Those attending or watching sports events such as football or baseball games do so in order to be entertained by the athleticism and competition as well as to escape from the pressures of everyday life. Politics ruin everything and should be kept out of sporting events.
San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the National Anthem has become a controversial political protest that has spurred others in the NFL to follow suit and it needs to stop. There is a time and place for such displays but a professional sports event is not the appropriate venue.
Professional athletes are paid an enormous amount of money (often an obscene amount) for their athletic skills and it is coming from the pockets of fans who only want to enjoy the games. Athletes’ political opinions can be expressed in personal appearances and interviews but they should be kept off the field. Their job is to play the games and it is a common practice for all to keep political views out of the workplace.
Employers have the right to define workplace etiquette and team owners and coaches should put political correctness aside and stop inappropriate behavior. Many fans find Kaepernick’s behavior offensive and that is reason enough to put an end to such displays. Coddling players by allowing personal protests on the field only encourages (enables) more inappropriate behavior.
Professional athletes need to be held to a higher standard because of the influence they have on our youth. Wearing pink to help fight breast cancer and bring awareness to that issue is helpful and universally accepted, causing no controversy or offense. Protesting the National Anthem, regardless of the reason, is certainly controversial and it only exacerbates the continuing fragmentation of our society.
David J. Hentosh