OPINION | Barry Richard: Players Plot New Protest Plan
Still pouting over being told they have to stand to honor the national anthem at the start of each game, the nation's pro football players are reportedly plotting some other form of protest to disrespect the fans and the nation.
Sports Illustrated says the players are looking to "skirt" the NFL's new anti-kneeling policy. NFL.com says some players are considering remaining in the locker room during the anthem, while others are considering a "different on-field gesture." So I guess it's no longer a social justice thing, but more of a "spite the NFL" campaign. Whatever.
Pro athletes are compensated well for their talents in the free market system. Along with that comes the awesome responsibility of being a role model. These players are the face of the NFL, their franchise and often times the community they represent. Disrespecting the fan base by disrespecting the flag and the national anthem is an unacceptable behavior to most. It's like biting the hand that feeds you. It reflects poorly on the organization you represent.
Disrespecting the flag and the anthem carries a price. Just ask comedienne Roseanne Barr, who did so during Working Woman's Night at a San Diego Padres game in 1990.
Players are encouraged to get involved in efforts to improve the greater community and to use their celebrity for positive change. Protesting the system that has given you opportunity, financial security, and an adoring fan base is childish and unappreciative. Kneeling while others honor the flag is disrespectful and rude.
The NFL, and the fans, have decided they have had enough of it.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.