Want to know what’s richer than a National Football League player? It’s a National Football League player complaining that the vice president of the United States pulled a “PR stunt” by leaving a game in protest.
Now, that’s rich – considering it’s NFL players themselves who started the PR stunts by sitting or kneeling for the National Anthem.
The players were definitely nonplussed Sunday when they found out they don’t have the market cornered on acts of symbolism.
Vice President Mike Pence made a powerful, patriotic statement when he performed his own National Anthem protest: walking out of an NFL game after several players kneeled for The Star Spangled Banner. The vice president tweeted that he and the president “will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.”
The question isn’t whether it was a publicity stunt. The president and vice president of the United States don’t need publicity stunts to get attention. The question is, why aren’t more Americans following the vice president’s example? How can we continue to sit there and stand for weekly vilification of our country?
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones – who recently found a middle ground in kneeling with his players before they all stood together for the National Anthem – finally became the first NFL owner to break ranks and take a side on Sunday.
“If there is anything that is disrespectful to the flag then we will not play,” Jones told reporters. “You understand? If we are disrespecting the flag then we won’t play. Period. We’re going to respect the flag, and I’m going to create the perception of it. And we have.”
Good for him. And good for the country.
Again, it’s rich with irony – hypocrisy, more like it – that players who are performing their own PR stunt disrespecting the country would accuse anyone else of a PR stunt for showing respect for it.
It’s time more people took a stand as others kneel or sit in rejection of America.