Hard Truth: Why There’s No ‘Good’ Way to Kneel for the National Anthem

Seth Connell reports that the kneeling protests during the National Anthem at NFL games are becoming more commonplace as the days progress. Ever since Colin Kaepernick’s first move last year, other players have also followed suit on the field.

Since that time, as the number of demonstrations has increased, fans have answered in turn, often by turning off the games. NFL ratings have really taken a nosedive since last fall.

In just the second week, ratings were already very low, and that was before the demonstrations really started to take off.

In their second week on CBS, ratings have fallen double-digits from last season.

The week two window delivered an 8.4 rating and 14.5 million viewers on Sunday, according to a report from Sports Media Watch. That’s a drop of 24 percent in viewership from last years’ broadcast on Fox, and down 14 percent from 2015.

The 8.4 rating is the lowest second-week rating in almost 20 years.

Week one was also a bust, where the opener between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots drew only a 14.6 rating for NBC. Last year, the rating between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos was 16.5.

Those ratings may dip down even further in the coming weeks, especially if one South Carolina restaurant’s latest move sees others follow suit.

The Associated Press reports that the Palmetto Restaurant and Ale House in Greenville, SC has no plans to air NFL games on their TV’s until the demonstration craze has ended. The owner wants all players to stand for the National Anthem.

David McCraw of the Palmetto Restaurant and Ale House in Greenville said Sunday he would no longer show NFL games after players began kneeling during the anthem.

McCraw said he would show games again once all players pay respect to the American flag and the country.

His action came days after President Donald Trump said last week that any NFL players who kneel during the anthem should be fired. That prompted more players to kneel during Sunday’s games. Other players stood and locked arms with teammates or stayed in the locker room until after the anthem was played.

Monday evening saw more demonstrations from players in the Cowboys and Cardinals game. However, he did not see any issue with how the Cowboys carried out their demonstration, as they did it at a separate time from the National Anthem.

Nonetheless, he won’t air the games at his restaurant until all the players are standing during the National Anthem.

Both parties are in the right here, let’s remember. The players are free to act however they shall during the National Anthem, no matter what anyone says about their statements. That’s why we have the First Amendment in the first place, so that we can freely say and do controversial things.

On the same side of that coin, the fans are free to turn off the TV (or in the case of Alejandro Villanueva, buy as many of his jerseys as possible) if they so desire.

Granted, as I’ve written before, there is plenty of outrage over this situation, but we’ve got bigger issues to deal with in the grand scheme of things. The $20 trillion national debt is more disrespectful to our American values than any kneeling during the National Anthem. That’s what concerns me more than some overpaid athletes’ political statements.