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NFL considering policy change to quell anthem controversy

by Evan Wilt
Posted 10/10/17, 03:55 pm

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell outlined a plan for the league to move past its national anthem controversy in a letter he sent to all 32 teams Tuesday. “Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the national anthem,” he wrote. “It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us.” Goodell, who said he developed a new policy to address the issue but did not offer details, stressed that NFL executives need to work with players. NFL team owners will discuss the proposal and decide how to move forward during regularly scheduled fall meetings on Oct. 17-18. President Donald Trump reignited the debate last month when he called out NFL players for choosing to kneel during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Trump’s comments prompted protests from players across the country. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the anthem protests in August 2016 to draw attention to racial inequality in the United States. On Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence walked out of an NFL game in Indianapolis after several players kneeled during the anthem. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Tuesday the Trump administration welcomes discussions of NFL policy changes.

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Evan Wilt

Evan is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Washington, D.C.

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  • KeithT
    Posted: Wed, 10/11/2017 12:58 am

    When did the flag become an altar before which every person should worship?  The majority of the USA refuses to worship the living God but insists on full and unequivical reverence during the National Anthem. 

    And when did standing during the National Anthem (ironically set to a tune written by a Brittish glee club) get connected to honoring our troops?  In elementary school I was taught the pledge of allegience and how to duck under my desk if the nuclear attack siren sounded.  Never was there a connection made between the flag and our troops.  

    I've seen fans in the stands sitting during the National anthem for no obvious reason.  No one around them did anything to show that they cared.  Now that some African-American athletes don't stand and for serious, thoughtful, painful reasons, they get blasted.

    I sincerely do not comprehend this.

  • Allen Johnson
    Posted: Tue, 10/10/2017 08:35 pm

    Castigating players and fans for not standing for the National Anthem reminds me of a well-known Bible story found in Daniel chapter 3. The Babylonian government issues a decree that when the national emblem is displayed and the band plays, everyone must give homage. It turns out that three young Hebrew men "take a knee" for their God rather that the nation's god, and are fast-tracked for execution.
    Shadrach, Meschek, and Abednego took seriously the First and Second of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-6).

    Speaking of those two commandments, many church congregations display a so-called Christian Flag alongside the American Flag in their worship sanctuary or on an outdoor flagpole. Invariably, the congregation adheres to the national flag code and exhibits the American Flag in the position of honor, rather than the Christian Flag.



  • JC3's picture
    Posted: Tue, 10/10/2017 08:40 pm

    Keith, great points which show why I prefer the Christian flag placed above the US flag on a pole to represent that our battle cry in the War for Independence was, "No king, but KING JESUS!"  The numerous NFL's & fans' outward physical displays of disrespect (kneeling, communist "fisting", sitting, etc) are all inward heart problems aimed at a low view of ANY authority and/or brain-washed, revisionist government school history of what truly happened in the past.   As a Christian, I proudly salute the US flag:  NEVER as an idol, but rather to respect 1) what the Founders started as a Christian nation, 2) those who died believing they were making a difference in our deceptive US foreign policies past & present, 3) my father, uncles, & friends who served, 4) my son & nephew who are serving, 5) Pat Tillman, who joined the Marines and died in Afghanistan after turning down a $3.6M contract in the NFL with Arizona, 6) the Constitution and the states united, but never a overbearing central government as it has morphed into & the Founders abhorred,  7) the hope that God may have mercy on us, when we truly repent of numerous national sins, and return us to a Christian nation once again.

    May we start with a little education?  There are three basic symbols for the anti-Christian communists: Red Star, Hammer & Sickle, and clenched fist; all popularized by Stalin after the Bolshevik Revolution in October, 1917.  Many NFL players are blindly using the clenched fist to represent "black power", while the more terroristic Black Panther agitators knew exactly who they were copying-catting in the red movement tearing the U.S. apart.  The issue to me isn't the physical knelling or fisting, but rather the perverted hearts & ignorant minds who refuse to bow to King Jesus, but rather worship the false gods of government/humanism/self/etc...and I pray that Jesus draws each and every one of them near to Him, "for they know not what they do."


  • Brendan Bossard's picture
    Brendan Bossard
    Posted: Tue, 10/10/2017 11:03 pm

    KeithT, to answer your two main questions:

    The athletes have gotten blasted because they are professionals and fans are not.  For decades athletes have stood at attention for the national anthem, while some fans have goofed off in the stands.

    More importantly, the kneeling is based on a false cause.  According to Colin Kaepernick in an interview with NFL Media after he first sat out the national anthem, "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color....There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."  This is a distortion of the truth.  Jim Crow is over, and the police are not out to get black people.

    As for the connection between the flag and our troops:  our flag has led thousands into battle, and covered thousands more coffins.  Blood has spilled on it.  Bullets have torn it.  Do you see?

    You and I agree about the danger of worshiping the flag.  I believe that we need to take a more Pauline spirit about this matter, though.  What may be idol worship to you is for many others an expression of love for what the flag represents.  This love compares to the love of a man for his wife.  Dishonor his wife, and you dishonor him.  Dishonor the flag, and you dishonor those who bled for it.

  • DWBrown
    Posted: Tue, 10/10/2017 07:51 pm

    Kieth, If you are old enough to remember ducking under desk at school and for all your years there after have not come to understand the link between Military, National Anthem, and our Countries Flag, that does sincerely amazes me. No matter our age if we search for the truth, we can find it. I don't think your answer will be hard to find, ask any that haved served in the Military, or someone that has lost their only child in the Military.

  • Brendan Bossard's picture
    Brendan Bossard
    Posted: Tue, 10/10/2017 09:10 pm

    JC3, I do not know what to make of your allusion to "deceptive foreign policies past & present."  Please clarify whether you mean that US foreign policy has been generally deceptive, or that there are a few instances when it has been.  The latter makes sense to me, but not the former.  If you can cite some examples, that would help.

  • JC3's picture
    Posted: Wed, 10/11/2017 02:48 pm

    Our once great Constitutional Republic only lasted about 60 to 70 years before the sinners in power corrupted it.  The "Northeastern Establishment" of DC politicians, banksters, and internationalists have been deceptive since the early to mid 1800's; VERY-VERY briefly: 1)  we stole (Biblically) several countries from Spain (a weak country at the time), but paid for the Louisana Purchase from France ( a powerful country at the time).  Same story with the west coast states of the US; we stole land in the name of Manifest Destiny from foreign countries.  2) WW1- too many discussions here, but suffice it to say the Bolshevik Revolution of October, 1917 was enhanced by outside help.  3) WW2- We helped beat the Nazis and yet President Truman allowed the communists to take over Eastern Europe with our "Allied support" and financial support via Lend-Lease aid.  The concept of Russian communism would have died of starvation after WW2 without U.S. aid and the communists miss-guiding our State Department; exactly like they did in the Pacific by a) delaying aid to the good Chinese of Chiang Kai-shek, and b) aiding Stalin who in turn helped the Chinese communists run Chiang Kai-shek to the island of Formosa, now Taiwan.  If we didn't have "communists in our State Department" like the leftists claim, then you'd think the U.S. would have benefitted at least once statistically in all the dealings!  4) Korean & Vietnam "war" lies.  5) Numerous foreign aid deals where the money goes to the corrupt leaders, rather than the "poor" citizens who truly need our I personally witnessed when I was in Panama in the early 1990s with the Army.  We need to return to the days of our foreign aid being missionaries delivering food, medicine, money, and the gospel to the distressed peoples!  Let the crooked & terrorist leaders be exposed for their crimes!  6) Absolutely nothing has changed since I left Afghanistan 15 years ago! Bring all the troops home! They don't want their freedom from a bunch of infidels. 

    I met a post-WW2 Polish immigrant recently and he had two shocking thoughts for me to ponder: #1= "Poland would have been better off under Hitler, than Stalin's more oppressive communism!" BTW- he agreed with 3) above.  #2 = "Europe would not have a Muslim terrorist problem today if Hitler had won."   My only comment to his points is that, "The lesser of two evils, is still evil."  Come Lord Jesus!  Hear our infinite list of repentances and judge us righteously!


  • Brendan Bossard's picture
    Brendan Bossard
    Posted: Wed, 10/11/2017 09:54 pm

    JC3, thank you for your detailed response.  You have certainly clarified your views.  Thank you for your service, too.

  • Brendan Bossard's picture
    Brendan Bossard
    Posted: Tue, 10/10/2017 09:51 pm

    Allen Johnson, Nebuchadnezzar built the golden image as a monument to his own vanity, not a national emblem.  Our flag may be compared more closely to the twelve stones that Israel left at Gilgal after crossing the Jordan River.  Most people that I know cherish it for the good things that it represents.

  • Allen Johnson
    Posted: Fri, 10/13/2017 11:10 am

    Nebuchadnezzar was the ruling government and the stele (ten times higher than wide) was the national symbol, and religion and government were essentially one and the same.
    Read again Daniel 3.  It's about refusing national idolatry. And read again the First Two Commandments (Exodus 20) especially verses 4, 5. It's one thing to have a flag flying above the post office and the flag on our postage stamps to represent the nation, and another thing to pay homage to the flag. And those who become angry and incensed at those who do not "respect" (as they tell it) the flag are of the same spirit as Nebuchadnezzar who enraged threw the Hebrew young men into a fiery furnace.  In this case, throw the "disrespectful" NFL players out of their jobs.  Those who are so angry at those who do not worship The Flag betray themselves as idolaters.
    Again, read Exodus 20:4-5 and respond how standing with hand over heart for the Flag, or pledging allegiance to The Flag, somehow gets a pass from this great Commandment (and the one before it)?

  • Brendan Bossard's picture
    Brendan Bossard
    Posted: Fri, 10/13/2017 10:44 pm

    Allen, I have read Daniel 3 many times, including just before posting my original response.  You and I see things differently.

    In answer to your question, I believe that Romans 14 applies.  If you believe that you would be breaking the First and Second commandments by paying homage to the flag, then by no means should you do so, for to you it would be sin.  On the other hand, there are many who feel free to pay homage to the flag.  For them it is not sin.

    For them to be angry at you for not paying homage would be sin, because you are not dishonoring anyone in spirit.  Anger at those who kneel may signal an idolatrous spirit, but then maybe not.  Only God can discern that.  But understand that when we pay homage to the flag, we are honoring the people who gave us and are protecting our inheritance.  We do it in gratefulness.  When the players kneel, they spit in the faces and on the graves of the people who we are trying to honor, because their cause is based on a false premise:  that America hates black people.  So anger may be a justified response to those who kneel.  Thankfulness is not idolatry; ungratefulness is a sin.

    You have a good heart, Allen--and so does he who pays homage to the flag.


  • Steve Shive
    Posted: Wed, 10/11/2017 04:55 am

    Back in the early 60s my friend and I were standing for the national anthem at a middle school basketball game. As kids we fell prey to that strange affliction that can hit any of us, something seemed very funny at that moment. We tried very hard to not laugh, but evidently did not do a very good job and our snickering became obvious to those around us. And this ultimately came to the attention of the coach. He was our coach as well. We had a very serious sit down with him and the principal. He told us we were fortunate that a veteran was not near us because surely he would have punched us in the face. [I assume this was hyperbole to make his point since we were both 12 or 13 at the time.] Our punishment was severe. We had to sit out the next two basketball games! We were both starters on the team and this was severe beyond measure. We wanted to appeal it to the Supreme Court!! But somehow we survived and it was a lesson well delivered and learned. To this day I do not worship the flag or the country. But I do revere those who fought for us, the freedoms that we do have and the many opportunities provided to us in this great country. 

  • DWBrown
    Posted: Wed, 10/11/2017 08:32 am

    Steve, Your story about your education says so much and it's sad that kids today do not hear right and wrong. Most likely today nothing would be said to you and if so your parents would complain to the School Board and the bad acronym organizations would jump on the School to make an example and lawyers to make money. Have we not all seen someone that has done something special in front of a crowd and all those in that crowd stand up and clap for them. Was that crowd worshiping or honoring that person?