No Time Out in Battle Over Football

 For generations, football was the most unpolitical and un-ideological of pastimes in

No Time Out in Battle Over FootballAmerica. Indeed, it was a point of unity that overcame political differences and fostered healthy local rivalries. Not liking football was almost un-American.

Now times are changing in our nation. Nothing can be left untouched by the liberal keepers of the culture. Even football is becoming political and finding itself on the front lines of America’s Culture War.

The Antics of Colin Kaepernick

The offensive attack began last year when Americans were shocked by the antics of quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He started the practice of dropping to one knee or sitting during the playing of the national anthem as a sign of protest against racial violence.

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Kaepernick did the unthinkable. He interjected politics into the sports scene. Worse, he insulted the flag and those who defend it, by refusing to stand before it.

By his protest, Americans saw that the ceremony surrounding the game was more than just a feel-good thing. The quarterback’s defiant action touched sentiments deep inside the American soul that speak to us about love of country, freedom, service, and the blessings of God upon our nation.

 A Healthy Reaction

Many reacted to the unpatriotic gesture by rejecting the quarterback and even the football league. Kaepernich lost his job, and everyone knows that no team wants to risk hiring him for fear of the ire of the fans. Many offended Americans simply stopped attending or watching the National Football League games. This season, everyone hoped that the matter would be over and the games could go ahead once again as normal.

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However, there is no time out. As many as two dozen players have chosen to kneel or raise their fists in the air in protest at this year’s pre-season games.

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett remained seated with a towel over his head during the national anthem at the team’s pre-season opener with Los Angeles Chargers. At another pre-season game, Oakland Raider Marshawn Lynch sat on a cooler while holding a banana during the anthem. Numerous other players knelt while fellow players showed support by putting their hands upon their shoulders.

The problem is not going away as the football stadium is now the theater of political dissent.

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A Case of Political Suicide

The NFL has everything to gain by banning these practices. It is certainly within the rights of club owners to discipline their players. They have banned similar actions of improper dress, gestures or behavior on the playing field.

However, the club owners and managers are not clamping down. In an act of political suicide, they are caving in to the politically correct tyranny now sweeping the nation. Not even the almighty dollar can influence their decisions as they are losing money by their refusal. They allow the behavior because they do not have the courage to stand up for principle.


And the principle is this: Americans have the obligation to honor their country. Being a citizen brings not only benefits but the duties of reverence, honor, and aid.

Should a person disrupt the game by failing to respect the flag and anthem, the owners should treat it like any other improper behavior that they can and do it.

The Practice of Piety 

The debate over the anthem is a symptom of a greater problem—a lack of piety toward the country. The Church teaches that love of country is part of the virtue of piety. It is derived from justice. Piety inclines us to render to our parents and our country all the acts of honor, service, and gratitude that are due to them. It can even lead us to give our lives for our country if need be.

We sin against piety by an exaggerated nationalism that disdains the qualities of other nations. We can also sin against piety by an exaggerated individualism in which we fail to respect and serve our country in any way we can. This can include disrespecting symbols like the flag or the national anthem that represents the moral commitment to the common good of the nation.

The Legitimate Role of Protest

This love of country, of course, does not mean we cannot disagree with or even protest against the policies of the government. However, we must make the necessary distinction between the nation and the government.
One thing is the nation that forms a cultural, social, economic, and political unity over the course of centuries. Like the institution of the family, the nation tends toward union, peace, and community through shared goals and ideals. Yet another thing is the government, which is the political system and institutions by which a state is administered and regulated. The government is the means by which we resolve our disagreements and protests.

Thus, virtuous protest should respect the common good of the nation. It should not offend others needlessly. It should ardently desire solutions within the institutions of order. Just as a son respects his parents even when they have defects, so should we show piety toward the nation when protesting the shortcomings of our government.

Is It Protest or Revolution?

This is why the kneeling football players are wrong. They needlessly insult those who have defend or died for the flag. They do not propose any concrete solutions for the problems they protest. They insinuate that the problem is not a governmental policy but that America herself that is wrong and irredeemable. If the latter is the case, their aim is not protest but revolution—and Americans need to be aware of it.

Indeed, the football controversy has all the characteristics of a typical liberal maneuver against the nation. It has always been a tactic to exploit a crisis to convince others they are oppressed by a whole system that must be radically changed. In this case, however, they have wildly succeeded in convincing millionaire football players that they are oppressed.

Liberals have long perceived the importance of culture to push forward their agenda. Now it is national football’s turn to be utilized as a tool of revolution, even if it means destroying the sport as we now know it.

One of the unexpected surprises of the Culture War is that it is teaching Americans to look beyond the materialistic notion that life exists merely for our pleasure. It forces us to reject a shallow culture, full of gadgets and social media, that is detached from political, metaphysical or religious meaning.

Americans are finding out that this concept of life is wrong. Culture matters. Everything has meaning. Even the most unpolitical topics of life, like football, suddenly appear profound and find themselves on the front lines of the cultural battlefield. There is no time out in this struggle. We need to trust in God and engage in the fight—even when it appears on the gridiron.

As seen on Crisis Magazine

  • Daniel Meegan

    ungrateful people always want what they want is there anyone else other than colin

  • Arthur Borik

    If someone has a problem with this great country especially with respecting our flag, then this individual and others alike may gracefully remove themselves from the immediate venue and return when the ceremony is over. I could care less to see such a ignorant display of stupidity. God Bless America! Love It or Leave it.

  • Thomas L. Stafford

    My feelings about the hollyweird stars that are in most movies have helped keep me out of theaters. More and more television shows are becoming unwatchable due to the depravity that they honor. I suppose it is up to the God, the church, family, friends, spiritual groups, books, working out at the Y, and the internet to provide diversion. That is plenty.

  • Chris Lilly

    Politics should be kept out of athletic competition on all levels.

  • Christine Blocher

    Excellent article! I agree and wish the owners/managers would stand up, be men and discipline those who insult this country and our God! My husband and I have turned football OFF, until politics are removed from their own personal agenda. I CANNOT demonstrate or voice my POLITICAL like is dislikes at work. I would be FIRED. All athletes should be held to the same standard!

  • Christine Blocher

    *that is likes or dislikes

  • A U.S. Proud Citizen

    I can live with football – thank you.

  • A U.S. Proud Citizen

    I can live without football – thank you.

  • jose

    What has happened is that democrats saw with horror that black people, latinos and other migrants, instead of voting democrats, as always (or at least as they expected with the migrants they helped to import into USA), they are voting Trump in droves, expelling them from power and priviledge.

    Futhermore:
    Because it is imposible to twist again the economy to make poor people earn more (and because Democrats are ruled by millionaires like Trump, the 2 Clintons, Pelosi…)…they have to find another cause less damaging for their bank accounts…

    Something that sounds like “liberating man from oppression”. And if that does not exist, they fabricate one, two or whatever are necessaries.

    Remember the old saying: “divide et impera”: a divided nation is a conquered nation.

    This is why the war against statues (civil war): to get back black votes.
    Against Colon: votes of “oppressed minorities” (most latinos really believed that they are indians in spite of their physical features -they descend from conquistadores and colonists, not from Aztec royalty-)

    Democrats are managing to create new enemies with the past and buried.
    Free of charge.

    Do you really think that Kaepernik acted on his own?
    No; like Rosa Parks: everything planned in advance by a team of experts and activists in order to reach a very precise aim.

    Manipulation is not Democracy.
    Voting smoke wrecks the nation.

  • Terry Fox

    Wow! This article was extremely thoughtful and really explained the moral dimension of our problem. Very well said.

  • Sherry Harris

    On a very practical level, employees do not have a right to use work time to advance their political views. They also do not have a right to corrupt the product a consumer purchases. When football players are on the field they are at work. They should be required to fulfill all obligations of the job, including acceptable behavior during opening ceremonies. The fans come to see football – with all of its attending ceremony. When the players corrupt any part of the event, they are cheating the public by corrupting the product purchased. The same was true in the political actions of the cast of Hamilton. The audience paid dearly (up to $700 per ticket) to see a stage show. They did not buy tickets to a political event. A political lecture was not part of the product purchased. When the cast decided to make their personal political views part of the show, they corrupted it and thereby cheated the audience, who did not get what was promised. Imagine purchasing a computer and finding that the seller had attached political apps that you did not want and could not delete. The focus on self keeps these athletes and artists from respecting the fans and audiences who come to see what they do.

  • Mary Beatty

    When the NFL started loosing the audience they marketed towards women. As a woman I have boycotted the NFL until they decide to act responsible and honor the men and WOMEN who fought for our country and freedom. NFL players are over paid, over glamorized and under educated. They might have a gifted talent as an athlete but that does not make them anything special. Time they ate some humble pie.