Free Speech In The NFL (Or Any Other Business)

Taking a knee used to mean downing the football in the end zone during a kick. Now it has a dual meaning, as football players are “taking a knee” during the National Anthem. “Taking a knee” is a political statement taken by an individual, and can have repercussions. In the NFL of today, the owners, or the League, have decided to let the players continue with their protest by not disciplining them, and by their actions have contributed and encouraged the protesters. They have been shocked to realize that there are repercussions. Patriotic Americans have turned off their TV sets, canceled their cable Sports Packages, burned NFL jerseys and stayed away from the stadiums. Just as it is the right of players, owners and league officials to make political statements, it is the right of those with opposing views to voice their objections. That is what the First Amendment is all about: the opportunity to freely voice ones opinions.

When a business promotes, (or allows their employees to promote), political, or even sociological or religious ideas, they must accept the simple fact that those who oppose their ideas will react in opposition. A business that openly promotes an ideology, or a political idea, leaves itself open to public condemnation. Businesses, generally, have not openly declared their allegiances to political candidates, by placing campaign placards on their establishments, for fear of potential repercussions from their customers who might support the opposing candidates. Some do, and accept the repercussions.

ESPN decided to promote a Far Left ideology. As a result, they have been losing massive amounts of subscribers, and are seeing their bottom line severely affected. Likewise Target, which promoted transgender bathrooms. Hollywood and the music industry are seeing declines in viewership, also, as pictured in the low ratings for the Oscars and the Emmy performances.

Of course they are whining about it being “unfair” that customers are boycotting them, but that is what happens when you use business to promote an ideology. If ESPN wishes to promote a Far Left ideology, that is their right, but I have the right to not pay for the promotion of their ideology, and I have the right to actively oppose them.

I could care less if anyone gets “triggered” by my actions in opposition to the Far Left. That is their problem, not mine. As for the NFL, well, they may be contributing to their own demise by offending large segments of their audiences. So be it. It was their decision. Now they must suffer the repercussions.

About Author

Shorty Dawkins

I am a writer of novels, currently living in the woods of Montana. My 5 novels can be seen here:


  1. Jim 25 September, 2017, 19:00

    It’s good to hear about the boycotts!

    Reply this comment
  2. Steve 26 September, 2017, 10:46

    We have turned off all pro sports and will do so in the future! Also we are boycotting their sponsors in every way possible!

    Reply this comment
  3. 12B Lambo 26 September, 2017, 10:49

    Stop supporting the NFL. They don’t support us! Stop watching the games, stop buying their merchandise.

    Reply this comment
  4. chuckles 26 September, 2017, 10:50

    nailed it!

    Reply this comment
  5. Patriot 26 September, 2017, 10:54

    Well said Mr. Dawkins

    Reply this comment
  6. Glenndolph 26 September, 2017, 10:54

    In ancient times, loosers kneeled to the winners… I think that if we said thank you for pledging your life, wealth and honor to this country, them would stop… just an idea…

    Reply this comment
    • Bob 27 September, 2017, 09:09

      You noticed the same thing I did. My response to them…
      kneel knaves and submit yourself to those of us that honor the American Flag and its Anthem.
      Until you submit, you are not worthy to stand in its presence…….KNEEL before the Flag of the United States of America.
      This applies also to the members of congress who recently did their best Monica Lewinsky imitations.

      Reply this comment
  7. Jerry "G" 26 September, 2017, 10:55
  8. Jerry "G" 26 September, 2017, 10:57

    Thankful there’s Canadian football !

    Reply this comment
  9. RC 26 September, 2017, 10:58

    I will not support or patronize any business, organization, or individual that disrespects the flag or anthem of the USA

    Reply this comment
    • Victoryman 26 September, 2017, 13:08

      AMEN, RC. Let these spoiled millionaires visit a VA hospital where there are REAL heroes who lost their knees in combat, yet still stand for flag and county on prosthetics.

      Reply this comment
  10. Trgruvin 26 September, 2017, 10:59

    I propose demonstrations free zones. Including all arenas. Let’s solve this problem with common sense.

    Reply this comment
  11. Nitro 26 September, 2017, 11:00

    The NFL used to be a place where my vet brothers and myself could get away to from all the bs that main stream media try to force down the throats of Americans but ever since the NFL inserted politics into their organization, we ate some with it. May they tap the rewards that they have created by shopping this.

    Reply this comment
  12. Trico 26 September, 2017, 11:01

    Future Headline: The Only One Watching NFL Games Is…No One!

    Reply this comment
  13. KilRoy Was Here 26 September, 2017, 11:01

    When you hit yourself on the thumb you feel the pain and this is just what the Stupid NFL is doing to them selves buy letting the players to be thier hammers. The pain they are starting to feel is thier own problem as we the American sports fans refuse to have politics interfear with our sporting events if we have to stop it completely. They need to wake up to the fact they are killing thier golden sports goose with a players hammers.

    Reply this comment
  14. Morgan 26 September, 2017, 11:03

    What about the fact these sports players, who are merely employees doing a job, have all signed contracts and received the NFL rule book in which it states you must stand and participate in the anthem? Like many companies in America personal beliefs/opinions are to be had outside of the job environment. Why not the same standard for sports players?

    Reply this comment
    • Blacqeagle 26 September, 2017, 13:19

      Enforce 62a-63 of the rule book, next player up!

      Reply this comment
    • disgusted vet 27 September, 2017, 13:06

      the problem is the NFL owners and commissioners REFUSE to follow that rule book AND in fact are JOINING these douchettes in the protest. The Ravens anthem singer – a combat vet – resigned because “he didn’t like how the fans reacted to the protest.” i’m guessing he is okay with whiney multi-millionaires walking on, spitting on, pissing on the flag because “it’s a form of protest” as well.

      Reply this comment
  15. Patriot 26 September, 2017, 11:09

    It would be great to take a page out of the Aulinsky playbook and also go after anyone who advertises during NFL events
    Dry up the source for these unpatriotic owners and players

    Reply this comment
  16. Eugene 26 September, 2017, 11:10

    I Kneel ONLY to my GOD !!!! I SALUTE and HONOR OUR FLAG !!!! and I STAND for ALL THE VIRTUES espoused in the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION !!!!!!

    And as my PRESIDENT, DONALD A. TRUMP, has indicated, “I express NO APOLOGIES for AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM” !!!!

    Reply this comment
    • SW 26 September, 2017, 15:04

      AMEN! Let’s see how these “kneelers” like it when their pocketbooks are empty!

      Reply this comment
  17. Gary 26 September, 2017, 11:12

    Colin Kapernick’s right to protest is sacrosanct and so is everyone else’s. However, football players in uniform on their employers fields and on their employers’ clocks are just employees. If Kapernick wants to protest something, he should do so on his own time and on his own dime. And the same is true for all private people in the public eye.

    Reply this comment
  18. Pooz 26 September, 2017, 11:15

    I cut off the 49ers last year because of Kapenick’s disrespect for our Nation and Flag and let them know about it. They and the NFL paid for their decision to let it go on with a drop in attendance.
    This latest demonstration is a slap in the face of all Americans that truly love this Country we live in, especially the Military, Veterans and their families that put their lives on the line to preserve this Great Nation!! I hope that advertisers will pay attention to a loss in revenue, especially USAA which is refusing the many veteran’s requests to stop advertising on NFL games and programs.

    Reply this comment
  19. 2ndCharter 26 September, 2017, 11:20

    “That is what the First Amendment is all about: the opportunity to freely voice ones [sic] opinions.”

    Umm, no it isn’t. The First (and other) Amendments are about protecting you from the government interfering with your natural right to free speech. People on company time, on company property, have no right to free speech, free from repercussions by their employer.

    Reply this comment
    • Shorty Dawkins Author 26 September, 2017, 11:57

      2nd Charter,

      Thank you for pointing that out. I should have been more specific and said it is on your own free time that you can speak freely. Your employer has the right to restrict your free speech, should they choose.

      Shorty Dawkins

      Reply this comment
      • Rogdon 27 September, 2017, 22:54

        Another thought on this topic is that many of the NFL players seemed to be protesting police actions. But an article online mentioned that NFL players are arrested for crimes, some violent, on average one every seven days. In 2006 71 arrests were made and 32 already this year.

        Reply this comment
    • Spud 26 September, 2017, 12:20

      You got that exactly right!

      Reply this comment
  20. irene 26 September, 2017, 11:26

    Could not have said it any better. Thank you

    Reply this comment
  21. COL 26 September, 2017, 11:26

    What is interesting to me is the fact that while I fly my flag at my own home and someone may. E offended causing officials to require
    Me to remove it, I attend a game that I have paid a considerable amount of money for and become offended by a paid employees action, that is my problem. The hypocrisy is amazing. I am not watching NFL or MLB or ESPN

    Reply this comment
  22. Cal 26 September, 2017, 11:30

    This “take-a-knee” protest has nothing to do with the First Amendment. The NFL and its teams are not state actors; they are not government employers that would be limited in restricting expression. Just as my private employer is not required to permit me to advocate for political or social causes while on the job — neither is the NFL or its teams. They may permit it (the fact that they do speaks volumes) but it’s not because the First Amendment required it. I recall when Jon Kitna wore a cap with a Christian symbol or message during a post-game news conference. Did the NFL view it as a First Amendment issue? No — it fined him 5K. Although it ultimately rescinded the fine, the NFL never defended his First Amendment “right”; because it wasn’t a First Amendment issue.

    Reply this comment
  23. Baldo 26 September, 2017, 11:30

    Boycott the nfl

    Reply this comment
  24. Chas 26 September, 2017, 11:33

    Too many people are of the mistaken impression that the 1st Amendment gives them permission to say whatever they want, wherever they want. That is incorrect.
    The 1st Amendment is a restriction on the government, preventing interference in one’s expression; political, ideological or otherwise. When the expressions are at the workplace, that is strictly at the discretion of the employer. Should one say something that contradicts or discredits the organization, then the employer has every right to cease that damage as they see fit, by reprimand or even termination.
    Clearly the NFL and all the teams are in agreement with the players. Now it is on We the Consumers to have our say. Will we endorse these protestations by continued patronage, or will we vote with our feet and take our money elsewhere?
    The onus in on us.

    Reply this comment
  25. Dave 26 September, 2017, 11:34

    Americans have cut the NFL far too much slack over the past decade. First they wanted to jack up the cost of broadcasting, then they wanted to call themselves a non-profit. Then they wear pink socks to support an organization that donates to infanticide. I was done with the NFL in 2010. Now I’m just laughing as they hang themselves.

    Reply this comment
  26. Sarge 26 September, 2017, 11:36
  27. muddywater 26 September, 2017, 11:39

    All this over 200 over paid football playing cry babies
    I’m only going to watch college football only, until they
    start kneeing.

    Reply this comment
  28. Heard It All Before 26 September, 2017, 11:51

    My father served 42 years in the United States Navy and he would be shocked to hear that the football team he loved would be protesting the two great symbols he also loved. Our Flag and our
    National Anthem. They have to remain sacred and held to the highest respect or where is our reference point for the ideals of our Nation. These NFL players are just that….they collect their paychecks and return to their ‘gated community mansions and watch themselves on TV.. They have joined the Elite among us and now feel they have some grand wisdom to tell us how to think and act. Shame on them for crossing over to the dark side of the ‘victim society’ while they
    sit home trying to select a color for their new Lexus. My TV has an ‘off switch’ and when it comes to the NFL and their sponsors that swithch will be used.

    Reply this comment
  29. TyranniCull Industries 26 September, 2017, 11:51

    Actions have consequences, yo!

    You’re free to hate America, and we’re free to make you regret it.

    Reply this comment
  30. polaris 26 September, 2017, 11:54

    As a friend of mine said: I’d rather go to the gun range than watch football…..I said Ditto!

    Reply this comment
  31. Frog 26 September, 2017, 11:58

    If it was up to me I would take the flag and the anthem out of sports events, tell Trump to shut up, and remember that free speech is free speech. While this article is correct about consequences, and people are entitled to boycott, most of our civil liberties and freedoms are already gone thanks to incessant wars, too many instances of police brutality, high taxes, etc. Trump is behaving the same as Obama when he picks fights with those with whom he disagrees, and the demand for people to be “patriotic” is in itself Fascist. Oathkeepers needs to remember to defend freedom means to defend individual rights, and that the expression God and Country is just as dangerous as no God and Country.

    By the way, this oathkeeper actually saw combat in Vietnam, later planned nuclear strikes in Europe, and think that we should bring all our troops home, get rid of most of the military, end the war on drugs, and in general stop using force against others or our own people. If people riot thats different, but free speech is free speech. Read the Oathkeepers Ten Commandments again.

    Reply this comment
    • Lee 28 September, 2017, 19:16

      I think we should get rid of sports all together, nothing but a bunch over paid idiots that have no clue is what really going on, what you say?

      Reply this comment
  32. JohnO 26 September, 2017, 11:59

    “This is what the first amendment is all about?” NO it isn’t. The first amendment and the rest of the bill of rights are restrictive on the government and its actions. In other words the government cannot interfere with private business nor private individuals. Oath Keepers should know the difference.

    Don’t be so blind and buy into the divide and conquer and false left/right paradigm. Stay focused!! Media is flooded with the NFL and players kneeling protest “patriotic” controversy. Really folks??? How about researching the misdirection playbook by looking into the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird and the propaganda used on America.

    As my friend Debra Cochran posted …

    … “Socially Engineered Americans…….. STOP ALREADY! It is OVER And WE are still 20 Trillion in Debt, Our Money Is Fake, Our Healthcare is a Mess, Our Education is Indoctrination Centers, there is no JUSTICE in our Justice System anymore, police are free to murder US Citizens with impunity and our Soldiers are dying in foreign countries for the Petrodollar and Empire Building!!! WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE?

    Reply this comment
  33. gypsy 26 September, 2017, 12:07

    boycotting the nfl shouldn’t be the only thing. Send email, letters to their sponsors and threaten to boycott their products. If the sponsorship drops, the nfl will begin to see the error of their idiotic ways.

    Reply this comment
    • Charles 26 September, 2017, 14:16

      You are are correct, it is time to take America back from the rich bastards who run the NFL. They get rich and powerful by our complacent attitude of ” I can’t do anything about it so why try “.

      Send them a message, by boycotting their advertisers, just send the NFL advertisers an email condeming the NFL, for disrespecting the American Flag and the United States Military and the American People.

      Tell the advertisers you are sick and tired of the Progressive Bull Shit and you will boycott the advertisers products and their complacency until the advertisers make a corporate statement condeming the NFL’s Behavior.

      This is a real Ideaological War for the hearts and the minds of the corruptable among us.

      Fight the good fight for God and Country.

      Respectfully, Charles Lukens

      Reply this comment
  34. Kicker 26 September, 2017, 12:11

    Football players make an exorbitant amount of money to play a sport. Their fans are the ones who supply that money by purchasing tickets, purchasing paraphernalia. watching games, and supporting a network which receives money from sponsors to televise games and in turn pays a portion to the teams, etc. The players have a right to protest whatever they want to protest, however I do not believe they have a right to do it during a game that the fans are paying them to play. If they must protest something, do it on their time. If they’re protesting the police or whatever cause they choose, then protest it outside of the game. I’ve worked in the nuclear industry for 30+ years and if anyone were to protest an outside activity on company time, they would no longer be employed.
    However; if the players are protesting this country, then they need to leave it if they think they can live a better life elsewhere.
    I am a combat veteran, as was my father and my wife’s father. Our kids (2 boys and a girl), our uncles, our nieces and nephews all served our country. We were in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines and we were participants in WW2, Korea, Viet Nam, the Gulf War and Afghanistan. I don’t care what race, nationality or religion you are, when you disrespect our national anthem our flag and our country you are disrespecting us and the ones that didn’t make it home or didn’t make it home in one piece, and we don’t like it.
    We have been football fans for a very long time but if this type of behavior is condoned by the NFL and team management, as indicated in the media, and by actions on the field, my family and I will no longer support the NFL or any team that allows this country and its veterans to be disrespected. We will notify the NFL and team sponsors that we will not purchase or use their products and encourage other families, friends and veterans to do the same and to encourage their friends and families to do likewise. We are many and we can make a difference.

    Reply this comment
  35. Olddog1 26 September, 2017, 12:32

    Protesting what you don’t like or agree with is one of our unique rights as Americans. But denigrating our country, our flag, our National Anthem, our veterans, and our citizens as part of the protest is pathetically disgusting. NFL game day is for entertainment. It is not a forum for political tirades, disobedience, and disrespect for our nation. Until the NFL team owners and the Commissioner make some changes to stop this nonsense, I will not watch NFL football.

    Reply this comment
  36. Kevin John 26 September, 2017, 12:40

    Stand for the Flag. Kneel for the Cross. God Bless

    Reply this comment
  37. Ed IN Colorado 26 September, 2017, 12:42

    Remember that this whole crap was started when Colon K kneel starting the 2016 season… When Oblamer was still president and the elections hadn’t happened yet… Blaming this on Trump, when all he was saying was repeating what was said by NFL fans when Colon K first started being an unpatriotic asshole…

    It’s not Trump deal, it’s the NFL’s and their owners sucking off the Commissioner, who’s just an employee… I agree with Trump and I agree even more since all the BS started because the NFL and the left-wing started lying about what was really going on…. How Gullible can the public be… gullible enough to believe the people that’s been lying to you since Carter… This was started by the NFL, and continues to be an NFL issue… They get money from the taxpayers though federal subsidies.. Stop giving them any kind of money, boycott the games , have congress stop the subsidies, and warn the sponsors that you won’t be spending your money on their products as long as they support the NFL… And it look like the NBA needs some reminders also…

    Reply this comment
  38. Mike Jones 26 September, 2017, 13:35

    Thinking NFL Players are protesting the flag is like thinking Rosa Parks was protesting public transportation.

    Reply this comment
    • Tim Allen 28 September, 2017, 00:22

      Thinking Rosa Park’s protest was done at her place of work while her fans paid her salary, is like…not thinking.

      Reply this comment
  39. Tom 26 September, 2017, 13:38

    If bending the knee is showing humility and respect for all who died for this country then it is good. In this case it is not good. Long live the boycott!

    Reply this comment
  40. Colt45 26 September, 2017, 13:39

    This article says it all, and a new poll came out yesterday saying that 72% of Americans agreed with president Trump.

    Reply this comment
  41. Tonantius 26 September, 2017, 13:54

    I whole heartily agree with the author. I even decided not to participate in fantasy football this year because of this.

    Reply this comment
  42. End-Time Viking 26 September, 2017, 14:55

    Make a statement and boycott all professional sports until they all respect our flag. The NFL can flounder and die as they have made me real mad. MAGA!!!

    Reply this comment
  43. Trick 26 September, 2017, 16:38

    Well, I see we have a few opinions here. GOOD! That’s healthy. So let me add my take. I’m disgusted with the NFL. I’m done with them.
    Enough said.
    Thanks for ALL your comments. Well done.


    Reply this comment
  44. Trick 26 September, 2017, 16:53

    I just read through all these posts. Good job guys(and gals). NFL HAS IT COMMING . Carry on !

    Reply this comment
  45. Bob 26 September, 2017, 17:23

    I stopped watching TV over a year ago for this and other reasons. I also stopped following the nfl and other sports, even online. As long as want to be disrespectful, and the sore losers they are, so be it. They will no longer get any support from me.

    Reply this comment
  46. WILLIAM 26 September, 2017, 17:30


    Reply this comment
  47. Joe D. 26 September, 2017, 18:15

    Lock. Load and fix Bayonets!! Glad to see I have company. I’ve been boycotting for 1 1/2 years and will continue!!!

    Reply this comment
  48. Ghostrider 26 September, 2017, 22:53

    I agree whole totally with the comment – Kneel for the Cross, Stand for the Flag. – I myself have not watched any kind of so called “Pro Sports” since the baseball strike in the early 80’s. The sports arena has become nothing but a “let’s see who gets paid the most event”. The working class these day’s barely makes it as it is, and now the so called roll models for our kids want us to “roll over” and let their stupidity and un-patriotic actions go unanswered. Hang in there Patriots and all those that have feelings about the good in their life–Stand for Something worth living for– May God Bless All and Bless Our Country ( Vietnam Vet. )

    Reply this comment
  49. Torq 27 September, 2017, 06:43

    I have taken an oath to not support any NFL games (or any other kid games played by spoiled rotten, pampered, disrespectful,over-paid pro athletes who think that the universe revolves around them) until they get their heads out of their asses or at least have their glass belly buttons properly installed so they can see where they’re going when they have their heads up their asses. If you disrespect the flag or our anthem, you’re disrespecting my family. No mercy for swine!

    Reply this comment
  50. Roger D 27 September, 2017, 06:51

    Shorty, I’ve read several op-eds explaining different ways to look at this issue. Your explanation with the business point of view makes the most sense to me. Thank you.

    Reply this comment
  51. JP 27 September, 2017, 16:59

    The BBC reported earlier this year that US race relations have become more polarized and tense since January 20, 2009. How did we get here after millions of white Americans voted in national elections, twice, for the first black president in US history?

    Unfortunately, over the last 8 years, Obama’s accusation of “white privilege”, and “systematic racism by Police Officers” and the justice system aimed at young impressionable black Americans, who were raised in mostly fatherless homes. They took Obama’s accusations to heart, it aggravated the alleged victims of the Obama’s described discrimination, that have resulted in demonstrations in the streets that have become increasingly more militant, and hostile, and the creation of Black Lives Matter.

    Over the last 8 years, Obama never told those young black Americans, that hundreds of thousands of white Americans, died in the Civil War to free America’s slaves—or that America was the first country in the world to free its slaves, because of a Republican president issued an Emancipation Proclamation.

    For the last 10 months, Soros and Obama’s Organization for Action have been organizing and funding weekly street demonstrations by transporting violent ANTIFA, Black Lives Matter, and Communist USA anarchists vilifying Police Officers to well organized demonstrations while paying them$25/day.

    Reply this comment
    • AntiSocialist 27 September, 2017, 19:21

      JP, you are a little off on your history. The War of Northern Aggression (Civil War) was not about slavery, but money and power. The Emancipation Proclamation only “freed” slaves in the Rebel states, not the northern states. Several nations had freed their slaves peacefully before the War of Northern Aggression. Lincoln was our Joseph Stalin – no one to admire.

      Reply this comment
  52. " Stew " 27 September, 2017, 19:33

    First of all; Our President has NO BUSINESS messing in what goes on in football; he’s just helping to divide Our Country further by so doing. Everyone has a right to Free Speech & to Protest. When these players are on/off the field in uniform, they not only are representing their entire team but their State as well. When their Coach stands with them he also should be fined.These Football Players & Coaches make millions of $ per year. If they don’t stand when the National Anthem is played, they should be fined several million $ & that money sent to Countries that are in need of it. Also it could be used to take care of the sick & feed the hungry children throughout the world. We already have a Resolution ( Law ) in place as to how to show Our Respect to Our National Anthem & Our Flag. As for ANYONE “taking a knee ” after Singing Our National Anthem they should be disgraced in the News Media, Anyone that shows variant disrespect for either in anyway doesn’t know what it is like to fight & shed your own blood for Your Country & to lose Your Brothers/Sisters in Arms & NEVER been to a Military Funeral where the Casket is Draped with Our Flag & heard Taps played. These people aren’t considered TRUE AMERICANS by me.

    Reply this comment
  53. Rich 16 October, 2017, 15:35

    Its about time. I am sick and tired of these overpaid crybabies. I hope the league implodes and goes out of business not a penny from me or my family

    Reply this comment
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