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Roger Goodell And The NFL Versus The American People

  • Roger Goodell And The NFL Versus The American People

By Capt Joseph R. John, September 27, 2017: Op Ed # 370

The below listed article by the Thomas More Law Center outlines the conflict that has erupted, because the NFL has not been enforcing its own below listed rules that requires professional football players to honor the National Anthem.  

The BBC reported earlier this year that US race relations have become more polarized and tense since January 20, 2009.  How did we get here, after millions of white Americans voted in national elections, twice, to elect the first black president in US history?

Unfortunately, over the last 8 years, Obama’s accusation of “white privilege”, and “of systematic racism by Police Officers” and the justice system, aimed at young impressionable black Americans, who were raised in mostly fatherless homes, had its effect.  They took Obama’s accusations to heart as victims, it aggravated the alleged victims of the Obama’s described discrimination, and has resulted in demonstrations in the streets that have become increasingly more militant, and hostile, and created the anti-Police radical Black Lives Matter. 


Over the last 8 years, Obama never told those young black Americans, that hundreds of thousands of white Americans, died in the Civil War to free America’s slaves—or that America was the first country in the world to free its slaves, because of a Republican president issued the Emancipation Proclamation.


For the last 10 months, Soros and Obama’s Organization For Action have been organizing and funding weekly street demonstrations by transporting violent ANTIFA, Black Lives Matter, and Communist USA anarchists vilifying Police Officers, to well organized demonstrations, while paying them $25/day.  


For nearly one year, Colin Kaepernick said he could not have pride in the American Flag or in a country that oppresses black people and people of color, and took a knee when the National Anthem was played before the football games began.  Professional football players are now showing their solidarity with Black Lives Matter street demonstrations against Police Officers, and with Colin Kaepernick by taking a knee when the National Anthem is played. 

If professional football players want to demonstrate against Police Officers, who incidentally protect them at every football game they play in, they have a Constitutional right to do so by taking a knee when the national anthem is played, but not in uniform at nationally televised professional football games, in violation of NFL Rules.  However, they can promote demonstrations against Police Officers in as many private locations and venues they care to participate in.

Military Regulations prevent members of the US Armed Forces in uniform from participating in political demonstrations.  It is not viewed as restricting their “Freedom of Speech”, because they can attend any political events out of uniform.  The NFL Operations Manual prevents professional football players in uniform from disrespecting the National Anthem and the American Flag at professional football games.  It is not viewed as restricting their “Freedom of Speech”, because they can demonstrate against anything they chose to demonstrate against, out of uniform and not on the field during nationally televised professional football games.

If Roger Goodell did enforce the NFL Rules, for taking a knee when the National Anthem is played, then the professional football players should be disciplined by being fined, or be suspended from playing, if they continued to take a knee.  For allowing the members of their football teams to take a knee, when the National Anthem is being played, then the owners of the professional football teams should be disciplined by the forfeiture of their first draft choice(s), in accordance with the NFL Operations Manual.  



NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell “infamously waged a years-long, multi-million-dollar battle with the New England Patriots trying to prove that the balls used in the 2014 AFC Championship (game) between the Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts were under-inflated,” however, he’s taking a “decidedly less fastidious approach to the (NLF) rules governing the National Anthem.”

Instead of applying the rules (listed on page A62-63 in the NFL Operations Manual for professional football players), Goodell is refusing to apply those rules, “Goodell is focusing his anger at President Trump, who said in a speech Friday that the NFL team owners should require their players to stand during the National Anthem.” (WND News, Sept 26, 2017)

Goodell’s failure to apply the rules in the NFL Operations Manual is negatively affecting the game of football with the 80% of the millions of America’s football fans who disagree with players taking a knee during the National Anthem.

Roger Goodell has a double standard in applying NFL Rules, and does so only when they personally suit Roger Goodell.  Goodell refused to allow NFL players to wear red, white, and blue cleats in support of the victims of 9/11, and his also refused to allow the Dallas Cowboy football team to add a decal to their helmets to honor the 5 Dallas Police Officers who were gunned down by a black nationalist.  Goodell violated the rules in the NFL Operations Manual when he allowed Colin Kaepernick to wear socks depicting Police Officers as pigs by allowing him to take a knee during the National Anthem for one year, and by allowing hundreds of football players to now take a knee when the National Anthem is being played.  


By allowing football players to take a knee during the playing of the National Anthem, Goodell has been offending millions of Patriotic Americans, First Responders, members of the US Armed Forces, Veterans, and he is setting terrible example for young Americans.  Millions of Americans view taking knee as disrespecting the National Anthem, the American Flag, and the memory of every Combat Veteran through the ages who gave the last full measure of devotion for their country, and were returned to the United States in a flag draped casket.   


If professional football players persist in taking a knee when the National Anthem is played, with the support of Roger Goodell, then the Pentagon should cancel their annual $53 million advertising budget in support of the NFL Sunday and Monday night games.  Cities across the nation should consider cancelling the billions of dollars they provide annually to support the NFL.


The NFL’s Operations Manual, which, unlike its Rule Book, is intentionally not made available to the public states:

“During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country.  Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.” 

Copyright by Capt Joseph R. John.  All Rights Reserved.  The material can only posted on another Web site or distributed on the Internet by giving full credit to the author.  It may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without the permission from the author.


From the Desk of Richard Thompson


 The NFL versus The American People

     The National Football League has already lost their war against The America People.  They thought their war was against President Trump. No, it was against The American People who love their country, respect their Flag, and their National Anthem. The NFL lost.

    The NFL’s disrespect for patriotism, has unified the Country against them.

    I’m sure after seeing the reaction of The American People, and loss of revenues, the NFL will find a way to stop their disrespect.

    Marine General John Kelly, Trump’s Chief of Staff and a Gold Star father who lost his son, Marine 1st Lt., Robert Kelly, in 2010 while on a combat mission in Afghanistan, commented:

“I believe every American, when the national anthem is played, should cover their hearts and think about all the men and women who have been maimed and killed.” 

“Every American should stand up and think for three lousy minutes.”

     So, when at the Alabama rally last Friday, President Trump called out the millionaire football players for taking a knee during our National Anthem and disrespecting our Flag and nation, he was voicing the sentiments of The American People. He was hardly breaking new ground.

     Granted, the U. S. Constitution protects the NFL players’ right to foolishly demean our Nation and Flag.  However, they should consider this: throughout our Nation’s history, men and women; white, black, brown and yellow, who have fought and died under our Flag, and many who have been buried under that Flag. By taking a knee during the National Anthem, these players demean their sacrifices. 

     Right now, these men and women of all races are still fighting and placing themselves in harm’s way for that Flag and the football players right to take a knee. Unlike these players, however, they don’t get millions for doing so.

     A poignant moment in last Sunday’s Pittsburgh-Chicago game came when Pittsburgh Steelers star, Alejandro Villanueva, (pictured above) refused to go along with his teammates who were cowering in the locker-room during the National Anthem. He stepped alone onto the field and paid respect to the Country he had fought for. Villanueva is a West Point graduate and former Army Range officer who served three tours of duty in Afghanistan. He received a Bronze Star for valor.  In response to Villanueva’s exercise of his free speech, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin scolded Villanueva while praising his players cowering in the locker room.

     Their ridiculous excuse for not coming onto the field was that they did not want to get involved in politics. Not coming on the field during the National Anthem, was a political message. They are now suffering the consequences of that message, as Steeler fans, some of the most ardent fans in the world, are burning their Steeler paraphernalia.

     In concern for the right of free speech, which the President and all Americans support, and amnesia about Colin Kaepernick’s sideline antics, the NFL officials and players incoherently and dishonestly claimed it was the President who caused disunity.

    These coddled well-behaved toddlers do; The NFL players don’t seem to realize that there are ideals bigger than a game, bigger than money, and bigger than themselves. Those ideals are demonstrated by our Armed Forces in harm’s way who are putting their lives on the line so that these millionaire athletes and billionaire owners can peacefully enjoy their wealth.   

     These soldiers’ sacrifices are worth standing for. General Douglas MacArthur, in a 1962 speech to West Point cadets described the real men of our Country…

     “…bending under soggy packs, on many a weary march from dripping dusk to drizzling dawn, slogging ankle-deep through the mire of shell-shocked roads, to form grimly for the attack, blue-lipped, covered with sludge and mud, chilled by the wind and rain, driving home to their objective, and for many, to the judgment seat of God.” 

     Every one of these heroes understood the beauty of the United States and her ideals. These men have included NFL greats of the past who gave “the last full measure” of their lives for the Country: Pat Tillman, Robert Kalsu, Jack Lummus, and Don Steinbrunner. 

     I know there are still patriotic, God-fearing men in professional football today.

    Most Americans have heard the story of Pat Tillman, the stand-out NFL safety who turned down a contract offer of $3.6 million and opted instead to join the United States Army in the aftermath of 9/11. Tillman, an Army Ranger, was later killed in Afghanistan.

     Fewer people have heard of Jack Lummus, who cut short his promising career with the New York Giants to join the Marine Corps after the Pearl Harbor attacks. Lummus received the Medal of Honor after knocking out three enemy strongholds on Iwo Jima after being hit by a hand grenade. Just before his death, he continued to urge his platoon on in the attack even after losing both legs to a landmine. Robert Kalsu and Don Steinbrenner played for the Buffalo Bills and the Cleveland Browns respectively. These men lost their lives serving our Country in Vietnam.

     Sadly, too many of today’s players, coaches, and NFL franchise owners are driven by revenues. Their dishonor of America and her ideals calls to mind the rebuke of Rudyard Kipling “making mock of uniforms that guard you while you sleep.” 

     The NFL did nothing when Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback, refused to stand for our national anthem at a pre-season game against the Green Bay Packers. He defended his lack of patriotism by explaining that he was “not going to stand up to show pride in a Flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color.”

     C.S. Lewis saw this day arriving when he said: “We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.” 

     Each year we watch the NFL embarrassingly apologize as its 300 pound “men without chests” are caught again-and-again physically abusing their 110 pound wives and girlfriends.  The NFL ignores honor, decency, respect for our country and is surprised when their players are found to be without honor, without decency, and without respect for their fellow men and women