At Lambeau Field, angry comments drown out deeper reflection on anthem protests

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  • scooterthemaltese Idaho Falls, ID
    Oct. 4, 2017 2:04 p.m.

    I dont think the author understands most regular americans if she cant see why people are offended by the anthem protests!

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Oct. 4, 2017 10:18 a.m.

    I don't care what Aaron "Still in the Green Room" Rodgers says - I will always stand and place my hand over my heart during the National Anthem. I don't need him or anybody else telling me what to do during the National Anthem. Rodgers just needs to relax.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Oct. 3, 2017 8:57 a.m.

    "Those claiming the players have a God given, unquestionable, and legal right to protest during the National Anthem are also the ones who called the Tea Party activists Nazis and terrorists when they demonstrated on the National Mall not all that long ago. The hypocrisy is just stunning."

    I think that the players have a God given first amendment and legal right to protest and I think that it is great that the Tea Party activists demonstrated on the National Mall.

    We have been talking a lot about diversity in the US for 25 years but the people doing most of the talking didn't really mean it in their hearts, so we should start talking about it for real. We have a hard time looking over a cultural barrier.

    The players take a knee because they feel that the American values have left people behind. I agree, we should talk about how we can do help them. We should figure out what to do.

    The fans are proud of what America stands for. Good for them. Let's practice that and help others. (I mean, we personally help others, as opposed to getting the government to borrow money to paid by future generations to help others.)

  • Big J Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 2, 2017 6:57 p.m.

    I have not watched a game in two weeks and won't the rest of the season. Can't say I miss it. I stand for the anthem and flag. I always have and always will. I do it for those who gave all for this country.

  • FJSL Houston, TX
    Oct. 2, 2017 2:06 p.m.

    "The NFL is hemorrhaging $$ over this and they are too stupid to figure out that if you piss off 50% of your clients, you are out of business."

    I know. Firefox figured that out with Brendan Eich. Why can't the NFL?

  • payara OREM, UT
    Oct. 2, 2017 1:18 p.m.

    fans don't pay to watch protests....do that on your own time, on social media if you like. Just play the game

    The NFL is hemorrhaging $$ over this and they are too stupid to figure out that if you piss off 50% of your clients, you are out of business.

  • FJSL Houston, TX
    Oct. 2, 2017 8:28 a.m.

    @ Third try

    What part of this is parsing words: "Players are strongly encouraged to stand for the anthem but we respect their right to observe the anthem in this way."

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Oct. 2, 2017 8:00 a.m.

    @FJSL

    You're parsing words to suit your position.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 1, 2017 6:05 p.m.

    IsTM - Huntingtown, MD
    Oct. 1, 2017 10:39 a.m.
    Rather than unifying against the flag - how about we all unify behind the flag? Think on this - MLK had 100 times the discrimination against him and our society was so much worse back then than it is now. Yet...MLK marched in Selma with many carrying American flags. He spoke at the Lincoln Memorial backed by an American flag. He united us behind the flag - why? Because the flag holds the ideals of freedom and liberty. MLK saw that. To see the flag as a symbol of discrimination is a new phenomenon. It has come from left wing influences in our culture.

    --------------

    Left using the flag as a symbol of discrimination?

    Yet it's the alt-right, white supremacists protesters in Charlottesville that were using the American flag, the Confederate flag, and the Nazi flag.

  • FJSL Houston, TX
    Oct. 1, 2017 6:01 p.m.

    @ Third try

    "To claim there is no rule is naÏve."

    My research tells me that the manual says this:

    "The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players MUST be on the sideline for the National Anthem. During the playing of the National Anthem, players on the field SHOULD stand at attention." (Page A62, emphasis added)

    "Must" and "should." The former is a directive; the latter a suggestion. So it seems that the players who actually violated NFL policy were the ones who didn't come out onto the field until after the anthem was played.

    Additionally, following Kaepernick's initial protest last year, the NFL issued a statement that said, "Players are strongly encouraged to stand for the anthem but we respect their right to observe the anthem in this way."

    Call me naive.

  • RJohnson Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 1, 2017 2:51 p.m.

    “Last year 7,861 black men were killed. Fifty two by police officers.”

    A convenient excuse for doing nothing.

    “This is not their flag to or anthem to trash.”

    Actually, it is every bit as much their flag and anthem ad it is yours or mine.

    “The first amendment does not guarantee the players any right to protest. ”

    The NFL owners say it does, ergo...

    “Rather than unifying against the flag”

    When that is what the players are doing, get back to us.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 1, 2017 12:58 p.m.

    @worf - McAllen, TX
    Sept. 30, 2017 9:10 p.m.
    Last year 7,861 black men were killed. Fifty two by police officers.

    Disrespecting the national anthem, and America is not going to fix this.

    -----------------

    Alt-right talking point, comparing gang violence to police brutality.

    You are aware that BOTH could be problems that need to be fixed?

    An unarmed black Americans are 5-times as likely as unarmed white Americans to be shot and killed by a police officer.

    Can you explain why you don't think that is a problem?

  • IsTM Huntingtown, MD
    Oct. 1, 2017 10:39 a.m.

    Rather than unifying against the flag - how about we all unify behind the flag? Think on this - MLK had 100 times the discrimination against him and our society was so much worse back then than it is now. Yet...MLK marched in Selma with many carrying American flags. He spoke at the Lincoln Memorial backed by an American flag. He united us behind the flag - why? Because the flag holds the ideals of freedom and liberty. MLK saw that. To see the flag as a symbol of discrimination is a new phenomenon. It has come from left wing influences in our culture. I find it very sad. MLK had it exactly right and faced much worse than anyone does today in our culture. Why not follow MLK's example?

  • Happy Valley Hillbilly Alpine, UT
    Oct. 1, 2017 9:47 a.m.

    A simple suggestion to return the NFL to the business of playing football: Those advertisers who purvey beer, pickup trucks, etc. on NFL broadcasts should pull their advertising until the NFL follows its own existing rules requiring players to be on the field and to stand for the national anthem helmet in hand. This would bring a quick end to this recent foolishness.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Oct. 1, 2017 8:56 a.m.

    @FJSL
    The NFL Game Operations Manual, written long before Kappernick took a knee, explains EXACTLY what players must do during the national anthem.

    Further, the NFL has specifically EXCLUDED behaviors and symbols supporting certain causes.

    The pattern has been established by the NFL on many occasions. Personal political expressions are prohibited and have been for a very long time. Armbands, headbands, colored stockings, gestures, decals...even facial markings, have been ruled against and fines imposed for violations.

    To claim there is no rule is naÏve.

  • FJSL Houston, TX
    Sept. 30, 2017 9:41 p.m.

    @ Third try

    "This workplace violation of personal protesting on company time..."

    There is no one rule that applies to all workplaces, so this argument is just mistaken. Each employer determines what is/isn't a violation. In this case, the employers are the team owners and right now they appear just fine with the protests happening when they're happening.

    Also wrong is the argument that every American must 1) show respect for the anthem/flag; and 2) do so in the same manner. This contradicts nearly every freedom granted in the 1st Amendment!

  • worf McAllen, TX
    Sept. 30, 2017 9:10 p.m.

    Last year 7,861 black men were killed. Fifty two by police officers.

    Disrespecting the national anthem, and America is not going to fix this.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 9:07 p.m.

    @ute alumni
    Warehouse boxers, maybe. Forklift drivers are drug-tested.

    I chatted with John Tait a few years ago. He told me the story is repeated over and over. A guy plays for three or four years, makes a boatload of money, then loses his value.

    He made seven figures a year for three years and blew it all on him friends. Nothing in the bank and he can't find any team to hire him.

    It takes him a while to change his lifestyle and he racks up some debt. He's worse than broke.

    Sad, but true.

  • chans WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 2:46 p.m.

    I'm boycotting the NFL until goodell is fired and the players play football. I'm not watching to see fools paint all of law enforcement with a broad paint brush. They don't want to be treated the same way. If they put as much effort and some of their millions into helping in their neighborhoods then they do something.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 2:36 p.m.

    cont'd

    e)Many offended by these recent actions of protesting during the anthem nonetheless overlooked the denigration by Trump of John McCain's service to our country in the armed services and being held as a POW (which makes one question any basis of your outrage).

    f) I look at the flag and anthem as symbols of principles enshrined in our
    Constitution--including freedom of speech and even burning the flag. Not as sacred objects merely because they exist.

    g) Laws differ from state to state as to what limits employers can place on employees.

    h) I support current actions of atheletes in response to current and earlier remarks made by Trump. I support Kaepernick's right to protest, sympathize with his cause and respect his acknowledgement of those who fought to guarantee his (our) rights. But I also recognize certain businesses in certain areas can restrict what we do while on the job--as long as rule is in place when we take a certain action--not after the fact.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 1:29 p.m.

    Kelsey:
    "what I wish for my fellow fans is to stop seeing the flag protests in black-and-white and to ask the people standing or sitting next to you what's on their mind."

    What I think: (not necessarily in order)

    a)we still haven't acknowledged the persistent racism which exists in some areas of our society, including law enforcement--not as a whole--but significant areas. For example, Stanford researched and discovered troubling practices/patterns by the Oakland PD. Research conducted in other communities reveal similar troubling practices--which set the stage for future encounters with bad results.

    b) not every shooting by law enforcement of a black person is unwarranted. Even in many of the cases we see on tv/internet the officer used his weapon in accordance to his training.

    c) The current protest going on is a result of a Trump's recent despicable public comments. Clearly he is unfit for the office he holds.

    d) it has become infinitely more difficult to hold peaceful protests as outside extremist groups (left and right) show up, cause trouble, then everybody attending gets lumped in with the few troublemakers (case in point UCBerkeley).

    And

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 1:25 p.m.

    C'mon Kelsey, don't expect people to listen to Arron Rodgers. He's just sprinkling sugar on it and calling it candy. Taking a knee or forming a kickline, it all comes down to two things:
    1) Allegations of police brutality against blacks, or
    2) Disrespect for America.

    This workplace violation of personal protesting on company time is particularly egregious since the Packers is the only NFL franchise owned by 110,000 fans, not some billionaire.

    There they were, in front of the upset owners, in a publicly-funded facility, disrespecting our nation and the police officers who protect us.

    Rodgers can say what he wants, but the display is what it is. Don't try and tamp down a failed campaign for the sake of the old narrative. This isn't about "understanding" and "dialogue." It just isn't.

  • pwlohse Dueren, 00
    Sept. 30, 2017 12:33 p.m.

    I am a Cheesehead and I fully support what the players did. Not all is well in the USA and people should have the opportunity to express their concerns. And that should also include athletes.

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    Sept. 30, 2017 10:35 a.m.

    Thank goodness for Donald Trump!

  • FJSL Houston, TX
    Sept. 30, 2017 10:32 a.m.

    @ Copybook Headings

    "Those claiming the players have a God given, unquestionable, and legal right to protest during the National Anthem are also the ones who called the Tea Party activists Nazis and terrorists when they demonstrated on the National Mall not all that long ago."

    Assuming for sake of argument that all of the above is accurate...

    Calling someone a name is an exercise of free speech, not a prevention of same.

    As for speech being "a God given, unquestionable" right:

    If this right were indeed given by a god, it would still have no power if it remained unenforced, right? And it’s humans and their governments that do the enforcing. Which to me makes humans more powerful than the god. (The god could always demonstrate otherwise, but none has so far. Any that exist still leave it up to us humans to decide if and when.)

    I also don't think free speech is "unquestionable." Some speech comes with consequences, some doesn't.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 9:32 a.m.

    How co me so little is said about the real cause of the problem: Democratic social programs.

  • Common sense conservative Herriman, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 8:11 a.m.

    The first amendment does not guarantee the players any right to protest. It states "congress shall make no law" restricting free speech. It does not say "the NFL shall make no law". The NFL has all kinds of restrictions on the free speech of its players. They are not allowed to taunt opposing players, criticize referees, wear visible brand names that are not official sponsors, dance excessively in the end zone, etc. The NFL could easily get rid of this silly distraction if they wanted to, but it's too afraid.

  • Cousineddy SLC, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 7:57 a.m.

    Let me know what happens on Sunday cause I'll be exercising my right to protest by not turning on any games until I can watch a game and not see my country degraded. In just the recent past days, I have seen a good friend bury his son from being killed in action. Every time I see that flag I remember the price that has been paid for me to have the liberties and freedoms I have. I agree protesting is one of our greatest rights, but to protest the one symbol of freedom that represents that right is the most gross and hurtful thing NFL players could do. Hate to say it but I think Trump is right. The owners should fire them all and put a stop to this nonsense. Then I could tune back in and watch subs play some great American football.

  • JackRyanSLC Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 7:29 a.m.

    I am so tired of hearing people like you say it is nice t about the flag or the military. What do you expect when a player that was benched and ready to be cut decides to take a knee in order to stay relevant. And the brilliant followers thought it was a good idea to follow. There is no excuse. If you have to explain your cause, you have missed the point. There are so many other ways to protest other than disrespecting the flag, those you have died for our freedom, etc. Believe what you want, but please don’t disrespect the flag and then say it is not about the flag. Perhaps next time, pick a method such as refusing to play, to get your point across. And maybe have a player that is not in his way out be your poster child. Kapernak doing what he did to stay relevant is just like the employee that is going to get fired all of a sudden claiming harassment or discrimination in order to make it more difficult to be fired.

  • scrappy do DRAPER, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 7:21 a.m.

    We all have a right to speak our minds in this country... Especially fans of the NFL who pay extortion like prices to see their team in person

    Not a big fan personally of the NFL so I voted on boycotting them along time ago... See you out on the middle Provo every Sunday.. Best decision of my life

  • Rod Provo, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 7:08 a.m.

    I don't watch football on TV or in the stands to ask the person next to me "what's on your mind"? I go or watch football to be entertained. Protesting my countries flag and my countries National Anthem is NOT how you get my attention for your perceived injustices. Many of the protestors are protesting perceived injustices and don't even know the facts, only what they have read from the National Media. Are there injustices in the US? Of course there are. Injustices happen to people every day from every walk of life. Injustices happen to old people, to women, to Hispanics, to blacks, to whites, to gays, to transgenders, etc:, etc: etc:. During a game is not when you try to bring attention to your grievances because few will listen to your message. People say that Trump is dividing this country and I say BullXXX. You are dividing this country. This started long before Trump ever came on the scene.

    Life is not always fair. Grow up and do something about your grievances instead of just protesting. By protesting it seems that you are saying, "I have been harmed so I want someone else to fix my problems". Why don't you do something about it yourself and stop complaining?

  • RRB SLC, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 1:27 a.m.

    Are they going to protest Dr Seuss this weekend?

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 1:00 a.m.

    The NFL doesn't deserve the flag or the anthem period. I say we remove both from ALL NFL stadiums. Our flag is bigger than the NFL. While we are at it we should ban all military flyovers or honor guards because these playes and coaches and owners and yes ROGER Goodell are just disgracing them. The NFL doesn't deserve our flag -- yes WE THE PEOPLE ..our flag. This is not their flag to or anthem to trash. I would dare say the average NFL player couldn't pass a 5th grade US history test yet they are telling us how things are. What a farce. Yes PLEASE lets protect our flag because that is what our vets do. Let the NFL join with ISIS and IRAN and burn the flag. We the people will stand with our vets and respect the flag.
    The real reason our country is spiraling down the toilet is all due to the lack of respect we have in this country. We don't respect the flag or our anthem -- we don't respect each other anymore. Civility is gone and without it our nation is rotting on the vine. Freedom doesn't mean much if you have no country left. Civility is everything in a family and the same is true in a nation.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 12:41 a.m.

    NFL == No Fans Left

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 12:38 a.m.

    what do you expect from Aaron Rogers -- he is from Cal Berkley after all... hate America central. Don't you just love all these millionaire player and coaches and owners tells us fans that we are stupid and don't understand what they are protesting? Yes folks we are the stupid ones according to ESPN and the NFL . But look into the stands and you see a different story. You see signs and t-shirts saying ONE thing very loudly to the NFL -- the USA is more imprortand than the NFL is. We care more about OUR flag and anthem than we do the NFL. Another observatation - this nonsense that these players really do love our vets and our country is just a bunch of hooey and noone is being fooled. Fans are burning jerseys and just turning the NFL off along with a heavy dose of boos. Bottom line here -- Kapernick started this with his pro-Communist Castro hate America and the rest of idiot players saw their chance to vent their "real feelings" about America and that ..."we DO hate America"...but we love our paycheck and fans you need to wake up because you are being taken as fools.

  • Copybook Headings Draper, UT
    Sept. 29, 2017 11:45 p.m.

    Those claiming the players have a God given, unquestionable, and legal right to protest during the National Anthem are also the ones who called the Tea Party activists Nazis and terrorists when they demonstrated on the National Mall not all that long ago. The hypocrisy is just stunning.

  • Commenter88 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 29, 2017 11:38 p.m.

    We would all condemn those who would protest ISIS violence by throwing rocks at a mosque, or by showing up at a mosque with a rendering of Mohammed. It is a shameful protest, not because of the cause, but because of it's target.

    Similarly, we condemn those who protest the flag and the memory of our dead soldiers, not because of its cause, but because of its target.

    You don't get an exemption for good intentions, misapplied logic, or ignorance just because of your politics. You must protest intelligently and in a targeted way or you risk losing the moral collective body, which is what has just happened in our country with this brand of entertainment.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Sept. 29, 2017 10:28 p.m.

    The first amendment, when exercised as it was meant to be, is becoming rather an inconvenience. We need, it seems, to seek whatever means we can to remove it from these people. Contract, coercion, intimidation, you name it.
    Football players are often asked to 'take a knee'. They have determined for themselves, it seems, a reason to do so.

  • Common sense conservative Herriman, UT
    Sept. 29, 2017 8:44 p.m.

    The author claims to have "tough conversations" and asks readers to discuss the underlying issues causing the protests, but she does neither. I'll do it for her. Before President Trump made this trendy with his clumsy tweets, the original protest was against unfair treatment of blacks by cops, and the lack of justice. While there certainly have been some tragic isolated cases of unwarranted brutality against blacks, these are the extremely rare exception. They only seem commonplace because that's what the media focuses on. Colin Kapernick does not have a law or a criminal justice degree, nor was he privy to all the evidence and court proceedings of any of these cases, but in his view if a cop is white and the victim black, that's all that matters. Anything less than a full conviction is "oppression". And by this standard, the only way the privileged NFL players will agree to end the protests is that no white cop is ever acquitted in any case of violence if the other person has black skin, regardless of the circumstances. Sounds an awful lot like racism doesn't it?

  • Truth2017 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 29, 2017 7:21 p.m.

    Just do what the nba does. Have players stand accordingly and have it in their contracts.
    In addition if they protest fine the players.

  • Spoc Ogden, UT
    Sept. 29, 2017 6:24 p.m.

    The players are there to entertain the crowd. They are not needed for pregame activities and if their antics offend the fans, let them stay in the locker room until after the presentation of the colors and they are needed. You turn off the fans and your league will suffer.

    Another option of course would be to eliminate the patriotic activities entirely and deny the players the opportunity to offend the fans at the fan's expense.

    Then if they want to stand on the street corner, or call a press conference on their own time, have at it. But don't charge me an entrance fee for the privilege of letting you punch me in the nose.