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NFL Protests And The Loss Of Rights

Posted on 24th May 2018

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I have to admit that I have trouble understanding the degree to which people are getting upset by the continuing "Take a knee" protests in the American NFL (National Football League). The latest development, reported in this BBC article, worries me.

The latest development is that players will be fined for taking a knee during the US national anthem. If they do not wish to participate in the ceremony, in which players stand (usually with their hand on their chest in a form of salute) during the national anthem, which begins each game, they may stay in the locker room until it is over.

In my view, this new policy violates two basic rights:

  1. The right of players to express their opinion (the right of free speech, guaranteed in the US constitution) by taking a knee in public.
  2. The right of players to show respect to their national anthem. There has been much heated rhetoric about how kneeling is disrespectful, but, where I come from, kneeling is much more respectful than standing, but now they will not be allowed to show respect in their own way (in one of the most patriotic countries in the world).

I suppose that we shouldn't let facts, or anything so irrelevant as the US constitution, interfere with a good row.