Letter to the Editor
Sears required that male employees wear a necktie at work. Sears believed that a tie gave them a more professional appearance. The guy understood and agreed to the policy but eventually rejected the idea and refused to wear a tie. His insubordination resulted in his dismissal.
2017. Football player, Colin Kaepernick refuses to stand for the national anthem at his place of work. The playing of the anthem is an accepted custom in the opening ceremonies at every National Football League game. It is a small recognition of the sacrifice that allows America and the NFL to exist. Kaepernick and the guy at the Sears store claimed their right of free speech by objecting to company policies.
Both employees were wrong in claiming free speech rights. As employees, they were obligated to abide by all policies and procedures set by their employer. Kaepernick stated that he could not exhibit respect for a flag, anthem, and nation that continues to oppress people of color. According to businessinsider.com, Kaepernick became a millionaire because of his ability to play football. Capitalist America provided him the opportunity to reach that level of financial success. Seventy-five percent of NFL players are persons of color. Many of them are millionaires.
The protest of Kaerpenick and his fellow millionaires is having devastating effects on the NFL. Fans show up to be entertained. Political protest is not entertainment. In spite of media spin that protesters are not protesting America, the image they present and Kapernick’s original statement for his refusal to stand are the reality. Image is reality.
We can only wonder why Kaepernick would choose to ignore rules set by his employer and then claim bias against his right to free speech. Defiance of employer rules is not protected free speech Defiance of employer rules can result in termination of employment as the guy at Sears found out. The firestorm Kaepernick created is producing terrible results for NFL team owners.
Attendance at the games is dwindling. Viewership of the televised games is reaching new lows. The NFL may have to refund advertising dollars because of the boycott of the games. This is unfortunate. The NFL may suffer even more. If Kaepernick and his fellow protestors really wanted to do something for oppressed people in America, they should share their millions with them. This they will not do. They are destroying fan interest in the game. At game time, fans don’t care about politics or oppressed people. Kaepernick and them don’t much care for people either. They may put the team owners out of business. The oppressed people the players claim to worry about will still be oppressed, and they won’t have football to watch as an escape from their misery.