John Harbaugh: Our players respect the flag and what it represents

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At a press conference following the NFL’s announcement of its new national anthem policy, several team owners took the podium to say that part of the reason for the adoption of the policy is to put focus back on football.

As evidenced by the reaction to the announcement, that’s going to take some time as players, coaches and others associated with the league are going to be asked their thoughts on it many times in the months before tallies of which players chose to remain in the locker room become part of Sunday afternoons. Ravens coach John Harbaugh shared some of his thoughts on the matter in a statement on Thursday.

“I believe in standing for the flag. To me, the flag represents the ideas and the ideals that make us America. I also believe in the freedoms the flag represents and that people can speak for themselves. I know this: Our players respect the flag and what it represents. And, we’re all proud at the Ravens of the work they do to make this community and country better.”

While it’s a brief statement, Harbaugh covers a lot of ground and different people will interpret the messages it contains through their own feelings on the matter. What it doesn’t do is lay out any Ravens-specific policy moving forward.

That will likely be left to team owner Steve Bisciotti and it’s sure to be one of the first questions he faces when he’s next in front of reporters. Harbaugh and Ravens players will have their first media session of OTAs later on Thursday.

23 responses to “John Harbaugh: Our players respect the flag and what it represents

  1. “”different people will interpret the messages it contains
    through their own feelings on the matter””

    This comment applies to MUCH of what ails our country right now.

  2. Exactly! What our flag represents. Our country is a country of immigrants who protested and rebelled against what they felt was wrong. Peaceful protest is a right we all have.

    No one has the right to dictate – important word there – what behavior is or isn’t acceptably “patriotic”. Going down that road gives us McCarthyism and other forms of fascism.

    We are all free, and that means we aren’t going to always agree with everyone else. Accepting that is important. We shouldn’t be obsessed with what divides us, but rather we should try to find common ground.

  3. To the “Banning Kneeling Infringes on My Constitutional Rights” crowd like Eric Reid…Explain to me the following.

    How is it not infringing on the 1st amendment when the NFL put in place the policy that players cannot Tweet, use social media or their phones during games?

    …where’s the uproar?

  4. Funny how respecting the flag is more important than respecting the Constitution. One is a symbol, the other is the rule of law. Guess which one this President, and the NFL owners, care about more?

  5. That statement implies that the flag represents exactly the same thing to every citizen in this country. 200+ years of US History makes a persuasive argument to the contrary.

  6. Our country is a country of immigrants who protested and rebelled against what they felt was wrong.

    It is a two way door. If you don’t like the rules move to Venezuela or some other place. No more SJW activity which is tantamount to treason.

  7. I have worked and paid taxes my while life but to drive by a neighborhood of people who ABUSE our system,work for cash, and then have the Gaul of flying another Country’s Flag outside their home is the biggest insult I have ever seen. It has become the normal thing, we used to get the best and brightest of other Countries people. The fact there is abuse to some people shows me the frustration level in law Enforcement, it also seem to happen much more frequently in Southern cities, but does happen up here too, and needs to stop. The protests have worked, but it is time to stop as we say, we get it..

  8. -@AFWHIGS: I agree about finding common ground; the political landscape has become similar to an ugly football rivalry where the two sides root for their respective teams blindly while fighting each other.

    I also agree, in principle, that we all have a right to peaceful protest. The kneeling/anthem debate is not truly about free speech though. Nobody is suggesting in any way that Kaep or any player who has participated be prosecuted or silenced. They can say whatever they want or sit/kneel/do handstands etc for the anthem if they want; the flip side to that coin is their employer has a right to terminate their contract if they feel it is detrimental to the team. This would be a non-story if some average Joe who works for some retail store or corporate office decided to protest in full view of all of that businesses’ clients. Some clients may agree, some may disagree and prefer not to continue their business relationship because of it. Those employees would be fired in a heartbeat and nobody would even debate it…I realize the NFL players have a union, but that does not make a huge difference. The principle remains the same.

    I personally do not agree with the protesters; Many of them (Kaep being the worst offender) are protesting based on half truths/propaganda but that’s their business. I am not going to say whether they are or are nor patriotic, but they are arrogant, entitled and, more often than not, completely out of touch with reality. You mentioned in your post nobody has the right to “dictate” what behavior isn’t patriotic; we can certainly opine on that issue but to dictate it may not be constitutional; It is not unconstitutional though, to dictate where & when your employees choose to publicly commit acts of protest, and it is important we understand the difference. Since we are fans of opposing teams let’s at least know the rules of the game & our players if we are going to partake in the rivalry..

  9. This “love it or leave it” attitude only proves one thing: You stopped thinking critically in 5th grade. I have to assume daddy raised you to be a dumb a** and you never grew smart enough to move past that.

  10. It’s amazing that the NBA can make standing for the national anthem mandatory, and there’s no hand wringing or faux outrage.

    MLB doesn’t have an anthem problem either.

  11. “That will likely be left to team owner Steve Bisciotti and it’s sure to be one of the first questions he faces when he’s next in front of reporters.”

    —- Which, if history is any guide, is not scheduled to happen until January 2019 at this point haha

  12. I sure hope we’re not going to have to read endless articles about kneeling and not kneeling over a flag for the entire summer, but I’m afraid that’s going to be the case. Jeez, I miss the old days of being able to complain about too many Favre “will he or won’t he retire” articles. Now, PFT is getting to be like everything else on the net… politics,politics, politics. I hate the way this stuff is making people crazy.

  13. waynefontesismyfather says:
    May 24, 2018 at 1:37 pm
    Our country is a country of immigrants who protested and rebelled against what they felt was wrong.

    It is a two way door. If you don’t like the rules move to Venezuela or some other place. No more SJW activity which is tantamount to treason.
    __________________________

    trea·son
    ˈtrēzən/Submit
    noun
    the crime of betraying one’s country, especially by attempting to kill the sovereign or overthrow the government.

    The anthem protests are meant to reform specific aspects of a system that was designed to adapt in such a manner. The goal is not to overthrow or murder anyone within the American government.

    This does not even come close treason and it is grossly irresponsible for you to identify it as such.

  14. SourGrapes says:
    May 24, 2018 at 2:24 pm
    waynefontesismyfather says:

    It is a two way door. If you don’t like the rules move to Venezuela or some other place. No more SJW activity which is tantamount to treason.
    __________________________

    This does not even come close treason and it is grossly irresponsible for you to identify it as such.

    – – – – – – – – – – – –
    You must be new here. I’ve made it my mission over the years to spout off inflammatory thoughts just to get a rise out of people. I’m not sure I’ve made a legitimate comment in at least three years.

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