The American government pays the NFL to tell its players to stand during the national anthem

Via Alex — the Alex — here is the story.  Excerpt:

It turns out that from 2011-2014, the Department of Defense spent $5.4 million in contracts with 14 NFL teams for flag ceremonies. The National Guard got in on the action too, and gave $6.7 million to the NFL for the same kind of thing from 2013 to 2015.

…Before 2009, football players standing for the national anthem wasn’t even a thing. The teams stayed in the locker room until after “and the hoooome of the braaaave,” and then ran onto the field. No one was offended, and no one was on cable news eliciting tears from disrespected military families. But then, the Department of Defense and the National Guard got involved. They began to pay the NFL millions of dollars to have ostentatious flag ceremonies before games.

There is even a whole Senate report objecting to this entire practice, with John McCain as one of the most vocal critics.  As I’ve suggested lately, maybe the ceremony really isn’t so patriotic after all.


LOL at all the Trumpy flag-worshippers all mad at Kaepernick.

Classy. You mad bro?

Oh Sam, not anywhere near your best effort. Try harder, pumpkin. Why you so mad?

When the other tribe is committing suicide you don't have to be good. You just have to gloat and I'm gloating like crazy.

Yeah, and each time one side wins an election they always claim the other side is 'committing suicide', but that's never the case. Remember when the Dems were never going to lose the presidency again because demographics? So troll harder.

Yeah, its totally the coastal liberal elites that are commiting deaths of despair...

Any day now, the government will release statistics showing that the opiate epidemic has suddenly ended.

You guys both deserve a football in the groin. Kthxbye


Kaepernick's protest had nothing to do with the flag ceremony and whether it was paid for or not, but instead his deep hatred for this country. The left is exposing itself as a political movement that hates this country because of its history, its inequality, and its opposition to soviet style communism.

You might want to read this story for some perspective on those who take a knee and those who don't:

Exactly. Kaepernick is a racist and the BLM is a racist anti-American group funded by communist organizations to create anarchy in this country.

Man, this BLM is a racist movement is hilarious! What a time to be alive.

Why do you think that?

The BLM was founded by far left communist and is funded by communist to divide the country by race and create havoc within the U.S. Now if it was simply one of the many far left communist funded anti-American groups, like Antifa, they would be just as bad but not "racist". So the BLM simply happens to be a racist version of the far left communist movement within this country.

Yes, this is the line. 50 Ruble bonus!

And don't forget, your other assignment is to cloud the money stuff.

/ end private message

Why are you hating on Kaepernick. He has always been clear that he loves and respects his country enough to try to improve it. Pay attention!

You have no idea what you are talking about.NONE. He peacefully protested police brutality which DOES exist. He never knew his Dad, his mother gave him up for adoption yet he is a Christian who has spent much time & energy for greater causes. Kneeling is a form of humility. People kneel in prayer, men kneel to propose and others before royalty. This has NOTHING to do with the LEFT. Have u not heard how many Trump supporters do NOT agree with him. Our flag represents freedom. If u want to be forced to do something like stand during the anthem or be imprisoned, go to North Korea. #Freedom

Yeah, it's funny how "triggered" all of the Trumpanzees are about this. They could ignore it...or not watch football...but as usual, they think they own patriotism.


I don't know where the Trumpkins get the idea that liberals aren't patriotic. It's absolutely baffling to me

Not mad at him at all. I still (naively?) see two issues. He wants to protest but inchoately -- it's not clear what his political goals are other than emoting about some legit and some illegitimate complaints. And he wants to play ball.

Unfortunately he's not really good at either. If he was a good protester, he would not have worn a Castro shirt in Florida (of all places!), nor the "cops as pigs" socks.

And if he was a good football player, he would be employed. Unfortunately for him, he needs to: find a team that will meet his considerable salary demands; find a team that can dump via a trade or contract termination their current starter or backup; find a team with an OC (offensive coordinator) who wants him; find a team that will accept his poor downfield "reads"; find a team that will suit his scrambling running style, which is not AT ALL in vogue (see RG3 -- a far greater talent but equally unlikely to play again -- and others). Etcetera.

we're talking about a game? a song and a game right? people are having dreams and nightmares and we're talking about a song before a game right? teams wear stupid uniforms right? coaches coach coked up right? someone painted sober right? The helmet, is when you know things went wrong, but still worth watching if you're drinking.

In other news, is Bob Dylan still worth seeing live?


MRUniversity has a video about this phenomenon, very informative:

What happened to "Markets in Everything"?

If Trump wants these free agents to stand, he's going to need to pay them more than a few million. That's chump change to these guys.

Nice expose, but I don't see our Alex Tabarrok mentioned in the story at all... TC: "Via Alex — the Alex — here is the story"

Prob'ly via Twitter.

You've got no nuts, Ray!

This is the website I resent and so I would like people to know that this is purely an urban myth:

So "purely an urban myth" means partially accurate. I get it.

Why do you resent Snopes while promoting them?

I meant respect not resent! I post too quickly and use talk to text too much…

You might want a third shot: did you mean "represent"?

Very funny. Good catch. More funny things:

It might be a funny day.

This is the kind of desperation that someone resorts to when they are looking at the business end of a 60/40 public opinion split.

55...56...57 please keep this up leftists. The establishment GOP is dead kill your party off too.

Like all things, opinions differ greatly depending on how the question is framed:

The polling has been disastrous. The fundemental question is this should players kneel during the national anthem. 60 plus percent say. The right agrees the left doesn't.

The reaction of Mark Dayton should tell you everything you need to know on the issue.

say no*

Sure, but there is a world of difference between thinking they should not kneel, and thinking they should be punished if they do. When phrased that way, the split is the opposite.

I'm imagining one of those funny Venn diagram cartoons:

Left circle: Those who oppose people with unpopular political views on campus being silenced by the authorities.

Right circle: Those who want NFL players who kneel during the anthem fired.

Intersection: Those without a great need for intellectual consistency.

That intersection part will be huge.

Mark Dayton, the physical and moral coward who is made uncomfortable by paintings of the Iron Brigade. He may be the most contemptible person in America.

Some players sometimes stood on the field for the anthem before 2009. That is when uniformity began.

Best I can tell the federal payments for patriotic activities haven't been clearly connected to this 2009 change though still srem highly relevant to the larger debate.

Yes, this doesn't "feel" right to me as someone who attended far too many NFL games in the 90s. But memories may be faulty. Either way the DoD paying for this is truly odious and far worse than whatever tempest-in-a-teapot is currently brewing about kneeling.

>Yes, this doesn’t “feel” right to me as someone who attended far too many NFL games in the 90s

Yea, the blurb above doesn't get the historical context correct. For example, per Wikipedia:

"He required his team to stand at attention in a straight line during the entire national anthem played before the game and even had national anthem practice.[5]"

Also, this is a nice example of Coasian bargaining.

Wow this flag stuff has really gotten under your skin, kiddo.

No im delighted. Your tribe is committing suicide I'm just chumming the waters.

Sure, keep telling yourself that.

Let General Hayden explain it to you.

Your Bloomberg article was pretty funny, classic trolling. For instance:

"The main argument for the anthem is that a disproportionate share of professional athletes are black, and the ceremony gives them a necessary chance to protest."

LOL. Or:

"The awkward, hard-to-admit truth is that the American national anthem is a form of right-wing political correctness, designed to embarrass or intimidate those who do not see fit to sing along and pay the demanded respect."

Yes, I'm sure that was what Francis Scott Key intended when he composed it.

"In these polarized and globalized times, surely a shift in the anthem convention should be entertained. There are many other ways of showing respect for the American military."

And I'm sure Colin Kaepernick would just love to demonstrate them. Notice his article and his post here never mentions him, it's almost as if Tyler purposefully misses the point...

Msgkings is right: we can't get angry at Kaupernick's behavior. You're on the internet: you can never be angry, only sarcastic and snarky. Nothing is sacred, not the flag, not the military, not the national anthem. Someone could behead a bunch of babies, we must never be triggered, only be snarky in insinuating that they are stupid losers.

As usual you are being blindly partisan. Plenty of your tribe, and in fact you yourself, get snarky at the other team when they get upset too. That's pretty much how the "alt-right" got started, snarky, trolly memes. Stop being such a snowflake. I'm a proudly patriotic American, and I always stand for the anthem. But I don't get my panties in a bunch when someone wants to make a point as is their free speech right.

Of course I use snark and sarcasm: see my comment, snark and sarcasm in response to Tyler's article, as well as your snark and sarcasm. It's a very effective way of persuasion, especially for the younger generations, raised on South Park, 4Chan, and The Daily Show. You see getting triggered about Kaepernick's behavior as equivalent to getting triggered about using the wrong pronouns, and that has a certain logic for those who see nothing as sacred. To others, however, there is no contradiction between being triggered about the former and mocking those who are triggered about the latter.

Yet, there is in fact a contradiction. Either mock the triggered and don't get triggered yourself, or realize that some things are very important to people and their anger isn't mockable. Can't have it both ways.

South Park is a good example of what I mean. They mock EVERYONE, their entire world view is basically that everything can be made fun of, and that extreme humorlessness (on both sides) is eminently mockable.

Even South Park has somewhere it will never go: it makes fun of every ethnic stereotype in the books, but never the Blacks.

What about Token?

Only after 22.5 years, msg

@Jeff: what jokes do they make about Token? That he's rich, and what else?

Mmmmm, yes, let's compare the tradition of standing for the national anthem--which is a tradition most enshrined by (and for) the people who give their lives to protect us--to the new custom of calling people by their desired word--a custom most enshrined by mentally ill people/residents of California.

@Hwite: South Park does plenty of humor involving race, including jokes that involve black people. The Token character is one example, he's been in a few episodes. When Chef was around there was some racial stuff involving him. One episode Stan's dad got in trouble for getting the word 'n_gg_rs' wrong when the clue was "people that annoy you". And so on.

And in fact, they don't do plain, stupid, angry racial stuff: greedy Jews, lazy Mexicans, etc. That's hacky and not funny anyway. They come at it obliquely, with Cartman's absurd ragging on Kyle's Jewishness, or the City Wok episodes.

In other words, stop trying to find stuff to be indignant about. It sucks to be black in the country. Less than it used to, but still. Stop getting so triggered when there are complaints.

MSG, there simply is nothing in the history of South Park to compare to a single episode like Crème Fraîche (which made fun of a subset of white American culture).

You have Token being rich. You have other black people being rich. You never have a black stereotype.

Wait, I'm sorry: the most cutting joke is that black people love Tyler Perry

Careless, the Tyler Perry thing is almost exactly the same, a subset of black culture, a stereotype. You're really trying too hard to be mad the blacks don't get made fun of enough. You're not one of those white people who's butthurt he doesn't get to use the n-word are you?

I've always thought of the Token character as making fun of television's portrayals of Blacks as being the opposite of Black stereotypes, like Dr. Hibbert on the Simpsons. There's been some stuff about race, but never making fun of Blacks directly. It's not like there haven't had opportunity, see the George Zimmerman episode, in which they take the BLM delusional narrative about Zimmerman seriously rather than take the opportunity to make fun of them. I wasn't surprised at the episode, it's a show for kids edgy enough to laugh at the City Wok stuff or drawing Mohamed but who still take the liberal narrative about race and history seriously.

"It sucks to be black in the country"

It also sucks to be homeless in this country, doesn't mean it's other people's fault.

"Stop getting so triggered when there are complaints."

You seem like the one getting triggered here.

Another white guy all mad he can't use the n-word. Accomplished cherry-picker too.

I always stand for the anthem although in the past I didn't want to, and I am disgusted by police brutality and misconduct, and I believe that systemic racism and white privilege exist. That being said, I don't like Kaepernick's protest because what it is actually an expression of racism against people with my skin color, rooted in leftist, Marxist, conflict theory that is explicitly racist. I want equality but I won't be made a victim by racists like Kaepernick and the majority of the Democrat party which would absolutely enact explicit de jure racism against people who look like me if they could.

Good work, but needs more Muslims.

/ end private message

Claiming people who disagree with you are Russian agents: That stuff *never* gets old!

+1 to albatross. So clever.

We count on this, of course.

We can pay in Rubles for Stalin's sake! And still the rubes will say it never happened.

Public message. What the hell.

Hey, I'm just glad the left suddenly cares about Free Speech again.

You might be write about trolling, but you have oops.

"Yes, I’m sure that was what Francis Scott Key intended when he composed it."

What did Key own?

The same thing Obama's ancestors sold and owned?

Not ancestor Sam, the actual guy, who wrote:

"No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,"

The part we now leave out of the modern Anthem.

"What did Key own?"

A month ago: Its just Confederate statutes we want to tear down. Nothing else. LOL tearing down statutes of Jefferson and Washington.

Now: We are coming after the National Anthem.

I like the Anthem, but if we are going to be true to ourselves we should be honest about the history. There were escaped slaves on the British side, fighting for their freedom.

Surely they are the "good guys" in a sense we have been slow to acknowledge.

The anthem is about the War of 1812 though not the Revolution

Key freed his slaves and eventually came to hate slavery but was a colonist {Liberia}, not an abolitionist. History is complicated.

The line you quoted was like Patrick Henry's "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?", an allusion that had nothing to do with US black chattel slavery. You know, poetic language. .

All those things are true, but in my day all (except which war) were left out of k-12 education.

I think they should add a bit of poignancy now, about time and progress.

Like flying cars, we may get progress, but sometimes less soon than we would like.

"The confederate flag is a symbol of hate"

"We are only taking down statues of slaveholders and confederates"

"I like the Anthem, but..."

Ultimate goal: "I like the Constitution, but the founding fathers were racist so we need a new Constitution, which also won't have a 2nd, 9th, 10th amendments, a takings clause, an electoral college, and will create an explicitly race-based legal and economic system, outlaw private health care, mandate economic equality, etc, etc, etc."

@ Jason Bayz “The awkward, hard-to-admit truth is that the American national anthem is a form of right-wing political correctness, designed to embarrass or intimidate those who do not see fit to sing along and pay the demanded respect.”

Yes, I’m sure that was what Francis Scott Key intended when he composed it. do realize he was dead 88 years before it became the national anthem???

So why did the NFL continue the practice after the contract ended? It sounds like Gooddell could have avoided a lot of problems by saying before this season that the League has decided to return to its pre-2009 practice of teams not taking the field until after the anthem.

I'm really struck in the past few days that Gooddell is struggling as a CEO to handle this situation, regardless of your stance on standing or kneeling.

Goodell has been pretty Badell at everything, worst commissioner in sports in a long time.

A long time? Bettman is both worse and still commissioner.

It's kind of a tossup with those two.

It's fake news, surprised Cowen hasn't issued a retraction yet.

I suppose it depends on the city, but I've attended NFL games in several cities and I have a couple of observations: One, bad teeth, I mean really bad teeth. I told my orthodontist friend she needs to set up a table outside the stadium to recruit patients. Two, intoxication, I mean, mean drunk intoxication. It's bad enough with a 1 o'clock kickoff, but the 4 o'clock kickoff we're talking about falling down drunk intoxication. They could start the games at 8 a.m. but it wouldn't make a difference since we're talking about binge drinkers, who start drinking Saturday and drink through the night into Sunday morning. A local policeman told me that they issue more DUI tickets Sunday morning than any time of the week. I thought he meant like 1 a.m. Sunday. Nope, he meant 10-11 o'clock a.m. Sunday morning. Three, angry, I mean really angry people. And the anger is mostly directed at the home team. The home team! Four, don't touch the sinks in the men's restroom. Why? Because the drunks piss into the sinks so they don't have to wait for a toilet. Who are these people? They can't be real Americans, can they?

Cool story grandpa. Listen I'm not going to be able to come visit next week or the week after that... you know what I'll see you at Christmas...maybe.

So you went to one Eagles game, big deal.

That never gets old.

<shorter rayward: "class hatred, but definitely not racism"


So a bunch of angry drunks who'd rather spend money on a ticket to the game, as well as paraphernalia, than go to the dentist and the NFL thought it would be a good idea to transgress something they hold dear? No wonder violence is so prevalent in the NFL, they have no idea how to avoid a bar fight.

The NFL could have retreated back into the locker room, before that became a statement in itself, but they decide to throw a big f'you to the fans.

It turns out that from 2011-2014, the Department of Defense spent $5.4 million in contracts with 14 NFL teams for flag ceremonies. The National Guard got in on the action too, and gave $6.7 million to the NFL for the same kind of thing from 2013 to 2015.

Accounting for 0.17% of NFL revenues during that span of years. About 1/3 of NFL revenue is accounted for by player salaries, so figure $4,000,000 was distributed to the players over 6 years. There are shy of 1,700 players, so the players in question were getting a mean of $400 a year, which is sofa change to an occupational set who receive a mean of $1.9 million a year plus fringes.

For a guy who likes to bash others for non sequiturs, this post is kind of hypocritical.

Not as hypocritical as employing people to insult your commenters.

Art, seriously...I mean, really with that?

You--and SMFS, Haysom, Thomas, Dick the Butcher, and all the other reactionary douchebags who hang around here--could always stop commenting here and de-camp to Stormfront or a similar site. You'll fit right in and find the social milieu far more accommodating to your tastes.

"Everyone who disagrees with me is a Nazi. Hillary 2020."

As is often the case, Snopes has more:

What actually changed in 2009, according to NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy, was that (due to network timing issues) players had previously remained in their locker rooms during the playing of the national anthem for primetime games. After 2009, players appeared in the sidelines for the anthem during primetime games, just as they had been doing all along for Sunday afternoon games. (The distinction often went unnoticed by viewers, as network telecasts frequently didn’t air the pre-game anthem ceremonies.)

+1 for relevant yet inconvenient.

NFL loved to wrap itself in the flag. They have military drill performances, parachutes, fly-bys, etc. Budweiser ads involving the military abound during NFL TV broadcasts.

NFL is associated with the military - on purpose.

Which is fine.

But they need to understand that if they do that, they shouldn't be surprised when their players decide to protest the flag, that it will cause bad feelings from the fans. You used those patriotic feelings for years, and now you want to say "oh, sorry, we actually want to be more about protest and free expression - would you mind forgetting all of the flag-military associations we built up over 20-30 years?"

The obvious solution is to disband the army and marines. And reduce taxes one for one.

National guard and marine reserve are more than adequate to fend off imaginary invasions from Canada. Keep Tradoc but minimal manning to keep the schools running. Roll SOCOM into the CIA SAD, where they belong. Keep the ranger regiment and marine recon as stand alone DOD assets at the direction of the president apart from CIA, since they don't belong in SOCOM. Elite light infantry are..elite light infantry. We've horribly mismanaged our spec ops.

At a maximum to satisfy the national defense morons: keep the 18th airborne corps intact and increase training funds. Keep the 1st CAV as the only armored division in active duty. That alone gives you more killing power than any army on the planet. And you have the benefit of making this super competitive for people who want active duty positions. Elite, or super elite. The rest are national guard or marine reserves.

Roll the DIA into the CIA, eliminate most positions.

And reduce my taxes, and make the military and the flag a joke.

When you meet someone from a military background your response should be: oh you're an imbecile. Sorry for your stupidity. Most should be locked up anyways. If you're stupid enough to salute a flag and die, then we should either laugh at them or laugh and institute them for mental illness.

i thank Kapernick. Because no one should be saluting these trash human beings. Dead ? Good riddance. Thank Darwin GWB invaded Iraq! Natural selection.

Boy Americans do get really worked up about a really subpar song. Objectively the US anthem is pretty poor. France being recognized as having the best anthem and Britain not too far behind. Even Mexico has a better anthem. Maybe the protesters should pick a new song? Wouldn't that make conservatards' heads' explode?

If Thiago/A Truth Seeker doesn't show up here to tell you that Brazil has the best anthem, he may be finally, mercifully, gone.

Well, even Thiago/Truth Seeker needs vacation...

It's not the greatest tune or lyrics, but it does have a nice rousing finish.

"Conservatards"... Well, aren't you are a charming specimen.

There are important conservatives you know. Including luminaries like Burke, Smith and Hume. Can't you find a low brow blog to pollute, Benny?

If those are your examples it's more accurate to say there WERE important conservatives. Those blokes are long gone.

Trouble is that they are also the most recent important liberals too.

Did they give the money back?

This doesn't ring true.

Yes the armed forces paid for certain patriotic displays, but it was the NFL that required the players to stand on the field during the anthem, not the military contract.

We have had an All Volunteer Force since 1975. The military not only can but MUST market itself to young people. The military also desires people with certain characteristics, not the least of which is athleticism.

As I stated in a prior post, this point is disingenuous. It doesn't matter how, why, or when players started standing on the field during the anthem. They were doing it, and by the NFLs own rules or guidance it required players to be respectful. For years the NFL has banned political and religious speech on the field.

But then one doofus decided to protest at a time, place and manner that was disrespectful to the flag and most fans. Then others joined in. And as fans and politicians and others expressed opposition to the protest, as is THEIR right, the counter-opposition launched in claiming that opposing the protest was un-American, racist, and violated constitutional rights.

The protest itself was the proximate cause of all subsequent division on this issue. The protest also does absolutely nothing to advance the stated cause.

We are now in a cacophony rather than a debate. Division without cause. As a fitting analogy, that's like playing a game of football without a ball, without scoring, without rules, and without a winner.

And meanwhile, thousands of Black men continue to die on our streets, mostly at their own hands.

Black men is a racist caricature. We say African American men. And they aren't dying by their own hand. They're dying because white men are killing them. Holocaust 2.0.

The vast majority of black homicide deaths are from white policemen. 89% by the last FBI statistic. They're committing a genocide against black bodies, which is a phrase you don't get to use.

Genocide. That's what African bodies go through. 75% of African Americans are killed or threatened with murder before the age of 11. And 78% of that is from local police. White police. White Christian police.

And you wonder why NFL players kneel? How dare you ?!

#Fierce. NFL players are trying to stop the second holocaust.

The vast majority of black homicide deaths are from white policemen. 89% by the last FBI statistic.

I think you mean 89 percent of police homicides are black.

From 1980 through 2008, 93 percent of black victims were killed by blacks.

I was tempted to let that impersonation slide, as I sometimes do. And it is a funny day.

I mean sure there probably are far left nutballs who believe things like that, but if you can't tell that from the center (from me and General Hayden) you might need to look again.

Read the Hayden link.

"probably are far left nutballs who believe things like that"

Probably. Probably.

I am not shy about what I believe. You don't have to make up crap quotes.

Unless you think responding to what I do say is too hard.

That's a direct quote from you. I'm mocking your use of "probably". The Democrat party is explicitly racist -opposes equality under the law, and deals in scapegoating white dudes and poor rural people as campaign strategy #1.

"Black men is a racist caricature."

BS. Until five minutes ago, not only did society call them Blacks, they called THEMSELVES Black and often still do. I choose not to use the term African American for several reasons, none of which are racist:

1. It's shorter
2. It's more accurate. People often SAY "African-American" when they MEAN Black.
3. I despise hyphenated American labels
4. It's what I'm used to from a lifetime of usage
5. I refuse to participate in someone else's identity crisis.

I recently saw a commercial for a drug that said, "The symptoms are significantly pronounced for African Americans." So I guess Africans are safe from these side effects. I've also heard Nelson Mandela referred to as African-American.

Your statistics are far afield from reality. Only about 250 Blacks are killed by police in any given year, and only about 15 of those are unarmed. Not all of the cops who shot them are White, and the vast majority of those shootings were justified by the violence of the person shot.

Meanwhile, more than 6,000 Black men are killed by Black men each year in the US. Blacks are less than 13% of the US population, yet they commit 52% of all homicides. They disproportionately commit every class of major crime with the exception of DUI.

I find the protests eyeroll inducing, although I also found it eyeroll inducing for every single rendition of the anthem to end in some popped-up "laaaaaaand of the freeeeeEEEEEeeeeEEEEEEeeEEEEEEee, land of the free!, and the home, the home of the..........BRAVE, BRAVE BRAVE BRAVE! HOME! OF! THE! BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!"

[fighter jets]

This is very true.

Such is the way of life in America.

So, basically, the NFL started requiring it's majority-black players to pay homage to a flag which, to many of them, represented a system and/or a country that oppressed them. And they didn't think any of them would have a problem with that?

They basically set this whole thing up by attempting to mandate public displays of patriotism from it's players.

I feel bad for these poor African American gentleman who feel so oppressed by the system. I really do. No one should have to live in a country that discriminates against them. So I am happy to make my own small contribution - I will pay for a one-way ticket to any other country any of these gentlemen would prefer to live in on condition that they renounce their hateful American passport. Liberia is beautiful this time of year I am told. Algeria? It worked well for the Black Panthers for a time. Cuba? I bet they would love to take some refugees. Even Canada. Cheaper for me.

Admittedly they live in a country that displays its racism by showering these men with millions of dollars and nation-wide admiration so they could afford their own ticket if they wanted, but I am happy to get the ball rolling.

I also feel bad for you Hazel. It must be terrible to be complicit in the system that oppresses Black men so badly. You must sleep really badly. So in the spirit of Christian fellowship I am willing to make you an offer too - one way ticket back to Canada? Nigeria perhaps? Where would you like to go?

Hazel strikes me as the type of race traitor who has personally delivered some reparations to her charges.

It's comical to see SMFS deftly toss Hazel's "Oppressive are US" comment into 2>/dev/null.
His view appears born from personal experience as opposed to Tyler and Hazel slavishly following fashionable social trends.

An excellent book also born from personal experience is Keith B. Richburg's Out Of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa.

From the back cover:
"Nothing in Keith Richburg's long and respected journalistic career at the Washington Post prepared him for what he would encounter as the paper's correspondent in Africa. He found a continent where brutal murder had become routine, where dictators and warlords silenced dissent with machine guns and machetes, and where starvation had become depressingly common. With a great deal of personal anguish, Richburg faced a difficult question: If this is Africa, what does it mean to be an African American?"

Buy yourself a one way ticket to another country and leave the United States we love to us.

Whether or not you think many African Americans ought to feel oppressed, it's an undeniable fact that some DO. So it's completely predictable that if you make them pay homage to the flag, you're going to get some objections.
You can't force all African Americans to feel just as patriotic as you do. Deal with it.

So, basically, the NFL started requiring it’s majority-black players to pay homage to a flag which, to many of them, represented a system and/or a country that oppressed them.

See Keith Richburg. If you fancy you're 'oppressed' in this country, you haven't run through the alternatives.

Couldn't you go back to Canada? You're dreadful company.

Art apparently doesn't realize you can post here from Canada. The internet is a little baffling to him, as he also can't fathom that anyone might mess with him in a combox without remuneration.

Er, Hazel has come out as a Canadian immigrant to the US

Yes, and if she goes back per Art's directive, how would he know? She could still post here.

I'm a naturalized citizen, as well.

As a libertarian, I get the pleasure of being called a traitor by people on both sides of the border, and on both sides of the political spectrum. It's awesome.

Go argue with the large numbers of African Americans who feel oppressed. Maybe you can convince some of them they shouldn't feel that way. Good luck.

Now I'm wondering if God was paying Albert Pujols to point skyward all those years when he hit home runs.

And thanks, Ted Craig, for the fact-checking.

Let's AUDIT the Department of Defense!
Can you imagine what is underneath the rocks?

Missile silos?

Coercive recruitment masquerading as patriotism is offensive. A hollow gesture that trivializes the profound impact of war on military families.

Coercive recruitment? By your standards, television must be wall-to-wall coercion, with all those advertisements "coercing" people into buying products. When my daughter's ACT scores came out, she received all sorts of "coercive recruitment" from universities. The Resistance must act. And Tyler's "coercion" in favor of his often misguided political ideas? The horror. (Most of the commenters seem oddly capable of resisting, but never mind.)

Nice humblebrag about your daughter, bro

It doesn't take much to get an avalanche of mail from colleges.

Coercive? How was that precise coercive?

Evans is obviously a higher being who can resist the coercive might of so-called advertising and horrifying messages with right wing memes. Perhaps, once such messages are rightly banned, he could help make decisions for those of us without his fortitude. We're lucky to have him.

Anti-market bias.

I wonder what the correlation between overestimating the importance of high school time and lack of adult life achievement is, 70 percent?

Tyler is trying to rationalize an argument no one is making. Players aren't kneeling because the ceremony has become intrusive. They're kneeling because they think the proper response to infinitesimally small police shootings of innocent people is to disrespect the entire country and the many people who sacrificed to make it a pretty nice place to live..

It's like burning down your house because someone broke a plate.

There is reasonable argument for these protests. None. Sports fans don't want politics, America is not oppressive and institutionally racist police is not a thing. (God knows the DOJ tried to prove it).

If they really thought America oppressed minorities, the logical question is why do minorities like oppression. Because rather than leaving America, they're lining up to get in.

This is one of the dumbest protest movements ever.

I love too how Trump answered protesters with such love and compassion, that their belief in modern racism was washed away. Like a gentle spring rain.

When Trump's tweets are saner, more loving and compassionate than the entire Left put together, you know you have a problem.

The Left tried something to grab people's attention. Trump did one better. It is hard to troll the trollmaster.

And so here we are. The Left insists on being the party of traitors again.

Elect a clown, expect a circus. Trump magnifies divisions in the country, with all the subtlety of a Buzzfeed listicle titled "Hey White People." It's just what he does, the way Clinton groped interns.

Fortunately, the NFL kneel/stand scandal is of no actual importance, so the damage done is only more stupid culture war crap pushing any intelligent discussion out of public view.

Ah, but it seems Trump started this to distract everyone from the real goal: yuge tax cuts. He's not stupid in that regard.

Since when do politicians try to hide tax cuts?

I don't think Trump has a lot of strongly-held specific policy goals, the way someone like Paul Ryan or Ted Cruz does. He clearly does have some goals, but they seem pretty broad (less immigration, broadly liking cops and soldiers and disliking academics and journalists), and it doesn't look like he's all that attached to them. It seems like he's pretty enamored of symbolic stuff (build the wall), and not all that interested in substance, long-term.

Or maybe I'm just misunderstanding him. Every prediction I made w.r.t. his election success turned out wrong, so it's quite possible I just don't get what he's up to. But his time in office so far hasn't been particularly focused on specific policy goals, and his administration has been really ineffective at getting any laws passed (despite a Republican majority in both houses of Congress), or even implementing much policy. And the policy we see seems like it's more about image than reality, like the previous travel ban that affected a pretty small number of people overall.

My guess is that to the extent he's effective, it's when he plays to his strengths. He's clearly a genius at PR and image. (And this makes sense, if you think about it--the whole thing where he was able to make a lot of money licensing his name was all about image.) Under Trump, the ICE will probably feel more supported than under Obama, even if the actual policies don't change much. And prospective economic migrants from Latin America will feel less comfortable coming here, because even if there's not all that much more intensive enforcement of immigration law than under Obama or Bush, there's much more fiery rhetoric (and reporting that emphasizes heartless deportations by ICE, since that's the story lots of journalists want to tell and lots of readers want to see).

When the cuts overwhelmingly benefit the rich and hurt or don't do much for the majority of voters.

But this is a good post, I agree with most of it. I don't think Trump thinks things through either.

"infinitesimally small police shootings of innocent people"

The number of people shot is fairly small. But the broader problem of racial profiling, police harassment, stop-and-frisk, the lack of accountability for police officers who abuse power, etc is much larger. And we can broaden that still to talk about the entire justice system.

"It’s like burning down your house because someone broke a plate."

Really? Not getting up while a song is playing is like burning down a house? I think it's more of a "I'm going to sleep in the guest bedroom tonight" kinda of thing.

"If they really thought America oppressed minorities"

Not mutually exclusive. It is possible to have racial injustice while still being an attractive place to live.

But the broader problem of racial profiling, police harassment, stop-and-frisk, the lack of accountability for police officers who abuse power, etc is much larger. And we can broaden that still to talk about the entire justice system.

These are not problems. They are myths. They are Blood Libels. There is no police harassment of note. Police officers are regularly held to account. They are not held to account as much as the lunatics would like for every little slight they have cooked up in their fevered imaginations, but they are held to account. America is not, say, Puerto Rico.

There is nothing wrong with the justice system except that it keeps letting criminals out. It is not racially biased except perhaps slightly in favor of Black criminals. That's it. The rest is nonsense.

Not mutually exclusive. It is possible to have racial injustice while still being an attractive place to live.

You are close but not quite there. It is *necessary* to have what you quaintly call racial injustice in order to be an attractive place to live. Nice places to live tend to have one thing in common - lots of White people. Which means they have things White people like. Such as good schools, parks, law and order, nice policemen. Those sorts of things.

An attractive place needs White values. It can have them by ignoring what Black people want (as in much of the Old South) or it can have them by keeping Black people out (as with Racial Covenants and these days with San Francisco's zoning laws) or it can be lucky to benefit from historic discrimination and by being a long way from any Black people who might want to move there (as in Portland and Seattle). Those White values can be Leftist nonsense - Seattle is still a nice place to live even though it is waay out to Left field - but it is White people who make nice places.

Places that try to incorporate Black values? Not working for Baltimore. Black people want low crime but Black voters do not want to do anything to make crime go down. They do not want to punish criminals in particular. They want good schools but if Mayor Fenby tries to improve things, they will vote him out. They do not want White police officers stopping young Black men, but they are fine if the Detroit police force is a cesspit of incompetence, brutality and corruption. You can see why middle class Blacks flees Black neighborhoods for White ones. And why now Blacks are moving back to the South.

Remember - in the Sixties Blacks rioted where the local politicians appeased them. Not where they oppressed them.

Does it have to be about race though? Can't we just say "educated middle class people" (who just so happen to be mostly white because of historical reasons which you seem to be well aware of) make places nice to live? And conversely, generational poverty and lack of opportunities make bad places to live?

Sure. Why not? If it helps. Do you know of any places full of Black educated middle class people that is not a disaster though? At least, one that is not in the process of becoming a disaster?

The Shelley House, the subject of the Shelley v. Kraemer legal decision banning racially restrictive covenants, was a worthless boarded up wreck in a neighborhood that is basically a slum. It has since become a National Monument but I doubt anything much has improved. It was in a nice solidly middle class neighborhood when it was bought.

The number of people shot is fairly small. But the broader problem of racial profiling, police harassment, stop-and-frisk, the lack of accountability for police officers who abuse power, etc is much larger.

It's not a problem at all, but there's no shortage of people who fancy public safety just has to take a back seat to the petty sensibilities of slum hoodlums.

Data please. No data, no argument.

I am perfectly willing to accept that there is widespread racism, profiling and abuse among police. But I reject anecdotes and assertions as well as policies based on such.

We have 900,000 law enforcement officers in this country. If even 1% of them unjustly killed Black people, we would have one news report every hour, on the hour, every day of the year. Actual number of Blacks killed by police for ANY reason is less than 3% of that 1%. And most of those killings are justified by the circumstances.

The fact is that Blacks disproportionately commit violent crime, and thus they are expected to have disproportionately high adverse contacts with police, irrespective of the high correlation between committing crime and acting violently toward police.

Stop committing crimes and stop threatening cops, and your death rate will go down substantially. Why don't they kneel for that?

I'd also like to see data. The Washington Post and Guardian have given us, for the first time, really high-quality data on police shootings of civilians. And that means we can have a conversation where we put numbers down and at least estimate the size of the problem.

With other kinds of police misconduct, I don't know of any good data. I'm sure there are police departments where the cops are corrupt as hell, and others where they rough people up for mouthiness. But how many? And how can we tell?

Without that information, it's hard to know how big the problem is, or even whether some proposed measure is making things better or worse.

Chip, I am not sure why you seemingly think the following:
1. That free movement between borders allows them to pick and choose which country to live in?
2. That people have to either love something 100% or leave?
3. That people should choose not to improve something they like but see as flawed, but instead should just leave?

Where did you develop such thoughts on the matter?

Tyler has it wrong - it isn't the ceremony that's not patriotic, it's the NFL.

60 years ago this country was, for most of us, unimaginably different. The anger people felt at the conformity was real. That anger led to things we still remember, like over-praised jazz "be-bop" music, ridiculously idolized old Star Trek episodes, and still undiminished ancestor worship for many mediocre kitschy celebrities who were famous then. 60 years from now the country will be unimaginably different, and not a single living person has anything more than an infinitesimal chance of changing that one way or another, unless God is on that person's side. People will look back on the self-centered anger of the foolish little millionaires of the NFL of 2017 with pity, contempt, and unconcern, or they won't. One thing is for sure - the world belongs to those who pray to God and to those who do what God wants us to do. Well, one other thing is for sure - if the USA is still around, we will pay the medical bills for their CTEs, when they are old and punch-drunk and stumbling, because that is how we roll. That is why I love this country.

That was a first draft. Second draft leaves everything unchanged except the last sentence, which now reads: That is one reason why I love this country.

In machine learning, the Gumbel distribution is sometimes employed to generate samples from the categorical distribution, for example.

Back in the day I went to high school with Gumbel's granddaughter. A nice girl, she had a little bit of a crush on me. Well, she found someone else, God bless her, and has a few kids and a lot of grand-kids now. I hope she remembers me fondly: I remember her fondly: God loves us all.

I find this adds another punchline to a great running gag.

I have no horse in this race. I find conservatives backwards. I think leftists betrayed freedom of speech ( my number one political issue). I don't like football and the flag is just a piece of cloth.

So watching this is like watching a holy war about a slice of bacon. Ha ha. Life is absurd.

and you may be a loser without a heart. Learn to care about others, my friend

Sure, I'll take loser without a heart. That's fair. But try empathizing with BOTH sides and then having a few drinks and my point of view might make more sense

No I get your point of view, believe me, it is not all that hard to understand. That being said: You will have a heart some day my friend but what you said was heartless. You know that, of course, and we don't need to argue about whether you know it or not: it is what it is, as we all remember our ex-girlfriends having said. Anyway, your parents love you, people love you, because people without a heart can be lovable. But surrounded by so much love, they develop a heart. I have seen it hundreds of times. Have a drink on me, my friend. I have empathized with both sides for so long that it has almost killed me. But I am brave, and I know God is love, so I have no fear and no desire not to say what is in my heart. God bless you, my friend. As for me, my heart aches at the poor kneeling losers, who think they care when they don't. What could be sadder? On this controversy, they are in the wrong. They may be right on other controversies, but in this one - one's heart aches at their sad selfish anger.

In short - if you are young and healthy, do not use the anthem that honors those who died for your county to make your little angry blogger points. It is stupid and selfish. If you do not see the empathy in that: too bad.

to be clear - with respect to the first line in my last comment - not that hard to understand for me: of course ou might have a point that it is, in general, and for most people, hard to understand. Anyway, my guardian angel will be more than happy to pray for spectacularly good things to happen for you: God is love (although love is not God - theology may be unimportant in some ways, but God is love, and Love is not God: that is something important to understand). Life is not absurd.

The flag is a piece of cloth to me. That anthem is just a propaganda song. The nation is just a shared myth. Behind that myth is a belief in freedom to speak one's mind. A freedom to speak crudely, a freedom to kneel, to disrespect, to curse, to blaspheme, to question. For that freedom, I would die, I would kill, and I give due honor to those who have done so for me that I don't have to. But for a piece of cloth? Meh. Is their behavior childish? Sure. But who cries at the disrespect of a child besides other children?

please see the reply at 1:36. Don't automatically think you understand what is going on better than I do - you can think it, of course, but don't automatically think it.

Jeremy you are eloquent! I am truly impressed. But believe me, I, unlike Aeneas, have never cried. You are eloquent, though, my friend, and you remind me that this is not really 2017, except in the most simple way.

"I don't get all choked up about yellow ribbons and American flags. I see them as symbols, and I leave them to the symbol-minded. I also look at war itself a little differently from most. I see it largely as an exercise in dick-waving. That's really all it is: a lot of men standing around in a field waving their dicks at one another. Men, insecure about the size of their penises, choose to kill one another. That's also what all that moron athlete bullshit is all about, and what that macho, male posturing and strutting around in bars and locker rooms represents. It's called 'dick fear.' Men are terrified that their dicks are inadequate, and so they have to 'compete' in order to feel better about themselves. And since war is the ultimate competition, essentially men are killing one another in order to improve their genital self-esteem. "
George Carlin: Jammin' in New York ( 1992 )

Is Tyler being Straussian and just suggesting the Stars and Stripes be played less to avoid all this fuss?

Anyway, its ultimately private matter between NFL and the players. And if I was a customer, I'd let them know I was very unhappy with this kind of display from NFL employees and the attitude evoked by NFL in general. I'd suggest that maybe they should fire some of them if they wanted to keep my business.

It seems to me that if Google lets Damore go with the damage a purely internal memo did to its business, NFL should be a lot more concerned what these very public protests do to its.

And the whole 60-40 thing?

From a business perspective, it doesn't matter if a minority or majority of your customers are cool with the protests: they're not going to be buying more product because of it! But you ARE going to lose customers from the people who are hacked off. As a business you desperately want to avoid annoying customers for no good (profitable) reason. NFL have almost no economic upside from "supporting" the protests; they are following their political values, not economic ones.

Just to set the record straight and regretfully tell Professor Cowen that he is distorting the facts.

"Singing the national anthem before National Football League games has been ongoing for "decades," said NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy.

One aspect of this history that has spawned some confusion in recent days concerns a change made in 2009.

Until that year, players in primetime games would remain inside their locker rooms while the anthem was sung, due to timing concerns for the television networks. After 2009, the players in primetime games have been on the field during the anthem, McCarthy said.

But this change only affected primetime games. For all other games -- typically held at 1 p.m. or 4 p.m. Eastern -- players had already been stationed on the field for the national anthem. So the 2009 change simply applied to primetime games the rules that had already been in place for daytime games.

Part of the confusion, McCarthy said, may be that television networks often haven’t shown the national anthem being played."

Does the NFL do crass marketing? Yes. We must all be shocked. Did the American Government pay for "patriotic" displays? Yes. Probably because both sides thought it enhanced their image. So what. Do I think it was wise spending of American tax dollars? No, A government paying people to act patriotic is distasteful.

That does not mean, that for many people, the playing of a the National Anthem has become a tradition that has great symbolic meaning and emotional impact. Christmas is full of crass marketing. That is not prove that Christmas lacks religious significance for many people.

Nor does it mean that some NFL players are not trying to use the event to show disrespect to those patriotic views of some people. In what version of America can I not tell another group of Americans that I find their actions objectionable and if you continue I will not associate with you?

Perhaps Professor Cowen thinks we should remove the American flag from all college campuses. Perhaps such a custom is just another right wing form of political correctness?

BTW I have attended sporting events where concessions sales stop during the National Anthem. It is not uncommon in minor league ball parks. Seems odd that in the Washington DC area it is not a custom but perhaps many in Washington think patriotism is just a punch line to a joke about middle America.

I was at a major league baseball game, shortly after the Kaepernick story hit the national news. I saw something I never remembered seeing before during a regular season game. A group of players came out on the field and stood at attention during the playing of the National Anthem. It received no publicity. I saw no mention of it in the press. I doubt they were paid. They just did what they thought was important.

Easily a First Amendment free speech violation -- if there is any pressure from employers on employees to do it. Period.

The first amendment protects you from GOVERNMENT interference. Jeez. How can you post here and not know that?

An employer can tell you exactly what to say or not say for that paycheck, and drop you when you bring the business into disrepute. See Google, Damore, etc.

There is no First Amendment right for private sector employees to engage in political controversies in the workplace. None. Imagine walking up to an airline ticket counter to change a seat and being met with a pro (or anti) Trump speech. Do you seriously think the airline cannot fire the csr?

Even in the public sector where the First Amendment applies, there is the Hatch Act and substantial "time, place & manner" limits.

I would like to sever the connection between sport & military display, But, this fact does actually legitimize a POTUS complaining about protests, as the US govt is not getting the benefit of its bargain.

There's also a question of whether presidents are entitled to their own free speech. I believe clearly they do.

I recall when Obama referred to the arrest of Henry Louis Gates as "stupid." Was that statement personal, professional, political, all three?

But as you say the anthem is a national issue, well within the purview of the president. It's much more debatable whether a white cop arresting a black professor after a 911 call has arisen to a level of national concern. Even recent police shooting are, in my view, strictly a matter of state and local concern. However, there was a legitimate civil rights complaint about law enforcement in Ferguson discriminating against Blacks in stops and frisks. The Justice Dept appropriately responded to that.

Is being patriotic partisan? Is being critical of particularly un-patriotic displays partisan?
If that becomes a mainstream message, I have a pretty good idea on how the political arena is go for the next decade or so.
Talking about galvanizing a base.

Honoring the flag certainly wasn't always partisan political. It's only when one party became socialist that anti-American sentiment became en Vogue. These are the 60s teenagers now in control of a major political party.

The Senate report the article links to says this:

The United States Senate’s oversight has worked. DOD has banned paid patriotism and the NFL has called on all clubs to stop accepting payment for patriotic salutes.

Meanwhile in Thailand.

At the movies in Thailand.
It's not the national, but the King's anthem.

Know nothing about the subject. Any way thanks for the news

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