The NFL – A Reflection of What is Wrong in America

In watching this week’s NFL games, it occurred to be that what is coming out of the professional sports league is a microcosm of what seems to be an America that has gotten off track. 

Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers was not just an admirer of the late Arnold Palmer, he considered him his friend sharing time with him at his home. “A guy like Arnold, his legacy and what he meant not only to the world, but to Latrobe, to Pennsylvania, his legacy will live on,” said Brown. 

What, what does this have to do with what’s wrong in America? With this part of the story nothing. This part of the story actually shows what is right with America.  

However, the NFL which allowed Brown to wear special shoes honoring Arnold Palmer is also the same NFL that did not allow the Dallas Cowboys to honor the five police officers that were brutally killed along with nine others injured in a July 7, 2016, sniper attack that rocked the Dallas area. 

Why wouldn’t the NFL allow its players to honor these men and woman? Are the people at the NFL anti-police? I doubt so, but it is a classic example of political correctness paranoia.

Next let’s move to our next example, Colin Kaepernick and his political activism at work. Kaepernick has made headlines for sitting down or taking a knee 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,” says the multi-millionaire football player. Now we live in a free country, where people can be free to believe in whatever they would like. This article is not about the issue which he is trying to raise. 

But let me ask you this, how would you feel if you went to a fast food restaurant and seen a police officer refused service because he was a police officer? Or a person refused service because they were African American? 

Everyone is entitled to their personal beliefs whether they are right or wrong, but they are not entitled to impose that belief on others in the workplace. Freedom of speech is a very important protection under our constitution, but it is not a carte blanche to just do whatever you want to do with no rules. The first amendment does not apply to speech in the workplace. 

The NFL could enforce respect if it so sought to, just like most all of us have certain rules that we must follow at work. But they are stigmatized in political correctness. 

When coach Mike Tomlin was asked why none of his players have protested during the national anthem, he said that the team did not have an official policy, but that one of their teammates is an Army Ranger, and that he thinks they respect the sacrifice that those that have served have made, a little differently than others. 

It would be nice if the NFL thought likewise.