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A Step Too Far

By David L. Black, Ph.D., Founder, 2ndVote
USMC 1966-70, Disabled Veteran

My Grandfather Sorensen served in the Navy in WWI and WWII. My mother and father both served in the Navy in WWII. My father was on a ship sunk during the battle for Okinawa and watched 77 shipmates die serving their country. My wife’s father served as a Seabee in the Pacific in WWII. I served in Vietnam as a Marine 1968-69 at Danang, where the bodies of our fallen patriots lay before being shipped home. Our son served in Operation Desert Storm in the Navy. We are proud of our country, our flag, our national anthem and to be a citizen of the United States of America, the greatest country in the world.

This past Sunday the National Football League decided to institutionalize a false narrative that the United States is oppressive and racist. Incorporating disrespect for our national anthem, our flag, our military and our law enforcement into their opening ceremonies is an action our family cannot support. Every patriot who serves or falls protecting this nation, whether military or first responder, should be honored. To each who serve we owe more than we can repay. Repayment for their service and sacrifice should not embrace ridicule, derision and demeaning as displayed by the NFL. Although a few may dishonor their comrades there is no justification in condemning the majority who serve honorably or the community and nation they represent.

Shame on the NFL for taking this step too far. Shame on the owners who joined this display of gross disrespect. Shame on Roger Goodell for allowing this disrespect. And how hypocritical that for years the NFL has pandered to those who attend their games by providing what is now evidently a false salute to our military and law enforcement.

Our family has decided that our country is worth far more than the NFL. Our country was not made free and great by millionaire football players who enjoy all the benefits of liberty and yet sacrifice nothing to purchase freedom. The sacrifice is paid by those who wear the uniform of the military or the blue of law enforcement. The NFL has degraded into an arrogant and spoiled fraternity showing contempt to those they should humbly thank.

We will not attend another Tennessee Titans football game, although we own four club seats. We will not renew our tickets for next year or thereafter. We will not be buying anymore overpriced bottles of water or hamburgers at Nissan Stadium. We are disconnecting our NFL and ESPN cable package. We will not be watching NFL games on network television. The money we save we plan to donate to our local law enforcement organizations for needed equipment and to support the families of the fallen or those in need. These monies will be added to those already donated by our family to law enforcement and military programs we support.

Our liberty is purchased and protected every day by sacrifice and blood. Football is just a silly game that does nothing to protect our nation or neighborhood. The choice of who to support is easy. I hope you see it that way too.

David L. Black, Ph.D., is the founder and Chairman of 2ndVote, the conservative watchdog for corporate activism. Dr. Black served in combat with the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam (1968-69).

  • Paul Raymond

    I agree 100%!

  • cd

    As a military veteran I whole heartedly agree. I thank ALL who have served this great Nation and fought to keep and protect this Republic.

  • Kirk S.

    I was arguing the same thing. But for me got a shocking response. Some veterans were saying that they were Christians, and that patriotism and worshipping the flag amounts to idolatry, “After all, it’s just piece of cloth.” I retorted that just because one is a veteran does not make one an outstanding American citizen, and that Jesus did not toss aside His Jewishness. In God’s foreknowledge, He chose for me to be an American, and I am to honor that.

    • Unfortunately, I think there is some validity to that argument. The place of Christianity as our primary identity, and as the thing that unites us, was long ago displaced by nationality. Now that NFL players are attacking this new source of unity, it is bound to raise questions of this sort.

  • James Bryson

    “Shame on the NFL for taking this step too far. Shame on the owners who joined this display of gross disrespect. Shame on Roger Goodell for allowing this disrespect. And how hypocritical that for years the NFL has pandered to those who attend their games by providing what is now evidently a false salute to our military and law enforcement.”

    Superb commentary-capture on this NFL disrespectful miscalculation.

  • Paul Kelley

    As a veteran I completely agree with Dr. David L. Black. Thank you Sir.

  • Arthur Joubert

    As a veteran I agree with Dr. David L. Black and I thank all those veterans who served our country to provide our freedom. Maybe Roger Goodell ( $40,000,000 salary ) and the NFL players ( $ 3,000,000+ salary ) who don’t agree might prefer to play ball in the Canadian Football league. I understand that the actual NFL corporate structure is a non profit corporation, how can that be. The US government should stop paying the NFL to advertise for the military and spend that money and more on our veterans.

  • CumExApostolatus

    I agree that to dishonor the symbol of the flag is to dishonor those who’ve served honorably thinking they were serving the people of this country. I don’t agree with what has been done around the world in the name of the U.S., because most of what has been done hasn’t been for the benefit of the citizens of the U.S., but for the benefit of the moneyed few. However, that is no reason to disrespect those who’ve honorably served and I still respect the flag, the pledge of allegiance, and the republic we were meant to be.

  • Bruce Miller,MD

    I served as a Flight Surgeon in Okinawa during the Vietnam war. In the year and a half while I was there during the war, one third of the 36 pilots that were under my health care did not return from their missions. Regardless of what you thought of that war, these men were in the service of our country, and were doing what they were told to do, and in doing so made the ultimate sacrifice. What is going on in the NFL is inexcusable and disrespectful to these men, and so many others who died so these football players have the right to express their opinion. And they do have that right! They just need to find another way to do it! Thanks Dr. Black. I won’t be watching any NFL games either!

  • Angelo G

    I am not in the military or a police man, but I can tell you I will never support the NFL again.
    I will never go to a game never watch it on TV or buy anything they sell.
    They are a bunch of fools.
    Find something better to do with your time then watching these spoiled rich morons.

  • For me to boycott the NFL would be meaningless. Apart from the Olympics and an occasional baseball game, I don’t watch sports anymore. Sports – including most college sports – have become so commercial that they don’t have much integrity.

    • Gnowark

      Then we can be “meaningless” together. I don’t watch sports either, but I’ll stand with other vets that used to watch, but now choose to honor our country and its symbol: our flag. UNLIKE the NFL!