CarlFBPicLately there’s been a lot of debate coming across my Facebook page about the protests of NFL athletes during the national anthem.

Some people think the protesting players ought to be fired.

Some people think it’s a form of protected free speech.

Few of them seem to understand freedom of speech or freedom of the press.

Newspaper reporters have freedom of speech, in their role as a PRIVATE CITIZEN.  They do not, in any way shape or form have “freedom of speech” in their writings for the newspaper, UNLESS THE OWNER OF THE NEWSPAPER GRANTS IT TO THEM.  It’s the owners newspaper and the owner is not only free to print what he/she pleases, but is also RESPONSIBLE FOR IT.

It’s the same with Freedom of the press.  A newspaper reporter writing for the Minneapolis Tribune does not have “freedom of the press” unless they publish their own blog or their own newspaper.  Again, the right and responsibility fall to the owner of the newspaper.

It’s also the same with movie actors.  If they stood up during filming to preach about some pet political subject of theirs, do you think it would make it into the final version of the movie?

No way.  Why?

Because IT’S NOT THEIR MOVIE.  (most of the time)

Imagine a world where Dan Rather was hired by Fox News to SIMPLY READ THE NEWS but instead he goes off the reservation and starts preaching the gospel according the Chairman Mao on live TV.  He’d be fired before he got to the second sentence.


Some folks are criticizing Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for threatening to fire players who kneel during the national anthem.  The NFL is entertainment.  Theater, if you will.  The Theater Company known as the Dallas Cowboys is owned by Mr. Jerry Jones.  It’s HIS stage and the actors (players) must make his show the way he wants them to or (he says) he will exercise his right to replace them with players who will.

Colin Kaepernick and all the other  so-called “hero” protesters are perfectly free to buy a ticket to a game, sit in the stands, and take a knee during the national anthem, in their role as a PRIVATE CITIZEN.  This is a protected form of free speech, as is burning the flag.

They DO NOT enjoy that right when acting on their Team’s stage UNLESS THEIR TEAM ALLOWS IT.

At the same time, the rest of us private citizens are free to exercise our rights to not buy tickets or otherwise patronize the NFL because we are unhappy with the disrespect being shown to our nation and our flag, and the leagues reaction to it.

Everywhere ANY of us work has work rules by which we must abide, if we wish to continue our employment.

So it is with the Dallas Cowboys.

In the immortal words of Ron Popeil, “But wait.  There’s more!”

One lady on Facebook today argued that kneeling IS a sign of respect.

Well, perception is reality, I suppose but this thought is just twisted logic.

Making a point, during the ONE MINUTE where we customarily show respect for our nation and our flag (by showing disrespect), in order to show “respect” for some other person, group, movement, etc. is still showing great DISRESPECT to the flag, our nation, and the people and practice underway.
I have come across Muslims praying in some odd places, including a parking ramp at the Minneapolis Airport where I helped them figure out which way to face toward Mecca, (they were gracious and grateful) and NOT ONCE have I have gotten on my knees and prayed to Jesus (or any other deity) in their presence.

Because it would be DISRESPECTFUL to them and of their beliefs and practices.

When I was younger, I attended a number of hockey games where both the US National Anthem and the Canadian National Anthem were played.  Americans in the crowd were not disruptive and never sang “The Star Spangled Banner” while “Oh Canada” was being sung.

Or vice versa.

This form of childish disrespect just didn’t enter their minds.

Just like you cannot solve the problem of discrimination by practicing MORE discrimination, you cannot gain respect by showing disrespect.

I’m sorry. I know we Americans are not perfect, and we have a long way to go, but to somehow equate the US Flag and the National Anthem with something that is ANTI- freedom, ANTI-Equal Opportunity, or ANTI Black, Green, Brown, Yellow, or Pink peoples’ rights is just plain mistaken.
And seriously, any individual who thinks that our nation is such an awful place to live, FOR ANYONE, is speaking from the abject ignorance of someone who has never lived a substantial time in a foreign country or culture, trying to make a living, where they themselves were the actual minority.

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