On Sunday, the NFL commemorated Veterans Day with flag displays, and players who have been kneeling or raising an arm in protest stood with teammates for the anthem. Tennessee Titans receiver Rishard Matthews, who has been one of the players protesting, came onto the field hand in hand with soldiers.
The NFL has sparked controversy after former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality last season. When President Donald Trump condemned players who protested as “sons of b****es,” the issue became a nationwide story.
On today’s show, Glenn had a “newsflash” for the football organization: It’s not enough to add in patriotism for Veterans Day when you’ve alienated Americans by kneeling in protest.
“You can’t fix this with a parade and theatrics,” Glenn said.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.
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GLENN: Well, the NFL did their best yesterday in trying to make their fan base forget the past two months. Giant flags were draped across the field during the national anthem. Players that had previously sat or kneeled were now standing, beside the two members of the 49ers. And pre-game tributes were kicking off all over the country. Officially, the NFL hasn’t changed their policy during the national anthem. And the commissioner has made that very clear in a statement on Saturday. He said, and I quote, there has been no policy change in the current policy regarding the national anthem. The agenda will be a continuation of how we make progress on important social issues that players have vocalized, end quote.
So the NFL has been locked into a PR battle for over two months. How do they reconcile with the players, who the country is thinking, you know, you’re disrespecting the entire country, but how remain receptive to their employees, the players?
The solution was to let their national anthem and flag protest continue, but sneak in a little patriotic imagery wherever possible.
Yesterday, Veterans Day displays were the culmination. But they’ve been working on this now for weeks. Has anybody noticed the camouflage gear that the players and the coaches have been wearing on the sidelines?
That has just mysteriously increased as the NFL ratings were going down and calls for boycotts were increased. One Facebook page called the boycott the NFL had over a quarter of a million fans vowing to watch something else on Veterans Day.
So are you fooled by any of this?
Do you care about any of this?
Here’s a news flash to the NFL: You can’t defecate all over the flag every other day leading up to Veterans Day and then all of a sudden pretend, oh, no. You can’t fix this with a parade or theatrics or camouflage clothing. If you want to fix the problem for real, you have to change the policy. You have to require your employees to show a little protest. They can protest their country all they want, just not during working hours.
Encourage them to use their fame at the local levels. Go to police departments. Engage in actual conversations. That could do some good. And the premise wouldn’t be crapping all over the men and women that have died to keep them safe. Men and women who have died to ensure that they could make millions of dollars chasing an oval-shaped pigskin ball around a field, after they’ve knelt and taken a knee in disrespect.
Now, I want to make it clear, I don’t think the players actually intended to insult veterans and the country when they began this protest. I just think none of them actually thought it all the way through. There’s many ways to get the point across. Most football fans are just sick and tired of this. They want to watch football again, without all the politics. Yesterday’s tribute was a good start, I guess.
Seemed a little hollow and meaningless. But if a change in policy doesn’t follow, I don’t think the NFL is going to fool anyone.