Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Flags and Football

Last Saturday my 5-year grandson played his first flag football game. I was not able to attend, but I suspect it was as much about flags as football. It seems the National Football League has now descended into a deep morass as much about flags as football. I don’t know or care that much about what football players do during the showing of the American flag and singing of the National Anthem – sing, stand, sit, kneel, stay in the locker room. I know that it started with Colin Kaepernick last fall, and has greatly expanded this year. The initial protest was ostensibly a protest against injustice, but apparently some of the new protests are against the rhetoric of President Donald Trump.

I understand free speech and protest, but employees do not have a Constitutional right to free speech while paid by their employers to work. Though there is protection for certain types of expression in the workplace for other reasons, this is not specifically a “First Amendment” right. But again, I don’t really care how NFL team owners address the issue. Here is what bothers me the most.

Football players, you overpaid entertainers of a fickle American public, why are you such whiners? According to the Gazette Review, the average 2017 salary of an NFL player is $1.9 million per year. Yes, that’s right folks, $1,900,000 for such (un)important work! Compare that to the average salary for doctors in 2017, which is $168,000; the average salary for police officers in 2017, which is $60,270; the average salary for soldiers in 2017, which is $49,000; and the average salary for teachers in 2017, which is $44,000. Yes, we pay our football players about $1,856,000 more per year than those who take on the sometimes thankless task of educating our children. I understand something of how the economy works, and that you guys can make that much because there is a (perhaps hard to explain) demand for what you do. But here is the thing. Instead of protest that divides the country, even your fans – or perhaps in addition to – why not put your money where you knee is and take some of the money that (some of you) are spending on booze, drugs, & whores and help some of those oppressed people you refer to? It might go a lot further and be appreciated a lot more.

And you, Mr. President, don’t you have something better and more important to do than worry about the National Football League?

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