With only two weeks to go before America’s annual football holiday kicks off with betting lines, parties, guacamole, multi-million dollar commercials and, almost incidentally, 60-minutes of on-field play, speculation has also focused on the continuing “kneeling” controversy that has surrounded the National Football League for the past two seasons.
What began at one pre-season game between the San Francisco 49ers and the San Diego Chargers in 2016 with 49er Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the traditional playing of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ to protest what he termed police brutality against African-Americans, morphed into league-wide protests against perceived social injustices.
Players not only knelt during the national anthem but raised fists in the Black Panther ‘salute’ as owners and coaching staffs also joined in the protests.
Members of the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars stood for the playing of ‘God Save the Queen,’ the British national anthem, at an NFL exhibition game in London at Wembley Stadium, but chose to kneel during the playing of their own anthem.
Eventually, fans who saw the movement as disrespectful not only of America and the ‘Stars and Stripes,’ but of the members of the military – living and dead – who had fought for the country under the flag, began find other things to do with their Sundays, as well as their Monday and Thursday nights.
The NFL saw television ratings dip sharply over the 2016 and 2017 seasons even as the number of empty seats grew, and revenue shrank.
Now, the NFL has taken the step of rejecting a print ad for the Super Bowl program from a veterans’ group asking simply, “Please stand,” next to a photo of an American flag.
But soon, football fans may have an alternative to the NFL as Vince McMahon has announced that he is bringing the XFL back.
Although McMahon claims the move is not related to the NFL’s troubles, he is clear that because he will own all the teams, he will make all the rules – and they are few, but clear.
“People don’t want social and political issues coming into play when they are trying to be entertained,” McMahon said, so players will be expected to protest on their own time and not on the field.
In addition, players who run afoul of the law won’t be welcome in the XFL.
“We are evaluating a player based on many things, including the quality of human being they are.”
The only downside is that the first games won’t be played until Spring 2020 – and that’s a lot of Sunday afternoons spent cleaning out the attic, washing the car, and missing out on tailgate parties.
Src : Conservative Post