Letter to the Editor: Disrespecting national anthem nothing new in the NFL

A few days ago, I read an op/ed in this very paper from another outraged and angry person. Their anger and outrage? Because of Colin Kaepernick’s protest and the NFL’s refusal to force Kaepernick and other players to stand and salute during the playing of the national anthem before the game. [“Protesting players ‘absolutely disgracing the NFL,’” Sept. 21]

I’m just trying to figure out, between bouts of laughter, where the outrage was prior to 2009 when the players weren’t even on the field for the national anthem. Where was the outrage when, in late 2014 or early 2015, news broke that the Defense Department and some individual branches of the military were paying millions of tax dollars to the NFL to have the players on the field for pregame patriotic displays?

What I find even more laughable with this whole situation is that a vast majority of the people that I know personally who are just so offended by this are people who don’t stand themselves for the national anthem if they are at home watching the game or if they are at “Moe’s Corner Tavern” drinking a few brews with their buddies and watching the game.

Or, if they are driving somewhere and listening to the game on the radio in their car, the wouldn’t be bothered to pull the car over so that they could stand by the their car during the national anthem. But “Kaepernick and other players are kneeling while the national anthem is played? Something MUST be done! The NFL should fire them or fine them or something. How DARE they disrespect our flag, our national anthem and the members of the military who risk their lives to defend these guys’ rights to act like this!”

The person who wrote the op/ed piece that this paper published even went so far as to say that they would no longer be giving the NFL any more money. I have to ask, will you stop purchasing any product that is advertised during any NFL game? Because those companies pay big bucks for their ads to run during football games, and you can bet your sweet bippy that the NFL benefits monetarily from it. Will you be contacting your representatives in government and demanding that tax dollars no longer be paid to the NFL for pregame patriotic displays?

While so many are just so offended by this protest, I think I’ll just sit back and enjoy a good laugh, because isn’t it just oh, so funny? Many of you aren’t, or weren’t, offended that Jackie Robinson wrote, “As I write this twenty years later, I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag; I know that I am a black man in a white world. In 1972, in 1947, at my birth in 1919, I know that I never had it made.”

Nor are you offended that it took until 2009, and the government paying the NFL, to get the players on the field for the national anthem. And the majority of you wouldn’t be offended now if it weren’t for talking heads in the media to tell you to be offended.

You see, this isn’t a real issue, it’s just one more thing to keep us distracted from the real issues, and the more time goes on, the more it appears to be just one big joke. Pretty soon it won’t even seem so funny anymore.

Richard L. Shehorn Jr.


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