so I’m critiquing the cultural forces that prompted them to make this decision in the wake of blackballing Kaepernick.

The contradiction is implying there’s any cultural forces at work here at all, from the perspective of the owners. There’s not. They’re bottom line focused. End of discussion.

If you want to talk about cultural forces, you need to be talking about the fans, not the owners. They’re the dog. The owner is the tail, and it’s the owners who are getting wagged.

The subtitle of my piece literally reads: “This says more about our moral compass than it does the NFL’s.”

To which I reply, “That assumes something as fact which is debatable — that it says anything about our moral compass at all.” Most people just want to eat their wings in front of the TV on Sunday in peace.

Look, sports is a place where we go to hide from the BS of the world. Kaep et al brought politics into the sporting arena. That’s a little like bringing a skunk on a leash to a dog show. Kicking Kaep out doesn’t mean that we don’t care about what he has to say; it means that we don’t want to hear it RIGHT THEN.

Now whether you think Trump insulting John McCain’s service or defending neo-Nazi rioters is more offensive than kneeling for the national anthem is your opinion. In mine, it is.

Once again: In YOUR MIND, you have these matters connected. That’s fine; that’s your business. But most people do NOT have those factors connected in their minds, for various reasons. There are plenty of reasons why McCain and Charlottesville are apples and oranges to the anthem matter. We can talk about them if you like, but it’s kind of a digression. What matters is that it’s a bit control-freakish when somebody starts insisting that everyone should think the same way they (you) do, and then gets annoyed when they don’t.

The issues I cited about the free-speech warriors also don’t apply to the First Amendment (yes, I know how it works) — they complain about their demonitized YouTube videos as a free speech issue (they upload on a platform provided by a private company), or being deplatformed from college speaking tours (depends if it’s a private or public university), or over the Google employee who was fired over a viral memo that created a hostile work environment and caused a PR shit storm for the company.

Although SOME conservatives (like SOME liberals) are incorrectly confused about free speech in those situations… speech is not what the right is griping about in those cases. What we’re griping about is the DOUBLE STANDARD being applied. Constantly.

Just this week: Roseanne Barr goes off on an unhinged rant about Valerie Jarrett, and gets canned; Samantha Bee uses the “c***” word directly to refer to the President’s daughter…….and as of this writing, she’s still employed. And I suspect she will continue to be. People like Louis Weeks and Son of Roxie keep lists of double standard behavior in the public square. Which isn’t easy, because those lists get LONG.

Keith Olbermann, you might have noticed, was rehired by ESPN the other day. Did you know that he once tweeted to SE Cupp that he wished her mother had had her aborted?

Nice people you run with. :-)

As for the domestic violence incidents, these were high-profile and images of Adrian Peterson’s beaten son, or the video of Ray Rice punching his fiancee were all over sports networks. If you are even a casual football fan, it was likely you saw them.

I’m a rabid fan, and I didn’t. Heard about them. But the point is that those things didn’t occur on the field. Again, if a video ex post facto off the field has the same impact on you as live behavior ON the field, then that’s you; but to a lot (if not most) people, it’s not the same.

but if you think that kneeling for the anthem is more offensive and that’s where you draw the line, then that’s your opinion.

I don’t think it’s offensive as much as it is stupid. The anthem prior to a sporting event is the closest thing we have to a nationally shared semi-religious ceremony, and its the wrong venue for a protest. Protesters control their own actions; they cannot control how others perceive their actions. It was not-bright on his part. (Kaep was counseled about this, btw, which is why he switched from sitting, which is clearly disrespectful, to kneeling, which is traditionally a respectful posture, albeit atypical during the flag presentation.)

There is a fundamental difference between an employer enforcing rules to make their workplace politically neutral and forcing their employees to mimic their preferred political speech.

Are you suggesting that standing silently, which is the consensus proper behavior of the entire society, is actually partisan speech? Seriously?

Whether the owners acted out of fear of Donald Trump is not my opinion, there is leaked audio of the owners explicitly saying they are doing this out of concern for Donald Trump.

OK. Keep in mind that Trump has zero direct power over the NFL. And they know it. So, when they say they’re “concerned about Trump” they mean it indirectly — — Trump can’t directly hurt them (as in, raise their taxes, for example) but he can gin up his crowds to boycott them, and that hurts them in the $$$. To refer back to the prior analogy, Trump’s the doggie treat, which makes the dog wag his tail (the owners) faster.

Also, the whole anthem with the military pre-game display is clearly the NFL’s attempt to appeal to a specific idea of patriotism.

Every major sport does it. In hockey, or if you’re playing pro ball in Toronto, you get TWO national anthems. :-) And college. And high school. Probably some baseball dad plays it on his phone prior to a 6-year-old’s T-ball game. So, it’s certainly not part of NFL “branding”’; it’s ubiquitous in sporting events in the US in general.

The NFL pre-game ceremonies are a right-wing wet dream.

Seriously? Man, you’re just giving us more and more reasons to never vote for a (D), ever. If a patriotic ceremony is rejected by a major US political party as an unwelcome partisan activity, then they have no business being a major party.

Data Driven Econophile. Muslim, USA born. Been “woke” 2x: 1st, when I realized the world isn’t fair; 2nd, when I realized the “woke” people are full of shit.

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