Here's what the NFL game operations manual says regarding the national anthem according to an NFL spokesperson: "The national anthem must be played before every NFL game, and all players should be on the sideline for the national anthem. During the national anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the flag is in good condition.

It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the national anthem may result in discipline such as fines, suspensions and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses."

Erwin Wiley

Santa Fe

Locations

(56) comments

Carlos Ponce

Peaceful protest is fine but NOT during the anthem. There are better venues to address their legitimate issues. The NFL is sending the wrong message by not enforcing the rules found in their own game operations manual.

Mark Aaron

Carlos: "Peaceful protest is fine but NOT during the anthem. There are better venues to address their legitimate issues. "

You are making some progress Carlos. At least you finally admit that Black folks have legitimate grievances.

Robert Blake

Funny how Wiley took the time to research the NFL's policy on the playing of the national Anthem but failed to research articles of the United States Constitution which gives all Americans the right to protest. Some people pretend that the Constitution only applies to the rights and liberties of a chosen few. It's hatred and bigotry which is destroying America. Why have a constitution if it's not worthy of the paper it's written on? "{We The People" ) is inclusive of Blacks, Mr. Wiley.

Claudia Burnam

Robert, I know what the U> S> Constitution is all about. I'm tired of liberals just obeying the rules and laws that the agree with and completely ignoring the rest!

Claudia Burnam

P. S. That's me above, E G Wiley. Robert you assume to much. You know nothing about me, whether I'm black, green of pink or if I belong to the NAACP or the KKK! E G Wiley

Randy Chapman

It's always the race card when they have nothing else. Mark Aaron will soon be along to prove my point.

Mark Aaron

Randy: "It's always the race card when they have nothing else. Mark Aaron will soon be along to prove my point."

It is always the usual suspects like you and Carlos who are first in line when you perceive an opportunity to dismiss grievances by minorities or immigrants. Why is that Randy?

Mark Aaron

Claudia: " I'm tired of liberals just obeying the rules and laws that the agree with and completely ignoring the rest!"

Are you familiar with the "Emoluments Clause" in the US Constitution Claudia?

Craig Lindberg

Mr. Blake, who has claimed the Constitution does not apply to the players but rather only a “chosen few?” Who has attempted to deny the NFL player’s the right to free speech or protest? Other than perhaps a few wackos, nobody is claiming that any player should be charged with a crime, arrested, or detained by the government. Certainly nobody with any influence is claiming that, and it’s definitely not what the author of this letter is saying as you seem to imply.

What I have seen in droves however is a fundamental misunderstanding of the 1st Amendment. The protections afforded by the 1st Amendment are vis-à-vis the government, not your employer. An employee does not have a right to protest in his place of employment while being paid by his employer. The 1st Amendment would protect the employee from being jailed by the government for doing so but not from punitive actions by his employer if otherwise legal.

It should also be noted that my right to protest your protest is every bit as protected as your right to protest in the first place. Free speech is not free. The 1st Amendment was never intended to protect you from the economic consequences of unpopular speech or inappropriate protest. You have no right to speak or protest with an expectation that others will not exercise their right to free speech and or protest. The calling for a boycott is not in any way a challenge to your right to free speech. It’s a constitutionally protected protest of what you are saying. Lastly, while you certainly have a right to free speech and protest, you have no right to be seen or heard. By all means, protest all you want on your own time on public property, but just because you work in a very visible venue, does not mean you have a right to use that visibility to air your personal grievances.

This misunderstanding of the right to free speech is manifest in our society, and this is hardly the first time when there has been a situation like this. One that immediately comes to mind is when Natalie Maines said, “we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.” When radio stations started pulling Dixie Chicks songs off the air at the behest of their listeners, the reaction was as swift as it was predictable: people were trying to deny the Dixie Chicks their right to free speech. Of course, as is the case here, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Contrary to your assertion, the author of the letter researched exactly the right thing: what terms of their employment may have the players violated and what are the contractually allowed consequences of the rule violations? There is no question that the players have a right under the Constitution that will protect them from punishment by the government for their protected speech and nobody including the author is claiming otherwise.

Mark Aaron

Craig: "Mr. Blake, who has claimed the Constitution does not apply to the players but rather only a “chosen few?”"

He did nothing of the sort, Craig. You are lying and you owe him an apology. He said: " Some people pretend that the Constitution only applies to the rights and liberties of a chosen few."

==> "Who has attempted to deny the NFL player’s the right to free speech or protest?"

Quite a few of the usual suspects around here have disparaged the players for their protest. Many of them said they will attempt to punish the players economically by boycotting the NFL.

==> "just because you work in a very visible venue, does not mean you have a right to use that visibility to air your personal grievances."

Did you have a problem with Tim Tebow when he took a knee Craig?

==> "Contrary to your assertion, the author of the letter researched exactly the right thing: what terms of their employment may have the players violated and what are the contractually allowed consequences of the rule violations?

Which is more important employer regulations or the constitutional right to equal treatment under the law Craig? The employers mostly agreed with the players and some even took a knee in sympathy. Highlighting inconsequential etiquette rules while dismissing a life and death matter is not an appropriate response. Calling her out was more than fair.

Craig Lindberg

Mark ==>He did nothing of the sort, Craig. You are lying and you owe him an apology. He said: " Some people pretend that the Constitution only applies to the rights and liberties of a chosen few."

Lying? No. Do you see the little squiggly thing at the end of the sentence (“Mr. Blake, who has claimed the Constitution does not apply to the players but rather only a “chosen few?”); it’s called a question mark. It tells the reader that the sentence is a question not a statement. It’s poor form not to take the time to both read and comprehend before calling someone a liar.

==>Quite a few of the usual suspects around here have disparaged the players for their protest. Many of them said they will attempt to punish the players economically by boycotting the NFL.

As usual, you either don’t understand the rights afforded by the Constitution or your deliberately and disingenuously misrepresenting them. A citizen’s right to protest a protest is no different than the protester’s right to protest in the first place. Both are equally protected speech. A boycott is a protected expression of free speech. A protester has zero expectation or right that his free speech will not result in economic harm to himself. Free speech is not free. I won’t land you in jail, but it absolutely can cost you money if your customers don’t like what you have to say.

==>Did you have a problem with Tim Tebow when he took a knee Craig?

Stick to the facts and stop with your pitiful attempts at misdirection. It’s not about what I do and don’t have a problem with. What I wrote is correct: just because you work in a very visible venue, does not mean you have a right to use that visibility to air your personal grievances.

==>Which is more important employer regulations or the constitutional right to equal treatment under the law Craig? The employers mostly agreed with the players and some even took a knee in sympathy. Highlighting inconsequential etiquette rules while dismissing a life and death matter is not an appropriate response. Calling her out was more than fair.

This is just another of your dishonest straw man arguments. You are trying to change the argument to be about a comparison that the author made no attempt to make. The constitutional right to equal treatment under the law was never in question. Asking why the rules are not being enforced is a perfectly valid question that you would not hesitate for a second to ask if it furthered your narrative. Dismissing a life or death matter? Add drama queen to the ever growing list of Markisms. Remember that the things you read between the lines are not written by the author and are solely a reflection on you.

Mark Aaron

Craig: "Lying? No. Do you see the little squiggly thing at the end of the sentence"

Yeah, yeah, it is an easy mistake to make given your penchant for blaming minorities for abuses perpetrated against them. My bad. Get over it.

==>"As usual, you either don’t understand the rights afforded by the Constitution or your deliberately and disingenuously misrepresenting them. . . A protester has zero expectation or right that his free speech will not result in economic harm to himself."

I understand that the Bill of Rights is a limit placed on the government not citizens and have explained that to others here within the past week. Nonetheless a protester with a legitimate grievance should expect understanding, thanks even, not punishment.

==>"Stick to the facts and stop with your pitiful attempts at misdirection. It’s not about what I do and don’t have a problem with. What I wrote is correct: just because you work in a very visible venue, does not mean you have a right to use that visibility to air your personal grievances."

Why not? People use their celebrity for good purposes all the time by supporting charities or by bringing attention to important social issues. Who are you to deny them that freedom?

==>Highlighting inconsequential etiquette rules while dismissing a life and death matter is not an appropriate response. Calling her out was more than fair. "You are trying to change the argument to be about a comparison that the author made no attempt to make. The constitutional right to equal treatment under the law was never in question. Asking why the rules are not being enforced is a perfectly valid question that you would not hesitate for a second to ask if it furthered your narrative. Dismissing a life or death matter? Add drama queen to the ever growing list of Markisms. Remember that the things you read between the lines are not written by the author and are solely a reflection on you."

Poor Craig unaware of 'inference.' Add clueless to the list of Craigisms where you pretend that the abuse of Black people by the police in America isn't a life or death issue. You are too busy worrying about etiquette. If you and Henry are so concerned about etiquette why don't you go after these culprits... https://www.amazon.com/slp/american-flag-apparel/nkxqoz3akxsd3bf

UNITED STATES CODE §176. Respect for flag

(d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.

(g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.

(i) The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.

(j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform.

Craig Lindberg

I wrote: “What I wrote is correct: just because you work in a very visible venue, does not mean you have a right to use that visibility to air your personal grievances."

Mark wrote: “Why not? People use their celebrity for good purposes all the time by supporting charities or by bringing attention to important social issues. Who are you to deny them that freedom?”

Once again, predictable Mark sets up a straw man and tries to divert attention from the fact that he has lost the argument, and then for good measure tosses in a red herring. Dissecting this textbook Markist response –

==> “why not?”

Because they are employees, in uniform, actively engaged in the work for which they are being paid, while in their place of employment. If a waiter decided to exercise his right of free speech by telling everyone in the restaurant what he thinks of your politics, do you believe the owner of the restaurant would have no recourse against said employee? He isn’t going to jail, but he probably won’t be coming back to work either, and that’s not a violation of his right to free speech. This isn’t, and has never been, a question of free speech as Mark well knows while continuing to disingenuously imply.

==> “People use their celebrity for good purposes all the time by supporting charities or by bringing attention to important social issues.”

The predictable Mark straw man. This has absolutely nothing to do with the mater in question. This has never been about what someone does on their own time and outside of their place of employment, but predictable Mark knows he can’t argue the actual facts, so he tries to change the subject to a obviously true, but all but irrelevant topic.

==> “Who are you to deny them that freedom?”

The predictable Mark red herring. First, I don’t have the power to deny these people any freedom, so his statement is pure BS from the get go; second. I’ve never suggested denying anyone anything they have a RIGHT to. Mark is dishonestly implying that they have a right to a “freedom” that in this case, the do not have – at least not without the possibility of negative consequences from their employer; and lastly, if I want to suggest that it is appropriate that the NFL or the owners punish players who take a knee, that is my constitutionally protected free speech. So, what we have here is Mark making up stuff about rights that don’t exist while at the same time suggesting that I have no right to free speech. What a joke.

Stay tuned for more puffed up straw men and big fat red herrings.

Craig Lindberg

Craigism: the practice of using logic and reason to highlight the intellectual dishonesty of the self-proclaimed arbiters of fact.

Thanks! I love it.

Craig Lindberg

Mark: “It is always the usual suspects like you and Carlos who are first in line when you perceive an opportunity to dismiss grievances by minorities or immigrants. Why is that Randy?”

It is always the usual suspects like Mark who is first in line to intentionally misrepresent someone’s words and try to divert attention from the facts when it conflicts with his wishful thinking BS narrative about liberals and conservatives. Why is that Mark?

Randy didn’t dismiss anything. He simply and correctly pointed out what would be your intellectually dishonest, and childishly simple to predict response. Robert blatantly played the race card. Even his gross misunderstanding of the Constitution can’t explain him writing “{We The People" ) is inclusive of Blacks, Mr. Wiley.” It’s straight from page 1 of the Democrat playbook. When you have nothing to support your position, call or imply the other person is a racist. The author of the letter wrote absolutely nothing even remotely implying such a belief.

Mark Aaron

Craig: "Robert blatantly played the race card."

I see you have joined the usual suspects club Craig. What you claim here is the equivalent of racists claiming it is racist to call racists out on their racism. You impugn a legitimate grievance by labeling it and dismissing it as merely "the race card."

Craig Lindberg

Mark, your juvenile attempts at bullying and name calling don't work on me. Neither does your constant attempts to misdirect, mislead, and distort. Here you play the race card while disingenuously denying that Robert played the race card. The letter to the editors had nothing to do with race. It was simply a quote from the NFL game operations manual which, and it’s completely appropriate to ask why it’s not being enforced.

Robert’s comment served no other purpose than to try to try to change the argument from one that he could not possibly win to one about race where he can employ demagoguery. That is the textbook definition of the “race card,” and the exact same thing you are trying to do by inferring that I’m somehow racist rather than engage in an argument that you have already lost.

Kelly Naschke

Hahaha....Now Mark got spanked! I love it 😍

Mark Aaron

Craig: "Robert’s comment served no other purpose than to try to try to change the argument from one that he could not possibly win to one about race where he can employ demagoguery. "

The entire issue we are currently discussing here is about race and protesting the mistreatment of Black Americans by the police.Now you want to pretend bringing up race is somehow unfair. Oh please. Talk about pathetic strawmen.

Mark Aaron

==> “why not?”

Craig: "Because they are employees, in uniform, actively engaged in the work for which they are being paid, while in their place of employment. . . . This isn’t, and has never been, a question of free speech as Mark well knows while continuing to disingenuously imply.

Oh, so according to you employees are no longer allowed to discuss politics at work or show their support for a cause. You are just making a fool of yourself now Craig.

==> " I’ve never suggested denying anyone anything they have a RIGHT to. Mark is dishonestly implying that they have a right to a “freedom” that in this case, the do not have – at least not without the possibility of negative consequences from their employer; and lastly, if I want to suggest that it is appropriate that the NFL or the owners punish players who take a knee, that is my constitutionally protected free speech.

Talk about flip flopping around and red herrings! You claim employees don't have a right or freedom, then they do have a freedom, then in the same instance you claim you have a right that you just claimed they didn't have. Poor Craig, you are all turned around, aren't you? Pobrecito.

Mark Aaron

Craig " Robert blatantly played the race card. Even his gross misunderstanding of the Constitution can’t explain him writing “{We The People" ) is inclusive of Blacks, Mr. Wiley.” It’s straight from page 1 of the Democrat playbook. "

He and you both show your flagrant racism when you try to minimize and dismiss legitimate grievances by labeling them as merely "the race card." You then go on to compound your racist dismissal by pretending this is some calculated effort by the Democratic Party.

I have been engaging in online forums for as long as there have been online forums, Craig. One constant that I have observed over the years is that there is always a group in every forum who come out of the woodwork to attack and disparage anytime minorities are mentioned. I see you have joined that group here. No surprise given that you deny the glaring racism in the GOP and try to blame the lack of any minorities in their caucus on the very same minorities they abuse.

Craig Lindberg

No. What is happening is you are showing your flagrant intellectual dishonesty when you try to fraudulently change an issue that has NOTHING to do with race into an issue of race so that you can call the other person a racist in an attempt to marginalize an argument YOU CANNOT WIN.

Kelly Naschke

Wow....Robert got SPANKED!

Mark Aaron

Kelly: "Wow....Robert got SPANKED!"

No, he got misquoted and libeled and he is due an apology.

Craig Lindberg

Ummm, no, that was a question I posed to him, not a statement. That's why there is a question mark at the end. Wipe the spit off your screen, slow down, and read before you write.

George Croix

Mr. Lindberg, i'm an old guy so taking a few breaks while chain-sawing up this big 'ol dead pine tree here in God's Country in the 100 deg heat index to check my mail and generally goof off while cooling off.
Wanted to let you know that while I, personally, have no time to waste, being shorter of it, on the Aaron troll who hides behind a keyboard while saying stuff that would get his clock reset in person, and who has already hid behind a disability and medical issues when I asked for a person to person get together back in August....You, on the other hand, have done a better job on the 'facts' (gotta love that.....) troll than I am doing on this tree with a Stihl chainsaw. [beam]
There's dust and bark and chopped up insect life all over the place, and here on this lease road to the blind, too....
Personally, I hope those medical issues get solved and full health returns and then we'll see if the snark and name calling goes away with it....no doubt it's a medical issue, and not a lack of character issue.....[rolleyes][whistling][wink]
Me? Well, I haven't ever laughed so hard while sweating to death......I thank you for your efforts on behalf of those of us who are not crazy as an outhouse rat, and/or not afraid to walk our talk...personally......
Logic beats Alinsky, yet again....

Mark Aaron

George: "troll who hides behind a keyboard while saying stuff that would get his clock reset in person, and who has already hid behind a disability and medical issues when I asked for a person to person get together back in August..."

Poor George who thinks he is emperor of the forum and that posters must appear in person before him to be judged acceptable to participate in his forum. You can stick your imperious arrogance where the sun doesn't shine George. I am not impressed. If you can't keep up intellectually here maybe you should take up a new hobby like quilting or crocheting.

Craig Lindberg

Thanks for the kind words George.

Craig Lindberg

Mark writes: "If you can't keep up intellectually here..."

Mark, I hate to break it to you, but your nonstop intellectual dishonesty is not 'keeping up intellectually,' rather is an admission that you can't.

Kelly Naschke

No....he got SPANKED!

Kelly Naschke

Just for the record Mark..... it was FAR satisfying watching YOU get SPANKED!!! You are ALMOST as good as Oblamo was on weakening the left and strengthening the right. Keep up the great job!

Willis Briggs

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

Mark Aaron

Kelly seems to have an unhealthy fetish about 'spanking.' Maybe he didn't get enough as a child. Poor fellow.

Steve Fouga

The author quoted an NFL manual that states how teams should conduct themselves during the anthem.

Well, apparently the NFL itself has changed its mind, deciding to go with the Constitution instead. [cool]

Carlos Ponce

The Constitutional right to Free Speech, etc. only pertains to government entities, not private. Government 101

Steve Fouga

Okay, since pedantry is such an important part of your repertoire:

The author quoted an NFL manual that states how teams should conduct themselves during the anthem.

Well, apparently the NFL itself has changed its mind, deciding to go with a principle similar to one espoused by the Constitution instead -- the right to free speech. [cool]

Mark Aaron

[thumbup][tongue]

Emile Pope

There is no such rule as that in the NFL rule book. It is a totally false internet myth that has already been debunked.

Emile Pope

While the game operations manual mentions a national anthem protocol, there is no rule in the NFL rule book requiring players to behave a certain way while it is being played. Furthermore, there is no provision for penalizing players in the rule book for their behavior during the playing of the anthem...

Carlos Ponce

The "Rule book" pertains to layout of the playing field and rules covering the actual game, game action, interaction with the other team.
http://operations.nfl.com/media/2725/2017-playing-rules.pdf
So Emile, to say, "there is no rule in the NFL rule book requiring players to behave a certain way while it is being played," is true because it does not belong there. Since the playing of the anthem is pre-game, those rules are covered in the "Games Operation Manual". The game clock hasn't started.

Mark Aaron

Carlos: "Since the playing of the anthem is pre-game, those rules are covered in the "Games Operation Manual". "

Got a link to that alleged manual Carlos?

Craig Lindberg

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/theres-no-nfl-rule-players-must-stand-anthem-theres-policy-162020168.html

Craig Lindberg

Here is another: Another. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2017/09/24/were-not-going-to-play-politics-steelers-mike-tomlin-says-team-wont-take-the-field-for-anthem/?utm_term=.c6f199247f39

Just as the original letter states.

Mark Aaron

Craig: "https://finance.yahoo.com/news/theres-no-nfl-rule-players-must-stand-anthem-theres-policy-162020168.html"

Good for you Craig, you are finally learning to provide links to support your arguments, too bad this one and your other do little to support your claims... but good job nonetheless.

Steve Fouga

Unsportsmanlike conduct, number 88 offense -- Disrespecting the national anthem, the flag, and American servicemen and women... 15 yard penalty! Automatic... FIRST DOWNNNNN!! [rolleyes]

Carlos Ponce

Steve, that's not the penalty listed by the NFL's game operations manual. Penalties include fines or suspensions.

Emile Pope

"Penalties include fines or suspensions". Only in Fantasyland.

Carlos Ponce

No Emile, it's in the NFL Game Operations Manual.

Steve Fouga

Sorry. Should have been loss of down, LOL. Oh well, I'm making this up as I go. Like the president. [cool]

Mark Aaron

Steve: " Oh well, I'm making this up as I go. Like the president. "

LOL! [thumbup][tongue]

George Croix

Well, Aaron, I made the mistake of reading one of your childish posts so might as well simply say that 'keeping up intellectually' with you would require me to devolve back to a 4year old, and I'd have to hide behind a safe place and talk trash.
Having never been a mouthy, talk but don't walk coward, I'll pass and not try to match you. I hope your problem is medical rather than learned, because just being a clown can't be fixed by a Doctor. Get yourself healthy then let's see you run your safe behind a keyboard mouth the same. Of course, you may simply enjoy calling your betters names because of your inferiority but that can't be fixed.
I'm in the book while you cower and insult and create your own fantasy realities, so, no, I can't match you without dumbing myself down and abandoning any sense of character, so no thanks.
Now, tack on some more of your insecure and timid little 'facts'. I don't care because I'm not like you Thank God.
You bad...oh yeah you da big bad sheriff.....😀😀😀😀😀😀😀
Handwashing time now....
If you ever get a pair or decide to grow up maybe you can learn to act like a grown man rather than... you

Randy Chapman

[beam][ban][thumbup][batman][tongue]

Mark Aaron

George: "Well, Aaron, I made the mistake of reading one of your childish posts so might as well simply say that 'keeping up intellectually' with you would require me to devolve back to a 4year old, and I'd have to hide behind a safe place and talk trash."

Typical Emperor George, lots of trash talk with no substance or sourcing. This time you also offer up a veiled threat of violence. That happens when you can't keep up intellectually George. When you grow an intellectual pair get back to me.

Ken Hufstetler

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup] Thanks George!!

Mike Trube

And then there are those of us who don't waste time debating who is right or wrong, instead, putting our feelings into action. Many are choosing to boycott the games altogether along with boycotting the sponsors of the games. Networks have stated they will not be showing who is kneeling, nor will they show the almost empty stadiums. But with so many cell phones these days, fans are filming and posting to the Internet of what they see. Fans broke the phone lines temporarily to Budweiser beer company. Voicing their distain for Bud trying to saddle the fence. If you look up the stats, the numbers are continually dropping for tv ratings and ticket sales. Also, look up the disgusting actions by the players on the field towards one another if a player chooses to stand and respect the flag. At the same time, look and see who is losing sponsorships for their disrespectful actions towards the flag and anthem. Some sponsors have ethics when it comes players not showing moral fortitude. The boycott seems to be working, and I hope it continues till the owners and coaches realize the actions of their players is not good for business. As has been noted, doing something you have a right to do, is not always the right thing to do.

Connie

Carlos Ponce

"Many are choosing to boycott..." And those who go to the games BOO when the players do anything to disgrace themselves, their team, their anthem, their flag, their country.
There are those who say the players take a knee to "pray" but the NFL looked upon Tim Tebow with disdain when did precisely that. NFL = Hypocrites. But Tim always stood for the anthem.

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