It’s none of Donald Trump’s business. He’s only making things worse. There are more important issues to talk about. Can’t we just watch football? This is just some of the chorus of hand-wringing from the Left and the #NeverTrump Right ever since the president began blasting the NFL for allowing players to violate the league’s own preexisting rules and refuse to sand for the National Anthem, a gesture meant to symbolize America’s alleged racism.
Well, they can all eat their words today, as the wave of public pressure Trump ignited has now led to a major concession from the very top of the NFL. The Daily Caller News Foundation reports that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has sent a letter to the owners of all the league’s 32 football teams, declaring that “everyone should stand” for the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner:
“The current dispute over the National Anthem is threatening to erode the unifying power of our game, and is now dividing us, and our players, from many fans across the country,” Goodell wrote. “Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem.”
“We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues. The controversy over the Anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players,” the letter reads.
An Oct. 7 poll lends credence to Goodell’s statement that NFL fans expect players to honor the flag. The poll found that the league’s favorables dropped from from 57 percent to 44 percent between the end of August and the end of September. The NFL’s unfavorable rating went from 23 percent to 40 percent among top professional sports and college sports during the same period.
Goodell’s letter comes hours after reports emerged that NFL team owners are considering instituting a rule change that would require players to stand during the national anthem.
You have to marvel at how Goodell wants to have it both ways: everyone should stand, but the “controversy” over the kneeling is to blame for dividing people, rather than the kneeling itself? Ignorant lies about police being racist murders are still “critical social issues” that deserve respect?
Those are indicators that the root problem still isn’t solved because the moral rot festering in the NFL is still there. To those moderate Beltway conservatives who still think the issue is a distraction, I refer them to the always-brilliant Ace:
If the NFL can bully and pressure individual citizens, then surely individual citizens are justified in applying their own bullying tactics towards the NFL.
Especially given that the left is (quite successfully) bullying the NFL in their direction — and without any pushback from the right whatsoever, we’re essentially gifting the left with the NFL.
Just as we gifted them academia, the bar, the courts, and the media.
How’s that workin’ out for us?
Bullying a bully isn’t bullying — it’s just kicking a would-be bully in the ass for a while until he stops bullying.
The left has decided that it can’t win the political war on the current battlefield, so it has made it its mission to shape the battlefield by taking over the main transmission stations of permissible public opinion and using the power of those corporations to propagandize and bully citizens into compliance.
The war goes on, and taking back the many cultural institutions the Left has corrupted will take a long time. But for now, one battle has been won — and if Donald Trump hadn’t spoken up, it never would have been fought.