Sports and politics a bad mix

The latest flap over the national anthem is a classic example of what happens when you mix sports and politics.

The National Football League, which has been embroiled in this mess ever since San Francisco’s Colin Kapernick refused to stand at attention for the anthem two years ago, decided to implement changes in its so-called rules for the upcoming season.

Now, the league is giving players the option to stay in the locker room before the game. Under the new guidelines, if they take the field and don’t stand when the anthem is played, their individual team can be fined.

The owners passed their feelings along through NFL Commissioner Peter Goodell, who pretty much serves as their mouthpiece in any matter

Will this solve the problem? Not in the least bit because some players see it as an infringement of their civil rights to present an opinion.

Instead, you’ll have another storm of controversy as team owners try to present their opinion on the matter.

Some, including Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys, will bluster about cutting players who don’t follow the edict. It won’t happen, of course.

And then you have the highest level of government, which has already shown it wishes to appeal to their supporters to get on board in opposition.

Tackle Chris Long of the Philadelphia Eagles believes the main agenda by the government is to have their fans take a stand against corporations over this.

Long correctly stated this would strengthen this so-called base in future political endeavors

He’s right, of course. This country is so divided now over just about everything that any sort of unity is considered good.

And it was no accident that the Eagles were de-invited (a new word for the Scrabble board) to this week’s get-together in Washington. D.C. for their world championship this past season.

I’m a firm believer that any citizen of this country should stand when the national anthem is played. We all owe that to the memory of the men and women who died defending this country.

Staying in the locker room before the game does have merits. I saw it done in high school and also in college when religious rights were exercised.

But all in all, the whole thing has become a political football. And that is most disturbing in a sport when passes and runs should be the major items …. not whom is standing …. or not.