Taking a Knee

There was a time in sports when taking a knee universally meant the team was about to enter into solemn prayer to entreat the Lord for victory on the field, but those days are long past as evident from the shameful disrespect NFL players are displaying towards America by taking a knee during the National Anthem to protest a country in which they are paid millions to play a game.

The first thing a new employee encounters upon being hired by any company in America is the ubiquitous New Employee Handbook detailing a litany of corporate rules and regulations the employee is expected to obey if he wishes to remain employed. These corporate policies cover appropriate dress and behavior to ensure the employee conducts himself in a manner which reflects well on the company and certainly does not embarrass the company. In the age of social media, one disrespectful or uncouth employee incident has the potential to go viral on the Internet and bring unwanted attention on the company leading to an apology from the company on behalf of its staff member in the hopes that sales aren’t too negatively affected.

Companies spend millions each year building their brand image and promoting that image to consumers, and they expect their employees to be brand ambassadors in their dealings with consumers purchasing their products. It only takes one outrageous employee incident going viral on the Internet to destroy years of effort and millions of dollars in branding advertising. Companies are all too aware of this downside potential and spend a great deal of time and money training their employees to be proper brand ambassadors while also stressing the importance of proper employee behavior in their corporate policies.

The NFL also has an exhaustive set of corporate policies which they expect their employees, the players, to follow for these very same reasons. Several of these policies spell out the manner in which players are to conduct themselves both on and off the field, including standing for the National Anthem. Player contracts include morals clauses that allow for cancellation of the contract should the player become involved in scandals bringing shame on the team. The NFL owners have billions invested in their teams and do not want some immature player threatening the value of their investment because he can’t control his behavior.

There was a time when even the most talented player feared being released from his contract over a morals issue because owners would not tolerate scandal which tarnished their brand, and these players conducted themselves with the utmost in discretion. Americans would register their disapproval of scandalous behavior by boycotting the games and refusing to purchase merchandise associated with the team or that player. Scandalous behavior on the part of a player had real and immediate economic consequences which were not tolerated by team owners. This all changed with the rise of the players union which shifted power away from the owners to the players. Owners now tread carefully around players for fear of evoking the wrath of the players union. Football players are well aware of their power and are not shy about flaunting it for their own benefit. Players demanded the abolition of two-a-day practices and the owners complied, resulting in a more mediocre football experience for fans as the lack of practice makes players less competitive and more boring to watch.

Things have become so bad that owners practically have to beg players to take the field which is why we’re seeing owners locking arms with players to join them in their shameful protests of the National Anthem. It was San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick who launched this current practice of taking a knee during the National Anthem back in 2016. Ironically, Kaepernick protests the alleged mistreatment of blacks by the police despite being adopted and raised by an upper middle class white family where he enjoyed a privileged life most blacks would envy. Raised as a Christian and promoting Christ throughout his career, Kaepernick became involved with radical Muslim San Francisco radio and television host Nessa Diab in 2015 leading to his becoming a vegan and adopting a more radical worldview. In another ironic twist, Kaepernick’s protest of the National Anthem has left him unemployed as a quarterback and ostracized as a pariah from football.

President Trump has tweeted several times letting it be known that he is appalled by the unpatriotic behavior of NFL players who lead privileged lives with multimillion dollar salaries often acting more as thugs than sports stars. Despite all their protests against being held up as role models so they can continue to enjoy their hedonistic lifestyles, football players will always be looked up to by American kids wishing to emulate their success on the field whether these players like it or not. Unfortunately, many of these kids will also grow up to emulate their bad behavior off the field to the detriment of these kids because they don’t have team owners willing to spend the money it takes to hush up scandals so these star athletes can play each week.

America is the only country in the world where a poor kid from an inner city neighborhood can excel at a sport and use that talent to gain a scholarship to a prestigious university where he can earn an education that will ensure he never has to live in another poor inner city neighborhood, and also has the potential to lead to a lucrative sports career. Many of these players earn millions each year while hard working Americans scrape up enough money to buy tickets to watch them play and buy sports merchandise to display their devotion.

We’ve watched as the quality of play has suffered due to spoiled players demanding an end to mandatory practice sessions, the crass over commercialization of games which take five hours to play because of the frequent commercial breaks which interrupt team momentum, and now the politicization of sport itself which Americans watch as a distraction from the overly politicized world in which we live. The essence of sport is seeing pure athletic grace on display in games whereby the best athletes compete without interference of some government quota system ensuring mediocre players get a chance to play in some type of Orwellian nightmare of forced equality. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has presided over the decline of the league as Americans increasingly tune out boring games with too many commercials populated by thinly veneered thugs sneering at our patriotism while earning millions in the only country which makes that possible.

The NFL has launched a war with President Trump that he absolutely can’t lose. Americans are rallying to President Trump’s side by dropping their television subscriptions, cancelling their season tickets, changing their channels, and burning their NFL merchandise while NFL ratings continue to decline precipitously and fan attendance continues to leave stadiums half empty. Americans will tolerate a lot, but they won’t tolerate the hypocrisy of spoiled athletes protesting the National Anthem as if America is a racist nation when millions of white Americans cheer for the black athletes leading those protests.

President Obama encouraged Americans to believe that his election would put an end to racial strife in this country, but his administration has been responsible for the most racially divisive period since the Civil Rights movement. His every move was to encourage racial strife and agitate the black community into believing that white America was  out to oppress them when it was actually the Obama administration and the Democrat Party seeking to keep them marching in lockstep on the racial plantation. Obama stirred up race relations to the point of lighting a fuse and left President Trump holding the powder keg at the end of that fuse. Many prominent blacks have realized that the Obama administration left black communities in shambles and are speaking out against the Democrat Party which has far too long taken their votes for granted.

President Trump campaigned in black communities asking blacks to take a chance on him questioning what the hell they had to lose given the treatment they had received at the hands of the Obama administration. Upon leaving office, Obama hobnobs with the wealthy one percent jetting from one exotic vacation locale to the next while the black community is ravaged by higher unemployment and worse crime stemming from his administration. White America is sick to death of being blamed for all the ills unleashed upon America by the Obama administration. Appeasement of black poverty pimps has led to nothing but an escalation in their vitriol towards whites, and whites are beginning to push back in a major way beginning with the election of President Trump. If we’re going to be blamed for everything, then we were going to elect a man willing to fight back against the stereotype of white America created by Democrats and promoted by their fake news media acolytes.

And now a group of pampered, overpaid athletes wallowing in mediocrity have the gall to spit in the faces of the very fans which make their privileged careers possible, and they are shocked to discover Americans are willing to throw them under the bus to side with President Trump? The best they’ve managed to come up with is the lame shot that by tweeting his comments against the unpatriotic NFL protests, President Trump is somehow not devoting enough time to the hurricane relief effort in Puerto Rico. That’s all they’ve got? There is no way President Trump loses on this issue. His only mistake so far has been to urge the owners to fire these protesting players under the mistaken belief that the owners have the power to do so in a league dominated by the players union.

Professional sport is a huge business in America worth billions of dollars. The majority of revenue generated in football comes in the form of lucrative television broadcast rights negotiated on behalf of the league and shared between teams. Television networks pay billions to secure the exclusive broadcast rights to games which they then monetize in the form of advertising spots that are priced high enough to cover the multi-billion dollar broadcast rights packages while earning a handsome profit for the broadcasters. Advertising are willing to pay these astronomical advertising rates because football games steadily draw a substantial number of viewers each week which are exposed to their commercials. When viewership of games declines as it has been for a while now, advertisers begin to balk at paying such high rates for declining viewership because their ads are not reaching as many people as they thought. Falling advertising rates jeopardize the ability of the broadcasters to recoup the money they paid to secure the broadcast rights along with their profitability. Less lucrative broadcast rights mean less money spread among team owners and less justification for their lofty team valuations, and eventually, less money for astronomical player salaries. In a nutshell, fewer viewers means less ad money which means broadcast rights are worth less which leads to less money for owners, lower team valuations, and less money for player salaries. When Americans stop watching football games on Sunday, this cycle will swing into play and the protests will soon be a thing of the past.

It’s time for America to take a knee and switch the channel on these shameful unpatriotic displays against the National Anthem by spoiled athletes too ignorant to realize their idiotic protests are threatening the very industry which provides their livelihood. America isn’t perfect, and neither is any other country, but America is still the only country in which a poor kid can earn millions as an adult playing a game he merely enjoyed as a kid. It’s time someone took these idiots aside and explained to them this harsh reality. Taking a knee should be about prayer and not about protest.

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