J.J. Watt makes his position on kneeling and the flag crystal clear

Getty Images

The argument that kneeling during the national anthem constitutes disrespect of the flag is crumbling quickly.

Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, in response to a Twitter user who predicted that Watt won’t be taking a knee during the anthem, made two comments. First, he said “don’t speak for me.” Second, Watt said “if you still think it’s about disrespecting the flag or our military, you clearly haven’t been listening.”

For as obvious as the point is becoming, there are still people (including those in high public office) who conflate kneeling with disrespect. Plenty of them have chimed in with responses to Watt’s tweet. Still, the more those people hear that kneeling isn’t disrespect (especially from prominent white players), the more likely it will be that they will change their thinking.

It will be impossible to get 100 percent of the country to agree on anything. At some point, the NFL, its teams, its owners, its coaches, and its players need to ignore misguided voices of dissent that will be remembered unfavorably by history.

136 responses to “J.J. Watt makes his position on kneeling and the flag crystal clear

  1. When will children that still believe it is disrespectful, grow up and actually get with the program.

  2. I think kneeling is disrespectful. Please tell me how bad of a person I am for having an opinion.

  3. I would suggest the NFL just do away with the flag and anthem before the game – but then the crazies would be mad saying they did it to take away the players platform to kneel.

  4. When will children grow up and realize that they are part of the and stop blaming others for their failures

  5. As if people can actually be honest & speak their true feelings, without being bullied, intimidated, & called racist.

  6. So I, as a combat veteran, amd the great-grandson, grandson, and son of combat veterans do not care for kneeling during the anthem. I dont like people who don’t take off their hats either.

    That is my opinion. It doesn’t mean I’m a racist, nor am I a “child” as one poster above writes. It doesn’t mean I have not been listening. I get what the message is, I simply believe it to be a very poor choice of protest methods.

    When our country stifles debate, and labels all dissenting opinion as wrong, evil, vile, etc, we have a lot more problems ahead than just racism.

  7. Came here to see how the bitter old white man population feels about the issue. Disappointed. Must be too early. Or is Hannity on somewhere?

  8. If you can’t separate taking a knee from some anti-flag disrespect I know how you feel about people of color. We’re ok with flags on bikinis, motorcycle gas tanks, and miniskirts, but take a knee during the Anthem to protest the killing of American citizens by a few criminal police officers, totally disrespectful to the flag. Give me a break.

  9. I feel like it’ll be hard to kneel in the stands. So will the audience stand while everyone on the field kneels? Awkward. This should be an episode of Curb.

  10. It is absolutely disrespect as it conflates and perpetuates an issue with all of America by doing so during our national anthem where traditions are to stand and pay respect. You can protest or show your beliefs any other freaking time of the day. That’s the issue you don’t get and it’s partly because many lefties are self hating people for some reason. Must be a miserable existence.

  11. If it’s not meant as disrespect to the flag, then why do it during the national anthem? We’re supposed to just accept their word that it has nothing to do with the flag or military?

    It should be viewed the same as how a minority are offended by the team name Redskins. It doesn’t matter if they don’t intend it to be disrespectful if it’s received that way by any number of people.

  12. I mean, the purpose of the initial kneeling by Kapernick was to bring attention to police brutality. I would say recently the whole world is well aware of it. So if the goal was to get people to notice and talk about change, and implement change, mission accomplished. So I really don’t see the point of continuing to kneel. We all get it now, and then some. It’s impossible not to. Not one single person is unaware of what’s going on in the country.

  13. My father fought in Vietnam. He served two tours. He was a green beret. I have uncles that served in the military. I have two brothers that were in the army. I have a sister that was in the army. So are they or me the authority on the anthem? No. They don’t think kneeling is disrespectful. I hate how folks try to drag their service or their relatives’ service into this. That flag has different meanings to different people. Don’t try to force feed me patriotism. I’ve always sat during the anthem will continue to do so

  14. Let’s be honest here: The only people that are against kneeling are white people with an agenda.

  15. Why are we still having this conversation. Move the dialogue forward. We all see whats going on. Some people dont have a problem with the real issue. What I appreciate is having an opportunity to see where people really stand, showing who we really are.

  16. I believe in equality through apathy. I just don’t care. Kneel, don’t kneel, stand, run, swim, waddle, lie down and take a nap, do what you want. I’m only gonna watch the game, I tune in for the football. I care so little about this, that I care more about telling you I don’t care, than to actually care. I change the channel to avoid commercials, too.

  17. As a veteran let me tell you how I feel. The players have the right to protest. My sacrifice was for that. The Flag is strong enough to handle it. My problem is that the words before the anthem say it is to also honor the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice. I am disgusted when players and media people who have never served say the protest is not dishonoring their sacrifice so we can’t be upset. I’m sorry you who have not served haven’t earned that right. Bottom line is that the servicemen and women (many of color) who have made that sacrifice can’t be asked how they feel. An easy fix just remove the part saying it is to honor the military, we don’t need your thanks but we don’t deserve your disrespect.

  18. How can it not be about “the flag or military”, Justin James Watt, if players kneel during the national anthem celebrating the flag?

  19. It takes bravery to stand up to institutional corruption , to have a voice for your brothers and sister Americans being killed in their homes and in our streets , in some places that means taking a knee ..

  20. If it is not about disrespecting the flag, why are they kneeling during the National Anthem? And if it is not about disrespecting the flag, why when the majority of Americans told the NFL players in 2016 that kneeling during the Anthem was dIsrespectful did they not apologize for the misunderstanding and then stand for the National Anthem and kneel down at another time?

  21. Why isn’t there time for both the anthem and taking a knee. A time slot before or after the anthem for whatever they want, and the anthem and flag shown respect when it is time for that. Taking a knee during the anthem specifically then ties it to the anthem for us to take from that whatever we want.

  22. The Jefferson Davis statue was removed in Kentucky.

    For all the vets and conservatives who feel kneeling is unpatriotic, there has never been anything more unpatriotic than the Confederate flag and statues erected to those on the side of a civil war and fighting for the right to hold slaves.

    This is what our vetd and conservatives should have fought tooth and nail in our nation for – to eliminate these unpatriotic symbols, but they never did.

    Freedom they extol. All these statues do is want to make so called conservatives hell bent on fighting another war against their own enlightened 21st century citizens.

    They couldn’t stand the idea of a black president, hence the tea party.

    Spare me your fake patriotism, it is misguided.

  23. The biggest problem with these guys who keep saying “it’s not about disrespecting the flag” clearly haven’t been paying attention or they just don’t care to listen.
    The ACTION of kneeling during the anthem causes a reaction and/or a feeling that you CANNOT change because it’s not yours to control. It’s left to the individual that has the feeling. It was that simple when Kaep started it and it’s that simple now. It’ll NEVER change. Regardless of how many times these knuckleheads continue to say “it’s not about the flag.”
    The flag already represented something to people and when they hijacked display of respect that for their own purposes (however legitimate they may be) they got an obvious response. This response has nothing to do with race or how I feel about police brutality. It never was about that. No matter how many protests they have and how many times you gratuitously call people racist

    If you do not like the response you are getting to your protest then change the forum. It’s not that complicated.

  24. as usual there are still many people that are confused, of course you are entitled to your opinions, but stop trying to act as if human rights is a debatable topic. Cool you don’t like people to kneel, no big deal, but fighting against people getting murdered, yeah, big problem- no need to create convoluted arguments, this is as clear as it can get, no gray area, is murder okay with you?

  25. Watt needs more attention than a teenage girl. Anything to get his name front and center, he will jump all over it. Amazing that he even finds the time to ingest all the PEDs he takes.

  26. “I think kneeling is disrespectful. Please tell me how bad of a person I am for having an opinion.”

    You have the right to your own opinion, as we all do. You don’t have the right to your own facts. Many seem to confuse the two.

  27. Kaep taking a knee 4 years ago was/is a catalyst in todays protests and legislation changes. If he had not stirred up this controversy then,I do not think the reaction and the support for change today would have been as strong and well recieved.

  28. It will be interesting to see how the players who DON’T kneel will be treated. I suspect there will be a fair amount of hypocritical backlash at those players. “Why can’t you just kneel like everybody else?”

  29. As a veteran I am offended by kneeling during the anthem. It is symbolism just as those offended by Trump holding a rally on Juneteenth day.

  30. Have we gotten to the point yet where standing for the flag is considered disrespectful?

  31. You want to stand for the national anthem ? , Fine no problem it’s your right
    I want to take a knee for the national anthem ? Fine no problem it’s my right

    Instead of both sides calling each other traitors and racists etc… why can’t we just accept each others decisions and respect them.

  32. Yes, JJ, I’ve been listening – for 73 years. As I have my entire life, I’ll stand up for equality. As I have my entire life, I’ll stand up when the National Anthem is played. The message is correct. The forum is wrong. But take a poll of veterans who have smelled gunpowder and spilled blood so we all have the freedom to protest wrongs. I’ll be guided by those results.

  33. I just gotta say after loving and watching full games of the NFL for over 55 years my passion is gone. I know I’m old so in some folks eyes so who cares. ALL good things come to a end watching the games. I love playing fantasy football and gambling with friends so I will watch the stats.

  34. I am tired of those that assume that because the flag and anthem me something to me means I don’t care about social issues. I fought for this country for all to be free and equal. I do not what the police to also be the judge and jury. What happened to George Floyd shook me I was one of the most disturbing things I ever saw.

  35. Props to JJ. He is right. It was never about disrespecting the flag or the troops. It was all about Trump riling up his base over a wedge issue.

  36. I don’t understand why people got so angry at Kaepernick. It’s fake outrage. If these people were really concerned about people disrespecting the flag, they would be screaming at the thousands of fans, at each game, that just sit there, ignoring the anthem.

    I’ve been to many NFL games and many, many people ignore the national anthem. They stay seated swilling beer…leaving their hats on and playing with their phones. I always stand, take off my hat, and sing the anthem, but I never attacked those that didn’t.

    In my opinion, ignoring the anthem is far more disrespectful than kneeling…….a gesture that has historically meant “respect”.

  37. Kids were apparently starting to sit for pledge during school. I know it isnt meant to divide us but by doing this but it seems like it is.

  38. It was never about flag. You know who knows that? Trump. He successfully conflated their protest with some jingoistic BS that ya’ll bought hook line and sinker because you either weren’t listening to the protester, or didn’t want to.

  39. For the thousandth time, stop playing the national anthem during NFL sports entertainment. They have nothing to do with each other.

  40. If it’s not about protesting against the country, or the military, or the flag…then kneel during the coin toss.

  41. I’m a combat vet that served in the Air Force in special tactics during 9/11 and did multiple tours to Kandahar… Kneeling is not disrespectful… It’s not disrespectful in the same respect that not praying during mass prayer isn’t disrespectful to religious folks… Everyone has a different opinion, viewpoint and stance… The beauty of our nation is that diverse opinions and thought processes are embraced… In some instances, even binding…

    The constitution covers all of us… Especially those who feel disenfranchised… We used to understand these truths… Now, we just look to vilify…

  42. “ When our country stifles debate, and labels all dissenting opinion as wrong, evil, vile, etc, we have a lot more problems ahead than just racism.”. Sadly, this describes the behavior of the current President of the United States. What has happened to our once proud country? Threatening to use United States active military on United States citizens exercising their rights under the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION? To even mention it just as a threat is concerning. How far this country has been setback by one President is alarming.

  43. The NFL is playing a dangerous game. They are alienating a segment of fans and viewers.
    And that could come back to bite them. The same hand that feeds them. When TV ratings for games DROPS, so do the new TV contract numbers. I live 10 blocks from Lambeau. I’m Packers through and through. I helped my older brother deliver Lombardi’s GB Press Gazette. I cut Donnie Anderson and Jim Grabowski’s lawn. The Packers are a part of my soul.
    If they kneel,… I’ll boo. Green Bay is probably the least liberal city in the NFL.
    It’s a hard working blue collar class of citizens. A conservative city.
    I’m guessing Florio deletes this post,… because it’s the other side’s viewpoint.
    The flag is to be respected.

  44. If you think it’s bad to stand for the anthem and play for a league that supports the military then don’t play in the NFL. Don’t take millions of racist dollars but then again you really don’t care enough not to take the money

  45. Disrespect may not have been the intent, but it’s still disrespectful. Protests are fine. Just know when to do them.

  46. joshiewashie says:
    June 13, 2020 at 3:57 pm
    I’m a combat vet that served in the Air Force in special tactics during 9/11 and did multiple tours to Kandahar… Kneeling is not disrespectful… It’s not disrespectful in the same respect that not praying during mass prayer isn’t disrespectful to religious folks… Everyone has a different opinion, viewpoint and stance… The beauty of our nation is that diverse opinions and thought processes are embraced… In some instances, even binding…
    The constitution covers all of us… Especially those who feel disenfranchised… We used to understand these truths… Now, we just look to vilify…
    ***********************************************************
    Thank you for your service.

  47. dubdubs15 says:
    June 13, 2020 at 3:30 pm
    Kaep taking a knee 4 years ago was/is a catalyst in todays protests and legislation changes. If he had not stirred up this controversy then,I do not think the reaction and the support for change today would have been as strong and well recieved.

    —————–

    This current push wasn’t from Kaepernick. It was from those outraged over George Floyd’s death. The Anthem protests made people less willing to change things.

  48. Such an insult to Colin Kaepernick to repeatedly ignore his words: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

  49. As a retired disabled Navy veteran, it IS about the flag, but not in the way many of you think. I don’t know about the rest of you so called veterans, but I fought for my country, and the rights of the citizens of our country.

    I don’t tie that to any piece of cloth that has red white and blue colors and stars on it, that’s just a symbol. The PEOPLE of this country are what’s important about this country… WAY more important than a freaking piece of cloth. It’s the same piece of cloth that many men and women of color also served and died for… only to come back home and NEVER be treated as equals.

    As far as I’m concerned, if you truly are veterans and you don’t support the kneeling of people who have been downtrodden for over 400 years on this soil, then you’re a hypocrite.

    The most important war we could ever fight is to have everyone of our citizens treated exactly the same. They simply are not, that’s the cold hard truth. The smartest thing Kaepernick did was to kneel during the national anthem because so many ignorant and racist people had no choice but to notice, and four years later it looks like something might be done to make things right… Unless the ignorant idiots win again.

  50. “If you still think it’s about disrespecting the flag or our military, you clearly haven’t been listening.”. Bingo. Thank you JJ!

  51. Divide and distract with fear, anger, and outrage. Those high in office, and on certain networks, pumped all this up over the protest. If you’re busy watching that and being angry you wont watch all the ways they’re ripping us off and acting poorly in our name. It’s the same principle as 3 card monte …. you’ve been duped!

  52. Easy, if your the NFL just remove the anthem. Simple, don’t play it. The league has already come out for improved awareness of BLM etc. Why let this become a powder keg for every game played with or without fans. Respect all fans that just are tired of the continued cross over with sports and politics. It’s the National Football League, not the Political Awareness League Playing Football.

  53. How about taking a knee in silent protest after the anthem? That way no one’s feelings are hurt.

  54. FWIW here’s my suggestion: On their first game of the regular season all thirty-two teams could kneel with their hand on hearts, no hats, all together that one time then get on with it and play football and continue to work toward change outside of the game. People are so divisive on this issue, but the players understand the importance of taking a stand to support BLM and the fans of the NFL need to respect that whether or not they agree.

    I just want to watch what looks to be a seriously great season of the NFL, kneeling during the anthem doesn’t anger me in the least, but the continual denial of systemic racism, “Well I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to stand for it anymore!”.

  55. It’s so cute how all these white millionaires feel guilty now and are spewing how ignorant they are for not seeing ‘it’ sooner. But I still don’t see a lot of them writing checks for anything…just spouting their stupid opinions.

  56. freakylj8 says:
    June 13, 2020 at 2:43 pm
    I would suggest the NFL just do away with the flag and anthem before the game – but then the crazies would be mad saying they did it to take away the players platform to kneel.
    ______

    And they would be correct. I didn’t see anyone suggesting this before players began kneeling.

  57. Colorado is about to pass major police reform legislation. One of the most important in this legislation is making it duty bound for officers to intervene if a fellow officer is using excessive force.

    This is the type of reform needed.

  58. Uncle Warren says:
    “Ban the national Anthem from all sporting events. It does not belong there.”

    =============

    Amen!

  59. I’m not offended by players kneeling during the Anthem. That’s just my opinion though, and it doesn’t mean I’m right. It also doesn’t mean people who do find it disrespectful are wrong. We all form opinions based on our own experience. What’s important is being respectful of others and not labeling them or shutting them down because of two different viewpoints on a single topic.

    I’m sure some folks who claim to be offended are racist. My guess is the vast majority are not. I’m sure there are some in support of kneeling who do harbor anti-American feelings and intend it as a sign of disrespect. My guess is the vast majority do not.

    Our country would be a lot better off for EVERYONE if we just remembered these things.

  60. My understanding is that they started playing the national anthem at sporting events during WW2 as a way of honoring our troops. At least that’s the case in Canada.

    So who is it that we are supposed to be listening to on this issue?

  61. Just quit playing the National Anthem,pick a different song,or better yet,just start the game,that’s what the fans want.

  62. I would laugh if the next time the NFL tried to go overseas to see our troops they said no thanks we do not like people speaking for us either.

  63. It is not racist to love a country founded on the principal all men are created equal. Blame the racist not the flag. To blame a group or a country for the heinous action of a racist sociopath is the textbook definition of prejudice. We all should’ve have the right to express our opinion either way. Except here.

  64. I respect the flag and the anthem, and I enjoy having it as a part of the game. That being said, it may be time to stop having it as part of the game. If it remains, I am sure there will be some players who will not kneel and I hate to see what the repercussions those players may face. If the kneeling took place before or after the anthem I think you would have 100% participation. I hate to see it removed, but guess it is time to allow the bully mentality have their way.

  65. Aloha,:

    I agree with Schism Lateralus: “…When our country stifles debate, and labels all dissenting opinion as wrong, evil, vile, etc, we have a lot more problems ahead than just racism….”

    Sounds like a perfectly accurate description of the reaction to C Kapernick,by many owners and fans. Not most, but many. And one hate mongering twitter account.

  66. If this is the biggest issue with the upcoming season we should be thankful. Seems like a lot of people think the pandemic is over.

  67. willi212 says:
    Just quit playing the National Anthem,pick a different song,or better yet,just start the game,that’s what the fans want.
    >>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<
    Great idea, they could play one of those cop killer rap songs that the Gen Z crowd listens to.

  68. Look I hate the kneeling. It is a sign of disrespect period. What’s more is if you are looking to send a message of equality and unity, why not lock arms as some teams did to push forward the message you wish to convey. This would seem to accomplish both spreading the actual message you are looking for and quiet those who oppose the kneeling.

    Secondly, when it comes to Kaepernick sorry the reason he does not have a job has nothing to do with talent, and nothing to do with thumbing his nose at the establishment. He doesnt have a job because he is a lightning rod for whatever team signs him. The NFL is a large business but also has 32 individual businesses which need to make the decision on whether he is worth the uproar to sign. Teams have clearly made the decision he is not.

    Let’s also not forget he didn’t just kneel. He wore socks at practice depicting police as pigs. He later retracted and said he meant it only to represent bad cops. Later he wears a shirt with Malcom X and Castro saying great minds think alike. Which he was later grilled on in Miami due to the large Cuban population due to Castro’s massive oppression and crimes against the people. He then said oh I just meant To represent Malcom X and not the what the other guy did. This is why he is not in the league. He Makes inflammatory statements and gestures then backtracks because he craves attention.

  69. Empty stadiums and poor ratings will speak loudly. This is why the left is trying bullying tactics. I don’t care what any person chooses to do.

    You kneel we walk!

  70. it’s interesting that the same people who are ok with kneeling during the national anthem are the same ones who didn’t like people protesting to get back to work to pay their bills. Then, they were ok with the rioting, Minneapolis council dismantling their police force, and the current Chaz crisis, and they did everything possible to deflect and ignore these topics completely. It’s not ok to be offended at wealthy athletes kneeling during the anthem, but it’s ok to be offended over the Redskins’ name and their 87 years of hanging onto their sports team name. Got it.

  71. If the only way to show respect is to stand, then that’s not respect. That’s ritual. It borders on worship. Want to show respect for your country? Don’t cheat on your taxes and don’t break the law. It’s that simple.

  72. Anyone saying Kap’s protest wasn’t about disrespecting the flag, check out this quote from THE UNDEFEATED 8/27/16

    “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color”

    -Colin Kaepernick

  73. Being frank the people in high public office don’t care. They like the divisiveness of the issue. That’s politics. Make people afraid of something, sell them on the solution, get voted in, do nothing about it, blame it on the other guy, raise it as a campaign issue next time, get re-elected….

    Wash, rinse, repeat.

    Kneeling isn’t about the flag. Never has been. But it sure makes it easy for some folks to ignore what’s going on, and to deflect criticism of their own behaviors while it has been going on.

  74. The anthem should only be seen by the people who attend the games in my opinion. If you are at home you will not stand for the anthem. Problem solved, if you do not like them kneeling then do not attend the games in person. I think the NFL seriously needs to worry about increasing the 53 man roster with the virus still going crazy. Maybe they could increase it to like 75 players for the next two years and hopefully things will be back to normal by then.

  75. How is kneeling to protest police brutality more morally repugnant than the President’s insistence that US military bases continued to be named in honor of Confederate terrorists who betrayed our country and killed people so as to keep the black race enslaved?

  76. The purpose of the anthem is to honor those who have served and have passed. They can kneel any time before or after. It will have the same affect.

  77. “if you still think it’s about disrespecting the flag or our military, you clearly haven’t been listening.”

    There we go. It’s been said over and over again, that it wasn’t disrespecting the flag yet people still had their heads in the sand and couldn’t comprehend what the players were kneeling for. Conservative media told them otherwise and the people weren’t willing to listen. Are you listening now?

  78. If I drop the N word on everyone I know, can I get out out of trouble by saying, no I can do this and it’s not disrespectful bc I decided I can do this in my own context… and get away with it?

    If it’s disrespecful, it’s disrespectful; you don’t get out of it by simply stating here’s my own context of it and if you don’t accept that then you’re just not listening.

  79. The WGAS for professional sports grows by the minute. It’s no longer a diversion. Watch over the next couple of years…

  80. Schism Lateralus says:
    June 13, 2020 at 2:51 pm
    So I, as a combat veteran, amd the great-grandson, grandson, and son of combat veterans do not care for kneeling during the anthem. I dont like people who don’t take off their hats either.

    That is my opinion. It doesn’t mean I’m a racist, nor am I a “child” as one poster above writes. It doesn’t mean I have not been listening. I get what the message is, I simply believe it to be a very poor choice of protest methods.

    When our country stifles debate, and labels all dissenting opinion as wrong, evil, vile, etc, we have a lot more problems ahead than just racism.

    ———————————

    So you believe they should respectfully protest as not to offend their oppressors?

    I applaud you for the service you were forced to take part in but Colin Kaepernick is a HERO to the core of the word.

  81. footballfan123 says:
    June 13, 2020 at 5:41 pm
    Look I hate the kneeling. It is a sign of disrespect period. What’s more is if you are looking to send a message of equality and unity, why not lock arms as some teams did to push forward the message you wish to convey. This would seem to accomplish both spreading the actual message you are looking for and quiet those who oppose the kneeling.

    ——————————

    Kneeling is directed at the people who find it disrespectful. It’s more disrespectful to tell someone how to protest correctly than kneeling during the anthem.

  82. First, he said “don’t speak for me.” Second, Watt said “if you still think it’s about disrespecting the flag or our military, you clearly haven’t been listening.”

    ———————————————————–

    He tells people don’t speak for me and then says if you don’t think like me you are dumb.
    If you don’t Agree with JJ, “You just don’t get it”. Geez, where I have I heard that before.

  83. Watt isn’t dumb. He knows that if he doesn’t give the accepted opinions and dares say something else, people will not care about all of the things he has done to help the Houston community and treat him like he’s a pariah. In other words, he doesn’t want to wind up like Drew Brees.

  84. Very easy problem to solve eliminate the National Anthem to any sporting event Case closed

  85. nflasap says:
    June 13, 2020 at 5:54 pm
    Anyone saying Kap’s protest wasn’t about disrespecting the flag, check out this quote from THE UNDEFEATED 8/27/16

    “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color”

    -Colin Kaepernick

    =================

    See, it’s funny. He says “for a country” – i.e. EVERYONE. So he lumps everyone into the same bucket, which includes his own dumbass, self.

    They can protest anywhere else except during my entertainment that I’m paying them for (or paying-by-way-of-watching-advertising for).

    If it weren’t about the flag, or anthem, they can do it anywhere else – 30 secs before teams take the field…or in the locker room…or at halftime before going into the locker room.

    Lastly – Kap took money to shut up. As such, he’s lost any credibility he had before taking the money…yet his supporters are stupid enough to ignore it.

  86. Kneeling is directed at the people who find it disrespectful. It’s more disrespectful to tell someone how to protest correctly than kneeling during the anthem.

    So You are saying it’s designed to piss people off and dilute your message. Got it. It’s working

  87. These people can do what they want.

    I’m going to do what I want.

    All lives matter. Opinions don’t.

  88. If you want to discuss disrespect for the flag how about people who have tattered flags adorning their vehicles. I know they want to publicize their patriotism but a tattered flag should not be flown from your house or car it should be disposed of properly by burning it. Just swerved into another hot button issue.

  89. Further proof that JJ Watt is a stand-up guy. The support that white players give their black team and league mates by kneeling in solidarity with them against racial injustice in this country is invaluable.

  90. ahmedali020509 says:
    June 13, 2020 at 3:13 pm
    Let’s be honest here: The only people that are against kneeling are white people with an agenda.
    +++
    You have racist undertones in your comment.

  91. As a white guy I asked myself a few questions…can I name one person of my skin color who was slain by a cop? NO, Can I name a black person slain by a cop? Yes,I know even with my lack of knowledge I can give you a few names. If any of the police brutality videos Ive seen would of been my complexion being harmed I know the country would not go to sleep until justice is served but that’s the problem, it will NEVER EVER happen to us and we know it. At this point you should know whether this is about the flag or not. Idk why my people get mad at another race saying things can be better with police but a tv star tells you the country wasn’t great and you bought a hat to support him. I hated Ali as a youngster and I’m man enough to admit it. I don’t want to hate another person because I myself struggle with their perspective.

  92. If kneeling is disrespectful during the Anthem, what is standing in line to buy beer and hot dogs during that period? That has never been stopped either..

  93. Maybe they should do the kneel during the coin toss. The kneeling during the national anthem just shows how little respect certain players have for society in general by disrespecting a symbol of our country.

  94. Schism Lateralus says:

    ” When our country stifles debate, and labels all dissenting opinion as wrong,
    evil, vile, etc, we have a lot more problems ahead than just racism. ”

    _______.

    Well said. I couldn’t agree more. We need more debate and be tolerant of
    dissenting voices. We must show more compassion and not only hear,
    but listen to what the other side is saying.

    So, let’s do this, and do it in a civil way.
    I’d like to ask you to clarify three things for me.

    You say you don’t care for kneeling during the anthem, nor like
    when people don’t take their hats off. It’s a valid personal opinion.

    So I’ll ask you, how do you square holding this opinion, while as
    a veteran, also having taken an oath to defend the nation, it’s people
    and the very Constitution and subsequent rights, which include these
    very freedoms for dissent, right to protest, and which you swore to protect?

    When do personal opinions, not liking something, or perceptions of disrespect,
    override the guaranteed rights outlined in the Constitution and other civil rights?

    Lastly, it has been mentioned many times that kneeling has historically
    been regarded as a sign of respect, contemplation and prayer and deference
    to authority. — Soldiers kneel next to a fallen soldier on the battlefield,
    they kneel by the grave marker, players take a knee by another injured player,
    people kneel in churches as well as in mosques, we kneel to propose, and
    it was the custom to kneel before a sovereign, etc…

    Now, one side decided kneeling is now disrespectful. Do you agree with this,
    and if so, why? Was the Green Beret wrong? Do you feel it should be done away with?

    I appreciate your thoughts, and thank you for your service.

  95. All of this because Kaepernick got benched. If he doesn’t get benched this never happens

  96. They can all urinate during the anthem as far as I concerned because I won’t be watching! I wouldn’t want to be a party to the oppression and exploitation of these poor millionaires. NFL doesn’t matter!

  97. All these white players are going to say what they feel they need to say in order to not be called a racist. I don’t think many agree with the kneeling if they were being truthful but it’s not allowed to be truthful in today’s society. Just try telling the actual truth on police shootings and how whites are killed much more often by police than blacks(stats back that up) and watch all the crazy “woke” crowd go absolutely berserk telling you those facts are a lie!

  98. BigAlHeBDMan says:
    June 13, 2020 at 7:32 pm
    If kneeling is disrespectful during the Anthem, what is standing in line to buy beer and hot dogs during that period? That has never been stopped either..

    In the presence of the flag

  99. JJ, can you just shut up for one week. Who cares. Great player, but I do not need to know every time he takes a crap !!! Good Lord

  100. Yes I am listening, but kneelers are LAZY. They dont want to protest peacefully outside of the workplace on their own time. That would take more time. They chose this time to piss people off and deny it and not have to do something that really takes energy. Screw all of them. The NFL chose a bad hill to die on if they think this isnt going to be their demise.

  101. If JJ is such a progressive social justice warrior why didn’t he kneel last year or the year before? These guys are all just jumping on the bandwagon because it’s convenient and so it looks good……

  102. Why can’t someone be against racism AND believe that kneeling or other forms of protest during the National Anthem is wrong also. The George Floyd killing is a powerful enough event to unite most Americans, 90% or more that I know of believe Chauvin is guilty of murder. Use the public support this brings to the social justice cause and use it as an agent for the change that is needed in policing. To use divisive tactics like kneeling during the anthem will only bring opposition to the cause, lose people that were were swayed to your side of the issue. Other things that are happening run the risk of over shadowing Floyd’s death, rioting, looting and anarchy in the streets will only lose you support you might have had. Glad to see some BLM groups speaking out against these types of activities and disassociating themselves from it. causes are successful when you have broad public support, you have that now but could lose some of it if not careful.

  103. You have the right to your own opinion, as we all do. You don’t have the right to your own facts. Many seem to confuse the two.

    The facts are right there. Check the DOJ facts. There is no “police hunt” for black people.

  104. Nothing like listening to a bunch of rich, spoiled, entitled athletes telling us how we should think.

  105. As I said before, then why kneel in front of the flag. It’s disrespect. If you want to kneel, do it some other place.

  106. You can believe whatever you want. Fine. But accept the fact that others disagree with you and find it offensive to kneel during the anthem. You can’t stop people from believing a certain viewpoint. So stop trying. And unfortunately for these players, I’d bet 75% of fans don’t like the kneeling. If you’re willing to risk losing a big chunk of your audience, kneel away. It doesn’t matter what you think other people should think. They have their beliefs and you have yours. The consequences will be whether viewership changes or not. Simple as that.

  107. likeeversonwallslookingup says:
    Came here to see how the bitter old white man population feels about the issue.

    Look away, no stereotypes or racism here.

  108. Ok I’m going to make this crystal clear….. Everyone has an opinion, and IS ENTITLED TO THEIR OPINION. As a veteran, I find it disrespectful to kneel for a flag that I fought for to protect your freedoms in this country. Don’t blast me for my beliefs because I don’t believe with the current left agenda. I kneel for no man, only for the lord all mighty, period. Instead of kneeling how about you actually support the cause for change in your local communities.

  109. Kaepernick who started the kneeling wears Castro and Che Guevara shirts and pig socks. Don’t tell me it’s not about disrespecting our flag and what our country is all about. They can protest other ways and other times. It’s a few minutes to show respect to our flag and our country during the game and they have to pull that stunt? It’s dividing our country because it’s the symbol of our country and they’re basically protesting our country. They should be specific about their issues and deal with them specifically. Police brutality? Oppression? Poverty? Equality? They’ve been protesting for ages and the problems are still here and will still be here because no society is perfect. We have programs and laws to address and mitigate those issues. The question is, why aren’t the programs working? Creating noise, blaming, and endless apologizing are not going to solve the problems. Everybody should look at themselves honestly and brutally, that include blacks, whites, browns, and ask themselves what they have doing wrong and how are they going to correct the problems. No shifting, dodging, and empty labeling. Otherwise we’ll be back here again and the division even deeper.

  110. You’re totally obsessed with pretending you have the right to try to control and change people and that you know best.

    Get help.

  111. “ exusafsp says:
    June 13, 2020 at 8:19 pm
    You have the right to your own opinion, as we all do. You don’t have the right to your own facts. Many seem to confuse the two.

    The facts are right there. Check the DOJ facts. There is no “police hunt” for black people.

    Here are the facts… they don’t match what you say exusafsp;

    Black Americans are killed at a much higher rate than white Americans
    Although half of the people shot and killed by police are white, black Americans are shot at a disproportionate rate. They account for less than 13 percent of the U.S. population, but are killed by police at more than twice the rate of white Americans. Hispanic Americans are also killed by police at a disproportionate rate.

  112. It doesn’t matter how many times star players or anyone else says it’s not about the flag. Alot of us view it that way and we aren’t going to change our opinion. Why not pick a unifying way to protest this issue which a ton of people agree is a problem? Like it or not kneeling during the anthem is divisive and takes away from the message.

  113. Watt truly doesn’t get it. A social position was hijacked by political forces. They will always be pushback on that. Its about positioning the opposition to make it appear they are against the social posit. So many fall for this so often and easily. All to cause destabilization.

  114. too far to many Americans
    the civil war is still ongoing
    the racist jerks, the confederates lost
    plain and simple
    a man is to be judged by who he is and what he does
    not by the color of his skin
    to the NFL players that believe America is for all, not just the whites
    I beg you, please take a knee, this is about what America should be
    not just what the ugly racist want it to be

  115. @balzer41 ,

    ” Just try telling the actual truth on police shootings and how whites
    are killed much more often by police than blacks(stats back that up)
    and watch all the crazy “woke” crowd go absolutely berserk telling you
    those facts are a lie! ”

    ————-.

    I’m all for hearing the truth. The truth shall set us all free.
    Please post those stats that back up your spurious comment.

    You seem like a sincere guy, so I’m assuming you understand how stats work,
    and are able to put context to the numbers. You are obviously taking into account
    for the vast difference in the population numbers, aren’t you ?

    I’ll help you out. The populations run about 76.5% white and 13.4% black
    according to the last census. .
    All are 100% American.

    Please share your stats for all to see.

  116. Janus says:
    June 13, 2020 at 4:13 pm
    Such an insult to Colin Kaepernick to repeatedly ignore his words: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

    Just curious here, what country is Not guilty of this oppression?

  117. Let’s be honest, it is about the flag. If it were not, the protest could be done at other times and in other ways. Over the past almost 250 years, many men and women (of all colors) gave their lives for us to have the right to have civil discourse about our thoughts and ideas (add to that the ability to make millions of dollars just because you can throw a ball). Respect that sacrifice by standing, removing your hat, etc. If you want to protest and try effect change, there are peaceful ways of doing that – not by rioting, burning & looting. I hear lots of people say we need to have hard discussions about race relations – and we do. But the discussions never happen. Mostly because the people calling for them aren’t willing to listen. They want their voices to be heard and their demands to be met, but they won’t listen to what others have to say. I hear lots of talk about rights – but where’s the discussion about responsibilities? You can’t have one without the other.

  118. If it is received as disrespectful to a person, then it is to that person. Don’t tell someone how to feel.

    “and its players need to ignore —> misguided voices <— of dissent that will be remembered unfavorably by history." – says the opposing view is wrong. Arrogance.

    If there is kneeling, I will not boycott. My view, my right. You believe what you want. One less person to hear your voice.

  119. Fact is Watt or anyone else can say knelling during the anthem isn’t disrespectful but that doesn’t make it true. They can say people who believe it’s disrespecting the flag just haven’t been listening but that doesn’t make it true. Fact is people are listening. People understand what it represents and people agree how important it is but the way it’s done is still disrespectful to the American flag. If it’s that important to do it at a game kneel during one of your drives when everyone is watching. When no one can complain about disrespecting our flag.

  120. “Fact is Watt or anyone else can say knelling during the anthem isn’t disrespectful but that doesn’t make it true. They can say people who believe it’s disrespecting the flag just haven’t been listening but that doesn’t make it true. Fact is people are listening. People understand what it represents and people agree how important it is but the way it’s done is still disrespectful to the American flag. If it’s that important to do it at a game kneel during one of your drives when everyone is watching. When no one can complain about disrespecting our flag.”

    That’s what I keep thinking all along. Just because you say you kneel for a reason doesn’t mean it’s right. You have simply given a reason for why you do something.

    I am all for protests. I served my country to give these overpaid players the ability to protest this way. Doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s disrespectful to the flag. I believe there are many other ways to get your point across than kneeling during the anthem.

    Just like the looters. That’s not protesting. That theft and destruction of property. You lose you message in the delivery.

  121. If Watt makes his position on kneeling clear, it isn’t in this article! Calling a cat a dog doesn’t make it a dog. This seems like a big attention-getting thing for people with a grossly overinflated sense of self-importance. Let the babies whine and move on with real life.

  122. If its not about the flag then why don’t they take a knee at halftime? In front of the biggest audience that they can get.
    JJ Watt surely doesn’t understand about the flag and the United States. Seems this always happens with these entitled athletes.

  123. Why kneel during the National Anthem if it not about the flag and supporting our military and our country!. Pick another time to kneel and then we will believe that it is about non-patriotic things!

  124. Kneeling is protest. Protest is supposed to be upsetting. You get people agitated to get their attention and try to dissolve complacency around the issues. It’s been effective in that regard. Personally, I don’t care for anything that messes with the flag, including blue stripe versions though cops are kinda my heroes.
    Let people have their protest. If anything non violent protest honors our democracy.
    Would I kneel at an NFL game? Gladly. (It won’t matter for me because the TV experience is better.) Kneeling will pass. As did burning the flag back in the sixties.
    These are good people promoting a worthwhile cause. Honor them and their cause by allowing them to borrow our symbol (It’s theirs too!)

  125. Thank God we live in a free country where players who wish to kneel during the anthem may do so – and those who disagree can have their own opinion, as well.

    You can’t dictate when or if someone protests – that’s kind of the point. Too many voices want to focus on the flag – a symbol of our freedoms – and seem to completely ignore Kaepernick’s intentions. That’s the result of all the propaganda that changed the debate from police oppression to knee-jerk, performative patriotism.

    All the anger we’ve seen in the streets didn’t arrive in a vacuum.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.