Last week, before the New England Patriots had their Sunday game, a large portion of the team decided to protest during the national anthem by taking a knee. The disrespect to America did not go unnoticed by fans, and booing reigned down on the team. Several players rationalized their actions by saying that taking a knee was in response to President Trump’s harsh comments for the NFL players, team owners, and commissioner Roger Goodell.
New England Patriots Quarterback spoke out against President Trump, calling the President’s comments “divisive.” Surprisingly, the owner of the New England Patriots, Bob Kraft, who is a close friend of President Trump released a statement via of the team’s website, speaking out against the President.
“I am deeply disappointed by the tone of the comments made by the President on Friday. I am proud to be associated with so many players who make such tremendous contributions in positively impacting our communities. Their efforts, both on and off the field, help bring people together and make our community stronger.
There is no greater unifier in this country than sports, and unfortunately, nothing more divisive than politics. I think our political leaders could learn a lot from the lessons of teamwork and the importance of working together toward a common goal. Our players are intelligent, thoughtful and care deeply about our community and I support their right to peacefully affect social change and raise awareness in a manner that they feel is most impactful.”
The criticism from the New England Patriots is significant because President Trump has been close friends with Bob Kraft for a long time, and the President has routinely rooted for the team, sometimes even from the sidelines. However, Patriots fans were very vocal with their displeasure of how players behaved, and it seems Tom Brady, Bob Kraft, and the rest of the New England Patriots team is reversing their course when it comes to taking a knee during the national anthem.
CBS Boston has reported, based on information from NFL sources, that prior to the New England Patriots playing the Carolina Panthers, all players, on both teams will be standing for the national anthem. The Patriots and Panthers organizations are the first two teams in the NFL to seemingly understand that continued disrespect toward the national anthem and the fans will have significant financial consequences. Perhaps other teams and commissioner Roger Goodell will take notice and have the rest of the NFL teams follow suit.
Other sports leagues have not been immune to this national anthem protesting controversy. The Legends Football League, previously known as the Lingerie Football League has stated all players and all teams will be standing for the national anthem. “The LFL recognizes everyone’s First Amendment right to protest, but our nation’s flag and anthem are far too sacred. Too many fellow Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice so that our flag and anthem continue in all its majesty.” The LFL also released a video plainly stating of the American flag and the national anthem that “It symbolizes all the blood, sweat, and tears that have been shed so that we as Americans can raise our flag across our nation. The LFL salutes all those who make this the greatest country in the world.”
— LEGENDS FOOTBALL (@MyLFL) September 27, 2017
As fans continue to tune out and stop spending money, owners and players in the NFL are in for a rude awakening. President Trump’s comments were spot on, and they reflect what many former fans feel when they see self-entitled crybabies disrespecting the national anthem and spitting in the face of America’s veterans as well as those currently serving our country.
The New England Patriots reversing course is definitely a step in the right direction, but it is going to take a combined effort of all the teams in the NFL along with commissioner Roger Goodell to restore customer confidence and trust. Should other teams in the league decide to continue to anger their fans, those million-dollar contracts and add buys during the Superbowl will be no more. The real test will be on November 12, 2017, Veterans Day, as a large-scale boycott is being called for to send the NFL a message loud and clear.