NEVER Forget NFL’s Prohibition of Cowboy Decals Honoring Five Dead Police Officers
By Mike Kersmarki
It was nice this past weekend for fans of the Dallas Cowboys and other playoff teams to just talk about football again instead of focusing on legal or ethical issues involving prominent coaches and players.
But even though Dallas lost Sunday’s hard-fought playoff game, it’s more important to never forget a much more inglorious defeat earlier this season.
The league lost its very soul when it prohibited Cowboy players from wearing decals honoring Dallas area law enforcement officers who were shot and killed in July.
By contrast, Commissioner Roger Goodell simultaneously tolerated some players on many other teams who spent much of the season disrespecting our police, military and America itself.
The NFL can’t have it both ways and fans in Dallas and across the country who care about the people who risk their lives for us everyday should never forget it.
The league decision to negate visible support for law enforcement and their families devastated by the tragedy in Dallas remains unforgivable — as does the apparently lackluster effort by Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones to use his weighty influence and push harder for the decals.
Such a prohibition by the NFL against Dallas was completely unfeeling to the police families. It also was grossly unfair to fans since the NFL used the guise of tolerating free speech and racial injustice — valid or otherwise — to permit many players to engage in so-called ‘silent’ protests against police and to disrespect our country in stadiums across the country.
This contradiction is especially relevant because the five white and Hispanic Dallas police officers were shot and killed during a racist rampage by a black man.
Police have said the suspect, an Army veteran, “said he wanted to kill white people” during a standoff, according to a timeline graphic of the Dallas police shootings published by the Washington Post.
My goodness. You can’t get much more racist than that.
Yet the team and the league ruled against honoring five fallen police officers and honoring the families who will never see their fathers and brothers and uncles walk through their front doors ever again.
Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, and many of the other so-called professional athletes spent the entire season disrespecting the American Flag, our National Anthem and the United States Military.
They did this while ALSO aiding in the often false and certainly disproportionate narrative that has put the lives of so many of our brave police officers in peril.
Yes, ALL Americans have the right to speak their minds and certainly should do so by peaceably using the system to pursue law enforcement officers who break the law. But you can’t keep shouting fire’ in a crowded theater over and over again without expecting some negative consequences.
The bottom line here? Not all fans agree with either the sentiment expressed by these NFL players — or the league’s apparent tolerance of such disrespectful behavior — or where these so-called professional athletes chose to express it.
Fans are paying to watch a game, not to have political speech rammed down their collective throats.
But the voice of such fans who might disagree with Kaepernick and others has been effectively censored by the media and the NFL.
How? Because they have combined forces — either willingly or by virtue of having like minds on this issue — to overwhelmingly acknowledge the rights of the players while ignoring and seeming to not give a whit about what many fans thought — and still believe.
And it wasn’t just one incidence. These players and teams and sports writers and broadcast commentators generally supported and even fawned over Kaepernick and the other players every week, week after week, all season long.
Some advice? The players and the league and the media who cover them should stop treating NFL fans as a basket of deplorables whose patriotic views are nothing more than outmoded and irredeemable beliefs.
Don’t forget that it’s the fans who ultimately pay the bills, from buying tickets or suffering through television advertising, to financing opulent stadiums across America with tax dollars.
Still, it may remain possible to eventually forgive Goodell and Jones and Kaepernick and so many others for their terrible disrespect and dismissal of literally millions of patriotic fans around the nation.
But we should NEVER forget.
Mike Kersmarki is an author in Tampa, Fla. He currently is writing a domestic policy book: “Worker’s Party: How to Help ALL Americans Achieve Their Full Economic Potential.”
P.S. Read the column that the nation’s 20 largest newspapers have refused to print, including the Dallas Morning News, which initially said it wanted to publish it but then mysteriously withdrew that decision without comment: