The NFL Should Do More Than Just Take A Knee

NFL owners have banded together against Trump’s divisive comments, but will they put their money where their mouth is?

By Jessicah Pierre

[Distributed via Otherwords.org]

When Colin Kaepernick began to protest during the national anthem at NFL games last year, he made his intent very clear. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media.

“To me, this is bigger than football,” he explained, “and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Kaepernick made the brave decision to do this mostly alone — and of course faced the backlash and took the heat on his own. That was until President Trump decided to attack black sports players who raised awareness about racial injustice.

At a campaign rally in Alabama, Trump called out NFL players that chose to take a knee or sit during the anthem. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, say, ‘Get that son of a b*tch off the field right now’?” Trump asked.

The following Sunday, a far greater number of NFL players stood up for those who protest inequity during the national anthem — and were joined, surprisingly, by many of the team owners Trump called out to.

While this was a good show of solidarity, it led some to wonder whether the NFL actually cares about black lives, or whether team owners were just looking to distance themselves from Trump’s problematic and divisive comments.

African-American males are only 6 percent of the United States population, but comprise nearly 70 percent of NFL players. It’s no wonder that issues around race are making their way into the NFL spotlight.

Black issues have never been a concern for NFL officials when it came to causes worthy of their monetary support. Instead, many NFL officials have donated millions to causes that were openly hostile to the Black Lives Matter movement — such as the Trump campaign.

CNN Money reports that “at least $7.75 million of the $106 million raised for Trump’s inaugural committee came from NFL owners and the league.” Several owners, many of whom supported Trump — and seven of whom had donated at least $1 million to him — released statements denouncing Trump’s comments.

Yet none have used their economic power to actually address the problem that brought the protest on in the first place.

Now would be a fine time to take the next step. While there are a number of ways the league can contribute to this movement, there’s one obvious way: supporting the Colin Kaepernick Foundation.

After Kaepernick began to raise awareness on the field, he put his money where his mouth is and created a foundation aimed at fighting oppression of all kinds globally, through education and social activism. Through this foundation, he made a pledge to “donate one million dollars plus all the proceeds of my jersey sales from the 2016 season to organizations working in oppressed communities.”

Imagine what could really transpire if NFL officials decided to make this same commitment.

We need to hold the NFL accountable, just as we do for other powerful American organizations. Taking a knee, banding arms, and releasing statements of support is easy compared to what the league can actually do to help fight racial injustice.

It’s time for the NFL to stand up for black lives and the rights of all Americans.

Jessicah Pierre is the inequality media specialist at the Institute for Policy Studies

85 Responses to The NFL Should Do More Than Just Take A Knee

    • Very moving. How could people see that and still believe taking a knee is insulting our military and flag? Oh wait, there’s a whole lot of willfully ignorant and brainwashed people out there. And to steal a quote, for many of them a light rinse probably sufficed.

      • Well, it requires the ability to imagine another person’s life and what that might really be like. These black NFL players may have achieved success but they know or can imagine the lives of their less fortunate brothers. And they want to stand up. Isn’t that what we are supposed to do, stand up for the less fortunate? I think there are some “good” (white) people out there who have forgotten about that.

  1. For Sure Not Tom

    Dear racists,

    If you hop in a cop car and go looking for bad guys guess what happens?

    FFS. The complete lack of common sense from the party that claims ownership of common sense is astounding.

    • “If you hop in a cop car and go looking for bad guys guess what happens?”

      That was not what happened, Tom, and you know that wasn’t what I said. Surely you can find enough to complain about without actually making things up.

      • For Sure Not Tom

        That’s exactly what you said.

        Fake conservatives like you and Kavanagh and Thuckhead always change the subject or try to claim some other meaning to their own words when they realize they’re losing and argument.

        For example, just reread this thread. Fake conservatives running for the woods.

        Boring.

        • “That’s exactly what you said.”

          No it wasn’t exactly what I said. It was your special spin on what I said. However, I will grant you that, upon reading it again, it describes what happened, but in a very flippant manner.

          When I went for the ride alongs, I did not think of it in terms of “hunting for bad guys”. I thought of it as riding along with the Police to observe what they do and how they do it. But, as you said, it really does boil down to looking for bad guys because that is what the Police do.

          So I apologize for saying you didn’t quote me correctly (even though you didn’t quote me exactly) because at it’s essence your comment did describe what I was doing. Sorry about that, Tom.

  2. Senator: I’ll be happy to answer your question. A baker or a photographer is no more complicit in a wedding than a gun seller who sells a bump stock to a mass murderer. Now, if you want to change that paradigm….

    • For Sure Not Tom

      If you’re smart, Mr. Kavanagh, you’ll tap out on this one.

      I could feel that smackdown all the way out here in the foothills.

    • ” A baker or a photographer is no more complicit in a wedding than a gun seller who sells a bump stock to a mass murderer.”

      On the contrary, the baker and photographer are actively involved with the wedding. They know exactly when and how their products are going to be used. They are very complicit in the wedding.

      On the other hand a gun seller who sells someone a “bump stock” has no idea when or how or even if it is going to be used.

      • What utter nonsense. The baker & photographer are merely providing a service to the wedding, they’re not a part of it. Or did you have those service providers double as bridesmaids at your nupitals?

        Bottom line is the baker & photographer are business people operating in the public sphere.

        As far as the gun seller goes, what does the seller think the bump stock is going to be used for? Decoration? People usually don’t convert semi-automatic weapons to “automatic” weapons without a specific purpose in mind.

        • “People usually don’t convert semi-automatic weapons to “automatic” weapons without a specific purpose in mind.”

          Now you are displaying ignorance, Wileybud. The purpose the vast majority of shooters have who buy the “bump stock” have only entertainment in mind. Shooting a fully automatic weapon is a lot of fun. It might not be fun to you, but it is to large numbers of people out in the real world. After all, if the purpose of buying a “bump stock” is to cause mayhem and problems (as you clearly imply), how do you explain the thousands of them that have been sold and nothing happened?

          • Apparently the meaning of the phrase “specific purpose” eludes you. Whatever that specific purpose may be. And how would you know “nothing happened”?. Guessing you have sweet baby Jesus whispering in your ear?

          • This response to Wileybud is out of sequence because there were no “reply” options available.

            “And how would you know “nothing happened”?”

            Because if something happened, the anti-gun press would have had a field day “exposing” the evil that is gun owners with “bump stocks”. If something had happened prior to Las Vegas, everyone would have known what a “bump stock” was. As it is, the emergence of “bump stocks” onto the national scene occurred because of Las Vegas which is the first time they were used in an illegal manner. “Bump stocks” have been around for a long time and there has been no misuse prior to Las Vegas, nor since Las Vegas.

            “Guessing you have sweet baby Jesus whispering in your ear?”

            Is it really necessary to mock someone’s religion in order to insult me?

          • No Steve, it’s not necessary to mock your religion just to insult you. Namely because any basis of insulting you is just so easy. As far as your religion goes, apparently you’re nothing more than a “southern white” type of Christian – one who thinks nothing of using their religion to justify their bigotry. Like, for example, the KKK.

          • “As far as your religion goes, apparently you’re nothing more than a “southern white” type of Christian…”

            I didn’t say “my religion”, I simply asked if it was really necessary to mock someone’s religion in order to insult me? I have never addressed what religion I am.

          • OK Steve, first you say “Is it really necessary to mock someone’s religion in order to insult me?” and then pretend my reply is about all Christians when it was specifically directed at you.

            And you wonder why people here properly call you out as a troll.

            Whatever, dude.

          • “And you wonder why people here properly call you out as a troll.”

            I don’t “wonder” why I am called a troll here on these pages. I disagree with what many people post here. Disagreeing with them is all it takes.

            What I do wonder about is why people here think I consider it offensive to be called a “troll” when I have always made it clear that I couldn’t care less about the name. Or name calling, in general. A person cannot post contrary opinions without being called name…it goes with the territory.

    • Sen. John Kavanagh

      Another non-answer and evasion. So typical of those who can only throw stones but not engage in meaningful discussion.

      • Sen. John Kavanagh

        That was for Tom.

      • Engaging in a bit of self criticism there Senator? Quite a few times I’ve posed questions specifically to you, questions that you never bothered to answer. So your criticism of FSNT is pretty thin gruel.

      • There is none so blind as those who refuse to see Senator.

        • Sen. John Kavanagh

          “There are none…” If you are going good to insult me, use proper grammar.

          • Sen. John Kavanagh

            Typos are allowed though.

          • Tom was quoting an old Native American saying.

          • It is an exact quote from Jesus. Read Matthew 9:26-27.

          • Source: Google

            “None can take either a singular or plural verb. A common misconception is that none is always singular because it is short for no one. However, it is just as likely to mean not any, implying a plural. When none is followed by a mass noun (a noun that cannot be counted or made plural) it takes a singular verb.”

          • Sen. John Kavanagh

            Clearly on this blog you can indefinitely argue about anything. I had fun but it is time to move on to the next post.

          • To your adieu on this comment thread: “When reality reared it’s truthful head, the senator bravely turned his tail and fled.” (With major apologies to Monty Python).

  3. Sen. John Kavanagh

    In response to your first comment I said:

    “All they are asked to do is stand. No looking and no saluting or hand on heart. It is as close to neutral as you can get. Employers have the right to stop employees from making statements that harm their business. Taking a knee is clearly a political statement as much as wearing a “Make America Great Again” pin.” END OF POST

    My later post said:

    “Were the owners of the team the government and it was requiring the players to salute the flag or recite the pledge, then it would probably be compelled speech as per West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943.)
    However, in this case it is a private employer dealing with employees with contracts. The issue is not so clear, as per the American Bar Association. Go to: https://lawnewz.com/uncategorized/aba-legal-fact-check-can-you-be-forced-to-participate-in-the-national-anthem/

    I would add that my guess is that players could be penalized for kneeling because it is in violation of the contract that they signed because it is detrimental to the game and that an owner who ordered a salute would lose because it seems like truly compelled speech to me but that an owner would prevail, if he or she were just requiring a neutral action like standing mute. END OF POST

    I said that it would be compelling speech, were the government to require to salute or pledge. But that is not the case. I again said that my opinion (guess) is that just having them stand is acceptable because it is as close to neutral as possible and a neutral act is not compelling anything. I thought that was clear but I do not mind clarifying.

    I then asked you all, “..since all of you are so anti-compelled speech, are you now OK with bakers and photographers refusing jobs that compel them to contribute to activities that violate their sincerely held religious beliefs? And how about those Little Sisters of the Poor?,” which you forgot to comment about.” Please do so.

    • So, Senator, please deign to provide us the list of immoral and unpatriotic sins that we must shun any customer, patron, client or patient from our services, product or care. And what level of proof must be applied? Mere suspicion? Probable cause? Clear and convincing? Beyond a reasonable doubt? I recommend that you read and understand John 8:7.

      • Sen. John Kavanagh

        Read the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, which was supported by Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton. It’s a good start.
        And since I answer your questions, how about answering mine or can’t you?

    • Frances Perkins

      As Colonel Flagg said, “You will be loyal to your country or the country you love will hound you to death into loyality.” Can’t beat that.

  4. Trump laughs and jokes during solemn “Retreat” ceremony honoring flag while on military base
    By Oliver Willis |
    OCTOBER 11, 2017

    Donald Trump sat and laughed with Fox News host Sean Hannity as the “Retreat” bugle call was played. Tradition dictates that members of the military and civilian leadership stand at attention to respect the U.S. flag during the solemn ceremony.

    Trump’s act of disrespect occurred during an interview that happened in a hangar at the Air National Guard base in Pennsylvania.
    Trump referred to the bugle call as a “nice sound,” and asked Hannity if they were playing it “in honor of his ratings.”

    As the official Army website notes, playing “Retreat” is “one of the oldest traditions in the U.S. Army, which dates back to the Revolutionary War.” Playing the song is used “to signal the end of the duty day and pay respect to the nation’s flag.”
    Trump disrespected the flag the same evening he returned to the subject of black NFL players protesting police brutality by kneeling during the anthem. He told Hannity, “You cannot disrespect our country, our flag, our anthem, you cannot do that.”

    https://shareblue.com/trump-laughs-and-jokes-during-solemn-retreat-ceremony-honoring-flag-while-on-military-base/

  5. Sen. John Kavanagh

    I will look past the arrogant and condescending part of your post (“And you clearly do not understand the concept of ‘compelled speech,’ do you Senator!?”) and address the compelled speech part. Were the owners of the team the government and it was requiring the players to salute the flag or recite the pledge, then it would probably be compelled speech as per West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943.)

    However, in this case it is a private employer dealing with employees with contracts. The issue is not so clear, as per the American Bar Association. Go to: https://lawnewz.com/uncategorized/aba-legal-fact-check-can-you-be-forced-to-participate-in-the-national-anthem/

    I would add that my guess is that players could be penalized for kneeling because it is in violation of the contract that they signed because it is detrimental to the game and that an owner who ordered a salute would lose because it seems like truly compelled speech to me but that an owner would prevail, if he or she were just requiring a neutral action like standing mute.

    You might want to do a little research before mouthing off in an arrogant and condescending way. Makes you look bad.

    • For Sure Not Tom

      I suspect the players would win in court, should it come to that, and then you’ll look bad.

      And while you are addressing the patriotic whining side of this issue, you have yet to address the central question that spurred the protest.

      Why are unarmed black men twice as likely as white to be killed by law enforcement as white men?

    • No, Senator, you changed your argument. You started out arguing, in response to my first comment, that forcing players to stand for the anthem would not be considered compelled speech. Now, citing the article, you’re arguing that it would be compelled speech, but that MIGHT be permissible for a private employer. See the difference?

  6. These controversies, NFL owners v players or Trump v players are, if nothing else, distracting from other issues. Like this:

    Dr. Bennet Omalu: CTE obsession obscuring truth about brain health of football players
    Aug 4, 2017
    Kevin Seifert

    “There has been so much fascination with CTE that we are going the wrong way,” Dr. Bennet Omalu said. “CTE is just one disease in a spectrum of many diseases caused by brain trauma. If he doesn’t have CTE, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have brain damage. … I’ve always said that every child who plays football has a 100 percent risk of exposure to brain damage. And I’ve always said that at a professional level, 100 percent would have brain damage of some kind to some degree. That’s whether or not their brains are found to have CTE.”

    A forensic pathologist, Omalu first identified CTE during an autopsy of former Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster in 2002. The diagnosis — and the strong denials of a football connection from the NFL — were chronicled in the 2015 movie “Concussion.”

    http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/20245394/dr-bennet-omalu-says-obsession-cte-obscuring-larger-truth-brain-health-football-players

    • And this:

      Dr. Bennet Omalu: ‘No question in my mind’ CTE led Aaron Hernandez to murder, suicide

      September 22, 2017 3:56pm EDT

      While the NFL has vowed to fight the lawsuit filed on behalf of Aaron Hernandez’s family that claims the league and Patriots have failed to protect players against the dangers of concussions, Dr. Bennet Omalu believes the plaintiffs have a case.

      “There is no question in my mind that CTE drove Aaron Hernandez to suicide and other criminal and violent behavior,” Omalu told TMZ.

      The Nigerian doctor, on whose work the movie “Concussion” starring Will Smith was based, links Hernandez to another former NFL star many believe to be murderous despite his acquittal in criminal court.

      “If you read my book ‘Truth Doesn’t Have a Side,’ you will encounter the chapter titled ‘I bet my license O.J. Simpson Has CTE,’ therefore, it should not be surprising that Aaron Hernandez eventually committed suicide,” Omalu said.

      … “I am yet to examine the brain of a professional football player who does not have CTE or other forms of brain damage.”

      http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/news/aaron-hernandez-cte-dr-bennet-omalu-oj-simpson-murder-suicide/1h9ajn49vxqia1niacz7lr9yrv

    • I don’t know. But it just seems to me that the future of the NFL and their bottom line is more secure if people are outraged about players not standing for the national anthem rather than the relationship between football and brain damage.

      This is not to suggest that these same people, the ones so outraged by this “disrespect” for the national anthem, actually care about the brains of football players. But there are those who would care about football related brain damage if they knew more about it. And the information has been very slow in reaching the public, thanks to the NFL.

      And I have to conclude that the controversy also benefits Trump to some degree because it most certainly deflects at least some attention away from his other buffoonery and failures that have more serious consequences. He started this at a “rally” in Alabama, just a con man trying to give the knuckle draggers what they want.

      It’s actually kind of sad what this has become. Everything Trump touches goes bad, it seems.

      I believe that Colin Kaepernick is a sincere young man who was deeply moved by the police killings of unarmed, innocent young black men. He wanted to do something and he did.

    • And, just to be clear, if protesters had always waited to be told where and when and how they were allowed to protest, there would be nothing left of democracy in this country.

      The problem is we have too little protest, not too much. But it looks as though we’re going to be catching up.

  7. “NFL owners have banded together against Trump’s divisive comments…”

    I think that the NFL owners banded together in rejecting Tump’s comments, but then found themselves aligned with a cause they didn’t necessarily support. Worse still, there actions have taken focus away from what was originally being protested. Instead of discussing racial injustice, we are discussing the NFL and the National Anthem.

    In any event, the NFL owners now have to figure out a graceful exit strategy. What I find funny is that these owners have placed themselves in a position they can only lose, regardless of the outcome. Whatever they do is going to anger a large percentage of their target audience. It couldn’t happen to a more appropriate group of people.

    • Yeah, it is hard to be too upset at the predicament in which the owners find themselves. For years, they’ve gotten away with exploiting the health of these players, but now they’re between a rock and hard place because of Trump’s tweeting. And one of them even took a hit on a personal level, with his actions causing an ex-girlfriend to release of photo of him snorting coke. Priceless.

  8. For Sure Not Tom

    Nina Kruscheva, an international affairs professor at New York’s The New School and granddaughter of Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev, has drawn parallels between President Donald Trump and the USSR’s Joseph Stalin.

    “Here, President Trump defined ‘fake news’ the way Joseph Stalin defined ‘enemies of the people’: if they offer a slightest objection to his rule they must be wrong,” Kruscheva told the Washington Examiner. “And they must be silenced.”

    Funny, Thuckhead is always calling progressives Stalinists, and here’s an actual Stalin saying Trump is using Stalinist tactics.

  9. For Sure Not Tom

    Even Rush Limbaugh thinks Trump’s out of line.

    “Trump is continually tweeting — I know what he’s doing, and I understand why he’s doing it, and his motives are pure; don’t misunderstand. But I don’t think that it is useful or helpful for any employee anywhere to be forced to do something because the government says they must,” Limbaugh said. “We don’t want the president being able to demand anybody that he’s unhappy with behave in a way he requires.”

  10. Sen. John Kavanagh

    Employees at work can be prohibited from making political statements. That is just good business. Even public employers can prohibit political expression by employees, while working.
    The NFL has prohibited players from expressing pro-police and pro-fight breast cancer opinions while working. Why should statements critical of the police be allowed?

    • For Sure Not Tom

      Until 2009 players stayed in the locker room during the anthem. It wasn’t until the NFL started paying the military for patriotism that they were on the field.

      The players are not protesting the flag, or the troops, or the anthem, they’re trying to draw attention to inequality.

      Statements critical of the police are allowed because this is America, and while your party is working hard to get us there, we’re not a fascist state yet. Corporations should not control us at work or after hours.

      Protest is supposed to make you uncomfortable, otherwise it’s not protest.

      As far as the players go, good luck. They are elite athletes at the top of their game who have worked their entire lives to get to the top level of their sport.

      Try replacing them. You’re angry that they have leverage and admit it, you’re angry that they’re mostly black.

      It used to be just Kaepernik and a handful of others taking a knee, now it’s hundreds and it’s spread to other sports.

      You’re racist birther leader started a fight for no reason and here you are whining about it.

      If the cops would stop killing unarmed black men at twice the statistical rate as whites this would not be an issue.

      How about you try addressing the actual complaint the players have instead of trying to play lawyer, we know you did not attend law school.

      Why are unarmed black me twice as likely as white to be killed by law enforcement?

      • Forget it Jake….

      • “Why are unarmed black me twice as likely as white to be killed by law enforcement?”

        Simple question for you, Tom: Have you ever gone on a ride along with your local police? Try it a few times…it may answer a lot of questions you have about life. If nothing else, it would give you some experience about a world of which you know very little yet often pontificate about.

        And yes, I have gone on more than 200 ride alongs and I learned a lot about how the Police and civilians interact.

        • For Sure Not Tom

          You didn’t answer the question, you just made it about yourself and your lack of anything better to do.

          • ”You didn’t answer the question (i.e. – Why are unarmed blacks killed at twice the rate for whites), you just made it about yourself and your lack of anything better to do.”

            You are right, Tom, I didn’t answer the question directly. It was a ham handed attempt at subtlety which missed the mark entirely. Sorry for the failure to get my point across.

            I believe that the reason the Police and black males have more violent interactions than with whites is because blacks tend to have, and display, a more confrontational and aggressive attitude toward the Police Officers than do whites. This is purely anecdotal based upon my observations and discussions with Police Officers during ride alongs. This applies whether the Officers are black, white, hispanic, asian or whatever other race they might be. Far more often than not, young black males who are pulled over for a violation or while being questioned at a crime scene often refuse requests for identification, use profanity in addressing the Officer, are physically in the Officers face, are posturing and threatening towards the Officer and generally uncooperative. Not all are that way, but a majority of them are that way. Further, many of them are carrying weapons, or implying they have a weapon, which is not a good way to deal with a Police Officer.

            That was why I suggested that you go on ride alongs, to see what actually happens when the Police come in contact with civilians. Not stories created after the fact, but actual eye witness observations made at the time the contact is made. It will probably make you uncomfortable to see what goes on because it will likely run contrary to the opinions you have formed long after the event takes place.

            Before you respond with some pabulum about training Police Officers to handle such situations, I would remind you that no matter how many hours of training an Officer might have, at their core they are human beings who want to go home at the end of the shift. When the Officer comes in contact with a belligerent, in your face, and intimidating person, they will react with greater caution and will be more likely to respond with force proportional to the threat they perceive. Whether you think it is right or wrong, dealing with the Police courteously and with cooperation goes a long way toward minimizing the possibility of a violent encounter.

          • Wow. You are one racist mofo. And, btw, you apparently don’t know shit from Shinola about the history of blacks and the police. Naw, Stevie the Troll went on ride alongs and he knows cops and he talks to them and blah blah blah.

            I wish to God you knew when to back off and shut up as long as you’ve decided to be a forever troll. You remind me of one of those Texas tree roaches that won’t die.

            You do this for your own entertainment, I know that.

            Well, I generally don’t read your comments and I can ignore damn near all of your blather but when you step up to defend police killing and beating the hell out of unarmed and innocent black people (and others, btw) you are asking to have your stupid, racist, tiresome, trolling ass verbally eviscerated.

            I have to keep telling myself that people like you are just simply not worth the trouble and the time. And that is basically true.

            You aren’t worth it.

          • Yep. This right here.

          • This response to Liza is out of sequence because there were no “reply” options available.

            ”Wow. You are one racist mofo.”

            Actually, Liza, a long time ago I realized that ANY criticism of blacks would immediately bring charges of racism. There is no way that, in this Nation, at this time, we can have an honest discussion about race relations. There are too many people like you who CANNOT even entertain the possibility that blacks are anything but pure and noble and without fault. It is an ignorant way to be, but political correctness often does that to people.

            ”And, btw, you apparently don’t know shit from Shinola about the history of blacks and the police.”

            And you do? I have actually spent time going out and observing what happens in real life. I have actually talked to the people involved. And I am not hampered by the mistaken belief that ANY race is without fault and is capable of great harm, both to themselves and to others. And you have done…what? Read third and fourth hand accounts, ignored anything negative as racist, and generally done whatever you could do to ignore the fact that blacks are often their own worst enemies. Good for you…

            ”I wish to God you knew when to back off and shut up as long as you’ve decided to be a forever troll.”

            That is the secret to political correctness, isn’t it? Knowing when to shut up and back off because you can never point out that the Emperor wears no clothes? It is much easier to attack the messenger than to read the message. Most trolls are people who like to post inflammatory messages and call people names, and in general, act like buffoons. Then there are those of us who simply challenge your most cherished beliefs and create cognitive dissonance for you. You can dismiss the bomb throwers easily, but it is harder to argue with people like me. That is why you scream and holler at me.

            ”I have to keep telling myself that people like you are just simply not worth the trouble and the time.”

            In other words you really don’t how to respond to people like me because some part of your brain realizes that I might be correct and things are not as black and white (no pun intended) as you would like them to be. I would suggest that you try riding along with Police Officers to see what they face every time they go out on duty, but I don’t think you could handle it. Reality has this bad habit of not conforming to the way you wish they would be. It is much easier to just assume that Police Officers are just bad people than to acknowledge the possibility that you might be wrong.

          • Steve, I’m not going to read your reply.

            I am not interested in what you have to say about anything.

            It would be great if in the future you would skip over my comments as I’ve asked you to do on numerous occasions.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            I tried, I really did, but the ignorance started so early in your long racist rant and I just didn’t feel like wasting my time.

            Steve, you are truly are a POS.

          • FSNT and Liza,

            Yes, Steve outed himself as a racist POS here.

            Among other things, his racist, stereotype-reeking rant about the behavior of Blacks confronted by police implicitly assumes that the Blacks stopped by cops are murdered disproportionately to Whites stopped by cops. But is that correct, or is the disproportionate killing of Blacks by cops more attributable to the disproportionate rate at which Blacks are stopped than it is to the rate at which those stopped are killed? I don’t have the info at my fingertips, but my recollection is it’s more attributable to the rate of stops. I”m certain, however, that the rate at which Blacks are stopped is significantly higher than the rate for Whites. Regardless, I have zero doubt that Steve reflected on that matter before posting. After all, that would have interfered with the message he wanted to convey. If Blacks are stopped at a higher rate, and they behave exactly the same as Whites who are stopped, they’re still going to be killed at a higher rate, which would completely disprove his anecdotally based bullshit.

            Steve will read this comment. Let’s see if he can acknowledge that he didn’t fully think through his comment before posting.

          • Police Brutality in America
            https://eji.org/videos/police-brutality-in-america

            A lot of this is never documented.

          • “Democracy Now” has the most comprehensive coverage of police brutality, at least what was reported, going back to 1996.

            https://www.democracynow.org/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=police+brutality

          • Bob, after you listen to Bryan Stevenson on EJI video that I linked, compare what he has to say with Steve’s comments.

            I am assuming, given his consistency, that Steve believes what he writes. And I ask you, is it worth anyone’s time to converse with him on this subject? It’s not just Steve, of course, it is all of them.

            Having come of age in the Deep South during the civil rights era, and also as a relative of many racists, I can assure you they don’t change once committed to these white supremacist beliefs. No one in my family ever did. And they went on to raise children who were often the same.

            I’ve wondered why I am different, given my background. The short answer is that I knew they were wrong before I could read and write, before I could read the “whites only” signs. I always knew. And I wasn’t the only one. The problem was that those of us who knew were a minority. Even so, I had no idea that 2017 would be like this.

          • For Sure Not Tom

          • For Sure Not Tom

            This is what started Black Lives Matter.

            From Politifact, checking on a statement by Michael Medved:

            “Medved said that police kill more whites than blacks. In absolute terms, that is accurate. However, the statement ignores that there are more than five times more whites than blacks in America. When comparing death rates, blacks are about three times more likely than whites to die in a confrontation with police.”

            Look up why blacks get arrested more than whites and you’ll be deep diving into the racism cave.

            Look up why the police/bail/courts systems convict blacks more than whites and you’ll be so deep into the racism cave that you’ll find the place where Jeff Sessions keeps his gold.

          • Liza, no, it’s of precious little value to converse with Steve for Steve’s sake. But it may have some value in terms of understanding the larger problem of which he is but a symptom. For example, his belief that Blacks are killed by police because of the way they handle confrontations (so much for the “bad apple” explanation of yesteryear, huh), is valuable to see because it’s how so many other other racists think.

          • This response to Bob Lord is out of sequence because there were no “reply” options available.

            (Bob Lord): “Yes, Steve outed himself as a racist POS here.” / ”Steve will read this comment. Let’s see if he can acknowledge that he didn’t fully think through his comment before posting.”

            For reasons I don’t quite understand, Bob, it bothers me that you feel that way. With Tom and Lisa…well, it doesn’t bother me so much, but with you it does. I think it is because I respect you and your opinion on various matters and issues. We usually don’t agree on much, whether it is Native Americans, Palestinians, or, in this case, my belief that black males often sew the seeds of their own destruction by their confrontational attitude when confronted by Police, but I still respect your opinion and will continue to do so even if I don’t agree with you.

            You are correct in assuming that I had thought of, and was wondering, if the reason for more confrontations between black males and the Police was the result of more stops being effected as opposed to other races. My journals I kept on my ride alongs do not reflect a higher “stop rate” for blacks than any other group, but the journals do reflect a much higher confrontation rate for blacks than others. Obviously, mine is not a scientific survey or analysis, but it does reflect, very accurately, what went on during my ride alongs. It is not based on a bias against blacks and a desire to find a predetermined outcome, but it does reflect what I saw and heard during each of the shifts.

            Bob, I have often suggested that you go along with your Police Officers on ride alongs and observe what happens. As far as I know, you never have, but I still suggest it as an easy way to either confirm your previously held beliefs, or, possibly, to have you see things just a little differently. You are an intellectually honest person and I feel fairly certain you would find that your beliefs might not be as complete an understanding of what happens as you think.

            I think that the use of the term “racist” is, to a great extent, a cop-out. It makes it too easy to dismiss opinions, observations, and studies as without merit when you label the author a “racist”. I think it is intellectually lazy because the label “racist” eliminates the need to actually read or listen to what they have to say.

            (Bob Lord): ”If Blacks are stopped at a higher rate, and they behave exactly the same as Whites who are stopped, they’re still going to be killed at a higher rate, which would completely disprove his anecdotally based bullshit.”

            Since I did not state it up front, perhaps now would be a good time…no one was killed or harmed in any of the scenarios I observed. I simply reported on the high incidence of confrontational behavior displayed by black males as compared to all other stops. Black males were not stopped at a disproportional rate to other groups, yet the belligerent and aggressive behavior was disproportionaly higher among black males than any other group. This observation is not unique to me, Bob. Comedian Chris Rock produced a video advising black males how to deal with the Police when they are stopped. It was a funny video, but it’s humor derived from the fact it reflected real life when such stops occur.

          • This response to Tom is out of sequence because there were no “reply” options available.

            ”When comparing death rates, blacks are about three times more likely than whites to die in a confrontation with police.”

            The key word in your response is “confrontation”, Tom. What is the rate of confrontational behavior among blacks, as opposed to other races? My unscientific observations are that they are much more likely to be confrontational than other races.

            ”Look up why blacks get arrested more than whites and you’ll be deep diving into the racism cave.”

            Who is more likely to be arrested? Someone who complies with the requests of the officer and offers no belligerence in the exchange? Or someone who IS confrontational with the Police, is in their face, and threatening? Is it just possible that the higher arrest rate stems from that belligerence and the Police Officer uses their discretion in placing them under arrest more often?

            ”Look up why the police/bail/courts systems convict blacks more than whites and you’ll be so deep into the racism cave that you’ll find the place where Jeff Sessions keeps his gold.”

            Really? It couldn’t be that they are guilty of the charges, could it? The juries must be racist, too. That is the only way to explain it, right?

          • Steve,

            You’ve seen video after video of placid, unarmed blacks murdered by cops. At the time, you gave the “few bad apples” explanation, meaning that it was one bad cop, but most cops are good cops. But now, in the abstract, not responding to a specific video, you revert to “blacks don’t act properly when confronted.” Sorry, but that’s racist on your part. There’s no other explanation.

          • Thank you for taking the time to respond, Bob. I know you don’t suffer what you consider fools easily. I have obviously crossed that line, so I just wanted to let you know I appreciate your responding.

          • This response to Liza is out of sequence because there were no “reply” options available.

            “It would be great if in the future you would skip over my comments as I’ve asked you to do on numerous occasions.”

            Liza, as long as you post 75% to 90% of all the responses to any given topic, I will respond when I deem it appropriate. I am not harassing you…doing that is the farthest thing from my mind or desire. But you do post the most provocative things and a response is almost a requirement.

            “Steve, I’m not going to read your reply. I am not interested in what you have to say about anything.”

            That sounds like a good idea, Liza. Seriously. You will feel much better and I won’t have to feel bad about responding to your messages. It is a win-win for everybody…

          • Steve, you don’t “respond” to the comments that people write on this blog. You crap on them. You separate out sentences, put them in italics, and insert your unsubstantiated nonsense. I’ve never once seen you post a link from a credible source. And you’re so impressed with your own perceived “brilliance”, putting the lefties in their place, etc…

            Replying to me is pointless as I am not interested in your wingnut drivel. And to continue to do it after repeatedly having been asked not to is rude and, quite frankly, creepy.

            I have to conclude you’re a stalker. Or you’re trying to run me off. Your saying you do it because I write 90 percent of the comments, I am provocative, blah blah is just more of your bullsh!t.

            Either way, I realize you have incomparable stamina for this kind of thing. I believe I’ve already compared you to a Texas tree roach and that is accurate. They are immune to RAID, just as you are immune to online etiquette.

            So you may succeed. What an accomplishment!

            TROLL!

          • This response to Liza is out of sequence because there were no “reply” options available.

            “I have to conclude you’re a stalker. Or you’re trying to run me off.”

            I can see why you like to post messages on sites that do not allow contrary opinions to be voiced. You have to be the most sensitive, paranoid and easily intimidated person I have ever known in blog posting. Why on earth would anything I say “run you off”? That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Surely you must believe in what you post here enough to ignore me when I point out what I see as errors or inconsistencies in what you wrote. Do what Tom says he does…don’t read what I post and you should never be intimidated by it.

    • But can employers coerce employees to make political statements? After all, standing at attention and looking at the flag with hand over heart is an expression of patriotism. What you’ve done here is attempt to define the practice you desire, an expression of patriotism, as neutral, with any departure from it being considered political speech that NFL owners can regulate. If the owners want to prevent players from taking a knee, they could, if they simply didn’t play the anthem before games or if they kept the players in the locker room until the anthem ended.

      • For Sure Not Tom

        Well said.

      • Sen. John Kavanagh

        All they are asked to do is stand. No looking and no saluting or hand on heart. It is as close to neutral as you can get. Employers have the right to stop employees from making statements that harm their business. Taking a knee is clearly a political statement as much as wearing a “Make America Great Again” pin.

      • Sen. John Kavanagh

        All they are asked to do is stand. No looking and no saluting or hand on heart. It is as close to neutral as you can get. Employers have the right to stop employees from making statements that harm their business. Taking a knee is clearly a political statement as much as wearing a “Make America Great Again” pin. You can do either but not at work, if your boss objects.

        • And you clearly do not understand the concept of “compelled speech,” do you Senator!? Compelled speech is the polar opposite of free speech. So let’s look to the day you are no longer taking taxpayer money for your salary and are working in a private industry. Assume further that your boss asks all employees to recite a pledge of allegiance to unfettered abortion rights. You object and sit down. Your boss sees your conduct as insubordinate and tells you to “show some respect” and at least stand, are you going to stand? Are you going to quit? And before you talk about quitting, let’s make this example closer to the NFL situation in this new job of yours: you’re getting paid tens of millions of dollars and are in the public view of tens of millions of people each week.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            Weird, it’s almost like you went to law school, and Kavanagh did not.

            And it’s weird that the party that’s against not bein’ fer’ freedom wants people to shut up and do as they say.

          • It’s unfortunate, Tom, that you and I have to tutor a state legislator on this subject.

          • Sen. John Kavanagh

            I will look past the arrogant and condescending part of your post (“And you clearly do not understand the concept of ‘compelled speech,’ do you Senator!?”) and address the compelled speech part. Were the owners of the team the government and it was requiring the players to salute the flag or recite the pledge, then it would probably be compelled speech as per West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943.)

            However, in this case it is a private employer dealing with employees with contracts. The issue is not so clear, as per the American Bar Association. Go to: https://lawnewz.com/uncategorized/aba-legal-fact-check-can-you-be-forced-to-participate-in-the-national-anthem/

            I would add that my guess is that players could be penalized for kneeling because it is in violation of the contract that they signed because it is detrimental to the game and that an owner who ordered a salute would lose because it seems like truly compelled speech to me but that an owner would prevail, if he or she were just requiring a neutral action like standing mute.

            You might want to do a little research before mouthing off in an arrogant and condescending way. Makes you look bad.

          • Sen. John Kavanagh

            By the way, since all of you are so anti-compelled speech, are you now OK with bakers and photographers refusing jobs that compel them to contribute to activities that violate their sincerely held religious beliefs? And how about those Little Sisters of the Poor.?

          • No, Senator, you changed your argument. You started out arguing, in response to my first comment, that forcing players to stand for the anthem would not be considered compelled speech. Now, citing the article, you’re arguing that it would be compelled speech, but that MIGHT be permissible for a private employer. See the difference?

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