Super Bowl

Donald Trump Should Stop Telling NFL To Fire Players for Anthem Protests

Public workplace (and schoolhouse) protests are as American as apple pie.


Mike Morbeck, Flickr

Another day, another internet-breaking presidential tweet, this time about NFL players who protest racial injustice by refusing to stand at attention during the pre-game playing of the National Anthem. Former 49ers' quarterback Colin Kaepernick started this movement a year when he first took a knee. Kaepernick explicitly said he was doing it as a protest to call attention to police abuse:

I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color… To me, this is bigger than football 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.

Now there's this from the leader of the land of the free and the home of the brave:

Trump's tweets create an interesting situation especially for libertarians, who believe in maximum speech rights for everyone. On the one hand, you could argue that, hey, the Donald is simply weighing in as a citizen on a situation of interest to many Americans. Why shouldn't he feel free to do so, right? Then again, Trump is also goddamned president of the United States and has immense power both via law enforcement and the bully pulpit to screw not just with an individual's life but the status of entire industries.

As it happens, the NFL's commissioner, Roger Goodell, has articulated a league policy that allows for players to protest during the National Anthem.

"It's one of those things where I think we have to understand that there are people that have different viewpoints," Goodell said. "The national anthem is a special moment to me. It's a point of pride. But we also have to understand the other side, that people do have rights and we want to respect those."

So if Donald Trump wants to flap his gums about how employees of a (mostly) private-sector entity exercise their speech rights, maybe he ought to be calling out the NFL's owners for allowing such displays. But let's grant the president the right to criticize individual workers for exercising their own rights to free speech. Is his actual argument any good? No, not really. Public workplace (and schoolhouse) protests are as American as apple pie, aren't they now? The idea that someone who is a beneficiary of a given system should not be allowed to criticize aspects of it is the laziest sort of thinking imaginable. Kaepernick and those who are following his lead have indeed made more money than all but a tiny fraction of Americans. Does that mean they can't critique their country, especially from a highly visible platform? Of course not. This goddamned country was built on dissent put forth by beneficiaries of the British colonial system (the signers of the Declaration were, as a group, such rich and privileged bastards after all).

To be fair, Donald Trump doesn't do irony. Or history. Or introspection. What he does do is tweet and cause outrage, mostly to deflect attention from more serious issues. As Politico's Jack Shafer has written:

Have none of [the president's critics] been paying attention to Trump's Twitter strategy for the past 17 months? For anybody who has read a half-dozen of Trump's tweets, the pattern is obvious. He compiles these tweets precisely in order to elicit strident protest….To Trump's followers the content of any one of his rebukes matters less than whom it's directed at….

he's willing to engage in this sort of psy-ops as long as it sends the opposition chasing a red herring.

What then should we do when Trump taunts with such tweets? First, think before you tweet. Know that Trump wants you to tweet back at him the first thing that comes to your offended brain. Pause for just a minute, and if you must comment, try something like, "Sorry, Baby Donald, I'm not taking the bait."

That sounds about right, especially when you consider that Trump is at his tweetiest when he's trying distract from other things. Which makes you wonder: What is he trying to cover up by yakking about the NFL?

Bonus link: Did you know that the NFL only decreed in 2009 that all players had to be visible (though not necessarily standing) on the sidelines for the playing of the National Anthem? Before that, it was a team-by-team decision.

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  2. “So if Donald Trump wants to flap his gums about how employees of a (mostly) private-sector entity exercise their speech rights, maybe he ought to be calling out the NFL’s owners for allowing such displays.”

    “Mostly” private sector entity, eh?

    How about that federal exemption from anti-trust laws?

    How about all those deals around the country where team owners get taxpayers to fund their football stadiums?

    1. I thought only baseball had the anti-trust exemption.

      1. Technically, but the NFL is basically given the same special treatment–witness the USFL getting awarded $1 in their lawsuit against the league over 30 years ago.

        1. Actually the antitrust exemption in both football and basketball is the NCAA. NFL and NBA both benefit from that though because they are able to get all their player development done for free and they still get to control that young player pipeline.

          1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

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            1. “What is he trying to cover up by yakking about the NFL?”

              Clearly, the answer is that our national leader is doing his best to distract the public from the outrageous “First Amendment dissent” of a single, isolated judge in our nation’s leading criminal “satire” case. See the documentation at:


              1. I don’t think Trump is trying to cover up anything, though he may be trying to distract from the various investigations into his administration (won’t happen)

                The salient fact about our Tweeter-In-Chief is that he enjoys stirring the pot. He could have said something (better yet, kept his effin’ mouth shut for once) in a tempered way, but that is not what he does. He is intentionally polarizing, and he enjoys it. I’ve said it before: this is arguably a good quality in a candidate, but a terrible on in a President.

                As for the rest, Trump has created a disaster. He’s not only added to the polarization but has achieved the seeming impossible: he’s helped to reanimate Hillary Clinton. So dear Mr President: Sit down and STFU.

              2. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

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        2. For all the politics going on with this (and I stand by my comments elsewhere) this aspect of the case did occur to me. Good call.

    2. True enough. But how is being a player in the NFL a “privilege” somehow bestowed by government generosity? Doesn’t he have to play at a certain level to not get fired? (Which he doesn’t, of course)

    3. The only antitrust exemption held by the NFL is that tax-exempt professional football leagues are allowed to merge with each other without antitrust review, if and only if the number of teams expands as a result. (Which happened with the AFL merger, the Bengals being added to the AFL during the merger period so the combined league would be bigger than the AFL+NFL as of 1966.)

      1. Also, the NFL has a partial antitrust exemption thanks to the National Labor Relations Act. An employer cannot be liable for what otherwise would be an antitrust violation if the violation is the result of compliance with the terms of a collective bargaining agreement. It is colloquially referred to as the union “giving” the employer an antitrust exemption, and it is how the NFL can impose a salary cap on its teams. That is also why the NFPLA voluntarily decertified itself during the its last round of negotiations with the NFL. This allowed individual players to sue the league for antitrust violations as a way of putting pressure on the league to settle negotiations.

  3. Public workplace (and schoolhouse) protests are as American as apple pie.

    So is getting fired for protesting at work.

    The NFL owners didn’t hire players to have their Hate America protest in the middle of their entertainment product.

    “conduct detrimental to the league”

    Meanwhile, ENB rallies the twitterverse to keep a guy from be hired anywhere, for evermore, for making a “make me a sandwich” joke.

    1. Nothing wrong with getting fired for protesting at work. But the President getting to say who gets fired and why?

      1. He doesn’t get to say who gets fired and he’s not suggesting he should. He’s stating an opinion. I don’t like Trump and I don’t think he should be opining on this matter, but Nick and others should stick to what’s actually happening here.

        1. Agreed. I can understand his view that the president should be more reserved, but at some point my ideal of what the president should be has become so far gone that complaining about this feels just finicky.

          1. I for one find it fascinating that the POTUS expresses his 1st ammendment rights so vigerously especially considering the fact that there is a growing movement on the left to curtail first ammendment rights. I lean heavily towards anarchy (though some govt is potentially acceptable) so the idea of POTUS is anathema to my politics. If we must have a POTUS, Id rather he advertise his flaws rather than hide them so that everyone else can see why such a political arrangement is problematic.

          2. The players opened this topic when they hijacked their employer’s event to impose their political views upon the public.Weren’t we all supposed to be in a great national conversation about race? Isn’t the personal political? Isn’t that what the Left always says? Then why should the president express his opinion? Oh, I forgot – only the Left is allowed to speak; if anyone contradicts the party line they are a racist.

            We are at War, people.

            1. …why SHOULDN’t the president…

              1. He can comment as he pleases, but he needs to be conscious of the effect of his words. Trump (a) has no filters, and (b) doesn’t seem to give a damn about fallout (and probably welcomes the fireworks). The best one can say about this is that it’s not helpful. Keep a judicious silence and in all likelihood this nonsense goes away of its own weight. Now he’s made it a point of conflict that must be won or lost. It’s the last thing in the world we needed.

                1. “Conflict” implies that someone is getting physically hurt. This is speach. Nobody is going to die from this speech. Why must we pretend that words from POTUS have a violent effect that words from profesional athletes does not? They both have first ammendment rights. Nobody is forcing anything on anyone, but the NFL is private, they have many fans who feel strongly about respecting the flag, so insulting those fans may reduce income these players are paid from, therefore, the NFL has every right to tell these players to fuck off.

        2. But they need to rehearse their lines for this weekend’s cocktail parties!

        3. Exactly. I agree with Trump’s opinion, although I don’t think the president should be discussing this publicly. And along as it’s just his opinion, and not state action, there’s nothing actually wrong with it.

          Personally, I’m tired of these little disrespectful displays by a bunch of crybaby pampered millionaire athletes. I hope that every one of them is either fired or straightened out and these little on the job displays come to a quick end.

          1. Why not? Trump is popular because he’s not a pussy like other presidents, don’t have secrets like other presidents, doesn’t hide his views, etc.

            Trump is loved because he says what millions of us are thinking. We hate the NFL and their commie athletes, it’s pleasant to have the President taking our side.

        4. Valid point. But, Trump sets a general tone when he appears to “sign off” with his stamp of approval of sufficient flag-waving.

          While he can do this and the NFL can ignore him by not doing anything (which they will), it undoubtedly sends a loud message that rallies his base.

          It is interesting that “there are many fine people on all sides” in regards to white supremacists, but “they should be fired” in regards to guys not displaying sufficient “Americanness” by kneeling in protest.

        5. Yea only NFL players can have an opinion, Trump can’t voice his opinion, the hypocrisy. thats what I’m getting from the media and all the Trump haters

  4. Whycome Nick no MAGA?

    Firing assholes who hurt your brand and cost you money is as American as cherry pie.

    1. Sorry, cherry pie, we need to let you go. We’re hiring in extra apple and pumpkin pies as seasonal workers and can’t afford to keep you on?

      1. Well, then, where can I go for my cherry pie then, hmm?

        1. There was some 1980s hair band that you could ask.. Don’t recall their name, though.


          1. Wouldn’t one need a Warrant though?

    2. I think the NFL brass are in a better position to determine what maximizes profits for the NFL than Donald Trump. Let’s be real here — Trump’s comments weren’t a gesture of good will business suggestions. His statements were largely critical of protest against the government. I find it slightly odd to find libertarians who support him in that statement, which reaffirms my belief that Reason commenters are comprised of a very large number of conservatives.

      1. Here’s the thing- we’re consumers so we can have an opinion on what that business is doing. Cosmotarians virtue signaled about how Google had the right to fire James Damore and the NFL had the right to fine players for trying uniform changes that commemorated 9/11. I didn’t hear anyone (even conservatives) disagree other than saying that they as a consumer did not agree with the business. But, when it comes to the anthem kneeling, cosmotarians are suddenly saying that to criticize this is ‘just a culture war issue’ or ‘their First Amendment right’.

        That makes no sense. Cosmotarians are just progressives that have taken a macroeconomic course so they know that their control economics make no sense. So, you should look in the mirror before accusing others of being ‘conservative’.

        1. There’s a vast difference between a guy on Reason saying that the NFL should prohibit a behavior, and the president of the united states saying that the NFL should prohibit a behavior. Especially when said behavior is (basically) about protesting the US government. It has nothing to do with free speech and everything to do with the fact that the US government — the target of the protests — is advocating an employer using his authority to stifle protest.

          But what I find most offensive about Trump’s statements is the implicit stance that the players owe something to the US government for their fortune, and should therefore consider themselves lucky to be able to entertain people for profit. Yet another example of the US government taking credit for an industry that did not require their participation to be successful.

          I think fundamentally the issue lies in the inability of people to disambiguate the people who live on this land mass from the government that the flag represents.

          1. The target of the protests is local police departments, many of which do not apply the law equally to all citizens. Which is why it makes no sense to protest the national anthem.

          2. The fact that you can’t tell the difference between the federal government (“US”) and municipal police departments (what the players are supposedly protesting) tells me everything I need about your analysis of the topic.

          3. The fact that you can’t tell the difference between the federal government (“US”) and municipal police departments (what the players are supposedly protesting) tells me everything I need about your analysis of the topic.

            1. I swear I only hit submit once.

              1. The fact that you can’t tell the difference between 1 and 2 tells me everything I need to know.

                The protest is not about local police departments. The protesters have REPEATEDLY criticized the national climate on the topic and the inability of the federal government to do anything about it. If you want to tell them to protest something else instead, you’re free to do so. But don’t put words in their mouths.

      2. True. It’s why nobody was hiring Kaepernick. Regardless of the measurement of his skills, he was (and is) a polarizing figure and no team wanted that. Now every team is stuck with it, though that is not Trump’s fault.

  5. Come on, this was very intentional by Trump (if a bit craven). He does not like Roger Goodell and the NFL from back in his Generals days. He knows he hurts the NFL bad with this and it is probably a net win for Trump. He baits them and they strike at him, pissing off their own base of fans.

    1. Actually this is completely an unforced error by Goodell. He could have ignored Trump’s comment or if he felt he had to respond, just reiterate the “first amendment” and “player safety” mantras they’ve already deployed. Then Trump would be the guy with egg on his face. But instead Goodell had to go on the attack.

      It’s pretty amazing that a guy as lawyerly as Goodell would go out of his way to step in this kind of poo — probably shows how thick of an echo chamber he’s in. Completely tone deaf.

      1. Yup. Goodell is a textbook example of someone so cowed by PC they can’t think straight. He thinks he can appease them with this but he’s just offending the people who didn’t already hate him. Now everyone hates him.

        1. Maybe Goodell and the dean of Evergreen college can be pals. They’re both pretty spineless.

          1. Maybe they should learn the eternal truth in the line from “Moonstruck”: Don’t shit where you eat.

      2. Goodell whiffed big time. Trump got the better of him because I do think he’s tapping into the patience of even the most moderate of Americans when it comes to all this. Same with the NBA. The political statements from players like James and Curry are laughable. Why can’t ONE journalist ask them to once and for all present cites and facts about Trump being a racist? I bet you they didn’t think Tim Thomas was being respectful when he declined to go to The White House under Obama. Thomas was pummelled in the press for pretty much exercising his own right to not visit for personal reasons. At least all he said was he didn’t agree with Obama’s policies. These guys are attacking the man himself.

        1. I don’t think a single kneeler could articulate an intelligent argument about the politics supposedly driving this behavior. Colin Kaepernick sure as hell couldn’t when he started this BS.

    2. They should have canceled that game during his debate.

  6. SIV, I like cherry pie better than apple. Just saying…

    1. Mixing the two into the same pie with a crumb crust on top is how you do it.

      1. If you want to give the pie to a “friend”.

        1. “I’m a trained professional.”

    2. I don’t care what kind of pie… as long as it’s not cake. Those filthy cake eaters!

  7. How many times do I gotta say it? Trump’s a troll, any thought that pops into his tiny little brain just plops right out of his fat mouth. All he cares is that people pay attention to him, he has no thought at all whether he’s accurate or logical or coherent, he spent all of about two minutes coming up with that nugget of a thought and it’s not worth spending two minutes thinking about it or talking about it. Just point and laugh at the shit-eating baboon and move along, stop feeding the troll.

    1. For the good of America, we should give the pie we’ve been talking about to Trump, so that his mouth will be full when he tries to speak and all that we’ll hear is a whimpering grumble as some crumbs spray out!

    2. You miss the point, Jerry. For all their complaining and feigned outrage, the media love Trump, particularly the legacy media, because he sells newspapers and eyeballs. There’s a new headline every day. They won’t ignore him as long as he adds to their bottom line.

  8. When you have a country whose founding principles, when implemented, has a history of uplifting people, and when ignored lead to oppression, and when you have generations of patriots trying to make the founding principles a reality, and often succeeding, then I think it’s a bit precious to blame the country as a whole for contemporary abuses.

    Yes, you can respect the flag of the USA without endorsing every bad thing ever done by Americans or their government.

    Indeed, as Burke said in a somewhat analagous context, the patriot regards the defects of his country like the wounds of a father, a situation to be dealt with with reverence and skill, rather than the radical approach (based on the Greek legend of Medea) of chopping up old Dad into little bits and sticking him in the “kettle of magicians” in hopes he regenerates.

    1. And once again, of course, it’s the conservatives who show a better capacity for abstract thought than the progressives.

      The progs see Americans, or American government officials, doing stuff they don’t like, and they say, “because of this, why is it so important to salute the flag?”

      The conservatives also see Americans, and American governments, doing stuff they don’t like, but they respect the flag anyway because they’re capable of abstract thought and can distinguish the country from particular people doing bad things.

      1. So much THIS.

        And I’ve come to appreciate Burke much more than I did when I studied him in university.

        He aged well in parts and I can see why he thought the French Revolution was an abomination.

      2. Anyone who voted the orange poo-flinging baboon into office – and still defends him – has no respect for the country at all.

        1. Oh. Fuck off. He’s not Rand Paul. But then Rand Paul did not get nominated. He’s a million times better than Hildebeast, and not a huge warmongering communist. Would you rather she got elected?

        2. “orange poo-flinging baboon”. Thanks for your elevating contribution to the discourse

          1. Look who’s talking!

      3. So conservatives are better than progressives because conservatives don’t protest? Taking a knee during the national anthem is a form of protest. Trump wants to elevate the symbol of freedom above the actual freedom itself. It’s such a blatant, in-your-face value inversion that anybody that loves the country should be laughing at Trump or throwing rocks at him.

        1. But it’s ok for the Left to enforce it’s orthodoxy by attacking people’s livlihood, like Curt Schilling.

        2. Where did Trump threaten freedom? He didn’t. He offered an opinion and a suggestion for a business to hold its employees accountable for using their entertainment workplace as their personal political soapbox. Get a clue or just STFU.

          In case you’re as dense as you appear, that’s merely an opinion and suggestion on my part and not an attack on your freedoms, dipshit.

    2. Lily Bulero
      can I barrow what you wrote. i may have to read some of Burke’s writing

  9. So, this idiot writer thinks Trump no longer has the right to free speech because he’s “goddamned president” and that makes his words magical and all-powerful. LMAO I know there are people out there that have absolutely no street experience so they believe what they hear about racial injustice and black males being gunned down by racist white cops looking to up their dead black man count. Too bad it’s a false narrative.

    1. As a general rule, you find abusive white cops beating on blacks, abusive white cops beating on whites, abusive black cops beating on blacks, and abusive black cops beating on whites. Or in some cases shooting them.

      Going down the rabbit hole of race is silly – as if a white guy just has to flash his white-person card to avoid getting shot – just ask the lady in Minnesota. Wait, you can’t ask her, because she’s dead. But she was white and the cops who shot her is black.

      1. And I almost forgot the Asian-American cop who shot a black guy.

        1. Don’t forget ED-209, the abusive robo-cop!

          1. That’s life in the big city…

            1. Same old thing, Mortys killing Mortys.

        2. The other notable case in Minnesota also involved a minority officer. Officer jeronimo yanez, hispanic, killed castille, black.

          1. the media said he was white? who should i believe his name or the media

    2. One wonders if Nick would apply the same rule if Gary Johnson had become president.

      1. “Wow, man, just had another meeting with the ‘joint’ chiefs, if you know what I mean, lol.”

        /Gary Johnson Twitter account

        1. “What a party, I not only lost my memory of Syrian geography, I forgot where the Middle East is. Which is ironic since that’s where we got the drugs from.”

          1. “I haven’t been this high since I was on top of Everest, hey-o!”

            1. “You may wonder why I have taken another fact-finding mission to the Hindoo Kush.”

          2. What? Johnson is into pot. The best pot i the world is from WA and OR. Buy American dammit!

      2. Fairly certain he would. Most of what Nick puts out there is liberal progressive tripe. There’s little libertarian in his efforts any more.

        1. How would you know? Libertarians have been socially liberal for nearly a half-century.
          But even then, rightwingers were hopelessly confused. They lived in a bipolar world, still do, even now when left and right have long been obsolete as the only choices.

          It’s now even more that Left – Right = Zero

      3. YOU may wonder, but few libertarians would Are you still ignorant that libertarians have been socially liberal for almost 50 years now? You bipolars confuse easily. You see that we’re fiscally conservative and somehow assume we MUST be socially conservative. But fiscally and socially conservative is …. CONSERVATIVE!!

        SOMETHING must make libertarians different. Let us know if or when you figure our what that difference is.
        Left – Right = Zero

    3. True, it is false. And so if one is going to respond to it, that response should address whatever substance there is to the players’ “complaints”.

      And perhaps a suggestion: if a player sincerely believes the problem lies in the quality of policing, perhaps that player should quit kneeling, walk away from his multi-million dollar salary and join that police department. Get the training, get out on the streets. do the job right. Actions speak louder than words

      1. And perhaps a suggestion:

        From an unremitting fascist.

        if a player sincerely believes the problem lies in the quality of policing, perhaps that player should quit kneeling, walk away from his multi-million dollar salary and join that police department

        And all those who believe public education sucks .. should become teachers?

        Your total contempt for individual liberty is evident all down this page.
        Indeed, even most of your fellow fascists would draw the line at “suggesting” how others should live their lives.
        Shameful. And on a libertarian website.

  10. Trump’s tweets create an interesting situation especially for libertarians, who believe in maximum speech rights for everyone.

    No, they don’t. It’s a run of the mill instance of freedom of speech and freedom of association happily coexisting side by side in the marketplace of ideas with no contradiction, paradox, or conundrum whatsoever. The first amendment protects from coercion, not from criticism or refusal of association.

    The only “interesting situation” this creates is for cosmotarian LINOs who need to recharge their cocktail party schedule.

  11. It’s hopeless. It’s all hopeless.

    1. Well, look at you, Little Miss Sunshine!

  12. Goodell could solve the problem instantly: Quit playing the anthem at the beginning of games; they have nothing to do with the country and less jingoism could only help.

    1. Someone on the other thread suggested that the anthem be played before the players come onto the field.

      1. So you want to move the jingoism around?

        1. Patriotism is a good thing. Maybe you’ll learn that someday.

    2. The NFL brand is patriotism. Other than gambling, losing that portion of its support would be crippling. It has a special deal w/ the armed forces for sponsorship. It flies jets over stadiums. It’s customer base must be 70% or more right wing.

      I’m surprised Nick doesn’t want to ban post game prayer, too. Every football game I’ve ever been to has half the guys on both teams saying stuff to Jesus. I’m sure that makes Nick upset.

      1. jdd6y|9.23.17 @ 10:26PM|#
        “The NFL brand is patriotism.”

        Uh, OK. And what is the brand of, oh, the NBA?
        What an ignorant statement.

        1. The market will solve this. Only the teams that don’t kneel like the Cowboys will sell tickets. It’s already happening and Trump accelerated.

          1. Agree. The market has a way of working these things out.

        2. Watch NFL games and NBA games and the answer should be apparent.

          1. To your Klavern.

    3. ‘Jingoism’……….

      You really haven’t the first clue about what patriotism and things like the anthem are all about, do you? If you ever wonder why most people you know dismiss libertarianism, your attitude about ‘jingoism’ is a big part of that problem.

      I personally have zero patience for anyone who doesn’t have the good sense to be very grateful that they live in this country, the freedom we have, and the sacrifices so many have made to have and keep those freedoms.

      1. Hear, hear! The fanbase of both the NFL and MLB are overwhelmingly conservative. The leagues know that and cater to those fans who love and appreciate their country,

      2. “the freedom we have”

        The freedom we USED to have.

        I want to see players take a knee in protest against a country that has turned it’s back on Liberty, that ignores it’s constitution, that wages undeclared war, that confiscates the wealth and property of some and gives it to others. Ah, but the league would never countenance that, only the Left is allowed to protest.

    4. Glad to see another like-minded soul, Sevo. My thoughts exactly about not playing the national anthem. If the Premier League had required clubs to play “God Save the Queen” before football matches, then I would probably never been to the Anfield tradition in which all Liverpool FC fans sing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” in unison.

  13. Nick and the tReason crew are hypocritical little triggered snowflakes who think progressive speech and expression should be free of criticism or consequences.

  14. Oh, and Kaepernick is out of a job since he’s not an NFL-level QB and seems to be asking more than the $1.50/year his “talents” are worth.

    1. To be fair, he probably would have landed a backup job without the anthem controversy. There’s a lot of bad backups in the league.

      Hilarious part (never mentioned in all the talk of “blackballing”) is that he opted out of his contract with the 9ers last offseason.

      1. As a lifelong Niners fan, I am extremely grateful for this short sighted decision of his. Now if Hoyer could somehow opt out of his contract before week 4, I would be even more thrilled.

      2. I’ve found that interesting as well. He wasn’t kicked off of the team because of his protest nor for weak performance. He walked away from the job because he thought he could get paid more. The joke is on him when nobody else is interested in paying him as much as he demands. I do think he has the skill to be an asset to any number of teams, but his protests, weaker game impact, and high salary demand have made it easy for teams to pass on adding him to their rosters.

        1. On top of that he needs the right system to do well. Why would any team structure their offense for their backup?

          1. Correct. Kap is typical of what started at the high school level – take your best athlete and make him the QB in the spread offense. The pros don’t play that way because they are not going to take their highest paid player and expose him to injury on every play he handles the ball. It is fine in high school but when you are no longer the biggest, baddest dude on the field it doesn’t work.

    2. I heard CK turned down $900k per year, and that he thinks he’s worth over $4 million. Plus he’s a huge ratings drag. Why would anyone want to put up with that?

      1. Don’t know about that number. He walked away from his multi-million dollar option year and elected free agency. That was a dicey move at best, and he made it worse by his actions.

        Considering the quality of NFL quarterbacks on most teams, could he find a spot? Yeah, probably. He’s a good mid-tier player. But if I were a GM and his agent approached me I would have one question: is he willing to leave the politics in the parking lot? If he wants to use my team as a political vehicle I’m not interested.

  15. Woke 2 y/o

    Damn, pretty soon these prog spawn are gonna be woke before they’re aborted.

    1. My newborn told me, in Latin, that he thinks PC culture is going too far. Where can I get him media attention? Or should I get an exorcism…

      1. Why? It’s like having twins, but with only one mouth to feed.

  16. I would protest the National Anthem too, because it is extraordinarily difficult to sing well. It requires a vocal range of an octave plus a major fifth, which is wider than most arias professional opera singers sing at auditions.

    The original tune was a drinking-and-whoring song sung by members of a British men’s club. The final couplet was “And there, with good Fellows, we’ll learn to entwine/ The Myrtle of Venus with Bacchus’s Vine!” The phrase “the myrtle of Venus” was slang for a woman’s genitals; and the meaning of “Bacchus’ vine” is obvious.

    1. Intelligent Mr Toad|9.23.17 @ 10:36PM|#
      “I would protest the National Anthem too, because it is extraordinarily difficult to sing well. It requires a vocal range of an octave plus a major fifth, which is wider than most arias professional opera singers sing at auditions.”

      Yep, and why aren’t your posting more lefty bullshit like you always do?

    2. Yes, yes, very witty and incisive. And entirely irrelevant to any point at issue in this discussion. Thanks for playing. Now go sit on the bench.

  17. Thank you Mr Toad. I was going to say something here but your historical anecdote I think put an end to the discussion. However, if what you say is true, you have just opened up another scandal. (My comment was going to be something along the lines of the USFL’s Avenge but the Myrtle of Venus thing just destroyed it. Well done, sir.)

    1. I certainly believe that “America the Beautiful” is preferable to F. S. Key’s lyrics and the drinking-club tune.

      Of course, the absolutely best national anthem, if you want to stick with the warlike theme, would be this one.

  18. I support, as a libertarian, the right of dumb SJWs to torpedo brands like Twitter and the NFL.

    Can the NFL not realize how fucking obnoxious it is for black millionaires to be lecturing us poor whites about how awful America is to black people? Where else in the world can these people take this non-productive skill and turn it into this?

    Sick of bitching about concussions, sick of Kaepernick who can’t put a pass on target to save his career, sick of Goodell the biggest pussy in America, and sick of this need to reflexively condemn Trump.

    If you condemn Trump even when he’s right, like in this, you render all your rhetoric ineffective. Some of us are starting to like how Trump is destroying the communist media, and how perfectly he is baiting them into an unpopular corner. The more ESPN pushes Jemele Hill, the more the NFL bans hits and lectures about racism, the more Lebron talks about how terrible white america is, the more we are supposed to cheer women playing football but also condemn men playing becuz mah concussionz, the more we are all getting sick of this fucking shit show.

    Fuck the media, and fuck the pussy sports media in particular.

    1. “…sick of Kaepernick who can’t put a pass on target to save his career,…”

      I seem to recall he could hit a receiver two or three yards downfield if he wasn’t bothered by a defender within ten or twelve yards.
      On a GOOD day, that is…

      1. I’m reliably told by NPR and Lefties who haven’t ever watched football that “he should have a job in this league”. Every GM who has spoken anonymously says the same thing, that he only had success in a dedicated offense and no one dedicates an offense to a backup so his only chances were Seattle and Carolina. He must not have been very charming in his seattle interview (imagine that, an asshole doesn’t do well in an interview) because they didn’t go with him despite having a left wing team full of liberal douches like Michael Bennett and Richard Sherman and a left wing cheating coach Pete carroll….and a city that would love to have more people piss on the flag in a public forum. If seattle didn’t want him, fucking no one wants him.

        1. Good analysis.

        2. Carroll gave the lamest excuse for not picking Kaepernick up imaginable: “he should be a starter not a backup”. That’s just BS. There isn’t a team in the League that doesn’t want a solid backup.

          Kap’s skill set seemed remarkable when he joined the League, then it became predictable: poor pocket mechanics; take his drop, fake right, run left. The Niners even had a blocking scheme to form a funnel for him to run to. Defenses figured this out, and he became less productive. Then Clay Matthews almost took his head off (yes, he should have been penalized for a late hit) and Kap lost a bit of his mojo.

          All that said, he probably could contribute to a team that would not have to make extreme adjustments to suit his style of play. Only real problem now? We’re 4 games into the season. Kap cannot be in playing shape and the downside of having to retool your offense to suit a backup becomes greater with every week.

          So it’s a football decision, not a political decision. And people could probably see that if only Trump would keep his mouth shut and let it play out.

    2. Step back and realize you are snowflake you claim to hate so much.

      1. Piercing insight. Oh man, you really made me think.

      2. Also, I would never use the term “snowflake” when “bitch ass pussy” works fine. Or mark-ass trick. Like you, MH.

    3. Good take HR.

  19. Anybody think there will be an NFL in 20 years?

    1. If it turns into a league of dueling progtards, nope.

    2. I don’t know if there will be an NFL, but there will most likely be Premier League football and Premiership rugby.

      1. Yup yup yup. The Premier League and Test cricket are so much more edifying than american sports anyway.

      2. Footy rocks! My wife and I discovered it this year and can’t get enough. And I’ve been a rugby fan for years. Game too slow for you? Try Rugby Sevens.

  20. In the American context, there is no ideology more reactionary than libertarianism.

    1. Goddam right.

    2. Monarchism/Revolutionary War Revisionism?

  21. This story is being hilariously fucked by the non-overlap between people who watch football and media SJWs who all of a sudden pretend to be experts on who should be on a roster.

    yeah, let’s let shaun king and BLM pick NFL rosters because fuckitnothingmatters, right? I mean, he can’t pass, but is passing what the Qb is supposed to do? I thought his job was to write for Huffpo and tell us how terrible trump is

    1. I always found it interesting how much Harbaugh loved him – and continues to claim he can excel in the NFL.

      1. Kap that is.

      2. “I always found it interesting how much Harbaugh loved him”

        Harbaugh, according to the ‘more mature’ 9er players, was a rah-rah college coach, overmatched in the NFL, and found a perfect ‘3-year’ QB in Kaep.
        And Kaep pretty much proved the claim.

        1. Ah.

        2. How do they explain basically the only successful years of Niners football in this generation occurring under Harbaugh then?

        3. Source for that?

        4. harbaugh did pretty good with alex smith too.

          Kaepernick is the only 49er QB to lose the superbowl….

      3. You can’t trust anything anyone says in public anymore. Any CEO or Coach or anyone who has to work with the system is afraid to death of offending anyone and so takes the line they think will get least resistance. Which makes Goodell’s statement so tonedeaf.

      4. Harbaugh was and is a college coach; Kap was and is a good college player. I know: I am a Boise State fan and watched him give us fits for 3 years. I knew he’d do well in the draft and actually hoped he’d be picked up by the right team. He did, and he was.

        But like all QBs, he needed to progress. And he really didn’t. Can’t say why not, but over 4 years I basically saw the same Kaepernick I watched when he was in college. I doubt the 49ers were going to pick up his contract after his option year, which is probably why he opted for free agency.

  22. Donald Trump Should Stop Telling NFL To Fire Players for Anthem Protests

    And I wish my cat would stop scratching the sofa, but it’s not like they listen. Spray water at Trump, and he’ll be right back twittering in 20 minutes.

    1. Trump Tweets, Obama carefully crafted a bull shit image of himself.

      Which is worse?

      1. Trying to accentuate the positive with Trump, I don’t think he runs his tweets by 3 layers of speechwriters before releasing them to the public. It might be too much to claim we’re getting a direct pipeline to Trump’s id – there is probably some calculation involved – but it’s a good deal less filtered than we’ve been accustomed to from prior Presidents.

        1. Imagine Bill Clinton’s twitter feed – it would be a bunch of posts rating the women he sees from 1 to 10.

          1. I don’t know Trump’s exact formula – I’d want to use it myself to get rich – but he seems to be doing a sort of calculated form of winging it. Going by instinct, but an informed instinct as to how he wants to come across.

              1. Maybe Scott Adams got to me, and made me see genius where it isn’t, but Trump’s New York City version of people skills seems to be effective in a lot of cases.

            1. Well let’s not pile on the praise too much. He is not a success story.

              He’s the least effective president in modern memory. Hasn’t implemented a single part of his platform in his first 8 months, even the ones he could do by EO, and indeed is going backward on several planks.

              1. Not getting anything done sounds great to me. If he can keep up his record of legislative inaction, he’ll be up there with the greats.

                1. I’ve legitimately wanted a second Coolidge forever.

                2. Isn’t it amazing that in a forum that regularly wants politicians to stop legislating, people are bitching about Trump not legislating (executive ordering).

              2. It would seem that his anti-illegal immigrant rhetoric has had a significant impact on illegal crossings – down over 50% – and without spending a dime. Worthy of praise, no?

                1. I argue that much of the economic problems we’ve faced since late Bush2 was a result of negative talk. The words of politicians, business leaders, and others of influence often has as much, if not more, impact than legislation, policy, etc.

      2. Trump, because he isn’t black

  23. The thing is, attendance at their games is down and there is a movement to boycott the NFL about this issue. Once they get hit in the pocketbook, the owners will take action. And Colin Kaepernick and the others who “protested” “injustice” will find themselves out on the street with no salable skills.

    1. I don’t see this happening. Lots of bluster about doing so, but we’ll quickly see how this largely doesn’t affect the NFL.

      Could be wrong, but it doesn’t seem likely. Football is too deeply ingrained in American sports.

      1. Boxing was huge once. Baseball was the biggest sport once. Things fade all of the time.

      2. Remember that attendance dropped after the strike, but it picked up again. However, I suspect many (like myself) are just tired of the nonsense of these millionaire “superstars” protesting “injustice”. Just play the game and pursue your politics privately

    2. While I agree in general, there are scores of businesses that have taken to hemorrhaging profits for the sake of narrative. The question becomes how long can it be kept up before bankruptcy is required.

  24. If I worked at a Mcdonalds and my “I hate cops and I wish I didn’t have to serve them” FB post went viral, Mcdonalds will either…… fire me or disown every single word in that post. The management will not wax poetics about my right to free speech or community values.

    The NFL (a private business) can contractually obligate players to stand during national anthems, just like they can suspend a player not convicted of a crime if it helps protect their image. They’ll have no issue fining the crap out of a player who uttered a homophobic slur while half drunk at his own home.

    An anthem protest is a gesture of slight, no different than an American player taking a knee during the Mexican national anthem during an exhibition game. It will divide people, not start conversations. 99% of companies will not tolerate employees who will go out of their way to upset half their customers. The NFL can obviously respect the “protest”, but that’s not coming from any real love of freedom. You can’t alienate your star players, and the mob is ready to crucify you if you go all “libertarian” and assert your rights as a private company to fire controversial players.

    The NFL can fine players for wagging his fingers after a TD. Seriously, the NFL is a joke, and this anthem protest controversy is only cherry on top of the cupcake that is the coverup of the head injuries.

  25. “Kaepernick and those who are following his lead have indeed made more money than all but a tiny fraction of Americans. Does that mean they can’t critique their country, especially from a highly visible platform?”

    Certainly doesn’t help their argument a whole lot though, to be walking counter-examples of their claims about oppression of minorities.

  26. I’m tired of phony movements founded on phony circumstances. Colon Kaperdink sat out the National Anthem in the beginning because like the man-child he is, he was displaying his petulance after being benched for non productivity. If you listen to his inarticulate reasons for protesting you would know that he hasn’t a clue as to what it is that he hates about this country other than people don’t want to pay him for what he thinks he is worth.
    I am disappointed in Reason for siding with this piece of garbage. Sorry that I thought Libertarianism had critical thinking aspect. Then again any movement that went with Johnson after his disastrous VP pick can’t be trusted. Trump is many things but he is voicing his opinion.

    1. “I am disappointed in Reason for siding with this piece of garbage. Sorry that I thought Libertarianism had critical thinking aspect.”

      This reads like an offended proggie who has come to realize that someone -gasp- has a different opinion than theirs.

      So you have casted a net wide enough to engulf Libertarianism because someone who identifies as such has an opinion you don’t like.

  27. Dammit, can’t we all just get over this and get back to all just agreeing how much we hate Joe Buck! I’d protest him?

    1. Fuck Joe Buck. Worst baseball announcer ever.

  28. Does anybody else find it ironic that there’s a Reason article basically calling Trump the troll-in-chief, and Tony is nowhere to be found.

    1. I’ve never seen a photograph of Tony and Nick Gillespie in the same room.

  29. Goodell may be playing the long game here.

    Trump is pretty much certainly out of office in 2021, and it’s very likely we have a Dem controlled govt again. And they will come back with a vengeance. They’re going to be picking winners and losers in the economy like there’s no tomorrow, and the NFL is better off riding out the Trump storm than pissing off the Dems.

    1. So a shit, establishment Congress not doing anything to “solve” the public’s problems will lead the mass of retardation we call constituents to race and elect another establishment politician?

      In case you missed the trend, the base of clowns who elected Trump still like Trump, a lot of non-Trumpers say all this SJW BS almost forces them to side with Trump, and there are zero mildly attractive Dems to choose from. Seems like Trump is still in a position to eek out a win over an establishment progressive.

    2. Goodell is playing the long game. He’s willing to tolerate these “protests” because to do otherwise would put him at odds with the players that make up 75% of the League. He’s no Kenesaw Landis (in other words, he ain’t that tough). He hopes and expects this will fade and the League will survive in good shape (basic fan support has little or nothing to do with the economics of the League anyway).

  30. At the game in London today, several players knelt for the Star Spangled Banner, but all stood for God Save the Queen. Fuck them.

    1. Rather than watch the NFL in London, I will be watching an Aviva Premiership rugby match on NBCSN this evening. Rugby moves faster and doesn’t have the dreaded commercials stopping play every few moments. Besides, if I ever move back to Japan, many people there will be able to relate to rugby more readily than American football.

      1. Rather than watching the NFL, I will be watching paint dry. At least the paint doesn’t disrespect our country.

        1. There is more action in watching the grass grow — — —

  31. If the NFL is going to suck up millions of dollars (if not billions when you count stadium tax subsidies) of corporate welfare, it’s OUR DUTY as subjects of the crown to support them, to make sure that money’s not being wasted.

    1. This I can get behind.

      1. **Not really.

        (No stadium should be subsidized with public money)

    2. Exactly! This is a golden opportunity for libertarians to unite with the right. Now more than ever they will listen to arguments against stadium tax subsidies.

  32. Personally, I would like it if American sporting events were held the way the Premier League matches are handled: no national anthem. The only time I have heard “God Save the Queen” is in an FA Cup Final.

  33. Nick Gillespie Should Stop Telling Donald Trump to Stop Telling NFL to Fire Players for Anthem Protests.

    Another Day, another internet breaking Hit & Run blog post, this time about American Presidents who protest NFL Players who protest racial injustice by refusing to stand at attention during the pre-game playing of the national anthem.

    Gillespie’s posts create an interesting situation especially for libertarians, who believe in maximum speech rights for everyone. On the one hand, you could argue that, hey, The Jacket is simply weighing in as a citizen on a situation of interest to many Americans. Then again, Gillespie is also goddamned editor-in-chief of the most prominent libertarian website in America, and should stop writing blog posts complaining about some trivial tweet sent out by some politician in Washington.

  34. Am I the only one who thinks all the uproar over Trump’s remarks are hilarious? He makes the progressive socialists go apoplectic each time he sends out a tweet. And doesn’t anyone see the irony of one person who makes sports a political issue getting upset over a politician making sports a political issue?

    1. It is hilarious. He is being the exact same guy that he was before getting elected.

    2. i was about to point this out. People who politicize everything are mad when the other side does it.

  35. “…Donald Trump Should Stop Telling NFL To Fire Players for Anthem Protests…”

    Why should he? The President represents more American citizens than the disrespectful idiot knee-benders. The editor rightly points out that protests are “as American as apple pie.” Yeah, right, that is true when they are done on the protesters own time, not while under salary and on duty on your multi-million dollar job. You won’t see any of these morons on the street corner with a sign, they prefer to do it on the NFL’s dime. Which makes them nothing more than self-centered hypocrites looking for attention. No sympathy for them whatsoever and I hope the President continues to call them out on their disrespectful behavior. The NFL has refused to acknowledge that these protests are even a problem, and it won’t be long before reality bites them in the rear end. If this idiocy continues, the NFL is toast. They have managed to alienate the majority of their fan base and have forgotten the principles of what makes a business or sports franchise successful. It’s called “fans.” Without fans, there will be no success.

  36. The NFL should stat out of politics, and stick to beating each other into brain damaged zombies.

  37. Politicians should keep their mouths shut on matters that don’t concern them.

  38. I love the Trump tweeting and exposure of the disdain all these highly paid ingrates are showing for the people that patronize their sports and media. We could all just enjoy media be it movies, television and sports without some nitwit telling us how we should think or behave. Now we cannot escape politics as the SJW will hunt you down find what brings you joy and infect it with their virus of SJW preachy correct think. You will bake that cake you evil bigot and we will fix you. Free thought is not allowed. Trump didn’t start any of this, they did and instead of engaging a man that can affect change and keeps his promises they slap his hand away, f them!

  39. “At a recent political rally, national leader declares that athletes of popular national sport should declare loyalty to the state if they wish to keep their jobs.”

    Was he:
    1. Kim Jon Un?
    2. Vladimir Putin?
    3. Donald Trump?

    You make the call!

    1. Kim and Putin would jail or kill you, so I guess that leaves Trump.

    2. At a recent H&R thread, commenter confuses apples with oranges in a lame attempt to defend leftist SJWs from criticism. All the while claiming he is not himself a leftist.

      Was he:
      1. chemjeff?
      2. chemjeff?
      3. chemjeff?

      1. Nah, chemjeff is intellectually honest. He doesn’t regurgitate leftist crap. It was probably Nick Sarwark

        1. Baloney. He’s regurgitating leftist crap right there in the comment I was responding to.

      2. Oh dear, someone has a sadz. Would you mind demonstrating where I defended political correctness at all?

        And I guess if this were a Team Red blog, calling me a “leftist” would be some sort of smear. Guess what. Team Leftist is sometimes right about some things. Just like Team Red is sometimes right about some things. Recognizing that doesn’t make me a leftist, just as recognizing that occasionally Blind Squirrel Trump occasionally finds a nut doesn’t make me a Trumpist.

  40. For me, when the anthem is played at a game on a nice sunny day, i am filled with awe at the absolute luxury of being able to sit amongst thousands of others, eating overpriced food and accomplishing nothing for hours on end. From a historical perspective that is amazing and it is sadly ignorant to not reflect a little on the genius and sacrifice that others committed to enable what we can enjoy. Call it jingoism, nationalism…whatever you want. But that little bit of “ism” is a far step above the selfish and self-serving tribalism and racialism that the priviledged entertainers are engaging in.

  41. I have and will continue to defend any form of peaceful protest a person chooses to express themselves, regardless of how it makes me feel personally, because protesting is by definition patriotic. So, if you want to sit or kneel during the national anthem for any reason, I don’t like it, but it’s your voice. However, no matter how serious or just your cause is, if you’ve chosen that form of protest, then you’ve already lost. From day one, the debate has centered around the definition of patriotic, which can be a worthwhile conversation in a free society, but it’s like lecturing an audience on fire safety by lighting a match and torching all their possessions. Do you think they’re really listening? As I understand it, I support the cause these athletes are fighting for. However, it’s precisely for that reason that I encourage them to stop lighting matches. A cause is useless without converts, and you’re alienating the people you need to actually accomplish anything. I don’t mean those who wrap themselves up in the flag for decorative purposes without any real sense of what it means, but those with open minds and hearts, but whom you simply haven’t convinced yet. A movement should never be defined by its critics, and just maybe not standing has become too much about showing “them”, as it has about something more precious?

    1. They have never explained WHAT they’re protesting. Yesterday, clearly it was Trump — but basically conflating Trump and the US flag and anthem is the most idiotic move I’ve ever seen (good luck finding a more popular thing in this country than the flag). Before that, it was “unfair policing”, which has nothing to do with the US. Or “racism”, with Colin wearing T-shirts of Castro who is exponentially more racist than anybody in the US has considered being.

      Nor do we see what the hell it is that the players want. What makes the protests END? Apparently nothing.

      And their “rage” at Colin not being signed is laughable considering he opted OUT of his SF contract and has turned down at least one offer so far. I don’t see the players offering to be cut to give him a spot.

      The NFL really doesn’t have much power here. They live and die with their TV deal, and with ratings dropping and ESPN tanking (due to the same problems the NFL has), they are going to be losing some money. It’s also going to hurt merchandising, another major source of league revenue.

      And for what? A subpar QB bitching and moaning because he was not that good.

    2. “because protesting is by definition patriotic”

      Utter non-sense.

      If someone were to protest that blacks were incapable of sufficient intellect and self-control and thus should be enslaved since they are sub-human, that protest would be many things but it’d never be patriotic.

  42. So is there a web site I can reference to find out which companies advertise during NFL games without having to actually watch one?
    I feel the need to do a little protesting of my own. But not enough of a need to do actual research.
    I can’t claim to be boycotting the NFL, because I quit watching years ago, but I want to feel part of the current irrelevancy.
    I guess the ‘news’ prominence of this ego display is because there are no natural disasters, no imminent military conflicts in Europe or the middle east or Asia, and no gridlock in the political process of a major world power?

    1. I stopped watching NFL and ESPN cold last year. I saw, MAYBE, a half of football in total last year. I didn’t miss it at all. I watched even LESS NBA, so not watching that won’t hurt.

      But the NFL siding with people who want the sport basically banned due to CTE is a bad idea because, at this point, a lot of folks like me wouldn’t care if it happened.

      1. CTE is a problem, though overplayed at times (see Aaron Hernandez).

        But a simple solution appears: if a player does not want to risk CTE, quit the game. A couple have and a couple have talked about it, but most are apparently willing to take the risk as the downside of those multimillion dollar contracts the owners keep shoving down their throats

  43. I burned a communist flag, the communist manifesto, and then took a big stinking shit right on the ashes.

  44. “Does that mean they can’t critique their country, especially from a highly visible platform? Of course not. This goddamned country was built on dissent put forth by beneficiaries of the British colonial system (the signers of the Declaration were, as a group, such rich and privileged bastards after all).”

    It seems to be losing their employers their audience, so they probably should not.

  45. How about just let HHS rape the NFL over concussions? I gave up on the league and don’t care if it survives? Or make bonds to pay for stadiums not tax deductible?

  46. Well it’s pretty obvious.

    Both Team Red and Team Blue have their political correctness orthodoxy that must not be violated, lest the perpetrators suffer the wrath of the baying mob.

    Let this episode be a lesson to those who think Trump is some Anti-PC bastion. He isn’t.

    1. This is a pretty beautiful baiting and manipulating of the media. If Trump destroys the media, everything else will have been worth it.

    2. Again you’re confusing apples and oranges.

      An analogous situation would be a Whole Foods employee, in full uniform and on the clock, ripping up the Civil Rights Act just inside the store while customers were walking in. Suppose leftists were demanding that he be fired for disrespecting such an iconic piece of legislation, while conservatives insisted that he should not be fired because of freedom of speech blah blah blah. I would totally agree with the leftists for being pissed to no end, organizing boycotts of Whole Foods, and ripping into conservatives for showing that they really don’t give a shit about the civil rights act, despite their insincere claims to the contrary.

      Of course that’s not how leftists enforce PC — they attempt to use government power, consolidated media and internet influence, doxxing, etc. They will try to get a person fired even if the thing they said that leftists didn’t like didn’t have any connection to their job.

  47. Trump’s followers were really upset when they found out he cheated on them with Nancy and Chuck so I wasn’t surprised he tweeted out these makeup love tweets. He’s a good daddy.

    1. Are you an adult?

      1. Think of me as a Discipline Daddy.

      2. Not mentally.

  48. Setting aside the principles and culture war stuff we’re debating, this is certainly an interesting strategy for the left to win back Middle America

    1. You mean ruining football and incessant bleating about gender mutilation, oh excuse me “transsexuality”, isn’t popular with Middle America?

  49. This story really brought out the authoritarian Conflakes. Did it link on The Federalist or Breitard?

    Boycott the NFL all you want, hillbilly crackers. Nobody gives a fuck what you and your toothless cousins are watching on your B&W TV in the compound.

    1. Nobody gives a fuck what you and your toothless cousins are watching on your B&W TV in the compound.

      Checked the league’s ratings lately?

    2. When their new TV rights deal comes up…NFL will very much care.

  50. I think most libertarians believe it’s fairly obvious that the employer and employee should together negotiate what the rules should be re: protest in the workplace. It’s not a free speech issue.

    But in this case, it’s obvious that the NFL brass support the players’ ability to protest. So libertarians should likewise be uncomfortable that an agent of the state is sticking his nose into a matter between private actors. We should also be cynical enough to realize that it’s not beyond the realm of possibility for the government to bribe the NFL into enforcing Trump’s wishes. After all, the Pentagon already gives millions to the NFL to be “patriotic”.

    1. They should withdraw those funds.

      Allow the NFL to stand by their professed standards.

    2. So libertarians should likewise be uncomfortable that an agent of the state is sticking his nose into a matter between private actors.

      So you lose your freedom of speech when you are elected to office? Or even take a government job? Bullshit.

      I could see a problem if there was a clear threat of government action behind the statements. If a bank regulator said he didn’t like companies from a certain industry and didn’t think banks should give them lines of credit, that would be a clear threat. But that’s not the case here. Nobody has even identified a reasonable avenue for Trump to force the NFL to fire the kneelers.

      1. “So you lose your freedom of speech when you are elected to office? Or even take a government job? Bullshit.”

        Settle down charlie. Nobody said anything about sending the police to the white house to arrest or fine him, or impeaching him from office. There’s nothing criminal about what Trump did, so “freedom of speech” doesn’t apply to anyone (including the players) in this case. Trump is obviously free to say whatever the hell he wants to.

        The point is that when a US government official attempts to leverage his standing to encourage employers to act on his behalf to suppress dissent, then I can’t imagine a libertarian embracing this. Especially when you consider that the US government already uses the NFL as its mouthpiece, for which they are paid handsomely. I’m sure they’re unhappy with the fact that their money is not buying as much patriotism as they thought they were buying. They should really consider upping the amount they send to the NFL — maybe that will encourage Goodell and the owners to embrace this new rule change that Trump is advocating.

    3. I don’t know that the NFL brass support the players’ ability to protest. I do know that the NFL brass is not going to take on the black players who make up @75% of the League. I would say that on the whole the brass want to keep their heads down and let it blow over.

      When the British arrived at Danascus in WWI they found the city occupied by T.E. Lawrence’s “army”. Allenby ordered his troops to encamp. An aide asked “surely you don’t mean to do nothing”, to which Allenby replied “Why not? It’s usually the best course”. The League is following his advice; Trump should do the same

      1. “I don’t know that the NFL brass support the players’ ability to protest. I do know that the NFL brass is not going to take on the black players who make up @75% of the League. I would say that on the whole the brass want to keep their heads down and let it blow over.”

        I think if this was true they wouldn’t have been nearly as outspoken as they were on Sunday. I was actually quite surprised at Goodell’s and Kraft’s responses in particular.

  51. People often overstate Trump strategy…but this is the biggest no-lose possible for him. People hate the protests…so, the NFL (already having ratings and attendance concerns) doubles down on the idiocy and makes Trump the leader of those who don’t disrespect the flag and the pledge (honestly, kneeling for the US anthem while standing for the UK in London is abysmal optics for the league).

  52. These ungrateful, privileged multi-millionaires have nothing to protest (and every means to protest whatever perceived injustices they feel) on their own private time, which is the point. Trump happens to be correct about something. (It’s not the first time, either.) These idiot players are creating a divisive issue out of thin air, and they’re being enabled in doing so.

    When did “Reason” become a left-wing liberal magazine, anyway? Oh, right: ever since Trump got lawfully elected President.

    1. Privileged? Seriously? These players come from the most varied of backgrounds, with a very sizable proportion beating the odds and ascending from poverty into fame. You don’t see the irony of using the term “privileged” to describe these people and then going on to defend a guy who was born with a silver spoon??

    2. “When did “Reason” become a left-wing liberal magazine, anyway? ”

      At least a few years back.

      1. Why are conservatives hanging out in a libertarian space, and why do they expect to find common ground with an entirely different political philosophy?

      2. Titan, —

        “When did “Reason” become a left-wing liberal magazine, anyway? ”

        At least a few years back.

        You lose AGAIN. Reason has been SOCIALLY liberal from its founding … in 1968. That’s also how long libertarians have been fiscally conservative and socially liberal — which both the hard-right and hard-left have fought for all these decades, since they’re both now obsolete (as defining the entire political spectrum)

        Indeed, we are now the majority in America, as your two tribes are each now less than 20% of voters.

    3. When did “Reason” become a left-wing liberal magazine, anyway?

      Libertarians have been SOCIALLY liberal since 1959. Do the math. Or stay within your echo chamber at Infowars and/or Breitbart.

      You seem stuck in a bipolar world which has been obsolete for almost a half century.
      Can you wrap your brain around FISCALLY conservative and SOCIALLY liberal?

      Still confused? Try this.
      Liberals want government out of your bedroom and into your wallet.
      Conservatives want government out of your wallet and into your bedroom.

      TODAY’S conservatives babble about limited government, but want BIG government to impose THEIR personal values by force — kinda like the (un)Holy Inquisition See, if you REALLY want to limit government then you oppose government interfering in BOTH economic and personal liberties.. And since a majority of Americans would now self-describe as fiscally conservative and socially liberal … your time has expired. You, the bipolar left and bipolar right, are like a flower that has died, but not yet begun to (visibly) rot.

  53. Broke: “Google was well within its rights to fire James Demore”

    Woke: “NFL protesters have a first amendment right to protest the national anthem”

    Sometimes the private sector can police speech and other times it cannot, otherwise it’s worse than Hitler. Never expect cosmotarians to be consistent

    1. You’d think Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day would’ve been the one possible time for the NFL would tell its players to not pull this nonsense.

      But you’d be wrong.

  54. *( and every means to protest whatever perceived injustices they feel on their own private time )

    I apologize for the previous typo.

    1. Apology accepted. Even the best scribes make scrivener’s errors.

  55. The NFL’s other problem is their incredibly inconsistent stance here.

    No memorial for the cops slain in Dallas last year. No memorial for 9/11. But the flag? Well, the league can’t stop that protest apparently.

    And, again, kneeling for ours and standing for the UK is the optics that, as an entertainment brand, couldn’t be worse.

    To paraphrase The Federalist’s Sean Davis, The NFL just did more to protest America than it ever did to protest its own domestic violence problem.

    1. “No memorial for 9/11.”

      Huh? Did you miss SB 36? It was one of the most touching tributes paid to those fallen.

      1. From that point on, it has been verboten.

  56. Trump should stop telling the NFL to fire players.

    There should also be no more billion dollar subsistence payments to NFL stadiums either!

  57. Yes, Trump needs to shut up. He has no filters, and never knows when saying nothing is better than blathering. That’s who he is.

    No, we football fans do not need to coddle the players’ stupid displays. Read their list of victims of police brutality: Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddie Grey. It’s just BLM propagandizing, stupid allegations not made smarter by the fact that NFL millionaires choose to echo them.

    I’m 70 and have been a football fan my entire life. As of now, I’m done. All I want from a football game is football. Not politics. If the League and the teams can’t keep politics out of it, so be it. But I’m done.

  58. Tomlin criticized the one guy who stood for the anthem?

    Free speech for everybody but him, huh?

    The NFL is trying to commit suicide so hard right now.

    1. Villanueva says that whole thing was a SNAFU. Maybe right, who knows?

      Free speech? Ha. Would all those black players support a white player’s right to free speech if he stood up and said he admired Robert E Lee, or that the confederacy had a right to secede? The question answers itself.

      1. If they did, they’d be wrong. Once again, you judge by race, NOT by individual liberty.

  59. I find it so strange that the NFL would allow the players to do something on the field that would alienate a modest percentage of their fan base. I’m guessing that at least 50% of the fans are not on board with this crap. Trump is absolutely right that the NFL ownership drop the hammer down on this conduct if it wanted to.

    Remember when the Cowboys wanted to put a sticker on their helmets in support of the police? The NFL said, “No.” and I don’t recall the press going bonkers over this as a free speech issue. If the Cowboys want to support the police, they can do all sorts of things to do so between Monday and Saturday, but not on Sunday on national TV. what’s the difference?

    I’m a football fan that is no longer watching. Doesn’t make me a bigot, or an anti-free speech guy. Just a long time fan that isn’t interested in my sport becoming infused with politics. How about just watching a football game on Sunday?…..cals-rank/

    1. The press has been highly critical of the NFL’s “No Fun League” policies for years, with one of the most prominent examples being the players who were fined by the NFL for “uniform violations” after for cancer awareness and opposition to domestic violence. This made headlines everywhere, and the press was overwhelmingly in support of the players. The press has been fairly consistent on this issue. It’s Roger Goodell and the owners who have been inconsistent. I’m actually surprised that Goodell hasn’t taken a hard line stance against players, and I will be curious to see if the Steelers will be fined for staying in the locker room yesterday — my understanding is that it is a violation of rules.

      Goodell being inconsistent should not be a surprise to anyone.

      1. Goodell isn’t being inconsistent, the NFL rule book has specific rules relating to uniforms, there is no rule governing what a player can or can’t do during the National Anthem.

        1. Yes, there are rules regarding player/team behavior during the national anthem. They’re not as expansive as the president would like, and there’s no evidence that the rules in place are going to be enforced against the Steelers. Therefore, Goodell — who has repeatedly stressed the importance of his rules — is AGAIN going to ignore application of certain rules.

  60. Trump was just exercising his right to free speech, as he has no power to compel the NFL team owners. Free speech is great, right?

    1. Find one person here or elsewhere who thinks Trump should be imprisoned or fined for his statements.

  61. If the NFL league or any of the individual franchises were publicly owned, I’d be short on them. With politics getting pumped into it, most middle class fans (likely the majority of funs) will continue to slowly tune out. After all, there are plenty of other options vying for our time and money on Sunday afternoon. In addition, we should be seeing hundreds of playing suing the league and individual franchises over the concussion injuries and long term disability associated therewith.

    I see a 50-50 chance that pro football, college football and HS football won’t exist in its present form within the next decade or so. May still exist, but the rules will be so different, it won’t even look the same. Not saying whether that’s bad or good, but if I were an investor, that level of uncertainty would have me selling.

  62. I’m one who is disapointed in the NFL players actions. protest all you want but respect the one nation that gives you that right which means standing for the anthem. That said I don’t want to force people to stand for the anthem because I want to know who is disrespectful and who isn’t and if they take a knee then I will use my right to turn them off and not watch. I hope the NFL loses millions until they learn about respect which is separate from being required and not racist

    1. “protest all you want but respect the one nation that gives you that right which means standing for the anthem.”

      Believe it or not, but some people think you’re actually born with that right. Crazy, huh??

      1. Some people think you may be born with rights but also understand that unless the powers that be actually honor those rights (to varying degrees), being born with a right is meaningless drivel.

        1. True. Conservatives think that governments enable rights, and libertarians think that governments can only act as negative forces to suppress rights. Two vastly different political philosophies.

          1. Technically wrong, since only a minority of libertarians are anarchists. The majority come closer to the the distinction originating with … David Nolan. Governments perform only two functions — to impose favored values by force, or to defend individual rights .. for all of human history, now mostly some mix of the two.

            See Jefferson’s Declaration, which reflects Natural Law already then, a/k/a classical liberalism.

            1. Natural law and libertarianism are not always compatible. In fact, I thought many if not most libertarians have moved on from a Lockean ideal. I’m a little surprised to read you citing that.

              There are lots of minarchists who, like I said, also hold that the government can only exert a negative force. The distinction is that they consider it useful to do so.

              1. Good grief …

                Natural law and libertarianism are not always compatible

                I never said they were (Strike one)

                I thought many if not most libertarians have moved on from a Lockean ideal. I’m a little surprised to read you citing that.

                Another lie, even more blatant. (Strike two)
                Then you careen TOTALLY off the rails. This is your screwup that I corrected.

                (falsehood) “libertarians think that governments can only act as negative forces to suppress rights.”

                Technically wrong, since only a minority of libertarians are anarchists.

                Then you TOTALLY REVERSE your own words!

                There are lots of minarchists who, like I said, also hold that the government can only exert a negative force. The distinction is that they consider it useful to do so.

                NOW you say libertarians find it “useful” to suppress rights!

                Strike three. You’re out.

  63. The real issue here is that we are at war. A civil war, so far without guns though that may be coming. I don’t particularly like having to make a show of national obeisance at sporting events, and like any good libertarian I’m against the high-and-mighty attitude of US police (though it’s not just about blacks). But we must acknowledge and rage against the fact that any action by the Left is tolerated if not celebrated, while the speech of the Right is shouted down. Why was Curt Schilling fired by ESPN for supporting seperate men’s-and-women’s bathrooms, but jemele hill wasn’t for her comments? Why is it ok for players to kneel, but the Cowboys couldn’t wear pro-police patches? Anything the Left does is ok, everything the Right does is attacked. Like it or not we have to take some stances which, when run through the ivory tower philosphizing machine, may not be “libertarian”, but serve to fight the enemy of stalinism which sure as rain is waging war against us. Long story short – yes boycott the NFL for countenancing political protest during its events by the Left that it would never allow by the Right.

    1. and like any good libertarian

      Huh? You’re NO type of libertarian, which is obvious here. Your conservative echo chamber is blatantly obvious. Here:

      Why was Curt Schilling fired by ESPN for supporting seperate men’s-and-women’s bathrooms, but jemele hill wasn’t for her comments?


      Why is it ok for players to kneel, but the Cowboys couldn’t wear pro-police patches?

      And you even admit it here:

      may not be “libertarian”

      You’ll likely fool all the other faux libertarians here, with your vast leftwing conspiracy. You forgot that George Soros is financing it all .. and that damn Kenyan that was in the White House.

  64. The health care bill is still going down in flames, no matter how many NFL players stand or kneel. The Donald and the entire Repulbiclan governing apparatus have once more failed to deliver because what they wanted to deliver was crap. They can cloak it with “freedom” and states rights language but the American public is wise to that con. Now our minority president wants to distract his base from his failure to keep his promise and his attempt to deprive them of health care as well as the new information from the Special Council’s office. The cretins who buy his diversion deserve everything they get or don’t get from this president. The football players do not. The flag and the anthem are symbols that only serve to unify the nation when the nation attempts to live up to them. When the president scorns those ideals, who is he to criticize others who follow suit? The players protest is silent and respectful-kneeling is not an insult, while the president’s vocal support of neo-Nazis, attacts of the media, immigrants and free speech, are crude and disrespectful of our values.

  65. If ONLY the status of this “industry” got screwed with. Pro sports are CORPORATE WELFARE, in 20-foot-high flaming letters.

  66. if I protest on company time, as these NFL and NBA athletes do, I will be fired. Pretty simple concept if you ask me. when they are on the field they are there to play the game and entertain their fans, not to protest and make political statements.

  67. If you pee on the flag to protest icecream Trump can not say something? What about burning a photograph of Martin Luther King Jr? Trump is head of the armed forces and the photograph of the flag on Iwo Jima means a lot. Can you disrespect the Koran? That you legally can burn the flag or pee on the Bible is not part of the debate. It is whether it is appropriate to respond. Yes it is. Also who pays the price? It is the black man looking for a job on Monday morning. That is not right but it is reality. As far as the NFL. The NFL would tolerate a KKK sheet or Hitler uniform at a protest from one of its players? Reason Magazine has no reason.

    1. This is a libertarian site. You’d be more comfortable at Infowars, Breitbart or WND.

      It is whether it is appropriate to respond

      You forgot “by the President”

      Libertarians never violate individual sovereignty, with or without government.
      Goobers violate individual sovereignty, then smirk and say, “It’s okay, I’m not government!”

      It’s also about respect for others.
      For libertarians, like all decent people, limits on government derive from values-based limits, voluntarily self-imposed. That’s why it’s CALLED “natural” law.

      Some call it The Golden Rule. You’ll see equivalents in the teachings of Jesus Christ, Mohamed, Buddha, every ethics system for millenia.. So it’s not just libertarian ethics being defied.

      Free speech allows the authoritarian mentality to speak. But it’s still authoritarian. .
      Trump and the alt-right are, like many progs, are sucking off liberty, an entitlement created and defended by others. They are Liberty queens, morally equivalent to welfare queens.

      Trumpkins even include good manners as Politically Correct!
      Precious snowflakes of the right.

      Opposing authoritarian rule BEGINS with opposing the authoritarian mind. — a control-freak mentality that champions VERBAL aggression and bullying. Can you name ONE ethical system which has EVER condoned that?
      I didn’t think so.

  68. The President has every right to have an opinion and speak out on it. The players are breaking the NFL code of conduct which is part of their contracts. The Owners are not required to fine or fire the players but they could. The President has every right to think they should. I don’t care much either way, but no libertarian should say a person should stop expressing their opinion.

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