- The NFL has decided that teams will be fined if players kneel, or otherwise disrespect the American flag, while on the football field.
- The league’s decision disrespects the flag much more than the act of kneeling ever could.
- The NFL’s decision is at odds with American values.
People who have grown up in the US or who have gone through a basic civics course can usually tell you that the stars and stripes on the American flag represent the states and the colonies. But the symbolism of the colours goes even deeper.
Per PBS: “Red symbolises hardiness and valor, white symbolises purity and innocence, and blue represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice.”
The flag also stands for the freedoms on which this country was founded.
All this is why it’s not just ironic, but also moronic, that NFL owners decided they would fine any team whose players kneel on the field during the playing of the national anthem before games.
It’s not unreasonable for people to be offended by the decision some players make to kneel during the national anthem. It’s easy to see why that action could be interpreted as unpatriotic or even disrespectful to the flag, the nation, and the men and women who have given their lives to keep it safe. All this makes sense.
What doesn’t make sense is the response.
What’s even more disrespectful than the act of kneeling is the decision to punish those who kneel. We are a nation of many stripes and colours. Our opinions and beliefs are varied, and our tolerance of those differences forms the bedrock of our identity as Americans.
The NFL’s decision is profoundly un-American. In making it, the league has disrespected the anthem – and the flag it claims to hold dear.
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