Op-ed: Forced patriotism is not the solution to NFL protests

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  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Oct. 15, 2017 8:12 a.m.

    No names.."So you support a baker who sees a major moral issue with homosexual conduct objecting to that via peaceful non-action (refusing to participate in providing services to a homosexual event), without being required to also object to divorce, eating shellfish, or any other moral wrong you can find in the Bible? "

    No protest has to include all the ills of the world.

    However....I object to the bakers situation because their protest is illegal.

    The football players protest is not illegal.

  • goodnight-goodluck Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 14, 2017 7:20 a.m.

    As a thirty year veteran of the military and law enforcement, the right of these players to take a knee in protest is what I served to protect. If you think it's about disrespecting the Military and the Veterans you are sadly mistken.
    If you think forced patriotism is the answer perhaps it's time for you to move to a country that it's practiced, North Korea comes to mind.

  • Baxters24321 Denver, CO
    Oct. 12, 2017 9:55 p.m.

    When someone dresses up like a Native American for Halloween, is their point to offend? Maybe, maybe not. But it is the Native Americans who get to say what they find offensive. When a cartoonist draws a cartoon of Obama and it mentions watermelon toothpaste, it is Obama and African Americans who get to decide if they are offended or not, regardless of the cartoonist's intent. When a group of grown, American, men refuse to stand for the National Anthem, it is the US veterans and families of fallen soldiers and patriotic American citizens who get to decide if it they find it offensive or not. Just because you are black does not give you a free pass to offend other groups.

    The sad thing is that there isn't unforced, unpaid patriotism. Apparently there never was in the NFL, despite the amazing wealth and fame and opportunities NFL players experience as a result of being citizens of this country. Hating and criticizing the US is a popular way to gain the adulation of the masses, sadly.

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 12, 2017 3:23 p.m.

    I don't watch the NFL. I don't watch the Dixie Chicks. I don't watch CNN or MSNBC. I don't watch Bill and Hill. I am exercising my right to fill my life and my mind with that which feels right to me.
    This is America! God bless America! Land that I love! STAND beside her!

  • Goldminer Salem, UT
    Oct. 12, 2017 10:27 a.m.

    To me it seems that the author, Mr. Hatch, approves of a kneeling protest of our nation. Free Speech is not necessarily allowed in one's place of employment but in the Public space. And even then, it cannot be speech that endangers people. For example, it is illegal to yell "Fire" in a movie theater because of the danger to those in the theater.
    I suspect the players in London stood for the English National Anthem. If so, why not show that level of respect for Americans standing for our flag and anthem in the USA?
    And why is this respect/patriotism not normal in the USA as it used to be? This value is no longer taught in many public schools and not at the home. Time to teach our History and why we ARE a blessed nation and so valuable to the citizens and the world.
    If one does not like American, they are free to express that on the streets in a peaceful manner. If they don't like America, they are free to move to some other country. Try Iran or North Korea and enjoy it.

  • BarVincent Visalia, CA
    Oct. 12, 2017 10:06 a.m.

    den den
    you have my permission to change the channel

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 12, 2017 8:23 a.m.

    'Forced patriotism' is a shibboleth. Patriotism is like civility and other traits. Freedom of expression means people can be uncivil at times. Not recommended, however, as a form of persuasion. Being uncivil is more of an unfavorable reflection on that person, even though the Constitution allows it. Standing for the National anthem or as the flag is raised or passes by as a sign of respect for a country that has done more for humanity than any other country, is intended to help teach patriotism. You can choose to not stand; you will not be arrested ( no NFL person was arrested ), but, again, that is not a good reflection on that person imho. This NFL thing has never been about freedom of expression; the NFL clamping down on other players attempting to make a statement in more innocuous ways puts that claim to rest.

  • Cheesecake Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 7:48 p.m.

    I suppose I might be the odd one here, but I couldn't care less if players stand or kneel during the national anthem. It's their right.

    Now what does bother me is the head of the executive branch using something as silly as football players kneeling to divide the country and pit neighbors against neighbors. It's the UNITED States of America, people. And don't you forget it!

  • Jimbo Low PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 5:40 p.m.

    "Peaceful protests are the lifeblood of the Republic."
    Wow--the things they teach in California.
    No, Justin, the lifeblood of the Republic is not "peaceful protests". The lifeblood of the republic is the Constitution and Rule of Law.
    I get that NFL Players have the right to kneel for the anthem (and for that matter spit on the flag if they wish).
    We, the fans, have the right to not watch them. The Owners have the right to bench them.
    Comparing this to 1930s Germany is grossly inaccurate and just wrong.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 2:45 p.m.

    I am a combat vet; and I do not stand with the players. This is yet another in a long line of articles; I wish some commenters would read the other articles with associated comments. I see only a few new threads.

  • GingerMarshall Brooklyn, OH
    Oct. 11, 2017 12:58 p.m.

    @worf: "Forced patriotism? What would captain Moroni do?"

    What would Harry Potter do?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 12:48 p.m.

    worf - McAllen, TX
    Oct. 11, 2017 10:29 a.m.

    Forced patriotism?

    What would captain Moroni do?

    =====

    As I recall,
    Moroni was called to fight a war he didn't start.

    The Kingmen did.

    Capt. Moroni threatened to attack those very leaders who started that war,
    and did not send him supplies or serve themselves,
    but they kept everything for themselves.

    Sort of like when I went to war,
    and was handed equipment left over from Vietnam and the 1960's.

    and
    BTW -- it's not much different now with Trump and his WallStreet Kingmen pals are about to do with North Korea....

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 12:48 p.m.

    worf - McAllen, TX
    Oct. 11, 2017 10:29 a.m.

    Forced patriotism?

    What would captain Moroni do?

    =====

    As I recall,
    Moroni was called to fight a war he didn't start.

    The Kingmen did.

    Capt. Moroni threatened to attack those very leaders who started that war,
    and did not send him supplies or serve themselves,
    but they kept everything for themselves.

    Sort of like when I went to war,
    and was handed equipment left over from Vietnam and the 1960's.

    and
    BTW -- it's not much different now with Trump and his WallStreet Kingmen pals are about to do with North Korea....

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 12:38 p.m.

    "I now hate a sport that I use to love--MAGA"

    Hilarious to watch.

    /And strawman after strawman marching down the street? Mmmmwwuuummaaaa!

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 12:29 p.m.

    "do you see the irony of the wealthiest most pampered bunch of people on the planet protesting inequality?"

    This isnt about fox news 'personalities'. Keep up.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 12:24 p.m.

    Being a liberal looks like it is easy right now. You just blame everything on Trump.

    Fun fact, Trump expressed his opinion. The fans have spoken with their pocket books and time. Now the NFL owners have decided that if they want to keep their fans they have to change the outward image on the football field.

    This is no different than a company mandating a uniform or acceptable grooming and language standards.

    Would you go to Chuck-E-Cheese if the workers there were foulmouthed? They have freedom of speech, why shouldn't they be allowed to crude?

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Oct. 11, 2017 11:59 a.m.

    @Backbonedr - Lehi, UT Oct. 11, 2017 1:25 a.m. Yes all republicans should be up for sainthood, yes that's the ticket, (snicker).

  • Den Den West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 11:53 a.m.

    Here's my opinion...I'm done with the NFL.

    Next up...the NBA. I'd like to see these multi millionaires try to do the same.

    WE, as Americans, need to have our voice heard. We can do this by not watching, not going to and not supporting the teams that allow these high priced, overindulged athletes from forcing the American viewer to their ideologies.

    If I want to watch it, I will turn on the news or read it from outlets like KSL.com.

    Do not force it down my throat by way of entertainment!

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Oct. 11, 2017 11:53 a.m.

    patriot - Cedar Hills, UT Oct. 10, 2017 7:08 p.m. wrote: these players aren't protesting injustice...they are much too fickle and shallow. These players have a combination of America hate and Trump hate and they couldn't care less about out vets.

    Please do tell how you know what these players are or aren't protesting, how you know they hate Trump/America and what they do or don't care about. Please, if you can, don't regurgitate any fake Fox News or alt.right material in doing so.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 11:46 a.m.

    I'm a veteran....

    I see a draft-dodger in the Whitehouse --
    trying everything he can to quill free Press, free speech, free religion, and free expression,
    as exponentially showing more DISRESPECT for everything that flag and anthem represent,

    ...than a few football players silently kneeling.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Oct. 11, 2017 11:45 a.m.

    Backbonedr - Lehi, UT Oct. 10, 2017 5:54 p.m. wrote: Mr. Hatch, do you see the irony of the wealthiest most pampered bunch of people on the planet protesting inequality? Well, Backbonedr, I would ask you if you see the irony, in someone labling people as the wealthiest and most pampered and citicizing them for protesting inequality when what they are protesting is and always has been about the disproportionate brutality of law enforcement against African Americans? The fact that most people who not agree with the protests do not understand exactly what the protest is about is justification of the legitimacy of the protest.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 10:39 a.m.

    @oldbasketball;
    "Standing for the national anthem is part of the NFL rules. It states that if they don't they are subject to dismissal. Unless the NFL changes their rules, they are not allowed to take a knee"

    That is patently false. There is no such rule, or policy. Please stop knowingly spreading falsehoods, or as Republicans now call them, "alternative facts".

  • worf McAllen, TX
    Oct. 11, 2017 10:29 a.m.

    Forced patriotism?

    What would captain Moroni do?

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 10:15 a.m.

    @Millenial Snow: "How should black people be allowed to protest?"

    How do you think conservative Christians should be allowed to show their moral disagreement with calling homosexual unions "marriage"? Do you believe bakers should be allowed to peacefully show disagreement in ways that are different than you would choose to show disagreement?

    @pragmatistferlife: "If I see a systemic social issue I feel is wrong, is there any logic that says I have to protest all the wrongs in society to be logical? Of course not. It's only blind partisanship that requires, or even thinks of that. "

    So you support a baker who sees a major moral issue with homosexual conduct objecting to that via peaceful non-action (refusing to participate in providing services to a homosexual event), without being required to also object to divorce, eating shellfish, or any other moral wrong you can find in the Bible?

    It is great to see liberals defending free speech expressed through peaceful refusal to participate in public ceremonies. Someone taking offense to non participation is not actually someone being harmed. The law must never punish peaceful, non-participation. Leave it to the free market.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 10:09 a.m.

    We don't want "forced patriotism" you are right.

    We want Patriots and people willing to stand up and respect our Country!

    If the NFL is full of people who can't do that then I hope they go out of business.

    I for sure am not supporting them.

    By the way, I am 100% for the fair treatment of people and I feel like black people have been mistreated and their cause is just. They need to stand up and go to work on the problems instead of becoming part of the problem themselves. Greed is hurting the black communities. Stand up and give back and lead. You can't be a leader unless you stand up and be counted. Caving into the peer pressure to kneel is not impressing anyone and certainly not helping to change a thing.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 10:08 a.m.

    @NoNamesAccepted
    "So why do you take such a lesser tact and position when it comes to bakers, florists, photographers, and reception center owners regarding homosexual "marriage" events?"

    Well first off, to be clear while I support the NFL protests I don't think they have any inherent right to them (their union may give them some protection any average employee at other places wouldn't though).

    Secondly, I consider the difference to be that one is a refusal of providing a service which non-discrimination statutes require, and the other is just a gesture. If they were doing something like sitting out of games then... well they'd mostly just be hurting themselves.

  • at long last. . . Kirksville , MO
    Oct. 11, 2017 10:01 a.m.

    It is perhaps too fine a point for the author of this article to understand, but no one is forcing anyone to be 'patriotic'. The intent here is to show respect for the flag of a country, in this case the US. Wouldn't the players stand in respect for the flag and national anthem of any other country in the world? I suggest they would. This display is very disrespectful and the NFL can do without my support and tv viewership. Those folks who don't view this as further anti-US sentiment are wrong, IMO.

  • HSTucker Holladay, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 9:24 a.m.

    As an attorney, surely Mr. Hatch understands the meaning of the word "force." Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that he has deliberately misused it in an attempt to deceive the gullible. As evidenced by the other comments here, it seems to have worked.

    Next, Mr. Hatch refers to Nazis. I stopped reading after that nonsense. No, Mr. Hatch, patriotic Americans are NOT Nazi-sympathizers and it is deeply offensive to imply that we are.

  • Sanefan Wellsville, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 9:22 a.m.

    Too many post on the wrong side of the RIGHT issue. As we have seen, Trump won on tis one. It's not "forced patriotism," it respect for something dear to most Americans. Of course there are the uber progressive liberals that hate this country and see more wrong than right, but that's because progressive liberals see everyone except "white men" as victims. I for one am glad the NFL found some backbone.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 9:12 a.m.

    @Mark Montana
    RE: "I do not get offended by someone kneeling during the national anthem. I see it as a powerful message of the strength of what the US stands for"...
    ---
    I would be with you, if they made it clear they were doing it out of respect for America, and not disrespect. But to the contrary... player spokesmen have said they are doing it because they can not support what the American flag stands for.

    I get that they have the right to do it. Nobody's forcing them to do anything. Getting tired of all the comments pretending if you make a comment you are forcing them to do something. We have no ability to force any NFL player to do anything. Just pointing out the tradition, and what we think they should do to show respect (no force involved).

    Kappernick sitting during the flag ceremony was not out of respect. He clearly stated he can't support the American flag. Now people are joining him. Some have stated that they also can't support the American flag. Others are showing support for fellow players, others are protesting Trump. I get it. But don't pretend they are all just trying to be ultra-respectful by kneeling when the tradition is to stand for the flag.

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 8:59 a.m.

    This flag worship is not patriotism, it is nationalism and it is sick. If you are more devoted to the flag and a song than you are to the constitution then you are not a patriot, you are a cosplaytriot. The funny part of this whole thing is that the same people who like to talk about '2nd amendment solutions' are the same people who are all twisted up because some NFL player wont prostrate themselves in the exact same way these fake patriots demand.

    Freedom isnt just a reich wing talking point.

    'Love my country, right or wrong' is a horrible idea. I love my country when it is right and try to fix it when it is wrong.

  • alineu Magna, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 8:46 a.m.

    I agree that forced patriotism won't work. However I also believe that NFL patrons have the option of boycotting teams whose players show such disrespect and the team owners have the option of firing any player whom they believe reflect negatively on their franchise. The other issue, as I see it, is that these take-a-knee players object to things that aren't as bad as they portray them. So-called murdering cops are extremely rare and although racism does exist in this country, it doesn't exist only in white people. I'll put this country up against any other country on earth.

  • HSTucker Holladay, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 8:39 a.m.

    Mr. Hatch doesn't seem to understand the meaning of the word "force." To inform millionaire entertainers that they may no longer be employed if they offend their audience with a corrosive false narrative ("hands up don't shoot" never happened -- look it up) is common sense and doesn't come close to force.

    And seriously, a Nazi comparison? Why in the world such an inflammatory and extremist editorial would even be published by the Deseret News should give pause to every subscriber. I wonder how the DN would feel about being called Stalinists? Because that's what they're inviting when they allow their readers to be called Nazi sympathizers.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 8:28 a.m.

    It is a free country as long as you do what the Fox News crowd thinks is the most important issue ever.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Oct. 11, 2017 8:14 a.m.

    Social protests have always divided societies, and this one is no different. The good news is the necessity of standing for the anthem is an opinion, not a law.

    What is disturbing here is the blatant inability of so many to see beyond their own worlds.

    AZROD, "I am curious why none of them is protesting abusive husbands who play in the NFL or the murder rate in many of the gun free zones of America or black on black murder. "

    If I see a systemic social issue I feel is wrong, is there any logic that says I have to protest all the wrongs in society to be logical? Of course not. It's only blind partisanship that requires, or even thinks of that.

    Sanefan, "If these dedicated protesters do nothing during the offseason or any other time throughout the entire year to protest besides kneel for a couple of minutes once a week, how serious am I to take them in their dedicated cause?"

    You insinuate here that they don't, and you have no information as to whether they do or don't. In fact Kaperneck does spend his entire time in the community now.

    Have an opinion, but have an informed opinion.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Oct. 11, 2017 7:37 a.m.

    The more comments I read from those who want to force the NFL players to stand during the song, the more I support the players.

    Now, that is a extraordinarily contrary way to make a decision. However, the grossly misleading arguments that emanates from the "Anthem-ites" convinces me that the respectful kneeling during the National Anthem is not only appropriate and timely but also absolutely necessary.

    We are a democracy (sort of) and with protections for free speech. You don't have to look at the players or listen to their rationales. However, you must allow them that freedom. And certainly you want your freedom to explain your questionable rationales that differ from the players. That is how it works. Unless you don't really believe in free speech that is.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 6:44 a.m.

    BarVincent - Visalia, CA
    Oct. 10, 2017 10:47 p.m.
    As a veteran, I support the players
    ---
    my_two_cents_worth - university place, WA
    Oct. 10, 2017 8:02 p.m.
    This fan and vet stands/kneels with thr NFL players

    =========

    Agreed.

    This Veteran ALSO supports the players.
    Racism, Sexism, and Nationalism in America is wrong, and needs to stop.

    I fought to defend those very "Freedoms" the NFL players are showing,
    NOT for a rag flag or a rah-rah song....

    A fakeriot is someone who shunned serving, waves a flag, and then runs around telling everyone how much more 'patriotic' they are.

  • LoBo4Justice Coalville, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 6:34 a.m.

    “Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear."

    [Special Message to the Congress on the Internal Security of the United States, August 8, 1950]”
    ― Harry Truman

    “A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”
    ― Edward Abbey

    “If I were to remain silent, I'd be guilty of complicity.”
    ― Albert Einstein

    “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it. — Henry Ford

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 6:27 a.m.

    Bottom line so far as the owners are concerned, this is having an effect on t.v. ratings and attendence. This is degrading their business.

    Add this to the fact that the narrative of the kneelers is false. 'Hands up don't shoot' which this stems from never happened.

    The black man in Ferguson Missouri was shot because he was running from a policeman, then turned around and charged after him. This after he struggled with the policeman trying to steal his gun.

  • Mark from Montana Davis County, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 5:48 a.m.

    I do not get offended by someone kneeling during the national anthem. I see it as a powerful message of the strength of what the US stands for, namely freedom. Could those kneeling do so in Russia, North Korea, Turkey, or many other nations? No they could not, at least not and live to speak of the experience. It brings to mind the rather famous photo of the college student standing in front of a tank in Tianamen Square many years ago. Where is he today? Still in prison serving time.

    The very idea of taking a knee is what is great about the United States. It embodies the very foundation of our nation.

    That these rich athletes cannot find a better way to help change the inequalities found is discouraging, and not surprising. Change can be hard and often requires real sacrifice, which apparently most of these athletes and not willing to make. I refuse to get angry, to take offense at their actions, but I do pause and shake my head at their lack of commitment to real justice. Like so many today, this is about appearances and not real change.

  • common sense in Idaho Pocatello, id
    Oct. 11, 2017 5:22 a.m.

    The players are disrespecting our flag, country and anthem by kneeling during the playing of the national anthem.

    Period.

    I would slap my own kids if they did the same.

    Sundays are much more quiet than they used to be at my home.

  • Copybook Headings Draper, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 5:09 a.m.

    A few years ago the CEO of Mozilla was forced to resign when the 'internet' discovered he donated to a defense of marriage proposition six years earlier. So forcing patriotism is somehow horrible but forcing conformity to liberal views to keep your job is OK?

  • Copybook Headings Draper, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 4:50 a.m.

    In 2015 258 black males were killed by the police. That same year over 6000 black males were killed by other black males. What exactly are they protesting again?

  • Millenial Snow Sandy, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 1:51 a.m.

    How should black people be allowed to protest?

    It seems like any time they want to take up their constitutional rights people have a problem with it. They aren't rioting or being violent. They are peacefully protesting something they find wrong with society.

    If that isn't showcasing American values I don't know what is.

  • SMcloud Sandy, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 1:42 a.m.

    Protesting my country is my right.

    It is also what makes this country different from Iran or China. We are not a dictatorship...yet.

  • Backbonedr Lehi, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 1:25 a.m.

    Utah Girl Chronicles, you say it is Republicans who are saying "If your not with us you are against us". I beg to differ. It is the liberal democrats who only believe in free speech if you agree with them. It is not the republicans who block liberal speakers from adressing young minds at our universities, it is not republicans who are hitting liberal protesters with bicycle locks, and it is not republicans who are holding rallies and chanting "what do we want? Dead Cops! When do we want it? Now!" It is the republicans who honor all parts of the constitution, not just the parts that protect their viewpoints. Voice a dissenting view with the liberals and immediately get labeled a nazi and a bigot. I never said that football players don't have the right to protest inequality, the workplace is just not the place for it. And for the record I am personal friends with several former NFL players and they agree that most of their teammates were spoiled, pampered, and entitled, of course there are exceptions to every rule.

  • RRB SLC, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 1:04 a.m.

    Do our constitutional rights extend into company time? They have the right to say what they want and do what they want on their own time, but when you work for someone else, you have to follow their rules.

    It's not forced. They have the right to quit their job and go elsewhere.

  • AZRods Maricopa, AZ
    Oct. 10, 2017 11:23 p.m.

    First of all, the fans reaction began long before President Trump chimed in so stop with more of the fake news people.
    Secondly, no one is passing a law or saying they can't kneel or express their heartfelt sorrow over the terrible injustices they are claiming to protest.
    I am curious why none of them is protesting abusive husbands who play in the NFL or the murder rate in many of the gun free zones of America or black on black murder.
    There is a time and a place to get the most effective response but doing it during the national anthem is the wrong time and the wrong place.
    But, of course, they are free to protest just as we are free to boycott them. Guess we'll see what is more important to them, their pay checks or their pitiful 5 minute weekly grandstanding.
    If these dedicated protesters do nothing during the offseason or any other time throughout the entire year to protest besides kneel for a couple of minutes once a week, how serious am I to take them in their dedicated cause?
    And exactly which narrative are we supposed to be respecting every time one of these peace loving, law abiding, loving family type guys decides to protest the United States of America?
    Clearly, th

  • Aggies#1 MURRAY, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 11:04 p.m.

    How many employers allow their employees to protest during work. Can't stand the hypocrites. Turned off the nfl.

  • Fabulous Jen Eagle Mountain, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 10:59 p.m.

    @ 2 bits

    "Did the same thing not happen to the Duck Dynasty guy ....?"

    I have no interest in the "Duck Dynasty guy" and have no idea what he has to do with the NFL controversy. "Captain Kangaroo" didn't see himself as a political force and he didn't build a pedestal for himself so he could foist his religious beliefs on us. Duck Dynasty guy should follow Captain Kangaroo's lead.

    It's a shame some guy who lives in a Louisiana swamp has such political gravitas in the Republican party. Reality TV stars are little more than real-life cartoon characters. Republican party is getting more cartoonish every day. I can't believe I'm even writing about Duck Dynasty guy.

  • BarVincent Visalia, CA
    Oct. 10, 2017 10:47 p.m.

    As a veteran, I support the players

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 10:21 p.m.

    @Utah Girl Chronicles
    RE: "Republicans see it as a "either you're with us or you're against us" mentality"...
    and "These NFL players are the modern-day equivalent of the Dixie Chicks"...
    ---
    Did the same thing not happen to the Duck Dynasty guy who explained his religious views in a media interview?

    Remember that?

    Obviously it's not just Republicans.

    ===

    I think the Duck Dynasty guy picked the right place to express his views (which some saw as offensive) not on the job. It wasn't on the show. It wasn't on the job. It was in a media interview outside his work where the reporter asked him about his religious views on same sex marriage.

    Both Dixie Chicks and NFL and NBA players who do it on the job are using the wrong place and time IMO (on the job). Dixie Chicks were making disparaging and insulting comments about President Bush from the stage, during their concerts (and it offended some of their conservative fans at the concerts).

    NFL and NBA players who bring it to the game are wrong. Express it in interviews with the media after the game, like King James did. He did it right.

    When you come to work... work. Don't work on personal projects/agendas. Do your job.

  • wgirl Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 10:11 p.m.

    I guess I should get worked up over this, because I love my country, vets, police officers, puppies, etc. but the kneeling thing just doesn't bother me that much. These players aren't spitting on the flag, burning the flag, or in any other way destroying the flag. They aren't being obscene or offensive. In game after game I've seen them with hands over hearts looking very respectful.

    Flags all over the country were flown at half-mast last week. We do this as a symbol of our sadness and to show respect for those who have lost their lives. We are not disrespecting our flag when we do this. We don't hate our country when we do this. These NFL players go down on one knee - half mast if you will - in a symbolic gesture of sadness and to show respect for those who have lost their lives.

    If they had intended to be disrespectful when this all started over a year ago (people didn't get upset about it until Trump told them to - now that is leadership!) they could have done any number of things that were truly offensive, rude, etc. For a crowd that likes to mock others by calling them "snowflakes " to be so hurt and upset by this is hypocritical.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 10:10 p.m.

    @Fullypresent,
    RE: "Trump put the NFL in a terrible position. He crossed a line trying to dictate patriotism"...
    ---
    Actually... this was going on before Trump even came along.

    And he didn't dictate patriotism. Standing for the flag has been a traditional way of showing your love for America for hundreds of years before Trump came along.

    Trump didn't change or dictate anything. Standing when the flag passes by and when the National Anthem is played has been a national tradition in America for centuries (not just since Trump took office).

    ===

    IMO Disrespecting the flag and the anthem of our nation is the wrong way to protest. And protesting your personal grievances while on the job is the wrong place and time for it. Do it outside work hours, and not on your employer's facilities, especially if your employer doesn't agree with your protesting America.

    ===

    Team owners are in a tough spot now.

    Some owners are uncomfortable with the players protests. They don't dare stand up to the players. But they know the fans are offended by what the players are doing.

    Offend players and they may make trouble and ruin team unity. Offend fans and they may turn on your team.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 9:51 p.m.

    Trump put the NFL in a terrible position. He crossed a line trying to dictate patriotism. If we dictate patriotism how are we different than Putin or Kim Jung-Um? A lot of blood has been shed for the freedoms we enjoy. We should not dismiss that by dictating patriotism.

    The national anthem is important to our country. What it means and stands for is important to our country. We have family and friends that had served in all branches of the military. I will continue to stand for the anthem in honor of them and all others that have honorably fought for our freedoms.

    At the same time there is a terrible amount of social injustice in this country that shouldn't be ignored. Our current president pours gas on those social injustice fires in a variety of ways. Has he considered what is the world of sports without all the black athletes we have? They have a right to express their frustration and concern over the social injustices they are up against.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 9:29 p.m.

    I fully support the right of NFL players to take a knee during the National Anthem. Peaceful speech/conduct to protest is protected under the 1st amd and must always be legal. There must never be any government penalties for such conduct. If employers want to fire employees or fans want to take their business elsewhere, they have that right.

    In exactly the same way, I support the right of bakers, florists, photographers, and reception center owners to peacefully exercise their 1st amd rights to avoid providing support to any event that offends them. This includes homosexual "weddings" or receptions, religious events, political events, racial (white, black, or other) superiority events, and so on. Government must not force support, acceptance, nor love.

    If the public wishes to take business elsewhere, they always have that right. Just as they did for some who supported Prop 8. But government must never force speech. It must never force the use of creative talent to support events or messages.

    Forced patriotism is bad. Forced social acceptance is no better.

    Awaiting the "but that's different" rationale from some who only support free speech they like.

  • Sanefan Wellsville, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 9:23 p.m.

    So, now according to reports, The NFL owners at the direction of the Commish are going to require players to stand during the Anthem or face disciplinary actions. Also, ESPN disciplines an anchor for making hateful and deragatory remarks about Trump and Jones. Why, the NFL has long had special tax exemption status (You libs should really jump on this issue) and Trump, the fans, and sponsors are hitting the NFL and ESPN where it hurts, the pocketbook. As I posted 2 days ago, you will see drastic changes, even I am surprised just how soon. Again, Trump won.

  • Bobster , 00
    Oct. 10, 2017 9:15 p.m.

    I don't accept the premise that what is happening with the NFL protesters can in any way be equated with the rise of National Socialism in Germany. Who is coercing whom? The players, rather than protesting on their own time, are forcing their fans, the people who pay their salaries, to witness their protesting whether they want to or not. That is where the real coercion is.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 9:14 p.m.

    The article is poorly written. Straw man and invoking Hitler are beneath serious discussion. Who is demanding criminal penalties for the NFL players? Every comment I have read supports their right to kneel with no more ramifications than what peaceful social scorn and market forces may impose.

    The comments, however, are most articulate and persuasive.

    @Prometheus Platypus, @Frozen Fractals , @Furry1993, @Utah Girl Chronicles:

    You do a fine job of differentiating between the true cause of the protest and the less noble reasons opponents would impart to the NFL players. You argue articulately for 1st amd rights to peacefully protest.

    So why do you take such a lesser tact and position when it comes to bakers, florists, photographers, and reception center owners regarding homosexual "marriage" events?

    Why do you refuse to admit the difference between unlawful discrimination against an individual and the 1st amd right to peacefully refuse to participate in an event one finds offensive?

    Why do you want govt imposed penalties for peacefully "taking a knee" on providing services to homosexual "weddings"?

    Forced patriotism is bad. Is forced love and acceptance any better?

  • oldbasketball Draper, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 8:42 p.m.

    Standing for the national anthem is part of the NFL rules. It states that if they don't they are subject to dismissal. Unless the NFL changes their rules, they are not allowed to take a knee. Oh, and yes, it is totally disrespectful.

  • Utah Girl Chronicles Eagle Mountain, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 8:12 p.m.

    @ DrMAN

    "That must be the CTE/TBI talking."

    Chronic irreversible brain injuries are hilarious. We get it.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    Oct. 10, 2017 8:02 p.m.

    @patriot

    “fans stand with our vets and police.”

    This fan and vet stands/kneels with thr NFL players and kindly asks that those who are so offended by others exercising their rights not use me as cover for their hurt feelings.

  • DrMAN Orem, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 7:26 p.m.

    Ask a bunch of men who are probable to have CTE/TBI how to go about solving racial and other injustices in the nation and their solutions to those very serious problems are protesting the flag and national anthem. That must be the CTE/TBI talking. I’ll excuse them for that.

    It’s like me protesting birthdays (e.g., refusing to sing, kneeling down, raising my fist in the air) because diseases take the lives of thousands everyday. So, lets not celebrate life because we haven’t figured out yet how to overcome death. That’s basically what these NFLers are doing: let’s not celebrate the unity and values of our nation because sometimes we fall short of the ideals.

    Again, probably just their CTE/TBI talking.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 7:10 p.m.

    Remember the old joke: I went to a fight last night, and a hockey game broke out.

    It is cheap and lazy to grab the podium at work to promote your personal cause. And pardon me for being offended when I paid $75 to see a football game and I get slapped in the face before it starts.

    Surely this attorney has studied case law and knows the Supreme Court's rather liberal interpretation of what is considered appropriate. Our nation has given broad latitude to protest venues and opportunities.

    Why must these players use the flag? And why the game?

    Get a room. No one wants to see it in the NFL.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 7:08 p.m.

    these players aren't protesting injustice...they are much too fickle and shallow. These players have a combination of America hate and Trump hate and they couldn't care less about out vets. They are just piling on after Kapernick started his hate America rant. Fans do NOT stand with fake millionaries.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 7:04 p.m.

    actually people see through forced patriotism as fake. People see the NFL as fake...the players are fake..and fans boo and burn tickets and simply stay home. America is bigger than the NFL ...the pampered misinformed and unappreciative players don't see it that way. The players I think are in shock and angry that fans don't stand with them....fans stand with our vets and police.

  • Utah Girl Chronicles Eagle Mountain, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 6:54 p.m.

    @ Backbonedr

    "Do you see the irony of the wealthiest most pampered bunch of people on the planet protesting inequality?"

    What a ridiculous premise. Some of these NFL guys can barely get out of bed on Monday mornings. Brett Farve and Jim McMahon can't always remember the names of their children. Dave Duerson shot himself and and left behind a note asking that his brain be examined for CTE. These guys pay a tremendous price to play a sports that entertains millions.

    I once worked with two former NFL players, Allan Ellis and Willie Holman. They were friends of mine. Willie passed away at 57 and Allan died at 62. Read their online obituaries and you will see how they gave back to their communities. They gave back to their final days.

    A lot of these NFL guys know oppression because they've experienced it firsthand. Their families and friends have been hassled by police. If these men feel they have a brief career window to impact how others think -- based on their own experiences -- do you think calling them "wealthy and pampered" is going to stop them? Why not look at this from another perspective?

    Say what you will but I don't see these NFL players calling anyone names.

  • LoveLondon Murray, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 6:46 p.m.

    This isn't about patriotism. It's about respect, and the NFL players that kneel are being very disrespectful.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 6:45 p.m.

    Well said, Justin Hatch. You are exactly correct in your analysis and comment.

  • Harrison Bergeron Holladay , UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 6:44 p.m.

    If you can't stand with your hand over your heart honoring those who gave you your freedom, then I can't stand to watch you play.

  • drich Green River, Utah
    Oct. 10, 2017 6:42 p.m.

    If the players don't like US there is a big world out there that would take their million dollar salaries.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 6:31 p.m.

    @Backbonedr
    "Mr. Hatch, do you see the irony of the wealthiest most pampered bunch of people on the planet protesting inequality?"

    Well this isn't income inequality being talked about. And besides, what's wrong with people who aren't directly affected by something (assuming that is even accurate) protesting on behalf of other people? Men can support women's rights. White people can support racial civil rights issues. Heterosexual people can support LGBT rights.

  • Prometheus Platypus Orem, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 6:29 p.m.

    Backbonedr said: "Mr. Hatch, do you see the irony of the wealthiest most pampered bunch of people on the planet protesting inequality?"

    --The inequality they are protesting, isn't about the economy, is it?

    "I have no problem with anyone being a social warrior on their own time, but what job in the country allows you to do it at work? "

    --Apparently the job of president and vice president, and on our dime literally, not a private team owner.

    "I am not disputing that there is inequality at times, but this is still the land of opportunity for all. "

    --Except those who experience inequality, right, but again, this isn't about economic inequality.

    "I am a 49er fan who has not watched a game since this whole thing started because I can't stand the hypocrisy."

    --What hypocrisy?

    "Employers have a right to enforce codes of conduct for their employees, and having them stand for the national anthem is not unreasonable."

    --Then shouldn't it be up to them, and their employee's, not a president, desperately trying to divert attention from his continuing downward spiral?

  • Backbonedr Lehi, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 5:54 p.m.

    Mr. Hatch, do you see the irony of the wealthiest most pampered bunch of people on the planet protesting inequality? I have no problem with anyone being a social warrior on their own time, but what job in the country allows you to do it at work? I am not disputing that there is inequality at times, but this is still the land of opportunity for all. I am a 49er fan who has not watched a game since this whole thing started because I can't stand the hypocrisy. Employers have a right to enforce codes of conduct for their employees, and having them stand for the national anthem is not unreasonable

  • Utah Girl Chronicles Eagle Mountain, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 5:45 p.m.

    Republicans see it as a "either you're with us or you're against us" mentality. Trump exemplifies this thinking. A great example of this mentality was when Bush was ramping up for war against Iraq in 2003. Conservative entertainers O'Reilly and Hannity repeatedly stressed that anyone against the war was "un-American".

    The Dixie Chicks took a large brunt of that abuse. These NFL players are the modern-day equivalent of the Dixie Chicks.