NFL owners have approved a new policy aimed at addressing the firestorm over national anthem protests. It permits players to stay in the locker room during the “The Star-Spangled Banner” but requires them to stand — and not kneel — if they’re on the field.
As is typical, anti-Americans — excuse me, progressives — are outraged. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that NFL executives should have consulted with players before imposing a new policy that prohibits kneeling during the national anthem.
Interestingly, Pelosi and other leftists have NO problem with Facebook, Twitter, Google and Netflix imposing political decisions on their customers and employees, in the name of private ownership. But when a private entity such as the NFL takes a similar position that Pelosi and progressives happen not to like — watch out! If Democrats ever regain power in Congress and the White House, you can probably expect legal action.
The real question to answer before developing an opinion on the NFL and the anthem is: What is patriotism?
Patriotism refers to an emotion. Specifically, it means a combined emotion of respect, admiration and love for one’s country and what that country represents. In the case of the United States, the flag and anthem represent the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the underlying themes of limited government, individual rights and individualism.
If you love these things, you feel patriotic toward America and its symbols, including but not limited to the flag and anthem. Whether you’re a football player or anyone else, you cherish your liberty and freedom, and because the anthem still represents those things, you want to stand for it. Nobody has to force you; it’s spontaneous, natural and logical. It’s not because of blind obedience. How could individual liberty and individualism, of all things, inspire blind obedience? They’re a total contradiction in terms!
A lot of us didn’t think Barack Obama and his presidency stood for anything remotely American. In fact, some of us thought just the opposite. But it didn’t occur to those who detested Obama’s attitudes and policies to take out that frustration on the national anthem and the American flag. The anthem and flag represented the hope that we’d return to and perhaps someday restore those themes to American government and society, values under attack even well before Obama’s sorry presidency.
But today’s opponents of the Trump administration take out their anger on the anthem and the flag. That’s why it’s now politically correct not to stand for the anthem on a football field. To refuse to stand is to say, “Look at me. I don’t like Donald Trump. I didn’t vote for him. He’s not my president.” Thinking they’re sophisticated and cool, these ignorant and virtue-signaling football players protest the very liberty they’re counting on to take their position of defiance in the first place.
Of course, this confusion of politics with patriotism is revealing. It shows how leftists and progressives don’t care about the things that the flag stands for. They don’t care about liberty, individual rights, economic freedom, or individualism. The leftists I know of stand for entirely the opposite. Leftists stand for coercion, collectivism, socialism, national wealth redistribution and (literal or virtual) repeal of the First and Second Amendments. So it makes sense they take every opportunity they can to refute the anthem, the flag, what they stand for and the occasional American president — not their president, for sure — who makes an effort to rally around those values and principles.
Follow Dr. Hurd on Facebook. Search under “Michael Hurd” (Rehoboth Beach DE). Get up-to-the-minute postings, recommended articles and links, and engage in back-and-forth discussion with Dr. Hurd on topics of interest. Also follow Dr. Hurd on Twitter at @MichaelJHurd1, and see “Michael Hurd” on MeWe.