I am disgusted by the overt display of virtue signaling by overpaid players who want to turn sports events into political theatre as they disrespect our country and all of the men and women who have sacrificed the lives and health so these pampered athletes can “entertain” America and give us a respite against the craziness that is day-to-day political drama …
- First, perhaps the players should understand that the First Amendment applies to government restrictions on free speech; it does not apply to corporate America.
- Second, players are paid multiple millions of dollars to play football, not offer their uninformed political opinions.
- Three, perhaps these players, the teams, and the league should remember who pays for their stadiums and allows them to flourish even in times of depression.
Roger Goodell, not the smartest or most well-liked commissioner, fails to understand that it is the game – not the players – that brings unity to our country and culture precisely because it does not involve politics …
Statement From NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
The following statement is in response to President Donald Trump’s comments last night...
STATEMENT FROM NFL COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL
The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture. There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we've experienced over the last month. 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. <Source: Statement From NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell>
Are these fools from the player’s union telling me that the employees of IBM and other major corporations have a right to inject politics into their corporate lives, even if it damages their employer and promotes dissension among others?
NFLPA Leadership Response to President Donald Trump's Comments on Player Protests
Statement from Executive Director DeMaurice Smith
The peaceful demonstrations by some of our players have generated a wide array of responses. Those opinions are protected speech and a freedom that has been paid for by the sacrifice of men and women throughout history. This expression of speech has generated thoughtful discussions in our locker rooms and in board rooms. However, the line that marks the balance between the rights of every citizen in our great country gets crossed when someone is told to just "shut up and play."
NFL players do incredible things to contribute to their communities. NFL players are a part of a legacy of athletes in all sports who throughout history chose to be informed about the issues that impact them and their communities. They chose - and still choose today - to do something about those issues rather than comfortably living in the bubble of sports. Their decision is no different from the one made by countless others who refused to let "what they do" define or restrict "who they are" as Americans.
No man or woman should ever have to choose a job that forces them to surrender their rights. No worker nor any athlete, professional or not, should be forced to become less than human when it comes to protecting their basic health and safety. We understand that our job as a Union is not to win a popularity contest and it comes with a duty to protect the rights of our members. For that we make no apologies and never will.
Over the top ignorant rhetoric. The First Amendment and so-called protected speech is a protection prohibiting the federal government from restricting the speech of individuals; it says nothing about corporations or an employee’s right to injure their employer or employer’s brand with speech that may offend a significant portion of the employer’s customers. Those who have consciously made a decision to speak out in the past were aware that such speech and activities came with consequences.
Statement from NFLPA President Eric Winston
Our players are men who are great philanthropists, activists and community leaders who stand up for each other and what they believe in. [OCS: Yes, and some players are thugs, bullies, murderers, and perverts.]
I am extremely disappointed in the statements made by the President last night. The comments were a slap in the face to the civil rights heroes of the past and present, soldiers who have spilled blood in countless wars to uphold the values of this great nation and American people of all races, ethnicities, genders and sexual orientations who seek civil progress as a means to make this country, and this world, a better place.
The divisiveness we are experiencing in this country has created gridlock in our political system, given voice to extreme, fringe beliefs and paralyzed our progress as a nation. Divisiveness breeds divisiveness, but NFL players have proven to unify people in our country's toughest moments and we will continue to do so now.
We will not stop challenging others on how we can all come together to continue to make America the greatest country on earth. <Source: NFL Players Association - Response to President Donald Trump's Comments on Player Protests>
Bottom line …
Play the damn game and leave politics in the locker-room. Pontificate on the finer points of football and leave the political commentary to those political pundits that are paid to create chaos, confusion, and misinformation. You may hate the current President of the United States, but that is not a license to disrespect your Country, your Constitution, your Flag, your fans, and those Americans who only want to be left alone to enjoy their beer, the game, and the endless arguments about the greatest plays and players.
The NFL is so screwed.
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius