It was almost as if a breath of fresh air swept over me while watching Major League Baseball showcase their annual All-Star Baseball game about two weeks ago.  The stadium and the players were awash in the national colors.  Service members who were medal winners were recognized and honored during the pre-game ceremonies and the players stood proudly with hands or caps over their heart during the playing of the National Anthem.  Pride of who we are and where we live was on display everywhere.

Contrast that, if you will, with the sorry state of affairs being displayed by the spoiled young players—and the league itself—of The National Football League.  The flap over participants being allowed to show their disrespect and even contempt for the American way will apparently be allowed to continue.  It’s a safe bet that  this coming season there will be  continued sitting, kneeling or other forms of disrespect for the American Flag during all pre-game ceremonies.

Strange thing about these overpaid and as I said earlier, spoiled players, is that I managed to get through last season without watching a single down of professional football and I survived, quite well!

Television ratings continue to plummet and attendance is sharply off, but they don’t seem to care.  One of these days the league will discover that the very folks they are busy turning off each and every week with their antics are the very individuals who help pay their bloated salaries for playing a kids’ game!  They claim their protests are because of perceived inequities in the way Police deal with members of the black community.

The standard condemnation of police brutality is always used by the soft-on-crime liberals when any physical force is required to subdue the bad guys.  Inevitably there are rare occasions when extreme prejudice (having to use one’s service weapon) is unavoidable with today’s entitled criminal element.  Just take a look at the havoc which Californi8a has wrought with the infamous Propositions 47 and 57!

Please don’t resort to the cliched and time-worn arguments that take into consideration “the plantation” because I don’t believe that.  America still has seriously deep-seated problems, although some are occasionally whipped up by “race pimps.” America, as a rule, has moved beyond that.  Anyway, there is certainly no indication that America’s past problems with slavery involved pay rates that ran into the millions annually.  National Football League players are, in no way, disrespected or mistreated.  Their wounds are self inflicted.

The National Basketball association and Major League Baseball have no problems with presenting a proud patriotic front far more in line with the feelings of their fans.  Why, then is the NFL so opposed?  Perhaps if they lived more exemplary lives there would be less negative contact with police departments.

I see it, quite simply, as being symptomatic of the problems that face today’s divided America.  Our political class and their number one supporter, the media, have succeeded far beyond their expectations of being able to divide The United States along political and ethnic biases.  When one stops to think for a moment, it becomes abundantly clear that all of which is totally unacceptable under Donald Trump was considered the norm under President Obama.

To the spoiled athletes of the N.F.L., I would suggest that you take some of those millions of dollars earned from inflated contracts for having special skills at a kids game and invest it in providing better quality education and economic opportunities in the neighborhoods from which many of you came.  Put some of your largesse back into the community!  I believe the correct, although currently questionably politically correct term would be to “man-up!”   The preseason begins in about one week.  We’ll be watching to see if these people can act as if they are grown-ups or will continue to flaunt their position which is, on its face, un-American.

But, as always, that’s only one man’s opinion.

Fred Hall is publisher of the Sentinel.

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