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NFL Teams Rallying Around Kneelers Test the Loyalty of Their Fan Base

NFL Teams Rallying Around Kneelers Test the Loyalty of Their Fan Base

“Most people see this for what it is, the NFL embracing anti-Trumpism”

To kneel during the national anthem or not is one of the dumber questions of our time, but here we are — grappling with the very basics of patriotism in the losing battle with cultural marxism.

Sunday, Professor Jacobson wrote an excellent piece explaining how the NFL must live with the consequences of the side they’ve chosen in the culture wars.

The NFL is as political an organization as there is, now. It picked sides in the culture war, and the side it picked is decidedly left. The NFL refused to allow the Dallas Cowboys to display a decal honoring the Dallas police killed by a Black Lives Matter supporter, yet it is completely supporting the “right” of players to kneel on the sideline while the National Anthem is played, as both a sign of support for the Black Lives Matter movement and an anti-Trump protest.

Since wading into the cultural pond, and in keeping with the arm-twisting progressive culture of intimidation, the NFL (implicitly if not explicitly) has determined that some protests are more equal than others.

See here:

And here:

And when it comes to kneelgate, look no further than Steeler’s offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva.

Villanueva a former Army Ranger decided to stand for the national anthem while the rest of his team stayed in the locker room. As thanks for his counter protest and patriotism, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin took a swipe at Villanueva in a post-game interview.

Fox News has that story:

“Like I said, I was looking for 100 percent participation, we were gonna be respectful of our football team,” Tomlin said.

Tomlin told the media that, prior to kickoff Sunday, the Steelers held a team meeting and decided, though not unanimously, to not come out of the locker room for the national anthem. Tomlin added the intent was to have his team focus on the game and not President Trump’s comments blasting players who chose to protest during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“Many of them felt like something needed to be done. I asked those guys to discuss it and whatever they discussed that we have 100 percent participation or we do nothing,” Tomlin said after the game. “They discussed it for an appropriate length of time and they couldn’t come to an understanding, so they chose to remove themselves from it. They were not going to be disrespectful in the anthem so they chose not to participate, but at the same time many of them were not going to accept the words of the president.”

Villanueva, who served three tours in Afghanistan, decided to stand his ground instead and placed his hand over his heart while the anthem played.

“We’re not politicians. We’re coaches and professional athletes,” Tomlin said Sunday. “If those of us or individuals choose to participate in politics in some way I’m going to be supportive of that. But when we come out of locker rooms, we come out of locker rooms to play football games.”

There appeared to be some confusion in the Steelers locker room after Villanueva came out of the tunnel for the anthem.

Offensive tackle Chris Hubbard told Penn Live that the players, by a slim majority, voted in favor of staying off the field instead of standing on the sideline holding hands.

“We thought we were all in attention with the same agreement, obviously,” linebacker James Harrison told the website. “But, I guess we weren’t.”

Hubbard, however, said everyone in the locker room accepted that Villanueva would be exempt from the team’s decision.

Villanueva may have been the only Steeler standing with hand over heart for the national anthem, but he has the support of his teammates. Similar factions are appearing in other teams where players appear to value team agreement over other considerations.

Axios has Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on the matter:

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady came out against President Trump’s NFL comments this morning with Boston’s WEEI hosts Kirk and Callahan during his weekly Monday morning radio hit:

“Yeah, I certainly disagree with what [Trump] said. I thought it was just divisive… Like I said, I just want to support my teammates. I am never one to say, ‘Oh, that is wrong. That is right.’ I do believe in what I believe in. I believe in bringing people together and respect and love and trust. Those are the values that my parents instilled in me.”

Why it matters: Trump has called Brady a friend and described him as “the BEST quarterback.”

Several teams chose to stand, arms locked, for the national anthem: the Vikings, Texans, Eagles, Jets, and Bengals.

“Football and politics don’t mix easily. Fans come to NFL games to watch great competition on the playing field and that’s where our focus should be,” wrote the Bengals in an official statement.

For the teams choosing to rally around players with less patriotic inclinations, the damage is as of yet inestimable. Few fans appreciate the politicalization of sports and even fewer care to watch something as basic as the national anthem disrespected, regardless of the reason why.

As Professor Jacobson, a now former diehard Patriot’s fan wrote, “most people see this for what it is, the NFL embracing anti-Trumpism. Purely political. Has nothing to do with freedom of speech.”

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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Sept 25, 2017

Health care fixed? No.
Border wall built? No.
Tax code overhauled? No.
ISIS boiled in a vat of pig renderings? Sort of.

I was talking with my 81 year old mom this weekend. Her Doctors office kicked her out as a patient because they will no longer accept medicare. She’s having trouble finding an alternate Dr because fewer clinics are taking medicare patients.

As fun as it is to rant about highly paid dummies on the grid iron throwing tantrums of solidarity with criminals, I have very low expectations of my government and those extremely low expectations are not getting met and I’m not getting less pissed off every day they are not met.

One of the most insulting things about “Kaepernickle” is that it suggests that America is, and hence most Americans are, racist against blacks. Not just that there are some policemen or police departments that are, but that American society as a whole is racist against blacks. The national anthem celebrated our NATION, not merely police departments. And, the “protests” against supposedly racist police never identify what percentage of the police force is racist — Is it over 50%? Around 25%? 10% 1% Maybe only 0.25%? They want to act as though such racism is widespread in the police force, and in America. It makes me wonder if they were paying attention during the Obama years.

    MattMusson in reply to DouglasJBender. | September 25, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    The Steelers are doubling down by making Villanueva out to “not be a Team Player.” Respecting the Flag and the Country is Bad.

    Hey Steelers (Hey Terry Bradshaw) shut up before you kill your own franchise.

They’re all in it together. Last night, the lead story on NBC news was the stupid kneeling thing. The #2 story was a church shooting in TN in which one person was killed and six were injured. Are you kidding me?

The NFL is in cahoots with big media, and they all want to dump Trump. It just goes to show how out of touch with the TRUE American psyche they both are.

So it’s OK to disrespect the flag—the symbol of our country—but it’s not OK for Trump to disrespect the NFL for doing it.

These damn people are children. They need to sent to their rooms without supper.

    hrhdhd in reply to tiger66. | September 25, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    And the shooter was black. And from Sudan. Travel ban anyone?

      Gremlin1974 in reply to hrhdhd. | September 25, 2017 at 5:39 pm

      Which is the exact reason it was basically buried. Since the shooter was a black immigrant it doesn’t fit the narrative so can’t report on that.

      bw222 in reply to hrhdhd. | September 25, 2017 at 7:58 pm

      Had the shooter been white and the victims black, this would have been the lead story for the next three weeks. You can bet there was dejection at CNN when they learned he was white.


buckeyeminuteman | September 25, 2017 at 4:36 pm

Professional athletes are playing a game. It’s Mickey Mouse stuff. When they lose they take off their pads, go home to cry and come back to play next week. The people who defend the flag and the ideals it represents aren’t playing a game. When they lose they don’t get to go home and come back again. They die. They come home in a metal box filled with dry ice and draped in the flag. That’s why you stand when the anthem is played and the flag is displayed.

The injustices in this country have nothing to do with the national anthem. Get off your knees and go get elected to a political office. Become a police officer, become a defense lawyer. Volunteer in your community or become a mentor to at-risk youth. Do something instead of the trendy thing which is to kneel and do nothing.

I am the Customer.

It is not my job to defend my actions or feelings. I cannot be embarrassed or shamed into remaining your customer.

It is the NFL’s job to keep me happy. If they don’t I will go away.

Such display violates Rule 5 Section 4, Article 8 of the NFL Rule Book. In pertinent part:

Throughout the period on game-day that a player is visible to the stadium and television audience (including in pregame warm-ups, in the bench area, and during postgame interviews in the locker room or on the field), players are prohibited from wearing, displaying, or otherwise conveying personal messages either in writing or illustration, unless such message has been approved in advance by the League office. I

These folks have a talent that entertains us, which we pay for. Like the King’s court jesters of olden days, they need to make us smile. This doesn’t!

Each and every day is a new opportunity to vote with your wallet. Spend your money where it makes you happy! Everybody with disposable income has the ability to participate in a little redistribution of wealth on a personal level. No need to be loud or obnoxious about it. Those who offend you won’t miss it until it is way too late to reverse course anyway and you’ll have moved on by then.

I saw a tweet a short while ago that the jersey of Alejandro Villaneuva is currently the top-selling jersey at the NFL Shop website. Good.

Here’s what I don’t get. Like Brady mentioned, or the teams that chose to lock arms.. They want to stand together.. against what exactly? Instead of the President causing disunity … why aren’t these teammates getting in the faces of the kneelers and say, knock it off! No politics. Don’t force us all to chose a side1 But no… some players chose to act out.. and the rest join in .. in team support… against those ( their fans ) who object to the stupid protest.

That’s how progressives ( Marxists ) flip everything on it’s head. You are the bad guy for being upset at them being upset and aggrieved.

    rabidfox in reply to RobM. | September 25, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    The Steelers chose the lowest common denominator option and then basically hid in the closet until the Anthem was over. There was only one man on that team, one man who really understands that the football team isn’t the biggest team out there. Good for him.

My taxes have long been used to enrich a handful of billionaires and the players. The least these people could do is keep out of national politics.

I get that Trump won an anti-trust suit against the NFL. That is no excuse for making political displays paid for by me.

I am ashamed that coach Tomlin and I are from the same home town.

The NFL is an entertainment franchise, nothing more. The players, coaches, and all NFL staff are nothing more than entertainers. As such, entertain me and nothing more! We the people care nothing about about your political views. That is not your job. If you want to try to force your political views, then run for office. Failing that, SHUT UP! Dance you menial entertainer, dance. Or don’t, at this point I don’t care because I am not watching.

For a few reasons, CTE, Dis-honoring the Flag and Country, the NFL is on it’s way out. Too bad, I used to like watching football. But my life will go on. How about a bunch of semi literate jocks, with no real life skills? Anybody need some ditches dug?

I would encourage you to check out Arena Football, I find it much more exciting. Also, since it isn’t as popular overall they don’t have problems like this.

DailyWire is reporting that “Steelers’ Military Vet Who Stood For Anthem APOLOGIZES: ‘I Made My Teammates Look Bad’.”

I learned with my first job to never bring politics to my workplace. For one I might get fired for disrupting the work place. For another I might infuriate customers.
Yet the NFL decided last year to allow a small number of employees to infuriate some of their customers by acting out while on the job. Amazing.
The NFL choose to support Black Lives Matter in 2016 by enabling their message to be carried on TV by their employees.
I understand Roger Goodell’s contract is up after this season. Interesting to see if the owners want him back.

The glory days of my high school football days are way behind me, so when my teenage girls started attending games a few years ago I was a bit shocked at how advanced things have gotten around high school athletics.

There are sites where you can track schedules, scores and standings, with near-real-time updates. And in my town many Friday night games are even televised.

It’s all highly entertaining and “scratches my itch” for sports without requiring me to let ESPN et al crap on me.

I love thew orld view od liberal idiots, like Mr. Brady. He sees Trump articulating what the majority of his customers think about the divisive displays by his team mates over a non-existent “grievance” as divisive, but does not see the demonstrations the same way. This I’m the center of the universe mentality is wearing very thin. In the minds of liberals, it is divisive if you do not agree with them or do what they want.

The NFL’s customers have been saying, loudly, for over a year that they do not want politics being interjected into their sports entertainment. Well, maybe they will listen when their revenues are significantly reduced. Of course, Tom Brady would label that divisive.

    Arminius in reply to Mac45. | September 26, 2017 at 2:01 am

    Yes. It’s weird when he talks about Trump’s comments being divisive I can only read it one way. It’s dividing the players on the TEAMS against each other. That’s the same way I took Villanueva’s apology for standing for the anthem today. He apologized for making his coach look bad, for making the other Steelers players look bad, for making the entire Steelers organization look bad, and each time he said “and this is my fault alone.” He mentioned that he was getting tweets from his vet and wounded vet friends telling him he had to come out for the anthem, and so he did. Apparently he deeply regrets it and won’t make that mistake again. He finished his apology by saying he hoped his teammates will forgive him for his error in judgement and if they don’t he’ll just have to live with it.

    I hope every fan who bought one of his Jerseys because he and he alone stood for the national anthem brings it back for a refund. I’m certain they wouldn’t have bought one if he had made this pathetic, mewling, and bizarre apology first. He, HE, made everyone who was hiding in the tunnel look bad.

    Apparently the locker room and the gridiron constitute the center and the entirety of these football players’ universe and as long as harmony and peace reigns in there all is well with the universe. They have no clue and no care for how that looks to everyone who doesn’t live in their bubble. Apparently they think it’s a given that the stands will always be filled with adoring fans who want to get as close as they can to their god-like presence. Ain’t so.

    I guess I’m ahead of my time Al Davis drove me to abandon the NFL back in the early ’80s when he moved the Raiders from Oakland to L.A. I grew up a diehard Raiders fan. I knew every detail, every stat, from when the Raiders first began playing at Kezar Stadium (no, I wasn’t born when they started playing there) until they moved to Oakland up to what was then present day.

    The Al Davis gave me the finger and taught me it’s only a business and owners like him only expect loyalty to run one way. I haven’t been a football fan ever since. Actually, I’ve never been much of a pro sports or even college sports fan. I do feel sorry, though, for the college athletes who aspired their whole lives to a professional sports career and are now watching their elders destroy that dream through their stupidity. When I was stationed in Japan I’d go to the occasional Yokohama Bay Stars or Tokyo Giants game if a group was going. But I was never a loyal fan. It was just entertainment. I haven’t followed the teams since I left Japan. Really I was much more into Sumo which is a beautiful and ancient sport and it isn’t just two big fat men shoving each other around, but that’s a discussion for another day.

    The bottom line is that that Al Davis made me feel like a sucker for investing so much into the Raiders emotionally and he had no compunction about turning around and insulting me in a heartbeat.

    It looks like a lot of other sports fans are arriving at the same conclusion.

The Stealers are a prime example of a double standard. Why is the coach not supporting the free speech of Villanueva. After all, is he not simply abiding by the NFL guidelines?

I haven’t watched any football, but this whole protest is as fascinating as watching a train wreck.

Spoke with a major sponsor of local professional teams this morning. Was ready to pull all monetary support (and I mean big bucks) this morning from a certain professional team had its players taken a knee. Not sure teams understand what fire they are playing with.

Villanueva has also been featured in a USAA commercial this season. Just FWIW.