Minnesota Congressman boycotting NFL over anthem rule

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Five days after the NFL tried to solve the anthem issue, it continues to be obvious that the NFL found a way to make things worse.

Already, two members of Congress on opposite sides of the anthem debate have chastised the NFL for its decision.

On Saturday, New York Representative Peter King complained about Jets CEO Christopher Johnson’s decision to foot the bill for any fines imposed on players who protest in violation of the new rule, which requires players unwilling to stand to stay in the locker room. Now, Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison has declared that he will ignore the NFL for stifling the players’ right to protest.

“Friends who know me, know that I love football,” Ellison said on Twitter, via TheHill.com. “But I won’t be watching this NFL season because of the unfair cowardly and idiotic kneeling ban. #BoycottNFL.

And so it will likely continue, with those opposed to the protests finding fault with certain aspects of the NFL’s new anthem policy and those who support the right to protest finding fault with other aspects of the NFL new anthem policy. As NFL P.R. gaffes go, this one could ending up being one of the worst in recent years, and that’s saying something.

105 responses to “Minnesota Congressman boycotting NFL over anthem rule

  1. So am I. You racists can have the NFL all to yourselves, at least until the players get tired of being your entertainment. And for all the thumbs-down that are sure to follow, at least do me the favor of admitting you’re racists. It’s OK now, under Trump.

  2. It’s not a right to protest…. It was a privilege afforded by their employer and the employer exercised their right to take it away.

  3. Well, if the new rule is upheld, the NFL will get me back as a viewer this year. I did not watch any game the last two years if there was kneeling. So I guess I will off-set this guy.

  4. don’t politicians have anything more meaningful to do? such as fix the budget, maybe address gun laws, perhaps look into retraining cops – and clean up the fiasco that is health care which is sapping money from honest hard working people? Nope, apparently not, they all have theri feet in the cesspool that is the nfl , starting with the POTUS

  5. Obviously he is not a business owner who would allow his employees to do something, WHILE ON THE CLOCK that would alienate a goodly portion of his customers. That is NOT protected under the free speech amendment.

  6. itsnotforme says:
    May 28, 2018 at 2:24 pm
    Well let me guess, he’s a liberal democrat who never served in the military.

    —————-

    Not sure how much that matters as our conservative Republican president never served, either…

  7. Roger Goodell got his $200M banked before this PR blunder, and he used NFL league office employees to do his maneuvering. Now the commissioner’s office has become the entertainment.

  8. The NBA banned kneeling right from the get go… why don’t they get any threat of boycotts or bad PR?

  9. Protest on your own time. Not when you are wearing your employers uniform. What if Doctors, Nurses, Policeman, and Fireman protested while they were at work and in uniform? Do it on your own time.

  10. If there was a KKK member at the NFL level that began giving speeches and recruiting via his status as a celebrity, and took these actions while in uniform, at the stadium, just how many of these political personalities would be on here every day defending his freedom of speech?

  11. should i boycott all things Minnesota then? wait i think i may already be doing that unintentionally though!

  12. Oh Keith Ellison. The Democrat that took his oath with the Koran? The same Ellison with ties to Nation of Islam, led by the anti-Semitic, anti-American Louis Farrakhan. Also supports Antifa and Hamas. Riiiiight. Sounds almost as reliable as Shaun King.

  13. who really gives a damn
    stay in the lockerroom
    take a knee
    just play good football

  14. It amazes me
    all these people who say they do not watch football where players kneel
    yet, here they are, on a football website, at the slowest time of year
    reading NFL news
    I say bullcrap to all these right wing buffoons who still cannot see that this is about inequality in America, not disrespecting the flag or servicemen
    I think servicemen are most disrespected by politicians
    who, once they return to civilian life, are treated like dirt

  15. itsnotforme says:
    May 28, 2018 at 2:24 pm
    Well let me guess, he’s a liberal democrat who never served in the military.

    I’m a “liberal Democrat” and I served, unlike the president…the one that demeans veterans all the time (by word and deed). The idea of kneeling came from a Green Beret veteran, by the way. Your post was really lame.

  16. I really gotta hand it to florio. i honestly didn’t think this would escalate the way it has. its sad how divided we are on this issue. im really tired of dem vs repub, left vs right and may i add i have very strong opinions on this matter. we’re doomed as a democracy if all of us can’t find ANY sort of middle ground. maybe the russians succeeded. happy memorial day.

  17. So the worst politician in the entire state says he won’t watch the NFL this year. Sorry Congressman Ellison, but you just gave a lot of people yet another reason to vote you out!

  18. tedmurph123 says:
    May 28, 2018 at 2:35 pm
    A Muslim that never served his country, what would you expect. Don’t understand the voters in Minnesota Al Franken and now Ellison

    Untrue. Both serve/served their country, as members of Congress also serve, and Franken was appreciated by our troops for his USO tours (but who cares about that, right?). But, hey, the Muslim remark was really nice – who else do you denigrate because of their beliefs? Do you think that is somehow patriotic?

  19. The NFL deserves what ever it gets for diddly dallying around and not being out an front in support of our anthem and flag. That’s what happens when a left leaning PR Firm (Joe Lockett) advised them on this issue. Subsequently they were let go by the NFL. The NFL was a day late and a dollar short from the beginning.

  20. What I love the best are the people screaming about losing their 2nd amendment rights but feel there is nothing wrong with dumping the first amendment.

  21. My guess is that the NFL knows that more fans will now watch tv and buy tickets/merchandise for the NFL with this policy. Sure, they called it a compromise, but the reality was they took a side. That populist position won’t be the loudest, but it will be the most financially beneficial. After all, as everyone knows, it isn’t personal, it’s business.

  22. BRUCE CArter says:
    May 28, 2018 at 3:29 pm
    What I love the best are the people screaming about losing their 2nd amendment rights but feel there is nothing wrong with dumping the first amendment.

    ———-

    I would suggest that you do not understand the 1st amendment. As to the 2nd amendment, if my employer states that I am not allowed to carry a gun at the office….that does not violate my 2nd amendment rights. Just like an employer stating that I cannot protest or say whatever the heck I want at the office does not violate my 1st amendment rights.

  23. tjdvikes says:
    May 28, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    Well, if the new rule is upheld, the NFL will get me back as a viewer this year. I did not watch any game the last two years if there was kneeling. So I guess I will off-set this guy.
    __________________________________________
    Didn’t watch a game the last 2 years because of a silent protest before the game started yet continues to be so invested in the NFL as evidenced by the participation in this thread. Um ok.

  24. Something tells me the people that don’t like kneeling didn’t mind Tebow kneeling.

  25. I want to have the authority to fine, eject and/or deport anyone not standing with their hand over their heart during the display of false patriotism prior to the start of the game. I will start with everyone at the urinal then expand my radius to the concession stands. Then and only then will we have an empty stadium.

  26. fwippel says:
    May 28, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    As soon as I saw this headline, I knew it was Ellison. No surprise at all, considering his political leanings.
    ____________
    I couldn’t agree more. He truly is a great man who is standing up, or kneeling with his constituents against the tyranny of the majority. You know, doing what all great leaders do. One day I hope people that espouse freedom will actually stand with freedom fighters instead of giving away those freedoms so willingly.

  27. Ha.. a slob will boycott and want other slobs to follow. He should boycott America and leave.

  28. This imbecile is late to the game. We’ve been sitting out and not watching games in protest of the kneelers for over a year.
    Me Congressman—wise up and realize this is a rule to help the dimwits protect their “slice of the pie”. Revenues are down and it’s because of the kneelers. Salaries were only going to go down.
    Apparently, we needed to save them from themselves….

  29. I just wish the people that are expressing fake outrage about a silent protest would show just a teeny, tiny bit of concern about police violence.

  30. Keith Ellison??? You are using the racist antisemite to bolster your point. Wow. This is the same guy you thought farrakhan was a great guy just after farakan said Hitler was a great man. Just let that sink in

  31. rohinaz says:
    May 28, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    Keith Ellison??? You are using the racist antisemite to bolster your point. Wow. This is the same guy you thought farrakhan was a great guy just after farakan said Hitler was a great man. Just let that sink i____
    _________________________________________
    I’m going to channel one of the greatest thinkers of all time in regard to Nazis.
    “There are good people on both sides, on both sides.” President Donald Tiny Hands Trump

    Mic drop

  32. As if it’s a big sacrifice, the Congressman is from Minnesota and he’s giving up watching the Vikings for the most part. Most people would gladly do that without any prompting.

  33. Ron Pitts says:
    May 28, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    Something tells me the people that don’t like kneeling didn’t mind Tebow kneeling.
    _____________________________________
    This is totally different bro. Current players are trying to bring awareness to police violence before a game starts. Tebow was seeking attention by pretending anything good that happened was because he was an instrument of god, totally unrelated to talent or hard work of his teammates.
    Ya see, totally different.

  34. wolfiereasonedlife says:
    May 28, 2018 at 4:05 pm
    I just wish the people that are expressing fake outrage about a silent protest would show just a teeny, tiny bit of concern about police violence.

    ———

    Police violence, domestic violence, gang violence….all violence are real problems with which we need to deal. But they have nothing to do with football. Just like they have nothing to do with my favorite restaurant, my doctor’s office, my mechanic, etc. I don’t want to show up at my dentist and deal with some kind of “protest” any more than I want to experience on during a football game. Why is this so hard to understand?

  35. Dwight C says:
    May 28, 2018, at 3:02 pm

    itsnotforme says:
    May 28, 2018, at 2:24 pm
    Well let me guess, he’s a liberal Democrat who never served in the military.

    I’m a “liberal Democrat” and I served, unlike the president…the one that demeans veterans all the time (by word and deed). The idea of kneeling came from a Green Beret veteran, by the way. Your post was really lame.

    ————-
    I can’t believe this post has so many downvotes. I thought we were all about respecting vets. I guess real facts or being a Dem vet don’t matter. Taking a knee was the idea of a vet to show respect to the vets while protesting discrimination. The NFL should have made that clear. They instead let the media run with a narrative and then Trump jumped the shark and used it as fodder to continue divisive politics. Same as it ever was.

  36. For every Keith Ellison, there are thousands of fans who have tuned out because of the league tolerating open disrespect for the flag and anthem.

  37. How many readers of this story would get away with this type of protest at their place of employment? I miss the Bud Grant/MN Vikings games in the early 70’s; all players were required to stand perfectly at attention during the anthem. They even practiced it prior to the season at the Mankato training camp.

  38. WATCH the recent Sterling Brown arrest video.
    Only one example of many that have come before it.

    That is what this is all about.

    If Sterling Brown was family or a friend, would you not be
    outraged? He is an American citizen and deserves better.

    It’s not about employer’s rights, it’s not about profits.
    It’s not about the flag or hating the military.

    It’s about people, fellow Americans, not being treated fairly
    and equally by law enforcement and the judicial system.

    How much more fundamentally Un-American must these injustice get
    before some of you open your minds to what is truly and fundamentally
    important.

  39. Dwight C says:
    May 28, 2018 at 3:16 pm
    tedmurph123 says:
    May 28, 2018 at 2:35 pm
    A Muslim that never served his country, what would you expect. Don’t understand the voters in Minnesota Al Franken and now Ellison

    Untrue. Both serve/served their country, as members of Congress also serve, and Franken was appreciated by our troops for his USO tours (but who cares about that, right?). But, hey, the Muslim remark was really nice – who else do you denigrate because of their beliefs? Do you think that is somehow patriotic?

    ////////////////////////////

    So you’re saying serving in the military putting your live on the line is the same as eating a Cobb salad at lunch break in Congress? Franken sexually assaulted women while in the USO, his agenda was that, not entertaining our troops. The Muslim remark was fact. As far as patriotic, USMC Vietnam Vet, your credentials?

  40. I find this appalling that there are people down-voting a veteran
    for speaking the truth, and doing so on Memorial day of all days.
    I’d like to ask them where are your guiding principles.
    Have you no shame? No honor? Disgusting.

  41. Only in Minnesota. What an embarrassment to the state of Minnesota. I guess as a member of congress, he has nothing more important to work on. I hope the voters in his district will remember this BS on election day.

  42. Is he going to start boycotting the NBA which already has rules in place requiring standing for the anthem? Probably doesn’t even know the rules exist because he is a another hypocrite liberal D bag .

  43. That’s funny because most Minnesotans starting boycotting the NFL out of shame many years ago. LOL. I wonder which brings the residents of Minnesaota the most shame, their congressmen or their football team.

  44. Ellison is a sellout second fiddle to the corporate wing of the democratic party. A party that has so lost it’s soul that it now doesn’t even bother with elections. NYS democrats just appointed Andy Cuomo their candidate for governor without a primary. Seriously. So, Mr. Ellison, I don’t care if you watch the NFL or not. Anytime you open your mouth to talk about freedom, I remember you sold out to the DNC and have zero integrity.

  45. Being a Congressman and sitting on your hands in Washington is considered serving your country ? My God you’ve somehow slipped into a parallel universe, yhe one on the FAR left.

  46. NFL had two choices. Let them peacefully protest or keep them ALL in the locker room. If you are forced to stand than it isn’t patriotism and we are no longer free. No employer should ever use their employees to further their political stance. This country has lots its mind what it means to be truly free.

  47. Good for Ellison. Keep calling out the anti-American, military hating rubes in the Republican Party. I’m a proud liberal because I love this country and can’t stand the Kremlin loving Conserves. #America

  48. @buckybadger

    No one is forcing anyone to stand for the anthem.

    If you read the new policy, you’d understand that.

    But that wouldn’t fit your agenda, so you try and change the narrative.

    FWIW – no employee should ever use their employer to further their political stance.

    It works both ways, bucky….

  49. The trouble is that the protestors used the wrong medium to express their beliefs. Kneeling during the anthem was only going to become this messy. It was always destined to create problems around veterans and patriotism and racism and politics. It was absolutely going to make a mess of what they wanted to say and do. Every football player, even the hanger-on-ers, has unprecedented access to the media. I lived in Wisconsin when people packed the local mall to have a third string tight end sign autographs and have pictures taken with them. There are plenty of opportunities to have a real voice and be heard. They could attend rally’s and be given celebrity status. Heck they could have gone to the funeral for one of the victims and it would have been all over the news. But kneeling during the anthem was only going to incense people and was a badly thought out move. We will never hear the end of this and it will never be about the real issue anymore. Now it is about the players and the NFL and owners, rules etc, none of which is the problem. they did more harm than good to their real cause and that is a tragedy.

  50. BRUCE CArter says:

    What I love the best are the people screaming about losing their 2nd amendment rights but feel there is nothing wrong with dumping the first amendment.
    ========================================================

    “I Wish Dems Would Come Out Against The Second Amendment”

    -Rep Keith Ellison

  51. ucl412 says:
    May 28, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    Good for Ellison. Keep calling out the anti-American, military hating rubes in the Republican Party. I’m a proud liberal because I love this country and can’t stand the Kremlin loving Conserves. #America

    _________

    When you have to throw “Kremlin loving” in there- it’s obvious you have absolutely nothing to go on. Mueller has been on this for how long now? How many millions of our tax dollars spent? And has a big fat nothing-burger to show for it. Maybe he should investigate the woman who handled the Uranium One deal- loads of collusion with the Russians there. btw- you forgot to throw “racist” in your rant. I guess us Kremlin-loving conservatives don’t like our Anthem being walked on- but people who love this country are perfectly okay with it. Funny how that works.

  52. ucl412 says:
    May 28, 2018 at 5:58 pm
    Good for Ellison. Keep calling out the anti-American, military hating rubes in the Republican Party. I’m a proud liberal because I love this country and can’t stand the Kremlin loving Conserves. #America
    ——————————

    A freedom loving American who believes that the state grants us rights and freedoms, like Ellison does?

    An American knows that all right s are individual rights and that We the People grant certain limited powers to government to perform those few functions that government is best to execute. All others are off limits. That’s the great American experiment.

    Power lies with the People, as individuals. When government is empowered, or assumes power, as Ellison promotes, the People will suffer as they have throughout history and across the globe. But those in power win.

    Happy Memorial Day, where we celebrate those brave Americans who fought and died to protect individual rights against the power of government.

  53. Keith Ellison not watching the NFL isn’t a boycott it’s status quo. He doesn’t like football to begin with. He fought tooth and nail against the Vikings getting a new stadium. It’s akin to a vegetarian coming out publicly to say they are boycotting meat. It’s not news. But then again, that’s what the media enjoys reporting most.

  54. I have been sitting on the sidelines on the anthem issue for some time now, but I have finally decided to weigh in. First, I don’t believe you should kneel for the anthem as it is disrespectful. That being said, what is great about this country is we are all entitled to our beliefs so long as they are legal. I understand the point of view that a private employer has the right to ask employees to behave a certain way. I also believe that if these teams take public money (which most of them do), they lose the right to set certain rules that the SJC have ruled unconstitutional for public places. If you want to set your own rules, don’t ask for a public handout. Bottom line is there are valid points on both sides.

    Which leads me to this. It is entertainment people. Don’t watch until the kickoff and stay away from the media and you can just enjoy the ganes regardless of wahtever either side is saying.

  55. Only in America do we have people in charge of others and respected and taken care of, yet they hate the country and the flag.

  56. I agree with you deweygroup except for one part. They are not taking public funds. They are selling a product. That product includes clothing and other articles and tickets for the opportunity to watch a game. Do these people take the flag off of all of the nfl items which many have on them? Or are the people protesting not those who go to games or buy the items? The stadium is the problem when they want taxpayer money for new ones. Then it does cross the line…but not as an employer. They can’t kick a fan out of that stadium for not standing for example. But they pay the players as employees from profits they make from their sales. Just like any other private company.

  57. Not tuning into the NFL on Sundays? Welcome to the party! Instead he will be attending speeches by his friend Louis Farrakhan.

  58. deweygroup says:
    May 28, 2018 at 8:38 pm
    I have been sitting on the sidelines on the anthem issue for some time now, but I have finally decided to weigh in. First, I don’t believe you should kneel for the anthem as it is disrespectful. That being said, what is great about this country is we are all entitled to our beliefs so long as they are legal. I understand the point of view that a private employer has the right to ask employees to behave a certain way. I also believe that if these teams take public money (which most of them do), they lose the right to set certain rules that the SJC have ruled unconstitutional for public places. If you want to set your own rules, don’t ask for a public handout. Bottom line is there are valid points on both sides.

    Which leads me to this. It is entertainment people. Don’t watch until the kickoff and stay away from the media and you can just enjoy the ganes regardless of wahtever either side is saying.

    —————-

    Well said…I couldn’t agree, more!

  59. roseann894 I will tell you I gave you a thumbs down and am far from a racist. What part of the NFL is not entertainment? Is there a purpose behind it other than for entertainment.

    I guess this congressman and others need to protest basketball as well because here is the NBA rule. “Players, coaches and trainers are to stand and line up in a dignified posture along the sidelines or on the foul line during the playing of the national anthem.”

  60. Comrade Trump should stay out of it. State Law should stay out if it. The owners. That’s it. The owners dictate policy for their own teams. Kneel, don’t kneel, leave, don’t leave, boycott, don’t boycott. Everybody else can make their own choices after agreeing with or disagreeing with the chips that fall.

    That’s how America stays great……….because it’s always been great.

  61. As a veteran and a citizen of Minnesota, I would say to Mr. Ellison: Go ahead and boycott the NFL and do whatever media grandstanding you can to appease your liberal base. The veterans we honor when we stand for the flag gave you that right. Hopefully all of the veterans and their supporters in our fine state have the fortitude to vote your sorry rear-end out of office.

    Once again, there are several ways to protest social injustice, but this is the one of the worst ways. You don’t dishonor others to drive positive change. Our society doesn’t work that way and you will never be successful following that strategy.

    Once more, if you are a politician in a position of leadership and you think this is an acceptable form of protest, you are more of a follower than a leader and don’t belong in a position of power or influence.

  62. Since its obvious there is nothing the NFL does that meets with anyone’s approval ever, if I were Goodell, I would tell all of them to bugger off. Real fans of football will keep watching, not those casual fans who are more interested in a political debate.

  63. LOL @ Liberals…… YOU LOST!!! BOYCOTT!!! WE WON’T MISS YOU!!! ARE YOU TIRED OF LOSING YET?!?!?

    Remember when that was said to the opposite side? Now y’all are crying. LOL, I like rubbing it in. It is funny.

    Although I didn’t agree with the reason for the kneeling, I didn’t care too much because I could ignore it. What annoyed me is the nonstop coverage of it like I will have to still deal with now. The funny thing is, the NFL didn’t really get rid of “protesting” per se. They just said if you are going to, stay in the locker room. See, the protests can still be done by just not coming out. That is how stupid all this talk is. This ruling was to quell the “disrespecting the flag” portion of the protests. Honestly though, if everyone stopped commenting on these articles and ignored it, it would have went away (the protesting, the talk, etc) and liberals could feel like they won something by it being ignored and nothing being done about it (like what is already happening, because all that’s being talked about is protesting the flag or disrespecting the flag) but because they would still be allowed to protest. You all are too worried about fighting and trying to declare some stupid victory for “your side” that you fight over the dumbest crap. It is just sad.

    By the way, if you ever watch Vikings fans talk sports on this or any sports site, you would think they already boycott the NFL, because they don’t sound like they know much.

  64. It’s funny how no one talks about how nascar allows people to proudly wave and support
    the treasonous confederate flag but get mad at black athletes for taking a knee… The smell of hypocrisy is so undeniable…I have never heard 45 say anything about nascar disrespecting our great American flag…

  65. The yahoos who complain about protesters disrespecting the flag usually have multiple violations of the U.S. flag code on their clothing and their truck. Learn what respect for the flag actually means, then SHOW that respect, and then maybe their opinion will hold some weight.

  66. Both of these clowns politicians need to close their mouth and stay away from the NFL. T/his flag waving you’re a commie if don’t agree stuff is pathetic just as is boycotting the NFL because now they are stifling protest. It’s a business and this is not good for business and that is true no matter which side of the flag waving garbage you are in favor of.

  67. Trump has successfully trolled the moron base once again. If not for Trump’s garbage this would have been gone a long time ago.

  68. bigshooter71 says:
    May 29, 2018 at 10:10 am
    Once again, there are several ways to protest social injustice, but this is the one of the worst ways. You don’t dishonor others to drive positive change. Our society doesn’t work that way and you will never be successful following that strategy.

    Once more, if you are a politician in a position of leadership and you think this is an acceptable form of protest, you are more of a follower than a leader and don’t belong in a position of power or influence.
    ————————————————————————–

    Just wondering if you support Trump and the way he dishonors America, our public servants and our institutions and exactly what form of protest you find acceptable. I am also not sure why you get to define “dishonor”. There is a very strong argument to be made that these protests are exactly in keep with our founding fathers and their vision of democracy and freedom. Do you think being a veteran and being from Minnesota makes you more of an American with more rights than those who are not? We thank you for your service to our country, but that does not mean you are the arbiter of what is dishonor or acceptable protest. I know quite a few veterans, many with combat experience in multiple wars, who think your point of view and the way you try to give yourself extra credibility is ridiculous.

  69. Ah, the irony … It’s a safe bet most of the people here screaming about liberals and dishonor are supporters of a multiple time draft dodging Trump who claims to be best true American on earth. Pretty funny.

  70. Tebow kneels and that’s okay because most of you approve of or share his god. Players kneel to protest what they see as decades of injustice as evidenced by disproportionate numbers of unarmed black men being killed by police.

    A bit of disconnect or is it hypocrisy?

    All this brought on by a black guy getting elected President in 2008 and a Congress that has never done it’s job and a Supreme Court that legalized the sale of America to special interests … Irony at its finest.

  71. Keith- I’m very glad you have left the NFL so you and I can not longer say we have one thing in common.

    Kieth- When the people of American start to realize the anti-america pro-radical islam filth you shovel then you will be looking for a new job. Saint Paul MN- A place to move out of.

  72. paochow says:
    May 28, 2018 at 2:22 pm
    It’s not a right to protest…. It was a privilege afforded by their employer and the employer exercised their right to take it away.
    ————–
    100% false. It ABSOLUTELY is a right to protest. And yes employers can take that away, but as has already been posted by pft, the league admitted that they only put this policy into place because of ILLEGAL COERRSION BY THE CRIMINAL PRESIDENT.

    And if the players don’t have the right to protest, then you have no right to protest the players, so shut your mouth!

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