Letter to the editor: Not in workplace

October 6, 2017


To the editor:

There is much news regarding NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem, comments made by President Trump and follow-up comments by various sports and media figures.

I am not going to comment on the correctness of these actions or comments.

What is in question is the appropriateness of the place these actions are taking place. The workplace is not the venue for these actions.

Assuming these folks want a “real solution,” those taking a knee and commenting should act professionally, work with their local community officials, justify and deal with specific grievances and recommend solutions.

These actions and comments are taking place in the workplace and they are offending the customers of the various teams and the NFL. If any one of us directly offended a customer in our workplace, especially in front of other customers, we would be fired on the spot and rightly so.

The players and commentators are conducting politics in the workplace, thus their attendance and TV ratings are suffering. Sporting fans attend and watch sports to escape the daily bombardment of life’s problems and politics. If the games are going to be political, then so long NFL and ESPN. There are plenty of other ways to find some enjoyment.

The players and commentators’ disregard of their customers, and inappropriately addressing their grievances, are turning off their fans and thus losing support for their causes.


Richard Heckler 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Working behind the scene's has not been effective at eliminating racism, inequality or injustice.

Nobody makes any fan attend professional sports activities.

Brock Masters 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Richard, that is the point. An employee should not drive away customers.

Bob Summers 8 months, 2 weeks ago

How much "respect" can you give an individual that shows no respect but, expects respect.

These (kneelers) are getting exactly what they deserve. No respect.

Brock Masters 8 months, 2 weeks ago

It should not be forgotten that the NFL forbid players from wearing a patch honoring murdered police officers. The NFL is a private business so they can do what they want, but they won’t get my business for interjecting politics into the games.

Paul Beyer 8 months, 2 weeks ago

How many of their games do you attend? How many of their sponsors will you boycott? How much of their licensed material have you purchased?

P Allen Macfarlane 8 months, 2 weeks ago

The argument is really moot. Those in professional sport have protested on social issues at least since the 1960s. In this current protest, many of the owners and coaches actively support the players' actions. So, quit whining.

We have gotten too comfortable with the idea that these humans are meant for our entertainment. We should recognize that they are thinking and feeling human beings first. We don't exactly have any packs of lions of lions we can feed them to for misbehaving and ruining our Sunday afternoon fun, like I'm sure they would have done in Roman times.

Daniel Kennamore 8 months, 2 weeks ago

But...but...he's offended!

We need to discuss the protests themselves endlessly instead the reason behind them because conservatives get their fee fee hurts when people don't worship the flag the way they want.

Ken Lassman 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Respect is in the eye of the beholder. You see lack of respect, I see kneeling as a sign of respectful protest. Your perceptions hold no more water than mine.

Yes, the NFL has the legal right to enforce employee behavior. They also have the right to stand arm in arm with their employees in direct response to the First Amendment right of the President to call on them to fire/crack down on their employees.

This surreal inflammation has been caused by Trump's tweet outbursts: simple cause and effect, and as such the whole flare up lies squarely in his lap, not that of either the NFL or the players. Trump's perceptions--and advice hold no more water than yours or mine either.

This is yet another example of Trump abusing the bully pulpit that comes with the presidency, i.e. where he has stirred up controversy and division instead of invoking people's better inclination to rise above things and promote healing. This is who he is, and even when he genuinely tries to invoke a better response, people are cynical and fully expecting another degrading wisecrack. He almost always obliges them by meeting their low expectations, because I sincerely think he gets a charge out of the attention.

Bob Summers 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Knaves kneeled before their King.

The players are successfully playing their role.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Not racist at all, are you, Bob. But I guess if we are all knaves to the United States, we should all be kneeling. And when Christians kneel, it's actually a sing of respect.

And conservatives have turned the flag and anthem into something almost holy, so maybe they are being disrespectful by not kneeling.

Richard Heckler 8 months, 2 weeks ago

These activities that some do not approve of take very little time on game day --- be patient. In fact takes no more time than it takes for the Star Spangled Banner to be sung.

How about all of the other fans that remain which seems to be a majority of the fans? Should the majority rule?

None of these actions are against the flag or the star spangled banner which bogus political rhetoric is alluding aka BS spin.

Face it racism, inequality and injustice all suck. BTW women in this nation also are victims of racism, injustice and inequality. The scope of racism, injustice and inequality in the USA is wide.

Victims of racism, injustice and inequality have rights.

Daniel Kennamore 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Never ceases to amaze me how much hand-wringing conservatives do over other's behavior that doesn't affect them in any way.


Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 8 months, 2 weeks ago

A really good question would be why do we sing the national anthem at sports venues anyway? And I don't know about other team fans, but at the end of the anthem at Chiefs games, they sing "home of the Chiefs", instead of "home of the brave." Why isn't that disrespectful? And all those people in line to buy a beer while the anthem is going on? Should they shut down all venders while the anthem is sung. At least the kneeling is protesting an issue, whether you are in favor of that issue or not. And since they haven't been fired, maybe the bosses get it. Too bad the fans don't.

Daniel Kennamore 8 months, 2 weeks ago

The 'tradition' of singing it is actually based in the military literally paying professional sports organizations to do so.

Looking at the reactions to this issue, it's pretty clear that their plan to brainwash people into becoming mindless, nationalist zealots worked flawlessly.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 8 months, 2 weeks ago

And, Mr. Reynolds. I have never worked in place where I had to sing the anthem, ever. Now I did teach and we said the pledge in the morning. You know, that thing that conservatives claim isn't in the "government indoctrination institutions" anymore. Another conservative hypocrisy. They call public school indoctrination centers, then get mad when they are indoctrinated to say the pledge and sing the anthem. Which is it, boys?

Thomas Bryce Jr. 8 months, 2 weeks ago

So, as an employee, I am not supposed to interject my feelings about Politics into my Work place environment. Then, why is it OK for my employer to show FOX news on all TVs, in all break rooms, on all shifts, 24/7? Isn't that promoting a specific Political message in the work place? Isn't that discriminatory towards people that don't have the same political opinion?

Brock Masters 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Thomas, first he is the employer so he can decide what goes on the tv. You don’t have a say unless he authorizes you to have a say.

It is up to your employer to decide if you can make a political statement at work. The customers don’t control this except to the point that your employer may prohibit if it is bad for business.

The NFL can allow their players to make a political statement; no one else’s. However, customers can choose not to do business with them.

Would you do business whose politics you found destructive? It is that simple. Most people who have boycotted the NFL have done so because they disagree with the anti-country and cop message perceived by the protests.

Paul Beyer 8 months, 2 weeks ago

You ignored this when I posted it on a previous comment of yours. Can I try again? Maybe you'll get over your "outrage" and answer this time. "How many of their games do you attend? How many of their sponsors will you boycott? How much of their licensed material have you purchased?"

P Allen Macfarlane 8 months, 2 weeks ago

"The NFL can allow their players to make a political statement; no one else’s. However, customers can choose not to do business with them. "

Great! Now that you've made your point and you plan to follow through on your threat to boycott the NFL, you can use the time you would spend sitting on your derriere glued to the TV for something constructive. Perhaps a read of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights might be a good starting point.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Thanks for the clarification. I suppose I did not realize that accepting a paycheck suspended my civil rights. Employers have far more rights than employees apparently. Thanks for pointing this out.

Brock Masters 8 months, 2 weeks ago

With few exceptions employers call the shots. You have certain protections, e.g., discrimination based on race, but limited protection to free speech in the workplace.

Look at the recent firing of an employee by Google. Fired because he expressed his view on the company.

Look at the executive that was fired for her views on the Las Vegas shootings.

Not all speech is protected in the workplace m

Aaron McGrogor 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Their free speech was not impeded. They got to say what they wanted to say.

The freedom of speech is not immunity from consequences resulting from what you said.

Laura Wilson 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I've never been to an NFL game in my life. I'm more likely to do so now simply to support the players protesting than just to go to be entertained. As long as their employers allow them to do this, they have that right. Those offended by someone exercising their most basic right can stop attending, watching, purchasing. I'm sure there are fans happy to buy those tickets. I might be one of them.

David Reynolds 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Interesting reading these blogs & reflecting on what is going on in the NFL, or more importantly, what is not going on in the NFL.

What is not going on is a sense of history & forward thinking.

First, I am amazed at the lack of historical knowledge of the NFL players & those that support them, primarily the media & some in this blog.

The NFL went to England to play several games where the players took a knee during the USA national anthem, but stood during the playing of "God save the Queen, the UK national anthem. Evidently our schools & universities fail us again, as the NFL players are totally ignorant of the major roll England had in the slave trade around the world & specifically in the colonies. Doesn't one realize the genesis of much of the race prejudice against black started because of slavery? For over 200 years England engaged in the slave trade including the Caribbean nations & the American colonies.

Secondly, the most effective person, I believe, that helped improve the environment & race relations for blacks was Martin Luther King. The one thing I don't remember him doing was protest in venues where he would deliberately alienate the very people he was trying to win to his cause. He used the streets, the pulpit, meetings with politicians & venues that invited him to hear his message. He used the attacks on his person & others to gain support for his cause.

The lack of forward thinking is contrary to MLK. The NFL & media picked a popular venue where people wanted to escape from politics, only to stick politics right back into their face. Thus, the NFL is suffering the worst support in its history.

According to a Washington Examiner report: “More critically for the NFL, the fall off in favorables occurred among important audiences,” according to the analysis.

“Among males, NFL favorables fell 23 percent, going from 68 percent to 45 percent. In looking at a more specific audience, males 34-54, NFL favorables fell 31 percent, going from 73 percent to 42 percent. Among this group, the NFL has a surprising negative image, as it went from +54 percent in August to -5 percent in September.”

The protest further failed because the player(s) allowed the media to carry the message…big mistake given the lack of trust by the public of the media. Mark Styen, a conservative, don’t be offended, said in an interview: “…in the space of about 20 minutes, we have gone from the Confederate flag is racist to ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ is racist. We’ve gone from General Lee is racist to Dr. Seuss is racist.

Moral: If you want to protest & actually achieve change, understand your subject’s history, outside partner’s popularity, venue purpose & audience potential support.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.