Home American Principles NFL Players: Take a Knee … and Thank God for Our Police

NFL Players: Take a Knee … and Thank God for Our Police

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Charleston Hartfield, 34. Police officer, veteran, killed in Las Vegas massacre.

The NFL players’ anti-American, anthem protest is the worst idea in the history of bad ideas.  “Hey guys, let’s kneel in disrespect of our country because cops are gunning down, innocent, unarmed blacks just for fun.”  A black, Harvard professor released a 63-page study analyzing police shootings and concluded there was no difference between shootings by police of blacks and whites.

So, what does Colin Kaepernick know that this professor missed?

Dear NFL players, you have been used as pawns in a racial deception.  This isn’t to say life in America is without racial animus, hate, and distrust.  Ironically, you prove that to be true.  But, being used in this deception isn’t the worst thing that could happen to you … you could have a real job facing life and death serving as a police officer.

Here are a few job comparisons for you.

  • The average police officer makes $56,000 a year.
  • The average NFL player makes 1.9 million a year.
  • The number of NFL players killed in the line of duty this year is zero.
  • The number of police officers killed in the line of duty this year is 99, 35 by gunfire.
  • In 2016, 21 officers were executed just for wearing their uniform.
  • No NFL player has ever been murdered in an ambush for his uniform.
  • America suffered a 56% increase in cop-killings year-over-year.
  • Cops combat mass-shootings, most of which are done by minorities since 2009.
  • NFL players are lined up on their knees protesting our police based on false facts.

Indeed, in July of 2016, while NFL players were still enjoying their summer vacation, a black, radical, racist sniper executed 6 Dallas police officers.  As the bullets rained down, a police officer had to argue with a protester to save him, before the officer ran to the sound of gunfire.

Police are increasingly in the line of fire … and not just from the insults and disrespect of ill-informed, racially-agitated football players.

When a crazed killer blew out the windows of the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas killing 58 Americans and wounded nearly 500, police were again on the front lines.  The internet is jammed with body- cam footage of police officers moving again toward the bullets.  We see them saving lives, and remarkably, we see them having to persuade Americans to listen to them.

We also hear the stories of survivors who said police officers used their bodies to shield loves and strangers from the gunfire.

When’s the last time an NFL kneeler put his body in front of an innocent civilian to take fire and give his own life if necessary?

The last time an NFL player made news in Las Vegas, he falsely accused the police of racially-biased harassment.  It turns out, the officers were cleared in their conduct.  As the police chief rightly explained, those involved in a reasonable suspicion stop often don’t feel good about it.  Michael Bennett claimed an officer threatened to blow his head off, but none of the 861 videos reviewed supported that allegation.  He lied about the encounter, and then he ranted and raved about his own lie to besmirch and attack the cops.  He forgot that video would prove him a liar.

The next week he was kneeling during the anthem while working police officers were stuck with stain and stench of his false accusation.

Being an NFL Football player is the culmination of a life of hard work. To reach the pinnacle of your professional sport, you need not only be athletic, but strong in your commitment.  Your hard work and great DNA give you a window into fame, fortune, and fantasy.  Most of us average folks, we delight in your success, and we fantasize how great life would be if we could be you. That’s why we produce the money and sales that make you millionaires.  We pack the stadiums you play, and we are the cheers you hear.

All around that stadium, keeping you and us safe, are more police.

We walk by those officers without noticing, because it is you and your uniform we want to see.  When we see the “cops,” we try to keep a low profile.  We don’t do that because we are criminals, but like most Americans, we have an instinct to avoid contact with “the man.”

Shame on us all for that.

But you … you are there on the field, at the center of attention.  You are the men paid in sums most fans never earn in a lifetime.  You are the heroes of young boys and old men.  We wear your jerseys, scream your name, and squirm in our seats on your every play.

We give you the respect, admiration, and love, you never earned.  We do it because we love the sport, and our great country confuses sports accomplishments with human heroism. We expect you to love Americans back.

Few of us wish to be police officers.  Most of us are not brave enough, strong enough, or committed enough to take the job.  Likewise, none of us want the treatment most of us give to those heroes.

Yet, when we are faced with death and bodily injury, threats of harm, or unknown fears, we call the police … not an NFL player.

Why?  Faced with death, we need a real hero.

We may not cheer them.  We may not want to be them, or even be too close to them when we are out having a good old time.  But, we Americans … we understand and respect what police do and how damn hard it is to do it.

Americans are born with natural rights.  We conceived our government to secure those rights through laws, rules, and democratic structures that ensure those rights and freedoms.  It’s all there on paper.  But those paper rights are meaningless until someone gives them life.  The men and women in blue … they secure those rights and liberties … WITH … THEIR … LIVES.

When that flag unfurls, and that anthem plays, Americans don’t conjure some phony patriotism.  The anthem isn’t some clarion call to white supremacy.  We are not merely paying homage any part of American.  We are paying our respect to everything America is, and all she can be.

We pay respect to the idea that “we the people” shall form, someday, together, “a more perfect union.” When you kneel … you flip off America, Americans, and the dream of the more perfect union.  

Decent Americans know and recognize that our police officers are on the front lines of securing that more perfect union.  They don’t fight wars on foreign soil; they fight for the streets of America … every … single … day.

Nearly every day our police officers leave for their jobs in uniform, and sadly nearly every week, one of them is returned home in a box.  NFL players, like the rest of us, have no idea about the game day pressure police really face. When you’re kneeling, have the decency to remember that.

When you take a knee or raise a fist, sit with your head-bowed, or stare at the camera with a menacing look during our anthem, you quite literally spit on us … all of us … every race, color, and creed that is America.

You violate that sacred moment of unity when we are all Americans, and when that which divides us daily is set aside for one moment so that we can celebrate the goodness of America and remember what it is we are working towards.

You break the faith.

You violate the code.

You disrespect our military.

You disrespect our veterans, our dead, and our countrymen.

You lie about our police.

On your knees or with you fist held-high, we can’t hear you.  We won’t hear you.

We see you.  And, we hear an entirely different message.  We see a tantrum, and we hear disrespect.  We see ignorance, anger, racial animus, and anti-Americanism. 

You are not winning us over.

We are not getting ready to join you. You are not Dr. King, who never thought it wise to seek justice or equality by attacking America and Americans. He went where injustice lived, and in the public square, he fought it with decency.

You go to work, where there is no injustice, and you fight it with indecency. You are not him.

Americans forgive many acts of foolishness and even non-malicious criminality from their athletes.   Americans are, if nothing else, a forgiving people. Americans, however, have no patience for those who disrespect America.  That’s you.

We will crush you.

We will crush the greedy owners who have your back … for now.  Trust me men, when this protest hits the owners in their pocketbooks, those billionaires will cut you lose.  Make sure you understand that they think less of you than do the average, angry fan.  It’s just they are stuck with you as an investment.  So, they are betting Americans love their football more than their country and that this episode will blow over before they have to turn on you.

If it doesn’t, they will tell you where to stand, how to stand, and what to sing.  Or … you … will  … be … fired.

In the meantime, while you and the owners work on your best PR moves, police officers in every corner of America will be responding to calls for help.  They will run into dark allies.  They will confront gangs, killers, and crazies.  They will give aid to the injured and dying.  They will knock on the doors of parents and deliver the devastating news of a traffic death.

They will be murdered because of their uniform.

They will give their lives, so others may live.  It’s all in a day’s work for our police officers.

Underneath the policeman’s uniform is not football pads.  Sure, he or she may be tackled that day, beat on, or attacked.  But under his uniform is Kevlar, because he might be shot today.  Underneath that Kevlar, is more heart than any kneeler will ever know.

You bring shame on yourselves.  You bring shame to our country.  And, your acts of ignorance and false charge of racism put more police lives in danger.  That’s what you are doing.

What you should be doing … is getting on your knees … every night … in your home or place of worship and thanking God Almighty for our hero policemen.  And, when you cash that game check, even after a “tough game,” you might want to thank God that you are not a policeman.  You can’t do the job.

That’s real work.  That’s real life and death.  That’s real heroism.

Richard Kelsey

Author: Richard Kelsey

Richard Kelsey is the Editor-in-Chief of Committed Conservative.

He is an Attorney, a former Assistant Law School Dean, Law Professor, and Virginia state court law clerk. Dean Kelsey was also the CEO of a technology company specializing in combating cyber-fraud. He is a regular commentator on legal and political issues in print, radio and on TV.

Rich graduated from George Mason law school, clerked for the Arlington Circuit Court, and later joined an AM LAW top 10 law firm practicing commercial litigation. He left the firm to be counsel and CEO to a consulting firm, rising to CEO of Turiss, LLC, a technology firm specializing in computer forensics, digital investigations, and fighting cyber-fraud through civil intel services and new technologies. Upon the sale of the company, Kelsey returned to Mason Law, where in the years before his return, he both taught at the school and served as President of the Law Alumni Association. Kelsey was the Assistant Dean for Management and Planning.

At Mason, Dean Kelsey taught legal writing and analysis and an advanced litigation seminar. In 2014 he was elected by the graduating class as the faculty speaker at their graduation. While serving the former George Mason Law, Kelsey conceived of, planned, and brought to fruition Mason’s Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, known as CPIP.

Rich has appeared on radio, TV, and in print hundreds of times as both a legal expert and political and legal commentator. He provided the legal analysis for all stages of the Bob McDonnell trial and appeal for numerous outlets including NPR and WMAL. He writes on occasion for the American Spectator and CNSNews.com. He returned to private practice in September of 2016, and he is working on a book/expose on legal education.

In his free time, Rich is part of the baseball mafia of Northern Virginia, serving on numerous boards and as a little league and travel baseball coach.

Rich has many opinions, and they are his own. His Twitter handle is @richkelsey.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Your opening line “The NFL players’ anti-American, anthem protest is the worst idea in the history of bad ideas.” betrays that you have misunderstood this protest from it’s genesis. If you are choosing to be willfully ignorant then, well, that’s your business. But, to use that line as the foundation for an argument is illogical and useless. If you are trying to defend some kind of conservative principles here instead of commenting on the brave actions of folks to point out injustice in our society then please, let me know a summary of what those conservative principles are. Thanks. I do want to understand your position.

  2. Don … thanks. If you read, think about, analyze, and review the entire piece, you will better understand my take. The questions you pose are answered by the piece.

    The original Kapernick protest, according to his own words, was about not standing for the anthem of a country that oppresses racial minorities. (Later it became an anti-Trump backlash after Trump inserted himself in it)

    As the piece notes, the protest is predicated on the false charge that American police are gunning down black men in acts of oppression and racism. The piece links to the Harvard study that disproves this thesis.

    These players have chosen the wrong means, the wrong message, the venue, and the wrong moment to push a protest on their fellow Americans, the basis of which is incorrect.

    It matters not that the players sincerely believe the incorrect narrative they have been sold … it matters that they have chosen to make a stand and put the anthem and their fellow Americans in the middle of their political movement.

    The piece then explains in excruciating detail why the anthem is so important to all of us … and why the protest, no matter its merits, is the improper time, place and manner. That means, that in essence, it is a protest against the anthem and American unity.

    I am sorry I lost you after the opening line … the rest explains my arguments.

    Frankly … this piece is not about “conservative” principles … it is about American principles.

  3. I might add … I very much appreciate you taking the time to both read and comment on the piece. I accept that we see it differently. I do not, however, misunderstand why many of these players are protesting. I think they have it wrong factually, and I think they are picking a very poor method to bring their message to people. We are all talking about them … and kneeling … and the flag … and he anthem. We are NOT talking about the issue of community policing, which means the tactic has gotten them great attention but has not advanced the issue one wit. (Which was the basis of another piece I wrote about the Owners role.)

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