President Trump is quoted as saying, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say ‘Get that SOB off the field right now. Out. He’s fired!’” President Trump went on to say that the protests are “hurting the game.” There are many people who feel exactly this way, only they don’t have the voice that the President has to be heard. As the President says in this statement, it is disrespectful and is the wrong place to protest for their cause.
The President also said that he feels the Referees are ruining football by penalizing “beautiful” tackles with fifteen-yard penalties. President Trump believes that the players should be able to play the game and not be penalized for making hits and plays that make the game. He said, “Not the same game anymore, anyway.”
The response from the NFL was pointed. “Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.” Goodell believes that the players and the NFL “create a sense of unity in our country and our culture.”
ESPN reports that in 2016, NFL ratings dropped 8%. This season, per Facebook and Twitter comments, many more people have chosen to not watch football, some from the rules, some because of protests and disrespectful players, and some because they believe Kaepernick should be playing on a team this season (even though Kaepernick is the one who opted out of his contract with the 49ers during the offseason).
From this Mother’s Perspective, the NFL is certainly not a “force for good” when they are allowing their players to voice their personal opinions while on the field being paid to entertain those who have paid to see a football game, play on a team, and disrespect a country who supports their being able to play football. Team sports are not a place for individual protests by players, especially when their protests could offend those who have paid to see the game.
It would be different if the players were united in a protest about a new NFL rule, or a team of referees who have been prejudiced against one team or another and calling penalties unfairly in order to make a point AS A TEAM. But political protests or individual opinion protests have no business being on the football field. What players do on their off time is their business and their plaform to work for their chosen cause. More power to them for taking up a cause that they believe in and making a difference instead of sitting around and doing nothing.
At a time when our country is so divided on so many issues, many look forward to Sunday Football, where you can root for your team and tailgate or attend football parties as a diversion to what is going on in the real world: it is a get away from reality for a few hours and enjoy “THE GAME” – not watch another political statement. Anquan Boldin said it best: “(Football and sports) are about bringing people together………no matter what walk of life you come from.”
Should beautiful tackles be allowed without penalty? Should the game that “Mean” Joe Green played back in the day still be the game of today? Should concussions just be expected if you are going to play football? That is a hard question. For safety reasons, blindside hard hits are more dangerous and can cause serious injuries. But some believe that the NFL has become soft and it has taken away from the fundamentals of the game. There is no easy answer for this.