The Spectator
founded 2004 by ron cruger
A place for intelligent writers
A place for intelligent readers
 by Laramie Boyd
Who Really Cares?
Your comments about this column are welcome ~ e-mail Laramie at
2018 Spectator Ron - The Spectator All Rights Reserved
     As a matter of record, I really, and I mean really, couldn't care less if the NFL or NBA, or MLB professional sports programs went out of business today. Or yesterday. And they are businesses, plain and simple. And I've been an avid fan, and participant, in sports since my elementary school days. That was over 70 years ago.
     To see these pro athletes receiving millions of dollars in salaries and other perks for playing games, to me is an insult to the working men and women of America. Yes, I know. Sports fans pay huge sums of money to watch the games, and drink a lot of over priced beer, and if the players didn't get the money, the owners would, and is that any better? Probably not. Also, if you don't like the system, for whatever the reason, don't pay the price of admission. Watch sports on TV. Or not.
     But look at the situation from a different perspective and take an open mind approach to the policy ruling of the National Football League regarding paying respect to America by standing during the National Anthem prior to a football game. Colin Kaepernick's decision to kneel during the playing of the Anthem in protest to the treatment of minorities in America stands out as a primary reason for the NFL's taking a position on the matter. Why he chose a body position, more or less often associated with a reverence or respectful attitude, has not been addressed, as far as I know. In any event, briefly, the owners of the teams making up the NFL agreed that players should stand when "The Star Spangled Banner" is played and sung, or they should stay in the dressing room until the anthem is over if they choose not to comply. And fines would be levied to players and/or owners if this policy was not adhered to. In other words, stand during the Anthem and think whatever unpatriotic or other thoughts you wish, but stand, or stay off the field, or be penalized. One owner veered away from that policy a bit by saying he would pay the fine for any of his players disciplined. That would certainly defeat the purpose of the policy, and most definitely that issue will be dealt with by the Commissioner of baseball and the team owners.
     Some see a contradiction in the fact that the Constitution allows for "freedom of speech", which covers standing or kneeling I guess, but many would argue that in reality that freedom is non-existent in the U.S. Oh you can say what you want, but the consequences of certain ranting by certain elements of American society can be catastrophic, as what is racist, or hateful, or "un-Constitutional" has not yet been clearly defined. "I can't define it but I know it when I see it" has been the overused evidence by the accusers. The fact that the Constitution may be in conflict with the NFL policy could be used as an argument against obeying the league policy, some say. But if a person applies for a job, and the company doing the hiring has a policy the applicant disagrees with, the applicant can surely go elsewhere to seek employment. No one is guaranteed a job as a professional football player. And why was the kneeling demonstration of discontent at a football game? Is that what a football game is about, venting your political or social objections to life in the U.S.A? Fans pay to see a ball game, not to see players making political, social, or even religious demonstrations. One viewpoint, and much of what you see or hear in the media is viewpoints, not factual news, is to ask what takes precedence, whether a citizen can make a show of disrespect to a country that grants more freedoms to peaceably demonstrate against the government, and higher sports salaries, than any other country on Earth, or that a business can be expected to believe that it has the authority to make policy decisions about what their employees do during working hours, and that those who refuse to comply can take a hike? And I wonder how the answer to that question will play out and I'm sure it will take some time to resolve. I hope defining "disrespect" comes into play in the dialogue.
     Maybe the players of different religions could, or should, demonstrate by kneeling to pray during the National Anthem, as expression of religion is covered in the Constitution? Or the National Rifle Association could, or should, advertise "guns for sale" during the Star Spangled Anthem. Isn't gun ownership mentioned in the Constitution? If anything dealt with in the Constitution could be demonstrated for during a sports event, or anywhere else for that matter, wouldn't that be a fine kettle of fish? The list could go on and on and on as to how to protest when the Constitution is involved. Only good judgment by the lawmakers and the courts stands a chance of resolving that issue. And what do you suppose the chances of that happening are? When pigs fly maybe?
     Is anyone besides me tired of the kind and number of protests going on nowadays in this once great land called America, over each and every issue that doesn't go a certain way? The protesters way. Are most citizens blind and deaf to what certain groups are trying to turn our country into based on innuendo often, and hearsay or unsubstantiated accusations for personal gain? And how the judicial system caters to these demands Wake up America, before it's too late to turn the tide. There are serious problems in the U.S. and we need serious, intelligent people to deal with them. Lately, no such elected representatives have come on the scene. Maybe we need to look harder and deeper and be more selective how we cast our vote,+