After the game, a few of the Dallas players displayed their clothing featuring the slogan, #WeSkateforEquality. The NHL is allowing players to support whatever cause they want for the upcoming season.
Such advocacy is fine, part of our 1st Amendment rights of free speech. However, it is respectful for NHL players to advocate their causes on their own time and not during the playing of the National Anthem.
Unfortunately, such a message is anathema to the National Basketball Association. This league has won the title for being the most “woke.”
In their Orlando “bubble,” the NBA painted “Black Lives Matter” next to the basketball court. At last night’s opening game between the Utah Jazz and the New Orleans Pelicans, every single player, coach, and referee knelt during the National Anthem.
For good measure, all the players wore a “Black Lives Matter” shirt. Some raised their fist in a “Black Power” salute. Almost all the players wore social justice messages on their jerseys.
Despite the well-known Marxist training of the founders of the organization Black Lives Matter, the NBA is fully onboard with the organization. The leaders of the organization have also expressed support for policies which are both anti-family and anti-Semitic. Clearly, it does not matter to the NBA.
Why would the NBA care about the radical ideology of Black Lives Matter when it refuses to condemn the brutal communist regime in China?
This communist dictatorship is very influential within the NBA, which profits handsomely from the relationship. The leading star of the NBA, LeBron James, has never issued one negative comment toward China, a country that represses ethnic and religious minorities and is engaged in outright hostile and belligerent behavior toward the United States.
The NBA considers itself to be an international league and is not concerned if it affiliates with the country posing the greatest threat to the national security of the United States. For good measure, China lied about the origins and spread of Covid-19, which has become a worldwide pandemic.
The NBA is not alone, for National Anthem protests were also on display during the start of the Major League Baseball season. In addition, when the NFL starts their season, fans can expect almost all the players to kneel during the National Anthem as well.
This type of behavior certainly upsets traditional Americans. In a recent CBS News poll, a majority of Americans over the age of 65 opposed kneeling during the National Anthem. Nonetheless, in other age groups, there was more support. Overall, 58% of Americans supported the right of athletes to kneel during the National Anthem.
This behavior is not acceptable to President Trump. Last week, he tweeted, “Looking forward to live sports, but any time I witness a player kneeling during the National Anthem, a sign of great disrespect for our Country and our Flag, the game is over for me!” This view was also expressed by Mike Ditka, former Chicago Bears Hall of Fame player, coach, and broadcaster. He said that players who kneel during the National Anthem should “get the hell out of the country.”
Trump and Ditka might not speak for a majority of Americans, but if the 42% who are disgusted by kneeling decide to no longer watch the NFL and other professional sports with such protests, it will impact ratings, which will ultimately impact the financial bottom line for the leagues. Let us hope that if such shenanigans occur this season, the ratings and finances for these leagues will be negatively impacted. They will get their just deserts.
Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, “Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & www.Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America's Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on www.JeffCrouere.com. For more information, email him at [email protected]