I believe in the freedom of speech. I believe it is one of the unalienable Rights given to us by our Creator. Especially when that speech says something I don't like or want to hear. I served this country for over 13 years so people could say what they sincerely believed without the fear of the government coming for them in the middle of the night.
I fully support every NFL player, coach and owner who decided to take a knee, in the past and in the future. No "if's, and's or but's" about it. They did and do a brave thing. Kind of similar when I forced the Grand Lodge of Tennessee to expel me as a Mason because I spoke out publicly about their mistreatment of two fine Men and Masons, for the sole crime of them loving each other.
So if I support these players, why am I never watching football again? I'm glad you asked.
A message, especially a message trying to invoke social change needs to be clear, concise and repeatable. It must meet all three criteria to prevent it from becoming distorted by numerous reiterations. If you make a copy of a copy of a copy, some of the information will be distorted or lost because of the corruption by the constant reiteration. If there are many voices, they must be united in and for that message. It also needs to be delivered the correct way to a given audience. To communicate any message or call to action, it has to be delivered within the paradigm of your listeners. If I would deliver a given message, I would deliver it differently to a local Ladies Auxiliary of the Kiwanis Club than I would to a national NAMI convention. Same message, different delivery because the way each group sees the world is slightly different.
In this case there is a political shotgun approach. Many speakers, many messages. The core message (if there ever was one) has become diluted and lost. The end result is the many messages are blurred and diluted against the whole. When your audience cannot discern the central message out of the many messages, it will turn away in search of something else to hold its' attention.
Here's the important part: The venue of the delivery is critical. Your audience needs to be open to your message.
These protests are causing severe damage to the sport of Football and the NFL. The protests are driving viewers away by the thousands. The answer why is very simple.
Today, right now, there is very little you can do in your life that there is not a political undertone. We are relentlessly bombarded with political opinions from our news, our entertainment, even our personal interactions, online or face-to-face. Social Media is awash with opinions. There are no rules, there are no referees, it's a constant knock-down-drag-out knife fight. We used to watch sports as an escape. We would emotionally invest ourselves in the conflict between teams. We did this to forget about all of the hate-filled politics in the rest of our lives for a measly three hours. And these protesting players took this last bastion of a non-political arena away from us.
The people who watch(ed) these games are second in their patriotism only to NASCAR. They subscribe not to a political party, but to the belief and ideals that this country represents. As a country we are not perfect, we've made lots of big mistakes. All that being said, we as a nation have always tried to do the right and moral thing.
"Taking a knee" is a sign of submission. By performing this act, you are signalling that you are admitting that to whom (or what) you are kneeling for is superior to you and you surrender control of yourself to them. This is why a serviceman presenting the flag that draped the coffin of a fallen soldier kneels before the family they are presenting to. The kneeling soldier humbles himself to the sacrifice of the family. I do not see this here. The NFL payers are not kneeling in submission, but not standing in protest.
There is a time-honored tradition of recognition when ships on the high seas come close aboard (nautical parlance for near each other) the sailors on the side of the ships facing each other come to attention. On warships the sailors actually salute at the appropriate moment. One ship initiates the recognition, saluting the other by briefly dipping their national flag to half-staff, then returning their flag to full staff. The other ship responds by likewise dipping their flag the same way. US ships never initiate, we only respond.
The National Ensign (the proper term for the US flag) is never to be dipped, as in leaned forward when other flags are nearby. Among other flags, it is the first to be raised and the last to be lowered. If it touches the ground, it is to be torn into strips and burned, without ceremony. These rules (and more besides them) are meant to treat the symbol that represents this country with respect.
We kneel before our Creator, as citizens we are supposed to stand tall. You are asked (never required) to stand during the national anthem, when the flag passes close by or when colors are rendered. Some job functions where the National Anthem is played, the employer can require you to stand, the government can never require you to.
The power of this country comes not from the government, but from the people. The National Ensign represents all citizens. We are a nation of equals. The President is subject to the same laws as we are, thus equal to the rest of us. If you "submit to the flag" (a ploy by the Left to sell the rest of us a bogus bill of goods), you admit that you are not a citizen but a subject. The people of Great Britain are known as subjects because they are "subject to the Crown." Before the Magna Carta (the first document that actually alluded to human rights), Kings had pretty much free reign (sorry, couldn't resist the pun) and could do whatever he wanted. You lived or died by the benevolence of the King.
So, ask yourself this question: are you a subject, or a Citizen?