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I want football back.

I want my NFL back, free of politics like it used to be. If I want politics I can always get it in my Twitter feed, on Fox News, CNN or MSNBC, on Drudge Report or the Huffington Post.

I want an NFL where the President of the United States doesn’t weigh in on the Washington Redskins’ name.

I want an NFL where the President of the United States doesn’t call NFL players “sons of a bitch” and understands that a good deal of players – even those who kneel – do a lot for the community by giving their time and money to some worthy endeavors and charitable causes.

No doubt these last nine years have been more divisive for our country along political party lines and race, unfortunately, than eight years of Ronald Reagan in the 1980s and eight years of Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

I want a haven from the real world for just a few hours on Sunday afternoons or evenings.

I want a President of the United States that understands that the NFL is a private business where he and the government have no jurisdiction, and knows he should butt out.

Bucs players stand for the National Anthem - Photo by: Getty Images

Bucs players stand for the National Anthem – Photo by: Getty Images

That wasn’t the case Friday night in Alabama where President Donald Trump issued some divisive and uncalled for remarks towards the NFL and its players. Whether you support him or not, there’s no denying that President Trump only fanned the flames rather than trying to put any fire out and create some unity. Predictably, that caused even more players to kneel than ever before.

Some did it to support racial equality and as a demonstration against police brutality. Others did it because the NFL is a fraternity and they wanted to support their teammates and the NFL in general, and some did it to stand opposed to Trump and/or his remarks. Yet several hundred other players stood for the National Anthem with their arms locked in unity.

With players kneeling downs in the NFL during the National Anthem, it has come to this:

Everybody’s right, but nobody wins.

Players have the right to kneel and exercise their right to free speech and fans have the right to support that act.

And yes, the NFL owners do have a right to fire their employees over it because the NFL is a private business, but that’s not going to happen. Not now with the show of unity from the NFL Commissioner, the NFL owners and hundreds of players either kneeling or locking arms together during the Star-Spangled Banner.

Fans also have the right to be offended for perceived disrespect to the U.S. flag, the military, and the country itself. Those that support the players kneeling can’t simply claim that they aren’t disrespecting the military or the nation and therefore people shouldn’t be offended. If people are offended, they are offended.

If you don’t believe that, imagine me slapping your cheek swiftly and with force because there was a mosquito on it and I wanted to kill it before it bit you. My intention may have been noble, but I still slapped your face nonetheless and that might have stung more than any mosquito bite would.

That’s how some view the players’ decision to kneel. Noble cause, wrong approach.

Everybody’s right, but nobody wins.

Protestors take a knee – Photo by: Getty Images

And just because a person is offended by those who are perceived to be disrespecting the flag by kneeling, that does not automatically make him or her a racist. I think that’s a very dangerously wrong assumption to make.

I can be for racial equality, which I certainly am, and against kneeling down. Those beliefs can be mutually exclusive.

Yet in no way shape or form does kneeling down and the reaction it has caused, help the NFL.

Some will boycott the league and turn off the TV broadcasts, not purchase tickets, not renew season tickets and not buy NFL merchandise. That won’t help a league that has seen its television ratings begin to slide over the past two seasons.

While NFL players’ kneeling during the National Anthem is viewed as a divisive act for some fans, it doesn’t necessarily mean they shouldn’t do it.

I’m all for a better way to bring the discussion of racial equality to the forefront in a much more inclusive way that rallies more than just half the nation to that cause. I’m guessing that some of the people that the message of racial equality is intended for aren’t being reached because of the method. nd that the message to that intended audience may be getting lost in all of the fervor over the act of kneeling and the perceived disrespect that comes with it, the attention paid to Trump’s remarks, etc.

Until another – and perhaps better and more inclusive – avenue to protest appears, the kneeling down isn’t going away, and I accept that.

Former 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick - Photo by: Getty Images

Former 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick – Photo by: Getty Images

And no, I don’t have any better ideas on a grand scale, so I know I’m not exactly contributing to the solution except for one thing.

I’ll readily admit that while I disagreed with Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the Star-Spangled Banner and I was offended by it, it did raise some questions for me and ignited dialogue with some black friends and colleagues of mine about race and culture that I’ve never really explored before.

I’ve made some new friends through this process as a result. I’ve tried to gain some understanding about a racial culture that I’m not a part of, and in doing so, I’ve shared my views about a racial culture that they aren’t a part of.

I cannot relate to some of the incidents my black friends have told me where they’ve had been pulled over by the police for no reason other than suspicion. I’m glad I’ve had those conversations because it gave me a better understanding and put me more in tune with what the cause is all about.

Isn’t that what Kaepernick wants – a dialogue?

Kaepernick is a martyr to some, a pariah to others. People differ on how they view him, and each is entitled to those differences.

Everybody has a right to his or her feelings over this issue and I would like to see us accept those differences and talk about them – in a place other than an NFL stadium, though.

I want the escape from the real world that the NFL used to be. The kneeling has been going on for a year now, and to me, the message has been sent and received, and I’ve begun the action. I can only speak for myself, though.

Did I disagree with Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson kneeling in Minnesota?

Absolutely.

Did I find it offensive?

Yes, I did.

Does it change the way I feel towards them? Absolutely not, and it will not affect my coverage of them one bit because I still respect their decision and their beliefs.

Everybody’s right, but nobody wins.

Bucs WRs Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson – Photo by: Getty Images

I choose to agree to disagree with Evans and Jackson’s methods, but not their cause. I believed in racial equality long before they – or anyone – took a knee.

I’m not saying you have to do the same. This is America, the land of the free, and you have the right to act, think, speak as you so choose. That is the individual liberty that this country was founded on and the liberty and idea of America that so many men and women of all colors have fought and died for.

Everyone knows the racism exists in this country. Undoubtedly there are people that were offended by the kneeling that don’t like minorities, just like there are people that support the players taking a knee they don’t like white people.

What I did like years ago was how everyone – regardless of race, regardless of political persuasion and regardless of differences – stood together, united as Americans for at least a few minutes before kickoff.

To me, football has always been a uniter where white fans, black fans and fans of all ethic backgrounds could high-five each other in the stands when their team gets a big sack on third down or scores a touchdown. Last year I coached my final season in Pop Warner football with a team that was 60 percent white and 40 percent minority and on a coaching staff that was half black and half white led by a tremendous head coach in J.J. Battle. It was amazing and it was uniting.

Lots of different players and coaches with different upbringings and socioeconomic backgrounds on one team – together – with one mission: to work together to win.

That’s the power of football, the ultimate team sport in my opinion.

2016 South Pasco Predators Pee Wee Champs

2016 South Pasco Predators Pee Wee Champs

I’m not advocating a position. I’m not telling you to boycott the NFL, nor am I telling you to support the decision of some NFL players, including Tampa Bay’s Jackson and Evans, to kneel.

I’m telling you that nobody wins in the current environment.

Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin did his best to navigate the current environment by having his Steelers stay in the locker room and avoid the National Anthem in Chicago. Not as a show of protest, but in an attempt maintain unity with his players.

“We will not be divided by this,” Tomlin said, as reported by ProFootballTalk.com. “We got a group of men in there that come from different socioeconomic backgrounds, races, creeds, ethnicities, religions and so forth. That’s football, that’s a lot of team sports. But because of opposition, we get drug into bulls–t, to be quite honest with you. Some have opinions, some don’t. We wanted to protect those that don’t, we wanted to protect those that do. We came here to play a football game today and that was our intentions.”

I agree with Tomlin’s action in the effort of unity and outside the box thinking. Only one player, Alejandro Villanueva, who served three tours of duty in Afghanistan as an Army Rager and graduated from West Point, understandably walked out and stood for the National Anthem.

Steelers OL Alejandro Villanueva – Photo by: Getty Image

I want to get back to media sessions where the focus is on football and on the upcoming game against the New York Giants rather than have to hear the players answer questions about President Trump, kneeling, the flag and the Star Spangled Banner, which has nothing to do with the Bucs’ effort to improve to 2-1 this week. I’m guessing you do, too.

I want my football back the way it used to be – where there was unity and togetherness at kickoff.

The Star-Spangled Banner and the American flag can symbolize what you want it to symbolize. If you want to view them negatively as a symbol of racism, racial inequality and oppression of minorities because Francis Scott Key and some of the Founding Fathers happened to be slaveholders hundreds of years ago, that’s your right.

If you want to view The Star-Spangled Banner and the American flag as symbols for the freest country in the world where our society has changed laws and amended the U.S. Constitution to positively evolve our culture by abolishing slavery, ending segregation and granting equal voting rights to all legal U.S. citizens, among other worthwhile endeavors, that’s your right, too.

The Preamble to the United States Constitution begins with: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union …”

Notice that it doesn’t say a “perfect” Union. It says a “more perfect” Union, meaning that ultimate perfection will likely never be achieved, but it’s worth striving for.

For me, the dialogue has begun, and that’s a good thing. A dear friend of mine, who is black, said that true unity will happen when there is empathy and understanding from both sides. I could not agree more and will continue to pursue those conversations – any day but Sunday.

That’s a day where he wants to simply enjoy Bucs football and the escape it brings from the daily grind, and a day I want to cover Bucs football for my profession.

I want us to get to a place in America where everybody’s right and everybody wins. I think we all can agree on that.

But for now, I want football back.

My comments do not necessarily the views of all at PewterReport.com. I welcome your comments below. All I ask is that they be civil and profanity-free. I also encourage you to read and listen to one another’s comments rather than being concerned with firing back right away with an opposing viewpoint. My column isn’t going to change many peoples’ opinions and your comments or rebuttals probably won’t, either. In my opinion, listening is the way to understanding.

If you would like to read further on this topic to gain two very different politically-charged viewpoints, I offer up this New York Times column, and this Wall Street Journal editorial.

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: sr@pewterreport.com
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tog
tog(@tog)
4 years ago

This is foolishness. Football, and sport, have always been political. This idea of a “haven from politics” is ahistorical and false. It’s never been that way, unless you choose to ignore the reality going on around you. The very fact that there are flags and soldiers and the national anthem – that’s all political. And again, there is a very long history (up to today) of politics and sport being intertwined. And this is particularly true in terms of race. Sport in America played a significant role in the battle over black racism (on both sides). Popular examples include Jackie… Read more »

TBAtlas
TBAtlas(@atlas)
Reply to  tog
4 years ago

Well said! This article reeks of “back in my day” and two-faced thinking. The kneeling is the wrong place, wrong time because the NFL is apolitical, but activities such as the Salute to Service and the National Anthem are totally fine even if they are ultimately political because they promote a good cause of unity and respect for others. I don’t understand why there is a moral equivalence between those who feel offended by the kneeling and those who kneel to protest racial injustice. Exactly what damages have the former suffered because of the actions of the latter? The mosquito… Read more »

Ron Gibson
Ron Gibson
Reply to  JustaBuc
4 years ago

Don’t forget the US Military pays the teams for these “patriotic” pregame rituals so that’s another layer of hypocrisy. If I go to a football game I am there to see football not a display by the military; The very same military who has repeatedly taken men and broken them yet refuse to treat them timely or at all. I had enough of this rah rah BS during the Vietnam era. Its the same old game with the same lousy outcomes. But you know I can ignore the military rah rah stuff and they can ignore someone protesting which is… Read more »

Rusti Chaney
Rusti Chaney(@rustichaney)
Reply to  tog
4 years ago

You mistake “political” and “governmental”, I believe. The flag, soldiers and the national anthem are not representative of any political party, but rather of the culture of being American. For all the protesting, I don’t see any of these players, owners or coaches moving out of this country because they think there’s a better one somewhere else in the world. While I agree that it’s the Constitutional right of any American to protest, I disagree that any employer should be paying for his employees to do so. Let these millionaires protest on their own dime, on their own time. It… Read more »

TBAtlas
TBAtlas(@atlas)
Reply to  Rusti Chaney
4 years ago

If that is the case, exactly which political party is “equality for everyone” NOT part of their platform then @Rusti Chaney? All men are created equal under the American Creed and not by any particular political party, so kneeling to protest the unequal treatment of others seems like a very “governmental” thing to do going by your definition. If this great nation is failing to live out the true meaning of its creed, then it should be taken to task on it if it plans to remain great. Telling them to just “get out” is simultaneously an acquiescence that there… Read more »

tog
tog(@tog)
Reply to  Rusti Chaney
4 years ago

A few things. 1) Why can’t they protest the culture of being American? There are a lot of benefits in the Western world and in America in particular. There’s no where else I’d rather live. But that doesn’t mean that there also aren’t huge flaws and gross inequalities. It’s not mutually exclusive to say that America has created a lot of good while also creating a lot of evil. To my mind is that we struggle to both celebrate our accomplishments while also paying penance for our faults. The USA/West triumphed over the horrors of Russian communism while also leaving… Read more »

Ron Gibson
Ron Gibson
Reply to  tog
4 years ago

I was exposed to Chomsky’s work in linguistics in the late 60s. His works are considered the foundation of modern linguistics which led to voice recognition and AI. He was definitely a smart guy.

Buccaneerblood1
Buccaneerblood1(@buccaneerblood1)
4 years ago

I would like to say that whether we agree or disagree with players kneeling or not, it should not matter. We all have our feelings and opinions and we should keep them personal to ourselves. What we can most certainly agree upon is the fact that it is their right as Americans and ours as Americans. For our President to make a stink about it is just ridiculous. We as Americans must stand up for our rights. And that is what you saw from the NFL players. On another note, to everyone who sits at home every Sunday watching football…… Read more »

Timbuc2
Timbuc2(@timbuc2)
Reply to  Buccaneerblood1
4 years ago

Agree 100%

Ron Gibson
Ron Gibson
Reply to  Buccaneerblood1
4 years ago

Excellent – Well put. Yes everyone has a right to take a stand in public. You have to admire Kap as he is losing millions because in his opinion he puts the greater good above wealth or fame which is rare in these times when any politician can be bought for 20 pieces of silver.

Steven007
Steven007(@steven007)
4 years ago

Hi Scott. I appreciate you chiming in here, particularly given the side of the aisle you seem to prefer. You mentioned what you did like “years ago”. Here’s a little reminder of the precursors to Kaep’s protest from years ago: In 1966, Muhammad Ali—gold-medal winner for the United States in boxing at the 1960 Olympics, 24-year-old reigning heavyweight title holder, reportedly the most famous American in the world—formally refused induction for the draft, because of his opposition to the Vietnam war. A year later Ali was convicted of draft evasion and sentenced to five years in prison. By 1971 the… Read more »

Dude
Dude(@dude)
Reply to  Steven007
4 years ago

You forget, Ali didn’t refuse the draft because he was against the war, he refused the draft in the name of religion, and stating that his religion was against war. Which we know now is not the truth since we have the ability to read the Quran for ourselves. The Quran is not only for war, it insist upon it for many different reasons (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:191-193, Quran). Back then Americans were not as educated in other world religions at the time. Ali, plain and simple was a draft dodger. Where as many Americans who were against the war did… Read more »

sumokid
sumokid(@sumokid)
4 years ago

Cowardly article. So your position is to stick your head in the sand, and wish you had “your NFL” back?! The point of Kaep’s kneeling was to shed light on bad cop’s, inequality, and police brutality and murders. Poor you, for having to listen and learn a few things, especially the way these issues affect players you cover on a daily basis for years and years now. These players are people, too, not just Sunday entertainment. Imagine that.

Rut
Rut(@vjax83)
Reply to  Scott Reynolds
4 years ago

That’s exactly where you’re failing to see the point of this Scott. Alienating people is exactly the means needed to reach more people. There’s plenty of organizations dealing with the problem of racial inequality, dealing with the problem of police violence, but how many of us can name them without googling it? How many of us donate to their cause? How many of us don’t even know they exist, turning our blind eyes to these problems and justifying it by applying blanket logic like “if they’re being arrested they must have done something wrong” and similar problematic assumptions? Colin used… Read more »

TBAtlas
TBAtlas(@atlas)
Reply to  Scott Reynolds
4 years ago

I’m seriously trying to figure this out Scott. Your entire article is built upon the assertion that the protesters should choose some other venue to forward their goals and that football has aopted a political stance it didn’t have before , but at the same time admit that there’s no better or alternative venue and we’ve had numerous other posters reference the LEGACY that sports of all kinds have had on the racial front. The game is completely unchanged from 15:00 in the 1st to 0:00 in the 4th. You seem, by implication, fine with the status quo before where… Read more »

Dude
Dude(@dude)
Reply to  JustaBuc
4 years ago

“I ask again, what damages have been inflicted upon either the players, the nation or the viewer through this protest?” Ask someone who has lost a loved one for the flag what it means to them, when they raise the flag in honor of their fallen loved one who paid the ultimate price. Then ask them what they feel when they see these players kneel in disrespect of that. It is a feeling that the price that was paid by their loved one, who gave up their life, freedom, and liberties so these players can have the freedom to play… Read more »

Ron Gibson
Ron Gibson
Reply to  Dude
4 years ago

You are confounding issues and inputting meaning to a symbol that does not compute. In your world everything from the American Revolution to the hangings by the Klan are all represented by one symbol. You need to separate and parse the issues. Swallowing Hitlers ideology wholesale was a tactic employed by the Nazis, you know.

Yes, I lost childhood friends in Vietnam.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan(@naplesfan)
Reply to  Dude
4 years ago

Our military members died to defend our Constitution, and our hard-won freedoms, and their families, not to have some tinpot narcissist who happened to get elected President for one term try and take those freedoms away.

Dude
Dude(@dude)
Reply to  Dude
4 years ago

You guys are clueless. Unfortunately there is an evil undertone in this nation feeding people nothing but lies. There is an agenda going on that is guiding those who are not rooted in truth, that ultimately is seeking to destroy this country and everything it stands for. They want to completely change it. So I guess when Kaepernick first started kneeling, he was protesting the President? Where were all of these people last year when Kaepernick was protesting alone? But yet today, this protest is now about the President? What happened to Kaepernick’s message? He, and everyone else who is… Read more »

Buccaneerblood1
Buccaneerblood1(@buccaneerblood1)
Reply to  Scott Reynolds
4 years ago

Scott I appreciate that you did in fact do this article. For I thinks its a good to be open about discussing it. And while yes we are here based off being Buccaneer fans, I think its important none the less. Whether our views are of the same or different. A healthy discussion cant hurt. I understand your stance and I surely hope you can understand some of our stances. But I do feel you aren’t seeing the whole picture. And from the players perspectives. Football is an entertainment for us all yes, but lets remember that they are people… Read more »

sumokid
sumokid(@sumokid)
Reply to  Scott Reynolds
4 years ago

Thanks Scott, I appreciate the dialogue here and I’m encouraged there is more positive conversation regarding the main issues. Unfortunately, many people are framing this as a “disrespecting the flag/military/veterans” issue, and glossing over the police brutality and unarmed black men dying at an alarming rate of ~2 men per day. If Kaep’s “divisive way” of messaging is what you take issue with and bothers, then you truly are missing the point and have learned less the article leads on. He means to alienate people. Equality doesn’t wait for a convenient time or place. You’re sitting on the fence, trying… Read more »

Timbuc2
Timbuc2(@timbuc2)
4 years ago

“No doubt these last nine years have been more divisive for our country along political party lines and race, unfortunately, than eight years of Ronald Reagan in the 1980s and eight years of Bill Clinton in the 1990s.” It’s a nice try that people still say that this country has been divided within the last 10 years! What country have you been living in if you believe that? This country has been divided for as far back as I can remember and certainly along racial lines. So the division has been at least 58 years that I know of. Now… Read more »

e
e(@e)
4 years ago

Well said, Scott. I probably don’t agree with a majority of your political views, but I think you are fair in your assessment. I think Americans need to start to listen to each other and stop dismissing the “other side.” Empires rise and fall; we see that throughout history and if we collectively feel that we have no responsibility to do anything to reverse this; it will be our generation of Americans that failed our country. As far as your previous assessment of the Minnesota game; I haven’t heard you so bleak since Lovie was roaming the halls at One… Read more »

Buccaneerblood1
Buccaneerblood1(@buccaneerblood1)
Reply to  Scott Reynolds
4 years ago

I am really concerned as well of the injuries… And our defense as a whole, specifically the lack of pass rush and the back line. Not having Grimes out there surely didn’t help. But it doesn’t matter who is playing corner if they aren’t getting to the QB. And while I am disappointed in Jameis against the Vikings I am not worried about the offense at all, or Jameis Winston. Playing catch up through all whole game is never a good scenario. Keenum and his receivers had a field day against the defense just saying…

Morgan R
Morgan R(@moragami)
4 years ago

The author should read The Ferguson Report, and realize, that for black Americans, this is not “The Land of the Free”, it is the land of systemic racism. Unless you have read the Ferguson Report, or are a Black American, you’re probably in denial. In Ferguson, an entire city government in, under our very flag, conspired & colluded against black citizens, and trampled the rights and bodies of our black citizens, for decades.

Institutional racism, in our country, going unchallenged for decades.

That’s disgusting. Taking a knee during the anthem to bring attention to the issue is not.

Rusti Chaney
Rusti Chaney(@rustichaney)
Reply to  Morgan R
4 years ago

Morgan, that’s making it a very narrow group of people that you consider can “understand”. Please listen to any interviews of Larry Elder, a fair and intelligent black man, who would disagree with your assessment. What, exactly, does disrespecting our national anthem have to do with protesting brutality; black or white, police or civilian?

mdbuc
mdbuc(@mdbuc)
Reply to  Morgan R
4 years ago

You can’t even get people to acknowledge that institutional racism exists.

EastEndBoy
EastEndBoy(@eastendboy)
Reply to  Scott Reynolds
4 years ago

I think that’s precisely the point Scott: if you’re a person of color in America, this is definitely not “a freer country than most that you’ll find around the globe”…unless freedom includes the freedom to be harassed by the police, shot for no reason, tear gassed if you peacefully protest, presumed guilty until proven innocent, and locked up at a rate unprecedented in any country in the world. There are dozens of countries more free by that measure. It’s some sort of nostalgic view of America that just isn’t reality for our black countrymen and women. Your comment that the… Read more »

mdbuc
mdbuc(@mdbuc)
4 years ago

“A dear friend of mine, who is black, said that true unity will happen when there is empathy and understanding from both sides.”

You should want people to fight for true unity seven days of the week and not just when it’s personally convenient for you. If you truly believe in the cause, then maybe you should humble yourself and accept that it’s bigger than you having your personal ‘haven’.

You want an apolitical space, go find one. No one is forcing you to cover football.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan(@naplesfan)
4 years ago

I hate that politics has any place on this blog, let alone throughout the entire NFL world. But the elephant in the room has finally shit all over the carpet, and now we are forced to respond one way or the other. I don’t want the NFL to be a billboard for political fights and social consciousness raising by the politically correct, whether by left wing or right wing political speech cops, whether by private citizens or by the President of the United States. I also totally support the rights of all Americans to free speech and I simply don’t… Read more »

BigSombrero
BigSombrero(@bucwild02)
Reply to  Naplesfan
4 years ago

– Daaang! Good points!

One of my favorite phrases is, “You can’t unscramble an egg.” Our provacateur-in-chief lives to insult, but that is it. He just unwittingly gave a tailwind of support to the players who kneel.

Capn Howdy
Capn Howdy(@capnhowdy)
4 years ago

You DO NOT disrespect the flag or the anthem celebration that recognizes the flag oft he nation that gives you the right to protest. You want to protest because you have issues you wan to represent or draw attention to? Then use your millions of dollars you get from playing a kids game to call a press conference and speak your piece. You DO NOT “protest” the recognition of those who fought and died for you to have the right to live in the only nation on earth that affords you with such a lifestyle. Let’s see these”players” go and… Read more »

Steven007
Steven007(@steven007)
Reply to  Capn Howdy
4 years ago

You do NOT get to tell people how to protest. Obviously. Simple as that.

Capn Howdy
Capn Howdy(@capnhowdy)
Reply to  Steven007
4 years ago

Just like how you don’t get to say you protesting my protest of your protest is any more right or wrong than the next guys right to dot he same. And FYI, a private company has every legal right to tell it’s employees not only how but whether or not they even can protest on paid company time and in the company workplace. now that should be pretty simple to understand.

Steven007
Steven007(@steven007)
Reply to  Capn Howdy
4 years ago

And the private company were speaking of not only supported that right they participated in it. Do you understand yet?

Steven007
Steven007(@steven007)
Reply to  Steven007
4 years ago

*we’re

Brobear
Brobear(@brobear)
Reply to  Capn Howdy
4 years ago

Wow. This is a shockingly terrible comment. Not only did you equate all of transgender people with “grown men trying to get into womens/girls bathrooms” but then you spewed the rest AND threw disrespect at Mike Evans. Also no one else is dragging republicans through the mud even though yall elected the clown that made this blow up, but here you are throwing liberal around 15 times because you think its an insult.

Well done

mark2001
mark2001(@mark2001)
Reply to  Capn Howdy
4 years ago

Sorry man… if you ever served and went through basic training, you would know that the flag is disrespected on a daily basis. People wear it on their shirts, pants, bikini’s. They advertise with it…everything from napkins to beer. They even display it flat on football fields. They display it 24/7 without a light on it….they leave it out in the rain when it isn’t a waterproof flag. They fly other flags at the same level or even above it. They throw a tattered flag away in the garbage. All these are desecration of the flag….So why is it that… Read more »

EastEndBoy
EastEndBoy(@eastendboy)
Reply to  Capn Howdy
4 years ago

can I protest the lack of paragraphs in this post…really hard to read….so I stopped after “You”

NFLeeds
NFLeeds(@coopsxx)
4 years ago

You are choosing to engage is this discussion. Literally you could ignore it and just focus on the Bucs. You don’t need to, perhaps shouldn’t. But you can’t complain, you’re your own boss, it’s your website and company, literally ignore the issue and at least in this corner of the world we can focus only on football…

Although maybe do so after a win because frankly this distraction is better that breaking down that ugly ugly loss.

MudManVA
MudManVA(@knight)
4 years ago

Good Lord. Thank you Scott for having the guts to step on this ledge and write this article. I too am tired of politics in sport, and yes my friends sport is entertainment & players are entertainers. I go to a movie to get away & be entertained, and yes I turn on sport to get away and root for my team. I now live in Virginia and pay extra to watch my Bucs (cable in the house & direct tv in the basement so I can have Sunday ticket). I want to be entertained not preached to. Are the… Read more »

diablo5597
diablo5597(@kenlola)
Reply to  MudManVA
4 years ago

MudManVA and anyone else who is tired of athletes protesting during the national anthem. You know what I am tired of? I’m tired of seeing innocent men, women and even children being gunned down by racist police officers. And then even when there is a video showing a cop executing an unarmed person (usually black), the cop gets away with it. Why aren’t you upset about that. Every one of the athletes has said over and over again they are not protesting our soldiers or military or disrespecting the flag, but the press keeps falsely saying that, and Scott falsely… Read more »

Matthew
Matthew(@bolts12)
4 years ago

I honestly don’t understand why this is such a big deal. Whether you agree with the protest or not you have to respect a person’s rights and beliefs. For me personally the anthem protest have never bothered me one bit because I respect their beliefs and their rights of free speech. It is really simple to just ignore the protest and enjoy the game. If you really cant watch an NFL game because a player knelt during the anthem then thats on you.

Destino102
Destino102(@destino102)
4 years ago

This is a great article and you highlighted both sides well. I think one focus both sides should be focusing on is how we reach a resolution. The goal of these protests since the beginning have been to bring attention to racial discrimination and police brutality, but making people aware of it doesn’t bring an end to it. The obvious course would be to grow the number of suppoertes needed to make changes democratically. Voting to change laws and lawmakers is the most effective and peaceful way to reach the goal. Now, I do agree with the reason for the… Read more »

Capn Howdy
Capn Howdy(@capnhowdy)
4 years ago

It should also be stated that the worlds’ best athletes don’t play kids games for millions of dollars, they SERVE int he United States Armed Forces and they don’t ever “take a knee.” Or sit on their ungrateful arse.

Steven007
Steven007(@steven007)
Reply to  Capn Howdy
4 years ago

Um, it’s pretty much a certainty that the world’s best athletes play a kids game for millions of dollars. Plenty of great athletes in the military certainly but let’s be real. Again, let’s stay on topic. You know the protest isn’t against military personnel. But you can continue to act dumb if you’d like.

3rd String Kicker
3rd String Kicker(@3rd-string-kicker)
4 years ago

Scott,

Here here. Thanks for a great article, I too want football back. Wow, wow.

Regards,
3sk

Horse
Horse(@horse)
4 years ago

I have changed my thoughts about taking a knee is disrespectful for our Fallen because President Trump is pulling us back to the years prior to the 1960’s. If you were born before 1960, I think you understand how wrong our country treated women and civil rights. President Trump never served because Daddy made sure of it; after all, no Trump has ever served in the military. I’m very concerned we are losing our Democracy and I’m ready to go march again and protest. This Viet Nam 100% Disabled Viet Nam Veteran supports taking a knee with my hand over… Read more »

Pewter Pirate
Pewter Pirate(@pewter-pirate)
4 years ago

SR I want football back as well, but I do not agree with the remaining premise of your article. Of course a lot of people are upset because of kneeling during the anthem. That is a no-brainer. The issue is much more than that. People recognize that the NFL is only allowing this to happen because it is a PC issue that the NFL is scared to death of, and the NFL is allowing the country to be spit on for PC reasons. If a player chose to kneel because he wanted a wall built between the U.S. and Mexico,… Read more »

BigSombrero
BigSombrero(@bucwild02)
Reply to  Pewter Pirate
4 years ago

Kneeling to make a point about equality in our country is not even close to kneeling for a border wall. If anything, kneeling during the anthem is a lot closer to kneeling during the anthem if you needlessly lost a friend or relative to a violent act. If he was kneeling to honor victims of 9/11, fallen soldiers, college students who were murdered at virginia tech, or people killed by a natural disaster, we would all side with his message. Kneel for the never ending supply of videos showing unarmed black people being assaulted and killed by police during a… Read more »

Pewter Pirate
Pewter Pirate(@pewter-pirate)
Reply to  BucWild02
4 years ago

Thank you for making my point. Only causes the left care about are okay to disrespect the country for is basically your arguement. The point is NO issue is good enough to openly disrespect the country and spit on it. This is why people are pissed. The people against kneeling would be against kneelng regardless of the issue. The people for the kneeling are only for it if it is an issue that makes them happy, such as “racial inequality”. Your argument about 9/11 vicitims is an illogical point. Kapernick did not kneel to honor crap. So what Kapernick did… Read more »

Naplesfan
Naplesfan(@naplesfan)
Reply to  Pewter Pirate
4 years ago

The problem with equating issues between left and right, as you do in both your comments, is no. 1, America is not about left and right. America is about E Pluribus Unum, “From Many, One” is the point. Trump and his supporters seem bent on reversing that, to “E Unum, Pluribus” “From one, many, and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.” America is and always has been about the real motto of our nation. True conservativism, not the brand that is practiced today, and certainly not as practiced by Trump, would seek to… Read more »

Pewter Pirate
Pewter Pirate(@pewter-pirate)
Reply to  Naplesfan
4 years ago

Its not left versus right. Its the left versus the United States. There is no freedom of thinking with most left wing Obama and Clinton Democrats. The reversing of E Unum Pluribus for the left is “From the left and to the left and don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out if you have a different opinion”. The far left in this country Anit-fa, communists, nazis want to rip America apart. There is no respect for speech or freedom with the left. The college campuses are perfect examples of this. Democrats on the left want racial… Read more »

toofamiliar17
toofamiliar17(@toofamiliar17)
Reply to  Pewter Pirate
4 years ago

“However, the same people who are now supporting kneeling during the Anthem, would crucify a player if he knelt for an issue they did not agree with…” Well yea, no crap. But the people who are attacking these players aren’t doing it because they are against what those players are kneeling for. They would be bigots and idiots if they did, but at least it would make sense to dislike someone for what they were actually, ya know, saying. So yea, if a player knelt to protest the presence of Jews in this country, I would dislike them and call… Read more »

EastEndBoy
EastEndBoy(@eastendboy)
Reply to  toofamiliar17
4 years ago

ditto

Naplesfan
Naplesfan(@naplesfan)
Reply to  Pewter Pirate
4 years ago

By the way, there is no evidence available anywhere that Colin Kaeperniuck is a “Castro loving communist”. He has made no such statements, indeed he has been a devoted Christian most of his life, with most of the tatoo art on his body being various scriptures from the Holy Bible – and communism as practiced by Castro and ilk is atheistic.

You’re just spouting stupid untrue stuff. Stop it.

fredster
fredster(@fredster)
4 years ago

I would like football back too. It was always one day where I could forget mine and the worlds problems. Politics were never an issue. I share your view Scott it’s offensive to me too. Million other ways they can get their message accross without kneeling for your countries national anthem. It’s not perfect and never will be but it is the greatest,fairest country in the world. Proud to be an American. I will never see it as anything but disrespectful. We have free speech but it’s assinine. Weather you agree or disagree it has no place in NFL or… Read more »

toofamiliar17
toofamiliar17(@toofamiliar17)
Reply to  fredster
4 years ago

Saw this shared somewhere online. It is not my work. Below is a list of ways the far right has decided are not okay to protest: Violent/destructive Blocking traffic Golden Globes speeches School walk outs Super Bowl commercials Speaking after a play Sitting during the anthem Responding to complaints about that action, so then kneeling for the anthem Declining a White House invite Here are the ways they have decided are okay: Not complaining or protesting at all. Just sitting down and shutting up. Marching with tiki torches The point is, according to people like you, pretty much no matter… Read more »

toofamiliar17
toofamiliar17(@toofamiliar17)
Reply to  toofamiliar17
4 years ago

Reynolds – the second half of this reply is to you as much as it is to fredster. The overall, primary point of your article is that you want football back, i.e. that you don’t like players bring discussions of equality onto your NFL Sunday TV screen. Well, sports and politics have ALWAYS intermingled. It’s not like this is a tactic that’s first being used by NFL players over this specific issue.

EastEndBoy
EastEndBoy(@eastendboy)
Reply to  toofamiliar17
4 years ago

ditto….again

fredster
fredster(@fredster)
4 years ago

NFL

surferdudes
surferdudes(@surferdudes)
4 years ago

Scott you want your football back, how about your vote?

EastEndBoy
EastEndBoy(@eastendboy)
Reply to  Scott Reynolds
4 years ago

Scott, which economic policies did you like?….just wondering

buccaneerNW
buccaneerNW(@buccaneernw)
4 years ago

If we really want to take the politics out of the sport, we could start by NOT playing the foeking anthem to begin with. That’s just a tool for nationalist indoctrination anyway. Do we have to listen to the national anthem before going to a movie, or a broadway show, or any other public event other than sports? No! Why? Because somebody decided that patriotic displays associated with sporting events were a good idea. I’m for dumping it. I support the protests. The people who are so worked up over the protests are the same people who don’t understand why… Read more »

Horse
Horse(@horse)
Reply to  buccaneerNW
4 years ago

This shows my age. I remember when the Movie Theater’s and Drive-In Movies played the Stars Spangled Banner.

EastEndBoy
EastEndBoy(@eastendboy)
Reply to  Horse
4 years ago

I remember when football players didn’t come out for the anthem….

BigSombrero
BigSombrero(@bucwild02)
Reply to  buccaneerNW
4 years ago

The armed forces are a major contributor to the NFL. They pay the NFL for the exposure. It is not a “free” demonstration of national unity. It is a recruiting tool.

This is one of many articles you can find about military spending appropriations at major sporting events.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/defense-department-paid-5-4-million-nfl-honor-troops/

toofamiliar17
toofamiliar17(@toofamiliar17)
Reply to  BucWild02
4 years ago

Not to mention, as I first explained above, that the first time the Anthem was played before a sporting event was prior to the World Series after the passing of the Espionage Act. Basically, it was played before the WS because Woodrow WIlson made it so, mostly to squash and root out anti-American sentiment during a time of war.

The Anthem started being played before sporting events ENTIRELY because of politics. It’s one of the most clear and undeniable instances of politics and sports mixing.

fredster
fredster(@fredster)
4 years ago

Why so he could vote for Hillary the lier and corrupt career politician? Lol.

buccaneerNW
buccaneerNW(@buccaneernw)
Reply to  fredster
4 years ago

Better than a fascist assclown, science-denying, fraudulent, pathological lying, greedy narcissist ignoramus. The most corrupt person ever to be president, clearly. The Hillary hate is a psychosis manufactured by FuxNuze and related right-wing hate media. The idea that she’s corrupt is mostly exaggeration. The idea that HRC was anywhere close to being as corrupt as DonDump is laughable.

EastEndBoy
EastEndBoy(@eastendboy)
Reply to  buccaneerNW
4 years ago

outstanding retort

Naplesfan
Naplesfan(@naplesfan)
Reply to  buccaneerNW
4 years ago

Funny, isn’t it, that the entire “Locker Her Up!” chant and meme was based upon HRC using an authorized private email account to conduct government business. And now it came out this week that both Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, whom he corruptly gave paying government jobs with high profile areas of responsibility (like peace in the Middle East) habitually used private email accounts to conduct government business. And of course, Trump himself repeatedly uses his private Twitter account to conduct government business, including not only trying to oppress those who practice speech he doesn’t like, but even making public announcements… Read more »

BigSombrero
BigSombrero(@bucwild02)
Reply to  fredster
4 years ago

Ummm, I must have missed how Hillary Clinton was relevant to this conversation. There are other channels on the television besides Fox fredster. Being a scared racist mysongynist must be an angry existence. Lighten up and change the station.

buccaneerNW
buccaneerNW(@buccaneernw)
Reply to  BucWild02
4 years ago

Yeah, the Hillary response is the usual deflection used by Trump defenders.

fredster
fredster(@fredster)
4 years ago

Done with the NFL. Done with the Bucs if they keep kneeling. I’m also done posting here too. Bunch liberal nut jobs. Let’s just take everything about our country out of everything. Great solution. It’s an indoctrination tool? You sound psychotic.

You think Obama wasn’t a decisive president with his blame the rich for everything garbage rederick?

Scott enjoyed it over the years but I’m done. Good luck. This place used to be fun, but now its political too and the nut jobs are coming out of the woodwork.

buccaneerNW
buccaneerNW(@buccaneernw)
Reply to  fredster
4 years ago

rederick?

Should I trust the opinion of anyone who would spell rhetoric as rederick? Answer: no… Why? Because this indicates a mental laziness that can’t even bother to look up the spelling while online.

And yeah, the anthem and military demos are indeed tools of state/military indoctrination… Just like reciting the pledge of allegiance before school.

EastEndBoy
EastEndBoy(@eastendboy)
Reply to  buccaneerNW
4 years ago

these retorts are getting more and more clever….love them.

BigSombrero
BigSombrero(@bucwild02)
Reply to  fredster
4 years ago

Sell your season tickets. Trust me, someone else will enjoy them.

Refuse to tune in? You will miss the game more than the game misses you back.

Live and let live.

TBAtlas
TBAtlas(@atlas)
Reply to  fredster
4 years ago

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

toofamiliar17
toofamiliar17(@toofamiliar17)
Reply to  fredster
4 years ago

I thought Obama was quite decisive. Trump is decisive, too. What does decisiveness have to do with any of this?

And you may not have liked him, but I was thought ole’ Rederick was a cool dude. Never did me any wrong. Loaned me a pair of hedge clippers once when I was in a pinch with my HOA. What’d he do to you to have you so upset?

EastEndBoy
EastEndBoy(@eastendboy)
Reply to  toofamiliar17
4 years ago

and more and more clever….

Naplesfan
Naplesfan(@naplesfan)
Reply to  fredster
4 years ago

Don’t let the door hit you on the ass as you head out! It would be a shame to allow a stain on our door.

buccaneerNW
buccaneerNW(@buccaneernw)
4 years ago

If all the people upset about anthem/flag demonstrations were equally passionate about racial equality and justice, there wouldn’t be any protests to worry about.

BigSombrero
BigSombrero(@bucwild02)
4 years ago

I posted this originally in the Fab 5 last week, but I think I would like to chime in here too… I am not a fan of hijacking the national anthem for a discussion on race relations or politics or policing, especially at the expense of offending those who have sacrificed and served. Also, football is my entertainment. It’s my getaway from the reality of everyday life. I am a white, middle aged, middle class guy who has served. I am not a racist. Colin Kaepernick is mixed. He is probably wealthy. He is a public figure with a platform,… Read more »

SenileSenior
SenileSenior(@xpfcwintergreen)
4 years ago

As a child of the fifties and sixties, a draftee and Vietnam war vet and simply as just another citizen, I would like to throw in my two cents. Our country has always been divided about many issues since its birth. Roughly 1/3 of the colonist supported the Revolution (some very reluctantly), about 1/3 opposed it and the other third were in the middle somewhere. Our male “white” European ancestors dominated from the beginning, but everyone was effected alike. Our native American and our African American ancestors endured some awful things during our first two centuries. No one should ever… Read more »

Horse
Horse(@horse)
Reply to  XpfcWintergreen
4 years ago

Thank you for your service xpfcwintergreen. Thank you for serving in Viet Nam. Whether drafted or not, we all still went to Viet Nam despite most of our views/concerns/experiences was going to get some of us killed or wounded, but yet we still went. The thought, if I didn’t go then someone else would have to replace me, and that wasn’t right nor fair. I earned the right to protest about what is now occurring in our country and no one is going to stop me as long as this President and this Congress continues to take away our freedoms… Read more »

acilpeR
acilpeR(@acilper)
4 years ago

Nice job SR

Wausa
Wausa(@wausa)
4 years ago

Seems like a bunch of anti American, anti police and anti military folks on this board. Despite the right to do it I have always been against people flying the confederate flag or putting it on a bumper sticker on the back of their vehicle. The reason I am against it is to most black people it is a symbol of racism and to me it is also a symbol of a treasonous act on the part of a large portion of the country. The American flag and the our national anthem is the antithesis to the confederate flag and… Read more »

drdneast
drdneast(@drdneast)
4 years ago

I, for one, don’t want to live in a country where a free man isn’t allowed to express himself, even during the National Anthem. I also don’t want to live in a country where a person can’t burn an American flag because he is so outraged by what is going on in this country. I don’t agree with either form of expression, but I despise the idea of stopping the behavior even more. And when did this become some sort of disrespect to the military? This is why we have the military To protect the rights of people to express… Read more »

EastEndBoy
EastEndBoy(@eastendboy)
Reply to  drdneast
4 years ago

I don’t always agree with you but well said this time.

mark2001
mark2001(@mark2001)
4 years ago

This is another issue where people just show how little they know about proper display of the flag, and instead concentrate on something that isn’t a rule regarding the flag. Maybe it is because so few people really serve in the military now days. If you ever served and went through basic training, you would know that the flag is disrespected on a daily basis. People wear it on their shirts, pants, bikini’s. They advertise with it…everything from napkins to beer. They even display it flat on football fields. They display it 24/7 without a light on it…they leave it… Read more »

mark2001
mark2001(@mark2001)
Reply to  mark2001
4 years ago

Most don’t even know there is a proper way to fold the flag. Wake up my fellow Buc fans…. the outrage stirred up by the President regarding this is simply to push your buttons and distract from the problems we seem to be unwilling or unable to deal with, and a pending war on the horizon.

mark2001
mark2001(@mark2001)
Reply to  mark2001
4 years ago

And did I mention the number of people I’ve seen keeping their hats on when the flag goes by, during the pledge and national anthem? I think some people live in glass houses.

Dman
Dman(@dman)
4 years ago

Well, everyone has quite a bit to say. And not a lot of it about football. Which is what this is suppose to be about. Scott longs for a time when that’s all it’s about and is criticized on this board. Attempts to discuss these issues in a rational manner inevitably lead to being cast as a racist, some type of ism or phobe. Most that cast those aspersions have no idea what they truly mean, but are just enamored with being part of what they perceive to be a moral cause. Rather than doing the heavy lifting to understand… Read more »

Naplesfan
Naplesfan(@naplesfan)
Reply to  Dman
4 years ago

You’re seriously confused. The lashing out was done by Trump. When he made his disgusting comments in Alabama last week, there were maybe 10 players in the league this season to date who silently and respectfully kneeled when the anthem was sung. After Trump displayed his shockingly un-American behavior, approximately 250 players kneeled this past weekend, and more than half of the team owners plus the Commissioner and the President of NFLPA publicly told Trump more or less to STFU, and then kneeled or locked arms with their players. If only Trump and his radical right racist wingnut supporters had… Read more »

EastEndBoy
EastEndBoy(@eastendboy)
4 years ago

One last thought…from a Vietnam vet nonetheless

https://www.facebook.com/Mediamatters/videos/10154960994046167/

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