I was beginning to feel happy to be done with the NFL this season having let my thoughts on the issue be defined with my recent article, “I Quit the NFL”. I have quite a few other things I want to write about and was feeling good about putting this NFL “take a knee” chaos off my writing plate. I also am realizing, after three weeks of “not watching NFL Sunday football”, that I do not even miss it!

Then the President’s NFL owner comments came out this past week and I am once again dutifully compelled to respond, in the hope of bringing some logic and clarity to what has evolved into nothing less than a complete mess.

Football and politics can never be good together. The absolute bottom line here is that fans watch football to escape real life stresses and pressures. They do not want to watch player protests during our National Anthem at the beginning of the game. If it’s politics they want they tune into Fox News or CNN. The NFL has chosen not only to allow these protests, but to defend them as somehow the players rights, even suggesting the knee takers are social justice heroes….doing the NFL equivalent of the Rosa Parks bus protest.

As a retired Army veteran of 29 plus years, and the son of a WWII Navy War Veteran who served in the Pacific, I have wondered just how long the NFL player protests could continue before the average citizen fan starts getting as upset with these pseudo social warriors as I have been. Well, the dung hit the fan this week, no doubt about it. As for me, and my family, the National Anthem is not about America being “a perfect nation”, rather it is about it being a place where people can strive to make it “a more perfect union”.  The men and women, of all ethnic groups and races, who have fought and died to keep it free are the heroes who deserve our full respect and honor.

This is Roger Goodell’s response to President Trump’s remarks;

“divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities”. USA Today

My response to Roger Goodell’s comment;

” divisive actions like players taking a knee during the National Anthem demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for our Nation, our great diversity, and all of our veterans who have paid the ultimate price for our freedoms, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our military soldiers, sailors, marines, and coast guard represent in our communities”.

Commissioner Goodell’s comments ring self serving. We are somehow to equate the players contributions with those sacrifices of our military men and women who have served defending our freedoms and the American way of life.

The NFL that Roger Goodell states deserves such great respect is a tax free, $10 billion dollar a year entity, that has “non profit” status. It also holds cities and communities hostage to build stadiums and provide venues in order to gain, or maintain an NFL franchise.

NFL owners and players make obscene profits. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s annual salary to mange this so called “non-profit” is reported to be over $35 million dollars a year. I wonder if any of these NFL players understand that most kids today never even get the opportunity to go to an NFL game simply due to the high ticket costs set by the NFL.

There is just so much hypocrisy here it makes you want to scream. Yet, in all of it, we are somehow supposed to be sympathetic to Roger Goodell’s indignity over President Trump’s “right on the mark” comments about the NFL, it’s mega rich players, and gutless owners. The liberal media feeds this farce….mostly driven by Trump hating, and fails to even ask one player the following questions;

  1. Please tell specifically the concerns that are driving you to disrespect our flag, our nation, and the many heroes who have given their all by taking a knee during the National Anthem
  2. Could you still express your protest toward these issues but do so in a different venue or time?

These rich NFL players can exercise their right to protest in so many other ways than during the National Anthem. They choose to ignore how their protest affects others and also refuse to find more appropriate venues for their concerns. These players also fail to think about how their actions affect young people who look to them as role models.

So, as I have previously declared, I Quit the NFL!


Michael Hawke