Dave Simpson: The NFL – Taking A Walk, As They Take A Knee

Who cares what a pro football team's nickname is if we have to sit through millionaire players and coaches taking a knee during the national anthem to show their contempt for our country?

Dave Simpson

July 23, 20204 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Who cares what a pro football team’s nickname is if we have to sit through millionaire players and coaches taking a knee during the national anthem to show their contempt for our country?

Why would I care what they call a team if its members have such a low opinion of the country I love?

I was a Broncos fan for decades. But this is it for me. I’m finished. Done with football. All it is today is another heaping, steaming helping of political correctness, wokeness, and angry grievances. Brain injuries. Boring contract issues.  And anger for the country that made it possible for so many to become so vastly wealthy, so successful.

And apparently way too big for their britches.

No thanks. I’ll clean my garage on Sunday afternoons from now on. The library in our town is open on Sundays, so there’s that, too. Or maybe while they’re taking a knee, I’ll be taking a walk.

To Hell with all of them.

For the record, I don’t care if – as the woke people insist on saying – “the Washington football team” (instead of what we used to call the Washington Redskins) changes it’s name to the Washington Walleyes. Although in today’s ultra-sensitive environment, who knows if a reference to a fine-tasting freshwater fish might offend someone, somewhere, someday, and trigger some snowflake.

The late, great Washington columnist Charles Krauthammer once wrote that while many die-hard fans wanted to keep the nickname Redskins, words evolve. And since the choice of a nickname for a sports team does not rate high on issues of cosmic importance, the nickname should probably be changed in deference to the evolving nature of language. It was a reasonable opinion. It was the sport he enjoyed, not the nickname, so make the change. He preferred “Skins.”

The problem today, however, is the larger issue of disparaging our country at the beginning of games by taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem. According to news reports, a song considered the Black national anthem will be played at the start of the first two games of the season (if there is a season), then the Star Spangled Banner will be played, during which players and coaches may well take a knee, apparently to show their solidarity in not honoring our country.

Who would ever have thought that a hero like Drew Brees would have to apologize for saying he would never dishonor the flag and the country that his grandfathers fought to defend in World War II? How on earth could that be deemed so outrageous that Brees would be browbeaten and berated into issuing repeated apologies?

But, that’s what happened.

And who would have expected Bret Favre to liken pioneer anthem kneeler Colin Kaepernick, known to wear socks depicting police officers as pigs, to Pat Tillman, who gave up a career in the NFL to enlist in the Army, and died fighting for his country? Really, Brett? He later backed off from that stupid opinion, after many were justifiably outraged. 

The football coach of the Oklahoma State University Cowboys was pictured wearing a t-shirt showing the name of a conservative news site. A player expressed outrage. And the coach gave up over a million dollars in annual salary to try to make amends. 

And how about the gutless NFL owners, who own teams in a country that is nuts about football, but can’t summon up the spine to defend the economic system that made them all so fabulously wealthy. Or to speak up for the vast majority of the hard-working police officers who patrol our streets. Or for the working-class guy who just wants to watch football on a weekend afternoon without having his nose rubbed in ever more political correctness, smarmy insufferable wokeness, and contempt for the country he loves. 

The problem is that pro football is confusing entertainment with just another truckload of seething, hateful controversy, in a world already chock full of hatred. And it’s just as bad in basketball, where they’re planning to wear protest slogans on the back of their jerseys.

This is entertainment?

No thanks.

I’m done.

I’ve been putting off cleaning the garage for years.

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Dave Simpson

Political, Wyoming Life Columnist

Dave has written a weekly column about a wide variety of topics for 39 years, winning top columnist awards in Wyoming, Colorado, Illinois and Nebraska.