While I am quite opinionated on political matters, I haven’t gotten particularly worked up over the situation in the NFL and players taking a knee during the national anthem. As with many things political though, I have criticisms of both major sides.
Here are some random libertarian thoughts on the whole situation, in no particular order of importance.
- If the players were protesting war overseas and the killing of innocent people, I would be fully on board with their stand.
- If the players were protesting the drug war that likely does disproportionately impact the black community, then I would be fully on board.
- Some of the players taking a knee probably can’t even articulate why they are doing it, except for using a couple of phrases they are repeating.
- Unfortunately, Colin Kaepernick, the person who started it all, is sympathetic towards socialism and tyrannical dictators. While American justice is far from perfect, it pales in comparison to the victims of Castro and Guevara. With this statement, I am not talking about the victims of U.S. foreign policy.
- I think much of middle class America sees it as hypocritical for a bunch of millionaire athletes taking a stand against black oppression.
- I have never been in the military and I have never been directly hurt by the military, but it doesn’t mean I can’t take a stand on foreign policy. Therefore, even though these players are doing well financially (or should be), it doesn’t mean they can’t take a stand for those who aren’t doing well.
- On the other hand, it does dilute the message talking about black oppression when it is coming from people who have done very well for the most part. I wonder if their ancestors from 200 years ago would take offense to this. Are they really oppressed as compared to what took place 200 years ago, or even 80 years ago? To me, it isn’t in the same ballpark. I am saying this with the full acknowledgement that there will likely always be some injustices in this world.
- I like to watch football to escape politics. I like the entertainment. Is there anywhere I can turn for some entertainment for an escape now?
- It isn’t as if the NFL has now just become political. It was already horrible. Every time I go to a game, I am surrounded by flyover jets, a giant flag covering the field, military appreciation, and the continuous honoring of military veterans. It is all war propaganda. It was no surprise to learn that our tax money is used to pay NFL teams to promote the war propaganda.
- What is this ritual of putting our hands over our hearts during the national anthem? Is there much difference between this and the Nazi salute? It is a show of nationalism and obedience to the state. That is just my opinion on the matter, and I know most will disagree.
- I also can’t stand the pledge of allegiance. I pledge allegiance to my family and to not harming others who do no harm to me. I don’t want to pledge allegiance to the state.
- How about we just stop playing the anthem before sporting events?
- I have defended Trump on some of his Tweets and other things in the past, or at least pointed out that his enemies are irrationally hysterical. But his comments on this situation in the NFL are really stupid, for lack of a better word. While it is better than making threats against North Korea, it is still terribly divisive for no reason. He really needs to start minding his own business in many ways.
- If the fans really don’t like all of this, then they do have the choice to stop attending and watching NFL games. This may have already started in significant numbers. The marketplace will sort this whole thing out. Player salaries may end up going down if ratings take a hit. This will hurt all players, including those who are standing for the anthem.
- ESPN has already been hit with bad ratings as compared to previous times. I think a large part of this is the network’s almost obsession with politics and culture. I don’t want to tune into SportsCenter to hear about how heroic Caitlyn Jenner is for turning into a woman. I want to watch sports highlights. Again, I am trying to get away from politics and cultural debates.
- It is really funny and sad to actually hear people think that the government should get involved in such matters. It is the same when I hear people saying that flag burning should be illegal. They want to cheer on the flag and sing about the land of the free, yet they don’t see the contradiction.
- I am so tired of people talking about “1st Amendment rights”. I mean, has anyone saying this actually read the 1st Amendment? It says that Congress shall make no law. As long as Congress is not passing a law (or threatening to do so) preventing players from speaking out or taking a knee, then it has nothing to do with the 1st Amendment.
- Just because players have a right to take a knee (because it probably wasn’t spelled out in their contract), it doesn’t mean they are protected from all consequences. If you work in an office, what would happen if you walk up to your boss and call him a jerk? Can you just claim your right to free speech and expect no consequences?
- You should have the right to speak freely, but this does not trump property rights or freedom of association, or at least it shouldn’t.
- If only we could get some Americans to stand up as passionately for the millions of victims of U.S. foreign policy.
These are my own libertarian thoughts and do not necessarily represent the thoughts of other libertarians.