Miami Dolphins to Punish Players Who Protest During National Anthem A new team policy says players on the Dolphins who protest on the field during the national anthem could be suspended up to four games.
NFL football players are reporting to their training camps, and the sounds of the culture wars are beginning to be heard throughout the land. Jerry Jones, the Trump-like owner of the Dallas Cowboys, has demanded that his players appear on the field for the playing of the national anthem, and that they will stand obediently, literally "toe on line," during its rendition or be subject to discipline (“Trump applauds Cowboys owner for anthem stance,” July 27). The Miami Dolphins have also promised to suspend up to four games any player who does not behave as they are told.
There is something incongruous about this when you realize that the dispute is over our anthem. Although we mostly repeat the words mindlessly while singing them, reflect upon the penultimate phrase of the song: "O’er the land of the free.”
It does not say that you are free to do only what I tell you to do. It says that this is the land where you are free, which includes the right to protest what you see as injustice without fear of retribution. That's what freedom is all about.
Back to basics. The protest that began with Colin Kaepernick was not a demonstration against our flag or against our armed forces or whatever spurious motives others tried to tack on to this behavior. It was a protest against what was seen as police brutality, including killing, of blacks throughout our land without just cause.
This is a societal problem that has yet to be effectively addressed. The football players are among the few who have a visible platform which can draw attention to this perceived injustice. They should be applauded for their bravery in taking this stand — just like the song says.