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Brittany's Beat: Shame on the NFL

Players who protest National Anthem are a disgrace

Brittany Jennings
September 14, 2017 - 12:10 pm
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Sundays are usually for God, family and football. Not anymore. Thanks to Colin Kaepernick, a trend has taken over professional football. Player after player, team after team, is kneeling during the National Anthem.

The American people, however, are sick of it. They have taken a stand against the NFL players who protest the National Anthem. How? Fans are no longer watching—or at least not in the numbers they used to.

For example, opening night for the NFL, where the New England Patriots played the Kansas City Chiefs, the ratings were down nearly two points from last year.  The ratings went from a 16.5 to a 14.6. Which begs the question: could it be because of the protests from the players?

Marshawn Lynch, Michael Bennett, Martellus Bennett, Marcus Peters, and Eric Reed are just a few players who sat during the National Anthem for week one of the season. Kaepernick, who will not play this season because no NFL team picked him up, started this trend to protest “police brutality” and alleged “oppression” against minorities.

Football is supposed to bring all Americans together. It has now torn fans and players apart. We stand for the National Anthem and salute the flag out of respect for those who fight and die for our freedom. The same freedom that these childish NFL players have, where only in America, they can play a sport and become multi-millionaires.

Yet, there is hope. During the pre-season, many of the Cleveland Browns players kneeled for the anthem. After this disrespectful action, the head of the Cleveland police union and its Emergency Medical Services union said they wouldn’t participate in the opening ceremonies for the Browns’ home opener. Detective Steve Loomis, who is president of the police union said, “We’re not going to participate in something with the Cleveland Browns when the management and NFL condones this behavior.”

It’s about time that police, firefighters, military and EMTs started to hit back at these spoiled players. And it works. Browns’ management reached out to police officers in Cleveland and had a meeting.

On Sunday, the Browns players and members of law enforcement, firefighters and EMTs ran on the field together and locked arms during the National Anthem. According to Cleveland.com, a group of team leaders wanted to promote equality and unity with police officers and the community.

Cincinnati Bengals tight end, Tyler Eifert, wrote an essay for “Medium Saturday.” He spoke out against the National Anthem protests.

“I know it would probably be best to stay out of it, but when you believe in something as much as I do, it gets to a point where you want both sides to be heard,” he said. “I stand because I love my country.”

Eifert added: “I stand because I want to honor the people putting their lives on the line for me on a daily basis in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.”

The 27 year-old wrote how his cousin is a pilot in the Air Force, flying in an active war zone. He also said he would write military members’ names on his cleats before every game.

“These people are why I am standing because they gave me and everyone else the chance to have freedom and earn a living playing a sport I love,” Eifert said.

He’s right. If only Marshawn Lynch, Michael Bennett and others were as humble and felt the same.

Here is my advice to the NFL: if your players don’t stand for the National Anthem, then they should sit for the season. Their contracts should be rescinded. Why? The answer is simple: their actions are disrespectful, insulting and unprofessional. It is the behavior of ingrates. These players have been endowed with a God-given ability to play a professional sport at the highest level and earn untold millions of dollars—enough for them and their families to live in luxury for the rest of their lives. They should be kissing the American flag for the opportunities they’ve been given, not spitting on it.

Shame on them.

 

-Brittany Jennings is the Executive Producer of “The Kuhner Report” on WRKO AM-680 in Boston.

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