT CONTRACTS THE PLAYERS HAVE SIGNED. Such a list is by its very nature not protected – it’s public sponsorship! Let the fans decide if the sponsors want to be associated with Kaepernick, Marshall and others who do not respect the flag.

  51. RegisHawk says: Sep 9, 2016 11:22 AM

    DeSmith’s job is to defend the players, right or wrong. Whatever stance he takes has nothing to do with what should be, just what will protect the player.

  52. willt73 says: Sep 9, 2016 11:22 AM

    Here is why this whole not standing thing is working. We aren’t talking about the problems or social injustices, rather we are talking about the folks who are not standing.

    So stand or don’t stand, either way it isn’t going to do anything in regards to generating meaningful and truthful discussions.

  53. stexan says: Sep 9, 2016 11:24 AM

    People who think Kaepernick is Un-American have no clue. The man cares for this country – it is HIS country as well as yours, you know. He’s willing to stand up for an unpopular cause, donate huge amounts of his own money, risk his career – and possibly even violence – because he cares.

    Others risk nothing, just point and scream because he exposes some unpleasant truths about their country.

    So who’s the patriot?

  54. jdthemd says: Sep 9, 2016 11:26 AM

    @capekid11 :
    “BUT I don’t understand how they exercise this right in the workplace?

    Does your workplace have a rule that you have to stand every time the national anthem is played?

    No? Neither does Kaepernick’s.

    Those of you saying “so-and-so died for his right to kneel” sound like you want to make their dying in vain.

    BTW, I would like all of you “patriots”to do some research on the inspiration behind the slave-holding Francis Scott Key’s writing of the anthem and get back to me.

  55. iamkillerfin says: Sep 9, 2016 11:26 AM

    QUIT SHOWING THESE IDIOTS SITTING AT THE NATIONAL ANTHEM & THEY WILL QUIT DOING IT!!! JUST LIKE THE IDIOTS THAT RUN OUT ON THE FIELD DON’T SHOW IT & IT WILL GO AWAY!!! These guys get paid millions of dollars to play & disrespect America is disgusting!!!

  56. harshedmellow says: Sep 9, 2016 11:34 AM

    “The rights we hold dear as American citizens are meaningless if they can’t be exercised”

    Oh, good. So we can stop trying to infringe the 2nd, then. Finally!

  57. granadafan says: Sep 9, 2016 11:34 AM

    painsyndicate says:
    Sep 9, 2016 11:14 AM
    He is a traitor and a racist. I could care less if he is patriotic or not.
    =============================================

    The GOP presidential candidate is a traitor for inviting a foreign power to hack his political opponent and party.

  58. In Teddy We Trust says: Sep 9, 2016 11:34 AM

    Exercising your rights does not make you a patriot. You have the right to say you hate your country and burn the flag, but that isn’t patriotic. I don’t see how anyone could interpret sitting or kneeling for the national anthem as a patriotic act.

  59. Bob says: Sep 9, 2016 11:41 AM

    These kneeldowns have the feel of a “hey, look at me” gesture. Funny how Kaepernick suddenly found his social conscience right when he was on the verge of being cut. I notice he has no problem taking multi-millions from a franchise in the NFL, which is as establishment as you get.

  60. celticsforever says: Sep 9, 2016 11:42 AM

    Question: when watching a game at home on tv (ANY game – baseball, soccer, hockey etc) do you get off your couch and stand for the national anthem(s) ?
    Thumbs up = yes Thumbs down = no

    I’m sure (and I’m one of them) there are a lot of people that don’t. It doesn’t make you “less patriotic”. But it also is not an issue because there are no cameras around.

  61. willt73 says: Sep 9, 2016 11:42 AM

    And November is going to be really interesting if this not standing movement is still happening (Salute to Service).

  62. mrphelps01 says: Sep 9, 2016 11:43 AM

    WHEN WILL PEOPLE GET THIS?? The 1st amendment regarding free speech only applies to the government suppressing your right to express your opinions. It does not apply to employees of private companies. Try tweeting publicly that your boss is an a$$ hole and see how fast you can legally be fired. I’m not taking a stand on Kaepernik or others. But why are people so uneducated and ill informed on the issue of free speech?

  63. getyourownname says: Sep 9, 2016 11:43 AM

    Actually, if you bother to read about the history of playing the national anthem at sporting events, it IS all about patriotism.

    Now, you can disagree about what you think patriotism should mean or how one should express it. And to my knowledge no one is saying Kaepernick should not be allowed generally to express his opinions about social concerns free form government control as provided under the First Amendment. But it is attempting to alter history to claim that playing the anthem is not about patriotism to the country and its ideals.

    Of course Kaep’s claim that the US flag and confederate flag stand/stood for the same thing is just uneducated and silly. I don’t think any thoughtful person would claim the country has consistently achieved all the ideals behind the US flag. But that’s totally different from claiming that those ideals are no different than those represented by the confederate flag.

  64. djstat says: Sep 9, 2016 11:47 AM

    It is unpatriotic. At this point the issue that they are protesting is lost and it has more to do with their “rights”. No one has ever questioned if Kapernick has the right to kneel. Most do not agree with it.

    I caution Doug Baldwin and his Seahawks teammates to think twice about making a spectacle on 9/11. The outcry against them could be bad.

    Its time for people to stop being only concerned with police issues and focus on the high crime rate in general. 500 murders alone in Chicago. Over 200 in Baltimore. And most crimes are white on white or black on black. Where are your protests for that??

  65. dstep24 says: Sep 9, 2016 11:52 AM

    Kaepernick can do whatever he wants. That’s what’s so funny about this. The focus has been put on whether or not he did the right thing by not standing.

    What people should really ask is “what good is it doing for him to sit?” The answer is simple. It’s doing good for his jersey sales. It’s doing absolutely nothing to improve social injustice in the country.

    Kaepernick has smartly taking advantage of a hypersensitive society, and a drama-driven media, to draw the cameras back toward himself, at a time when his star has all but completely faded.

    Think about how terrible San Francisco would have looked if they would’ve cut him after that. It would’ve looked like they did it because of this, and then he could essentially rally a slew of critics to his defense, and remove the attention from the fact that he has played terribly on the football field.

    I actually applaud his intelligence with how this has all gone down. This of course does not change the fact that it has been 100% self-serving. Which means he’s still a complete douche.

  66. electricnostalgia says: Sep 9, 2016 11:58 AM

    For the most part, the only people mad about this are close minded, racist, white dudes. I find it hilariously hypocritical and sad that these same people are fans of teams with large numbers of African Americans, only to let their true racist colors show the minute one of them “gets out of line” and doesn’t stand for the National Anthem. This isn’t about disrepect… this is about addressing the litany of issues facing our country today and wanting better… even with the incredible backlash they are receiving. There is nothing more patriotic!

  67. thegreatjimbrown says: Sep 9, 2016 11:58 AM

    “When these ‘activists’ actually sacrifice something of value for this ’cause,’ like giving away their salary or taking a stroll through South Chicago, let me know.”

    Kaepernick is donating one million dollars to a local group. You said you wanted to know.

  68. mack2x says: Sep 9, 2016 12:01 PM

    steveoluvraiders says:
    @factchecker that is the best analogy I have heard on this topic and it is spot on. Douche’ my friend Douche’.

    –I think you meant “Touche”, NO?

  69. ldag4 says: Sep 9, 2016 12:08 PM

    Wow, you can certainly tell a posters race by their comments, I say black lives don’t matter any more than yellow, red, brown or white lives. Violent protests that destroy or ruin others property should not be tolerated. peaceful protests should be the method used. Even though I don”t agree with Kap’s so called protest, I ACCEPT HIS RIGHT TO DO SO. I still think the POS should be cut & run out of the league.

  70. truthdispensary says: Sep 9, 2016 12:11 PM

    And 99% of the rest of America disagrees with the players & Player’s Association in this issue. Truth is they shouldn’t be allowed to play. This is Conduct Detrimental to the League & anyone that refuses to stand in honor of the Flag of the U.S. should be put on the Commissioner’s Exempt List.

  71. mack2x says: Sep 9, 2016 12:12 PM

    electricnostalgia says:
    For the most part, the only people mad about this are close minded, racist, white dudes. I find it hilariously hypocritical and sad that these same people are fans of teams with large numbers of African Americans, only to let their true racist colors show the minute one of them “gets out of line” and doesn’t stand for the National Anthem. This isn’t about disrepect… this is about addressing the litany of issues facing our country today and wanting better… even with the incredible backlash they are receiving. There is nothing more patriotic!

    — I find it hilariously hypocritical that someone can complain about racists in a totally racist rant.

  72. skinsdiehard says: Sep 9, 2016 12:13 PM

    upper23 says:
    Sep 9, 2016 10:19 AM
    If someone steals from a grocery store to feed his family. He is still a thief, even if his intentions are good.
    ———————————————————————
    Theoretically, yes. But don’t forget the double standard. But the perception often changes depending on the race of that perpetrator. It’s actually sad that it does.

    When a white teenager steals an automobile, he is forgiven as just doing for a joy ride. Boys are being boys. When a black teenager does it, he is a menace and should be locked up forever. The black kid cannot make a mistake and will be a charged as an adult. Double standard.

  73. skinsdiehard says: Sep 9, 2016 12:18 PM

    What about people who burn the flag? By not standing for the anthem, Kap is not demonstrating that he wants to dishonor the flag. It’s a symbolic gesture. He wants to show people that he wants police departments to stand up and discipline police officers who act contrary to guidelines, such as shooting unarmed people. But since police departments around the country rather lie and come up with bogus excuses for shooting unarmed people, they have lost the public trust of Black people.

  74. bigmark67 says: Sep 9, 2016 12:19 PM

    Kaepernick is being an ass. His “protest” does nothing to solve this “oppression” he speaks of. In this country you oppress yourself with choices you make, actions you take or don’t take and the you think. If he wanted to make a difference, use some of his money to start a program in the inner cities to educate people on how to respond when approached by the police, Chris Rock has a educational video on this very subject on U-Tube. When you are raised from a young age believing that the police are out to kill you only because the color of your skin, when you do not educate yourself in a society with free education, when you make other bad life choices like fathering or having multiple out of wedlock children with multiple partners, doing petty crimes etc.. you have oppressed yourself. In this country anyone who works hard, makes good decisions and puts forth an effort can be successful. There are many examples of this from all backgrounds, races etc… Life is not like a microwave, instant gratification in seconds. Stop blaming someone else for how your life is and do something about your life.

  75. skinsdiehard says: Sep 9, 2016 12:20 PM

    Let me get this straight…..Kap is a POS for doing a peaceful protest but the cops that have shot unarmed people are NOT POS?? Hmmmm. That makes no sense.

  76. samskiss says: Sep 9, 2016 12:22 PM

    I wish to exercise my 4th amendment constitutional right to have my emails, text messages, and phone conversations declared private and not kept by our creepy federal controllers in NSA data centers.

    I wish to exercise my 2nd amendment right to bear arms to protect me and my family from criminal individuals, but I live in Washington D.C. and travel to Chicago.

    I wish to exercise my 1st amendment right to speak freely, but if I say something that isn’t PC enough for Florio, he selectively will delete comments that I consider appropriate and relevant. Which I believe is an FCC violation, but probably is enforced only when it pertains to people who have libertarian/conservative views not in line with the GE/NBC agenda.

  77. skinsdiehard says: Sep 9, 2016 12:29 PM

    truthdispensary says:
    Sep 9, 2016 12:11 PM
    And 99% of the rest of America disagrees with the players & Player’s Association in this issue. Truth is they shouldn’t be allowed to play. This is Conduct Detrimental to the League & anyone that refuses to stand in honor of the Flag of the U.S. should be put on the Commissioner’s Exempt List.
    ——————————————————————-
    And what about conduct detrimental to Black people when cops shoot unarmed men and boys? The problem is the response from police authorities. They refuse to reprimand, terminate or imprison cops that do this. If they showed any guts, then Black people would trust that they are performing their duties without prejudice or discrimination. There are too many examples and reports that they are not doing that.

  78. trailerparkking says: Sep 9, 2016 12:31 PM

    Let me get this straight…..Kap is a POS for doing a peaceful protest but the cops that have shot unarmed people are NOT POS?? Hmmmm. That makes no sense.
    ________
    These aren’t mutually exclusive. I happen to believe that police corruption is a huge problem in America, I also happen to believe that every American citizen should honor our country on 9/11. Everyone was affected by that tragedy, Black, white, brown, yellow, civilians, servicemen, police….everyone. It’s about respecting something bigger than yourself and paying homage.

  79. dansardo says: Sep 9, 2016 12:36 PM

    Excising the freedom this country affords you is not being patriotic. Just because you live in a country that gives you freedom to do something doesn’t mean you should. The issue Kap is protesting is legitimate but just because he has the freedom to make the point by doing something disrespectful towards the flag and country to make it doesn’t make him “patriotic” it makes him disrespectful and takes attention away from the point he is trying to make.

    Rodger the dodger is a tool but he is trying to insulate the nfl against the reaction that most Americans have towards what Kap did and that bonehead Marshall did last night. Kap has the right to do what he did and his right should not be interfered with by anyone, but he did more harm than good in dealing with a serious issue of social injustice.

  80. whatevnfl says: Sep 9, 2016 12:36 PM

    I don’t like what Kap is doing, but I dislike Roger Goodell even more, no matter what comes out of his mouth. None of it is ever genuine anyways.

  81. Kyle says: Sep 9, 2016 12:48 PM

    In our culture one aspect of patriotism is conveyed by standing respectfully during the national anthem. Any player certainly has the freedom to not stand, but using that freedom is going to convey a lack of patriotism to the majority of viewers.

  82. excusemewhileiwhipthisoutagain says: Sep 9, 2016 12:50 PM

    The rights we hold dear as American citizens are meaningless if they can’t be exercised, and the behavior of Kaepernick and others has become a shining example that the Constitution is something more than words on paper.

    While those rights include the right to disagree publicly with a player’s decision not to stand for the national anthem, equating standing for the anthem to patriotism suggests that anyone who doesn’t isn’t a patriot. Which isn’t a major leap from suggesting he’s a traitor.
    __________________________

    Rubbish.

    Constitutional Rights are not guaranteed in the workplace. Most lawyers understand that.

    And Kap and the other clowns can exercise their rights outside of the workplace.

  83. ktex says: Sep 9, 2016 12:57 PM

    What many of us dislike is him using the NFL as a pulpit for his personal agenda, it’s football not politics. The Commissioner needs to step up and put a stop to this before it is all over our games, as he says “protect the shield and the integrity of the game”…better yet maybe Jed York will just cut him and that will be the end of it.

  84. pftreader69 says: Sep 9, 2016 1:13 PM

    supra23 says:
    Sep 9, 2016 10:51 AM

    Odds are a lot of people can do your job so you aren’t as valuable as an elite athlete. Sorry bud.

    _________

    I’ve been working long enough to know everyone is replaceable, bud. Everyone.

    Owners will tolerate Kaepernick for a while because he’s too expensive to jettison, and they’re now in the middle of a media frenzy. After this season when they can blame football performance, we’ll see if his elite-ness trumps his baggage.

  85. NoHomeTeam says: Sep 9, 2016 1:19 PM

    And for good reason. These actions aren’t a rejection of patriotism; they are an exercise in it. The rights we hold dear as American citizens are meaningless if they can’t be exercised, and the behavior of Kaepernick and others has become a shining example that the Constitution is something more than words on paper.

    This.
    1,000 times THIS.

  86. davexucc says: Sep 9, 2016 1:28 PM

    And not a single one of these people kneeling are donating any of the millions they make to a charity cause to make a difference.

    Put your money where your mouth is.

  87. duffelbagsports says: Sep 9, 2016 2:00 PM

    So as a black man I’m going to protest social inequality the way those keeping me down think is right. In that event South Africa would still be ruled by apartheid

  88. finfansince68 says: Sep 9, 2016 2:13 PM

    History Lesson on Flags & Slavery :

    Under the “Star & Stripes” of the Republic –
    slavery existed from 1776 to 1861….

    Under the the “Stars & Bars” of the Confederacy –
    slavery lasted only from 1861 to 1865….

    Now which one do you find more offensive?

  89. purpleguy says: Sep 9, 2016 2:14 PM

    Very well put on the patriotism angle rogerserv.

  90. cmstrick says: Sep 9, 2016 2:26 PM

    Patriotism and Nationalism are two different beasts. Nationalism is believing your country can do no wrong. Patriotism is believing in what your country stands for.

    While I don’t agree with his methods, Kaep is doing something to bring more awareness to what he sees as a problem. Not only is he right to do so, I’d argue he’s more “patriotic” than those who are laughably calling for him to find another country if he doesn’t like this one.

    He DOES like this one, else he wouldn’t care enough to protest.

  91. mack2x says: Sep 9, 2016 2:46 PM

    duffelbagsports says:
    So as a black man I’m going to protest social inequality the way those keeping me down think is right. In that event South Africa would still be ruled by apartheid

    — Who would that be and how are they keeping you down?

  92. rcali says: Sep 9, 2016 3:44 PM

    finfansince68 Brings up a very good point about the flags. Let me add, at what point does everybody think the current flag will come under pressure to be changed? Current version been around for a long time now and there are those that feel very “oppressed” during it’s existence. Heck, some go around as it is waiving other countries flags! Have to wonder if this will be our next civil war.

  93. ilovefoolsball says: Sep 9, 2016 3:46 PM

    The same people who seem to “express concerrrrn” over “injection of patriotism” usually have no problem with injecting race into any issue.

  94. jbraider says: Sep 9, 2016 3:51 PM

    mrphelps01 says:
    Sep 9, 2016 11:43 AM

    But why are people so uneducated and ill informed on the issue of free speech?
    _____________________________
    Because the first step in getting a free people to relinquish their rights is to deprive them of a basic understanding of their rights.

    It’s called the liberal agenda

  95. rcali says: Sep 9, 2016 4:03 PM

    After what happened at the Wisconsin State Fair, sounds like they need to use that money to hire some security. Bet most of you didn’t hear about that one.

  96. jdphx says: Sep 9, 2016 4:18 PM

    Buh-Bye endorsement money….Hahahahaha!!!!

  97. mrba4775 says: Sep 10, 2016 7:33 AM

    Kaep is protesting against minorities being oppresss in this country and Veterans being neglected. Kaeps protest has nothing to do with being anti patriotic. The media once again taking the focus off the REAL issue onto something entirely different.

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