— Published with Permission of LibertyNation.com —
Well, it sure took long enough, but the NFL has finally declared a ban on kneeling during the National Anthem.
In doing so, following a season largely defined by gaudy displays of contempt for the American flag by too many players to count, the NFL has finally bowed to reality and cried uncle in the face of a dwindling fan base, and a merciless pounding by President Trump.
Of course, the PC-bound NFL Commissioner Roger league was left reeling week after week by headlines about kneeling players, made this move with plausible deniability about his own sensitivity to leftist concerns. He has ordered those players who fancy themselves social justice warriors to restrict their pre-game protests to the locker room, where they will be allowed to remain if they care not to honor or respect the nation that has provided them untold wealth and fame. But if they insist on kneeling, their teams will be subject to fines.
This decision is ultimately a bow to disgusted fans and the NFL’s corporate sponsors wary of continuing to pour tens of millions into an entertainment enterprise which angers the people who buy their products. But there is no understating the importance of this victory for ordinary Americans – and Donald Trump – in the ongoing culture war. That divide has been overshadowed by unending investigations, daily drama in the White House, and the on-again/off-again summit with North Korea. But this minor yet meaningful turn by the NFL swings the spotlight back on the battle to define what America is, or should be.
Unable to win at the ballot box, the left has taken sore losing to new heights in degrading traditional American culture by alternative means. They have exhorted the deep state – or permanent bureaucracy – to gin up investigations of a legitimately elected president. A growing number of Marxists in academia have ramped up their restrictions on conservative speech. Left-wing politicians have declared the cities they run (or in California, the entire state) as sanctuaries for illegals. Inconsequential judges seek their 15 minutes of fame by overturning Trump’s legitimate executive orders. And hardened leftists characterize those who disagree with them as Nazis, or on a good day, merely fascists. All aided and comforted by elite media.
But equally disturbing is the rampant ignorance about the First Amendment revealed in this NFL controversy. So many people have raised a false flag for free expression among the players, demonstrating only how little they actually understand about the U.S. Constitution.
Let’s say you walked into a McDonalds to order a Big Mac, and the cashier starts railing about climate change. Should the manager allow him to do so because of the first amendment? Or what if you wanted to organize your fellow workers to loudly vocalize their disdain for the boss in your place of business. Must they be permitted to do so because of “free speech?”
Those questions answer themselves. And that is exactly what NFL players have demanded of team owners, the right to express themselves in whatever way they choose while on the company dime.
While it should be unnecessary, let us once again explain what the First Amendment is, and is not. It is a protection for public speech, including but not limited to political speech. But it does not extend to the private sphere. If it did, and anyone could say anything they want in the workplace, consider how quickly the nation would descend into chaos. We can only hope this teachable moment helps to reverse the corrupted perception of our constitutional rights.
Ingrates like Colin Kaepernick, the man who began the kneeling movement, will be allowed to continue dishonoring their country (if any team decides to sign him again, none of which did last season). But by staying behind in the locker room as he wears clothing glamorizing brutal dictators or calling the police pigs, as Kaepernick has done, at least now we won’t have to bear witness to it as our blood boils.
Indeed, this small victory on the football field looks substantially larger when viewed through the lens of a broader and unending culture war. It is a win for those who actually love their country enough to perform the simple act of standing for a couple of minutes to consider the blessings of this land like no other.