September 19, 2016

JIM BROWN’S TOUGHEST DAY IN THE NFL: Attempting to talk sense into Colin Kaepernick:

Brown says he’s been heartened by signs of athletes recently speaking out on social issues, but says using the national anthem as a forum can be hurtful to veterans and others.

“You can point it out but you don’t necessarily want to disrespect the national anthem or the flag,” Brown said. “There are outside entities that are trying to bring this country down. We have to go back to the memories of 9-11. If that memory doesn’t do anything to you as an American, then you’re not really that sensitive a human being.

“When you think of the sacrifices our firefighters make, think about the service of soldiers in foreign lands and listen to their lives, you have to be careful that whatever you do, don’t cast a shadow on what these great people do. They make sure you have the right to speak out without retaliation, or at least no retaliation other than other people criticizing you.”

Brown said he voiced his concerns to Kaepernick.

“I talked to (Kaepernick) and I expressed my thought that his intentions are great and I back that 100 percent, because I’m glad to hear a young man speak out,” Brown said. “But when it comes to our country and our flag, I don’t want to tamper with that. I want to take off my gloves and work hard to deal with a process and bring about change.”

In contrast, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is perfectly fine with his players trashing the National Anthem:

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league will encourage players to use their voice to promote social change as the demonstrations during the national anthem started by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last month continue to spread to other teams.

Speaking before the Minnesota Vikings’ first regular-season game at their new stadium against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night, Goodell told a group of reporters the movement from “protests to progress” is a positive sign.

“As I’ve said before, I truly respect our players wanting to speak out and change the community,” Goodell said. “We don’t live in a perfect society. We want them to use that voice. And they’re moving from protests to progress and trying to make things happen in the communities. And I admire that about our players, (being) willing to do that.

“Obviously, we want to respect people. We want to respect our differences. We want to respect our flag and our country, and our players understand that. So I think where they’re moving and how they’re moving there is very productive, and we’re going to encourage that.

Goodell said he hasn’t reached out to Kaepernick directly.

Kaepernick once again kneeled during The Star-Spangled Banner before the 49ers’ loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Members of the Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers were among others demonstrating in different ways during the anthem. Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said in a radio interview his team will do some sort of demonstration before Monday night’s game against the Chicago Bears.

Pete Rozelle, the former PR man who became legendary as the NFL’s commissioner from 1960 to 1989, who won an anti-trust exemption from Congress, presided over the merger of the NFL and the AFL, the creation of the Super Bowl, Monday Night Football, and the NFL’s ascendancy into America’s most popular pro sport, worked very hard to craft an image of his players as gentleman warriors. Rozelle kept his political opinions very close to his vest while alive, and I can’t imagine he would let protests against the American flag go on for very long without tamping them down behind the scenes and hard. But of course, that was before the fundamental transformation and “woke-ness.”

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