Catching Straws: Democratic Members Call For Impeachment For Trump’s NFL Comments and Other Controversies

300px-National_Football_League_logo.svgdonald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedBelow is my  column in the Hill newspaper on the continuing controversy over President Donald Trump’s remarks over the NFL anthem protest. including the suggestion that his remarks could constitute a case for impeachment.  I wrote earlier that the coverage over the anthem protests have been criticized with cameras notably redirected when boos were heard from the crowed. Indeed, yesterday morning, I watched CNN cover the controversy and say that at a particular game there was “both cheers and boos.”  However, when they cut to the clip there was overwhelming boos and the reporter admitted that the fans have clearly “not gotten the message” of the players.  It does concern me that, again, the coverage seems weighted in downplaying the polls showing that most people (including myself) do not approve of the protesting of the anthem and raising of the flag. As I have previously written, this does not mean that we have fulfilled those values, but rather that we remain joined by a common article of faith in freedom and equality.

Most citizens seems to have a balanced view that they do not approve of the failure to stand for the anthem, but recognize that the players have the right to protest (unless owners decided to enforce the earlier policy of showing respect for the anthem). In the meantime, the owners have shown that they are only concerned with profits and, with Roger Goodell, are desperately looking for a way to threat a needle without an eye-hole.  They are trying every variation, including the Packers standing arm in arm or the Steelers just not coming out of the anthem.  It is clear that neither side is buying it and the only agreement of many people on both sides is a common contempt for Goodell and the owners.

 

Here is the column:

 

Hammer_ball_paneNailsCloseupThere is an old adage that “if all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” For some Democrats, it seems like impeachment is their only tool in dealing with President Trump. That makes every objectionable comment or act by Trump an impeachable offense. The latest example came from Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), who has decided to file a resolution in the House of Representatives for impeachment after Trump called for players kneeling during the national anthem to be fired.

While Green’s effort is viewed as unlikely to garner much support, we have had increasing calls for impeachment and, more ominously, arguments that impeachments may be properly based for any reason supported by enough members. Under that standard, most recently advanced by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), opposing anthem kneelers would easily satisfy the constitutional standard, since there would be no standard.

In a speech before the Congressional Black Caucus town hall, Waters criticized other Democrats for failing to move aggressively for impeachment. She said, “Impeachment is about whatever the Congress says it is. There is no law that dictates impeachment. What the Constitution says is ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,’ and we define that.” In so saying, Waters dismissed the constitutional obligation to find “high crimes and misdemeanors” in assuring supporters that they can simply get rid of Trump on a muscle vote. In 1970, when Gerald Ford was still a member of the House of Representatives, he said, “An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be.”On a very superficial level it is a political decision in the sense that it’s a decision that is ultimately made by politicians. However, that does not make the basis for decision purely political. It is akin to saying that, since a priest can grant absolution on his own authority, sin is a discretionary pastoral question. The Framers struggled to establish a standard and process to make impeachment both difficult and substantive.

That danger is more than evident in Green’s use of the NFL controversy. Trump caused an uproar at a recent Alabama rally when he asked, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b—h off the field right now?’” That was it for Green who was watching the rally live. He said, “This is not just another person. This is the president of the United States of America stifling free speech, and he does it in such a crass, rude, crude and unrefined way. To label a person who is peacefully protesting, label this person the son of a dog? No way.”

But Trump is also a citizen with free speech rights. Indeed, presidents have long viewed their function as speaking to the values of the nation. More importantly, “stifling free speech” through the exercise of free speech is a curious concept, and it is a dangerous concept as a basis for impeachment. Trump was expressing his view on the meaning of these protests and objecting to their appearance at professional sporting events. One can certainly disagree with that view, but it is his view, and he has a right to express it. Yet Green said, “These comments about free speech, which is something I cherish, they have caused me to conclude that now is the time to let the world know that there is at least one person in the Congress who believes that the president has gone too far.”

When Green says he cherishes free speech, it is hard to tell if he cherishes the message or the act. If Green is correct and all protests should be allowed, would he also support protests in private workplaces by racists or other hate groups? Even if the same protections for free speech were extended to private companies, the president exercising free speech would not be viewed as a form of censorship, regulation or criminalization of speech. If we were to accept the oxymoronic concept of “anti-speech” speech, most presidents would be guilty of the offense in denouncing certain groups or forms of protests.

In reality, the players do not have a constitutional right to protest in their workplace, any more than other employees. The owners of the team could bar protests as a condition for employment as disruptive to the games and inimical to their business. (Indeed, the NFL has a rule that players during the anthem must “stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking” or face discipline. That does not, however, appear in the 2017 version of the NFL official playing rules).

Some like Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones clearly do not object to the protests and even joined in kneeling during the anthem with the players. However, it remains the choice of the company. The First Amendment was designed to protect against government restrictions on free speech. Otherwise, businesses could not prevent employees from giving you a lecture on socioeconomic inequalities before handing over your coffee or dry cleaning. Most customers are looking for a latte, not a lecture, at Starbucks.

Nevertheless, Green not only believes that Trump’s NFL comments were the last straw, he insists there were “many, many things that could have been the straw.” Indeed, if you accept the expression of values as impeachable, impeachment becomes simply a matter of pulling “straws.” While Green would not say that the criticism of Trump was racist, he said, “Whether something is done by accident or design, it’s the effect that matters greatly. Whether it’s being done with malice, aforethought or no thought at all, the harm still persists.”

So there you have it. Green appears entirely unconcerned (as does Waters) with the implications of reducing impeachment to such visceral and fluid determinations. He insisted that “history will vindicate” him. Neither Green nor Waters should wait for “vindication.” History has already answered this call for impulse-buy impeachments. The Framers saw the great abuses caused not only by tyranny of nobility, but tyranny of the majority. They sought to insulate our government from the transient impulses of politics. Otherwise, impeachment becomes little more than grabbing any opportunistic excuse for impeachment like so many “straws” in the political wind.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

206 thoughts on “Catching Straws: Democratic Members Call For Impeachment For Trump’s NFL Comments and Other Controversies

  1. Apparently only two witless souls protested the anthem tonight on MNF, both from the KC Chefs. The Redskins had the decency to at least look respectful. While the league might think it’s over, it’s really just begun. Here’s some background music to soothe their disresoectful hearts and it has a prediction, too:

  2. The left doesn’t really want impeachment. What would it give them. A Pence Presidency? A Ryan-Hatch administration? They want THE IDEA of impeachment to permeate but not the actual heavy lifting involved. It’s all about the street theater and optics for the left. Actually doing something is too big a lift for them.

  3. After Nazis marched on the largely Jewish neighborhood of Skokie, Illinois in 1977, William F. Buckley, Jr. possessed the moral confidence in self-government to repudiate the suggestion that “we indulge the little tyrants.” A Nazi march through a largely Jewish neighborhood, or a KKK march through the streets of Harlem, has the worth to self-government of “an obscene phone call.” Rather than hide such speech “under the umbrella of the First Amendment,” Buckley said “the moral is that little boys should not be given dangerous toys.”

    Is it wrong to take an absolutist view on free speech?

    http://www.libertylawsite.org/2017/09/18/the-natural-law-of-free-speech/?utm_source=The+Federalist+List&utm_campaign=45387a4522-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_10_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_cfcb868ceb-45387a4522-79248369

      • On the surface I would agree. But in the context of civil society and the principle of self-government, should there be limits? Don’t we empower government to put limits on our natural rights as part of the social contract?

        • Olly see how your sentence reads if we change context to control.

          But in the control of civil society and the principle of self-government, should there be limits?

          • Allan,
            That would change the meaning of my question. Perhaps it was not artfully stated. In civil society, as opposed to the state of nature,…

            When I first began studying natural rights theory I struggled with the concept of rights being unalienable in civil society. I found a great explanation on how these rights that we have in nature are not taken away from us as a pretext to living in civil society. Instead we have them disabled to some degree and under certain circumstances defined by law.

            So in reference to this article, I’m guess I’m not a natural rights absolutist in the sense that any disablement of my rights should only be allowed if it protects the civic virtue enhances the stability of our republican government.

            • Olly, our respective arguments might not be totally understood by each other. What limits my natural rights? A lot of things including my own abilities and fears. The hardest question is where government has the right to interfere in your natural rights. That is a tough one if it comes down to protection of the nation where there is a trade-off. But in other interactions between one and another the limitation of one’s rights generally occurs when your use of those rights interfere with another person’s rights. Things then become a balancing act. It is at these limits of our rights that the Constitution (right or wrong) comes into play.

              I have placed all the terms in my language because I didn’t want to distort yours. My response doesn’t directly answer specific questions and wasn’t meant to do so. Rather this is a desire to make me understand you better and visa versa. Am I making any sense?

  4. Let me quote something from the Powerline Blog generally very accurate. Perhaps this will set a better picture in the minds of many people though I don’t think it will have any effect on anonymous. It’s nice to know that people like anonymous support a man who pledged $25,000 to a cop killer who is also deemed a “domestic terrorist” by the FBI. Assata convicted of 1st degree murder of a NJ STate Trooper now living in Cuba. To her credit for those in love with violence Assata has been a member of the Black Panthers, Black Liberation Army and an on the side bank robber.

    Way to go anonymous. Keep supporting these wonderful people and wonderful ideas.


    Kaepernick donated $25,000 to group honoring cop killer
    Posted: 02 Oct 2017 03:55 PM PDT
    (Paul Mirengoff)
    Colin Kaepernick has received favorable publicity for pledging $1 million in charitable donations. But according to the Washington Times, $25,000 of that money has been donated to an outfit called Assata’s Daughters, which is named after former Black Liberation Army member Assata Shakur.

    Assata Shakur was convicted of first-degree murder in the 1973 shooting death of New Jersey state trooper Werner Foerster. He was sentenced to life in prison, but staged a jailbreak. Shakur now lives as a fugitive in Cuba.

    Assata’s Daughters was founded in 2015. Its mission, according to the outfit’s website, is to “develop and train young people, ages 4-19, in the Black queer feminist tradition and in the spirit of Assata.”

    Thus, Kaepernick is promoting the work of an organization dedicated to training young people in the spirit of a convicted cop killer deemed a “domestic terrorist” by the FBI.

    Assata was originally a member of the murderous Black Panthers. However, she found them insufficiently militant. Thus, she joined the more radical Black Liberation Army.

    When she killed Foerster during a stop for a traffic violation, she was already wanted by the police on several felony charges, including bank robbery. She and those in the car with her open-fired on the police. One trooper was wounded and Foerster was killed, execution style, at point blank range.

    Kaepernick isn’t just a fan of Assata’s Daughters. He’s a fan of Assata Shakur. Recently, he tweeted a birthday greeting to her.

    This is the man behind the kneel-down movement. Like Assata Shakur, he hates America and he hates the police.

    That’s his right, and in my view it shouldn’t cost him his job (if that’s what’s happening). But make no mistake: The movement Kaepernick has tried, with some success, to stir up among NFL players should be understood as part of the same subversive anti-American movement he’s backing by donating to Assata Daughters.

    Kaepernick’s apologists, some of whom defend his kneeling down on the absurd theory that it is “a sign of veneration” for America, are either disingenuous or blind.”

    • Thanks Alan, It is helpful to better understand Kaepernick’s true position on the issues and who he supports and why. When I see the all the cops and first responders doing what they are doing in Las Vegas — and for a tiny fraction of the obscene salaries these NFL players make — it sickens me even more to see these NFL players kneeling or raising clenched fists. Yes, there are issues…and yes, there are some bad cops…but by and large the cops are the Thin Blue Line we all depend on to keep all hell from breaking loose….and to diss them the way Kaepernick has by wearing “pigs” as cops on his socks, etc, is just wrong. I do not support Kaepernick at all. The guy was playing poorly and took a knee as a publicity stunt to save his job. His protest should have been shut down on day 1.

  5. Trying to impeach Trump for ‘rudeness’ undermines the Democrats’ desire to be taken seriously, and, if ever there was a real reason to initiate impeachment proceedings, they would look like the boy who cried wolf.

    Crying impeachment over rudeness for a Republican versus poo-pooing impeachment over perjury for a Democrat. Okey-dokey.

  6. I think the athletes ought to be required to goose – step onto the field while the national anthem is being played.

    /sarc

    • mickey,

      Obama also conducted unconstitutional surveillance, wiretapping and unmasking, the greatest political crime in American history subsequent to using Hillary’s illegal server and e-mail (res ipsa loquitur) and approving Hillary’s blatant pay-for-play as Sec of State.

      Obama, Hillary and the rest of the “Obama Gang” are “TOO BIG TO JAIL” in the minds of Congress, the DOJ, the FBI and SCOTUS.

      American Congress, law enforcement and jurisprudence; The Three Wise Monkeys:

      “Hear no Evil, See no Evil, Speak no Evil.”

      If Law and Order are ever implemented in America, there is going to be a run on guillotines.

  7. OOOhhh, Jonathan, you’re telling a fib. No one is protesting the anthem or the flag. They are protesting police brutality, including the murders of innocent black men. But it serves the GOP to pretend otherwise because it suits their faux patriotism. A piece of fabric, a crappy piece of music are meaningless. What they represent is priceless.

    And, on a non-related issue, the GOP collectively will never take their heads out of the NRA’s ass while their hands are busy stuffing NRA campaign contributions into their pockets. Too bad for us.

    • “OOOhhh, Jonathan, you’re telling a fib. No one is protesting the anthem or the flag. ”

      Maybe you can quote in context the portion where Jonathan told a fib. I keep hearing about all these things JT said, but I don’t generally get to see the exact quote. I wonder why. Could it be that some have a tendency to make things up or don’t understand what he is saying? By the way I can’t be sure what some of those guys are protesting and I don’t think some of them even know. In the end it appeared more like a protest of the anthem and the flag than of anything else and I have serious doubts Kaepernick knows the facts surrounding his complaints.

    • Kaepernik’s own words prove you wrong.
      “Here are Kaepernick’s thoughts on why he’s choosing to sit during the national anthem.
      “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.””
      He is protesting against the flag during the anthem to draw attention to ‘police brutality,’ which is mostly a myth.
      http://ftw.usatoday.com/2016/08/tony-stewart-colin-kaepernick-national-anthem-protest

      • That’s one guy. Perhaps interesting, but hardly dispositive of anything except the purpose of one guy. Next…

        This is to “nice try, but not” Jane

        • So the motives of the founder of the protests are immaterial? He started the behavior, gave a statement on the behavior, and was emulated by the ignorant sheep in the NFL.

          The do have every right to be as ignorant as they want to be and I have the right to remove my support. Let’s see who suffers more.

    • They are protesting police brutality, including the murders of innocent black men.

      These protests are stupid. There is no indication that this is a systemic problem in this country (as opposed to a series of spot problems in particular departments). You’d have to scrounge to find a fatal encounter between a police officer and a civilian (black or otherwise) that would qualify as a murder as opposed to a lesser sort of homicide or a nonjusticiable homicide. You’d also have to scrounge to find actually innocent people deliberately killed by officers. One of the few cases is a woman in Minneapolis who was shot in baffling circumstances and another is a child shot in Cleveland who had pointed a toy gun (not recognizable as a toy gun) at an officer. Neither of these individuals fit into the category of ‘black men’, innocent or otherwise.

  8. Patriots and Protesters Should Take a Knee for the Constitution

    By John W. Whitehead
    September 25, 2017

    “Seems like in the past 15 years or so the idea of patriotism has changed some. More polarized, more tied to political or ideological views. I’ve never seen patriotism or the flag connected to either; I see the flag more as the symbol of a nation that allows the freedom to express those ideas. That alone deserves my respect.”— Macy Moore, U.S. Marine

    https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/patriots_and_protesters_should_take_a_knee_for_the_constitution

  9. “In the recent days of argument over whether NFL players have the right to protest racial inequality and systemic injustice in the United States, few have brought up the fact that less than a decade ago, professional football players didn’t even appear on the field during the national anthem.

    “”That changed in 2009, as the Department of Defense poured millions of dollars into the NFL in exchange for displays of patriotism during games.” — from the following article

    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/pentagon-paid-nfl-displays-patriotism/

    “A key component is missing from the current controversial discussion surrounding football players and the national anthem. In the recent days of argument over whether NFL players have the right to protest racial inequality and systemic injustice in the United States, few have brought up the fact that less than a decade ago, professional football players didn’t even appear on the field during the national anthem.

    “That changed in 2009, as the Department of Defense poured millions of dollars into the NFL in exchange for displays of patriotism during games. “Until 2009, no NFL player stood for the national anthem because players actually stayed in the locker room as the anthem played,” ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith explained in 2016. “The players were moved to the field during the national anthem because it was seen as a marketing strategy to make the athletes look more patriotic. The United States Department of Defense paid the National Football League $5.4 million between 2011 and 2014, and the National Guard $6.7 million between 2013 and 2015 to stage onfield patriotic ceremonies as part of military-recruitment budget line items.”

    “NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy later confirmed that players did not appear on field for the anthem until 2009, and Vice notes that Smith’s claim was checked by an ESPN researcher.

    “Urging players to appear onfield during the national anthem is just one example of “paid patriotism,” a practice tackled by Sen. John McCain and Sen. Jeff Flake in 2015. A joint report issued by the senators goes into even further detail about how the DOD financed displays of patriotism with taxpayer dollars:…”

    • Revert to the way that things were done in the past: The players remain in the locker room while the anthem is played.

      • I guess what you are saying is that the nation should bend over backwards for those that may hate America, its flag and its antherm. It seems that it wasn’t enough for you to just have Kaepernick wear non -NFL socks depicted the police as pigs. Perhaps you want to make sure that hatred for America and police officers get a front seat.

        • Nonsense, Allan.

          Patriots and Protesters Should Take a Knee for the Constitution

          By John W. Whitehead
          September 25, 2017

          “Seems like in the past 15 years or so the idea of patriotism has changed some. More polarized, more tied to political or ideological views. I’ve never seen patriotism or the flag connected to either; I see the flag more as the symbol of a nation that allows the freedom to express those ideas. That alone deserves my respect.”— Macy Moore, U.S. Marine

          https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/patriots_and_protesters_should_take_a_knee_for_the_constitution

          • You are repeating yourself.

            When dealing with free speech in a public or semi public institution one has to recognize that once one permits special speech for one side they have to permit it for the other or they are denying free speech to some. You don’t recognize that because you likely favor what Kaepernick did. He is a jerk and is inconsequential. He spews hate against America and hate against cops. It is your right to support such opinions and the right to speak against America and cops, but I note how you have no concern about those that have been prevented from similar free speach rights that support the fallen police officers.

        • Allan,
          I think anonymous has a good idea. If all the players stay in the locker room, like they apparently did 20 years ago (I have no idea, I have rarely watched pro-football), then the players will have to protest their legitimate concerns about police brutality to other venues. I think the concern is colorblind–plenty of examples of excessive force against people of all backgrounds, and, they should be protesting minority-against-minority violence especially. Players who wish to honor fallen officers can also organize protests off the field. I absolutely support such actions. To make their stands visible, they could buy some commercial spots around/during game time. ‘From one band of brothers to another–we support the families of fallen officers’. Or, ‘Excessive force is a foul in our playbook’.

          I think the Rutherford article is quite good. And, much of the patriotism I see at stadiums rings hollow. Unfurling the flag and singing the national anthem is fine, but the players wearing faux camo uniforms???? Really? Too much. And, the idea that the government is paying teams for patriotic displays smacks of self-serving manipulation. Jingoism can get us into trouble.

          Independence Day fireworks displays and the national anthem make me a little sad, as much as I love my country, because I fear for the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The NSA spying, the NDAA indefinite detention provision, the extra-judicial assassinations, congressional spinelessness especially with war powers, the Patriot Act–all erode our freedoms.

          It makes me angry to see people taking sides instead of banding together to defend the Constitution. Democrats were silent when Obama twisted it for his own ends, just as Republicans were silent when Bush did.

          • Prarie Rose, I am not that concerned with what the players do, thus Kaepernick can wear socks showing cops as pigs. That is fine if the owners permit it, but then for them to prevent other players from carrying a patch in support of the slain policemen should be permitted as well. But the latter wasn’t permitted and the former was. The NFL is not entirely private since so many tax dollars go into support the NFL. That in my mind makes it quasi public and therefore cannot be biased by denying freedom of speech to only one side. If the NFL is not quasi private or considered totally private then they can do as they wish, but as a consumer I can spend my dollars elsewhere. That, however, doesn’t change the bad behavior on the part of Kaepernick or the NFL.

            As was suggested by many and adopted by anonymous is an idea that the players don’t show up until after the anthem. That is fine as well. That is a negative type of action rather than the positive one of kneeling and wearing socks depicting the police as pigs. That is a better option, but the whole idea was to be visible and that type of visibility should not have occurred.

            Like you I absolutely support protest and freedom of speech, but the workplace is not the appropriate venue though he (the employer) who pays the piper calls the song. You talk about them buying commercial spots, but they don’t have to. Hannity has pledged to give them an hour or more on his show which reaches a large audience and that could lead to other shows following suit. No one wants the police to act inappropriately, but as we see here on the blog the facts are quite different than those presented and blacks are not being continuously shot because they are black. Very few are shot and killed by police that didn’t have weapons and a number of that small number were shot by police that were black.

            I find no difficulty in celebrating this nations independence. This nation has been a good nation with occasional actions that add some blemishes. No one and no nation is without error. We are seeing a divide today that should not exist. Tribalism is the game being played by the leftists, black against white, female against male, etc. It is a dangerous game to play in such a dangerous world.

            • Allan,
              “But the latter wasn’t permitted and the former was.” Which is absolutely unfair. Great post, BTW.

              You would love Jordan Peterson’s videos and his interviews on the Joe Rogan show. He outlines the postmodernist origins of the contemporary tribalism you noted. He is a brilliant and interesting speaker. (The Joe Rogan Show is not for young ears, though due to the cuss words).

                • jim2 for some reason my comments are awaiting moderation so I am trying a third time, but this time rewriting the entire posting and using a phony name.

                  “PAY the NFL for players to stand for the flag?” No. The left promotes a lot of garbage figuring that if one puts out a lot of Bull and mixes it with a tiny bit of truth in order to promote their hatred of America. Does the DoD pay for commercials? Yes, just like every other American corporation.

                  How does the money flow? From communities to the NFL. Corporate NFL I believe fits under the not for profit category. Look at how frequently the communities pay for the stadiums and the tax abatements the NFL gets. We are talking about big bucks that I don’t believe ever makes it back into the individuals’s pocket.

                  • Explain this then…..NFL PATRIOTISM FUNDING

                    In 2015, Sen. McCain and Sen. Flake released a joint oversight report that found the government did fund patriotic displays seen in professional sports.

                    “Displays of paid patriotism are included within the $6.8 million that the Department of Defense has spent on sports marketing contracts since fiscal year 2012,” according to the report.

                    It stated 72 of the 122 contracts analyzed show the Department of Defense paid for patriotic tributes at professional football, baseball, basketball, hockey and soccer games.
                    “These paid tributes included on-field color guard, enlistment and reenlistment ceremonies, performances of the national anthem, full-field flag details, ceremonial first pitches͕ and puck drops. The National Guard paid teams for the ‘opportunity’ to sponsor military appreciation nights and to recognize its birthday,” according to the report.

                    The report went on to state the DoD paid teams to do surprise welcome home promotions for troops and to recognize Wounded Warriors.

                    “While well intentioned, we wonder just how many of these displays included a disclaimer that these events were in fact sponsored by the DoD at taxpayer expense,” the report stated.

                    source…http://www.9news.com/news/local/verify/verify-did-nfl-players-only-start-coming-onto-the-field-for-the-national-anthem-in-2009/478897066

                    c’mon tell the truth, you never even googled my assertion to verify or deny? you just winged it huh?

                    • Jim, what is to explain? Your statement had to do with standing for the flag. “Is it not true that the US defence agencies PAY the NFL for players to stand for the flag? “ Now the question has changed to “Explain this then…..NFL PATRIOTISM FUNDING” One can have such funding without paying for ‘standing for the flag’. You are conflating two different ideas. …And that question as well was answered when I said “Does the DoD pay for commercials? Yes, just like every other American corporation.” There is nothing wrong with the DoD advertising just like every other American corporation. You may not like these payments that may or may not encourage young people to join the army and fight on your behalf of your life, but none of this is paying for NFL players to stand for the flag.

                      PS, just so the wrong impression isn’t created, I believe a lot of these things (which I don’t exactly know) are provided gratis by the NFL for it reinforces the nature of the game. I do know that sometimes the NFL will do something and the DoD might pay to enhance that action.

                      “ c’mon tell the truth, you never even googled my assertion to verify or deny? you just winged it huh?”

                      This is plain insulting and requires an apology especially since you were wrong about paying for the players to stand for the flag which is not mentioned in your http and wrong again for not carefully reading my prior response about DoD advertising. Nor did you carefully read your own citation which states the same as I “There is no evidence that the players are on the field for the anthem because they are being paid by the government to stage patriotic displays, as the social media post claims. “

                      Before criticizing another you should check what was said. I wait for the apology. –Allan

        • Good Lord! You have quite a viewpoint!
          Is it not true that the US defence agencies PAY the NFL for players to stand for the flag? To help with recruitment and for the glorification of the Fatherland!

          • Jim see my posting above. Moderator actions prevented posting, and no I don’t blame Darren I blame the automatic moderation of WordPress. Allan

    • What is the point that anonymous is suggesting? Is it that athletes should stay off the field until the national anthem is played? Alternatively is it that America is such a terrible place that lack of respect by athletes towards the country, its anthem and its flag is a good thing?

      Either point anonymous might wish to make so happens to be a poor choice.

      • Patriots and Protesters Should Take a Knee for the Constitution

        By John W. Whitehead
        September 25, 2017

        “Seems like in the past 15 years or so the idea of patriotism has changed some. More polarized, more tied to political or ideological views. I’ve never seen patriotism or the flag connected to either; I see the flag more as the symbol of a nation that allows the freedom to express those ideas. That alone deserves my respect.”— Macy Moore, U.S. Marine

        https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/patriots_and_protesters_should_take_a_knee_for_the_constitution

        • Macy Moore is correct and no one wanted to stop Kaepernicks right to free speech. Not even Hannity for he offered one, two or more hours on his show for people to speak directly to the American people. If one was interested in their right to free speech, one would accept that offer. I’m still waiting.

          What the public has a right to do is object to Kaepernick and refuse to particpate by not going to games or watching them on television.

          It seems that some believe this freedom of speech should only exist on one side and forget about those that also had legitimate free speech issues such as supporting police officers which was banned. Once a public or quasi public institution makes this type of distinction they are violating the free speech rights of those where the right to protest (I think with a patch) was denied. That is the true problem.

          I think that problem might end up in court for UC Berkley that permits certain types of free speech while denying other viewpoints.

    • Another millennial trying to tell history of the NFL. As I said to a previous post, I remember players on the field for the National Anthem back in the 60’s. They may not have been required, doesn’t that in itself tell you something about the present NFL? The players didn’t have to be told they have to stand for the National Anthem, they had grievances back then but they handled them professionally (more or less).

  10. Still trying to mix oil and water I see.

    “Crazy Abe” Lincoln prior to his “Reign of Terror” –

    “If all earthly power were given me,” said Lincoln in a speech delivered in Peoria, Illinois, on October 16, 1854, “I should not know what to do, as to the existing institution [of slavery]. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia, to their own native land.” After acknowledging that this plan’s “sudden execution is impossible,” he asked whether freed blacks should be made “politically and socially our equals?” “My own feelings will not admit of this,” he said, “and [even] if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of white people will not … We can not, then, make them equals.”5

    ______________________

    The Founders had some ideas on fabricating a nation with the right components.

    “…the harmony of the ingredients is all-important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.”

    Alexander Hamilton –

    “The influx of foreigners must, therefore, tend to produce a heterogeneous compound; to change and corrupt the national spirit; to complicate and confound public opinion; to introduce foreign propensities. In the composition of society, the harmony of the ingredients is all-important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.”

  11. The whole matter started as sitting to show disrespect for the flag and country. That was the stated reason.
    Anything that evolves from it is basically fruit of the poisonous tree and just as insulting. Doubt me? Try this mental exercise:
    A player upset at “injustice” in Israel, gives a nazi salute at the coin toss. Who would defend him? Then he modifies it to be simply folding his arms and looking away at the toss. Anyone still defending him?
    Then the owners and his team mates come out on to the field and lock arms at the coin toss.

    Shouldn’t Jews feel threatened and offended even though it was just a benign locking of arms?

  12. Nobody will ever understand how these Morons
    can display such hatred for our National Anthem
    And Flag.
    Our culture is being attacked by a few and ignored by many.

  13. Just for the record, Jerry Jones did not kneel with his players for the national anthem, he did so on the field prior to the anthem (marching arm-in-arm onto the field for the purpose), and then all stood on the sideline during the anthem. It was the most profoundly stupid thing I have seen done on a football field since “wrong way Corrigan” scored a safety for the opposing team.

    The owners could legally prohibit their players from kneeling during the anthem, but they will not because the players’ union controls the owners completely. Think back to the New Orleans Saints and “bountygate.” The union established that coaches could be suspended for paying bonuses to have players deliberately injure opponents, but players could not be punished for accepting money and actually inflicting the injuries. The players’ union controls the NFL, not the owners or coaches.

    Note also the disgusting displays of one Odell Beckham Jr, which the team says will be “dealt with internally,” but who played the entire game the following week.

  14. Well, one perspective is that President Trump must be doing a fantastic job if the NFL tweets are the only transgression Congress can attempt to use to prosecute him.

  15. I don’t understand how difficult it is to simply do what an employer or their customers ask. Is it too much to ask to show respect during the national anthem in exchange for millions of dollars in compensation?

    • When watching at home, do you stand for the anthem? Is one’s compensation tied to patriotism? Such a silly issue, you are allowed to protest and your approval is not necessary.

      • So a Walmart employee is allowed to walk around the store with an ISIS flag?
        Nobody is saying they can’t protest but they have no right to a job if they insult their customers.

      • Is one’s compensation tied to patriotism?

        That’s a question that will ultimately be decided by the employer as they analyze the response from the customer…not the employee.

        • “Is one’s compensation tied to patriotism?”

          That is a false premise. A more accurate framing would be, “Can an entertainer insult the deeply held and cherished icons of his audience and remain employed?”
          I don’t know nor care how these players feel. I am offended by their conduct however.

      • “When watching at home, do you stand for the anthem?” My elderly father-in-law, who is a Korean War vet, does. Salutes while he’s doing it. While I may think this whole thing is nothing but virtue signaling by a bunch of overpaid, preening, crybabies, I do understand that other Americans view the protests differently. They are entitled to their own opinions. The fact that the football players have not been reprimanded is about $$, not their 1A rights, which have not been abridged here. I may have been outraged at the enabling of the Honduran military junta by SoS Clinton, but trying to get others at my company to join me in a protest at work would have gotten me fired. There is a time and place for political activity. The football players are not being paid to be political lecturers, and basically, their lack of factual data WRT who is and is not oppressed or killed in disproportionate numbers in this country just offends the rest of us. As Paul and Olly and so many others have said, at the end of the day, you have to be careful who you piss off, because your salary may depend on it.

        Larry Elder speaks to the lunacy in his typical eloquent manner. Go to 9:17 to get the opinion of a black ex-athlete (but catch RBG’s opinion earlier in the podcast–hysterical).

          • You can be forgiven for not mentioning the young, black man that shot up a church in Tennessee or the 58 homicides reported in the city of Chicago since the beginning of September 2017. It didn’t fit the narrative of the MSM; ho hum, apparently not worth you or the nation knowing.

            • Black males are 6% of the U.S. population. We had a young black guy a few years ago commit a mass shooting at Roseburg Community College in Oregon. Then there was the black guy who went on a cop killing spree in Texas not long ago. Of course, the two black Beltway Snipers, John Mohammed and his boyfriend, young black Lee Malvo. There was Colin Ferguson, angry black who shot up a subway in N.Y. The Somali immigrant who shot six people at a Tennessee church a few days ago. And let’s not forget the black Atlanta Child Murderer who raped and killed young black boys. Those are a few off the top of my head. If one were to research black males committing multiple murders, I have no doubt that the stats would meet, and most likely exceed, their 6% representation in the U.S. population.

              • TIN – There is also a famous black serial rapist-murderer in South Africa. We don’t want to leave anyone out.

          • You are one of the biggest racists on this blog “Ken” because it seems nearly everything you and the rest of your sock puppet incarnations dictate involves race. Race race race. Everything is about race. Are you even capable of free thought or have you condemned yourself to simply parroting what your political party tells you.

            You complain about others being racist, but you are no better. It gets old really fast.

            I recognize you are incapable of changing your ways because everyone is wrong except you. Ordinarily I try not to waste time writing to address pure idiocy such as this and several other comments you made, but with this one you have outdone even yourself.

              • “Maybe it is time for you to ask Putin to produce Clinton”s emails again.”

                Oh Ken, you’re so silly. Remember, Vlad is waiting for you–he’s under your bed–and when you get the coldest during the night, he is going to reach right up and tweak you on the tookus… stay afraid my friends, the red (or blue and white… whatever….) is back, and they want to sell you stuff.

                Silly old white dude signing off here…

    • Because, Darren, they’ve been spoon fed from the bubbling caldron of aggrievement. That means everything that happens or happened to me and mine is the result of someone’s — usually someone in power — malicious actions. It’s taught in schools and colleges by leftist teachers as a way to assuage feelings for losing out on things like jobs, status, etc. It serves to breed resentment and hatred of the “other” who caused your pain and cares nothing about it. It’s fostered by the media who buys into the notion of powerlessness of the individual to control his/her own destiny. It’s decidedly anti-American, anti-Western and anti-historical but somehow the Left get subscribers to the philosophy who apparently come equipped with blinders. I call it the Revolt of the Losers and it will get worse before it gets better. cf. Las Vegas

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