TV host Mike Rowe, a fan favorite among conservatives due to his down-to-earth nature and seemingly endless supply of common sense wisdom, has weighed in on the whole National Anthem protest fiasco sweeping the country — and it’s everything our country and culture needs to hear right now.
Typically, Rowe tries to avoid getting deep into politics, preferring to remain the “every man,” connecting to folks through shared experiences and humor.
However, after a fan asked him a question on the topic, he opted to dive right in, sparing no one.
According to The Daily Caller,
Rowe’s response started off philosophically. “In democracies, we the people get the government we deserve,” he wrote. “We also get the celebrities we deserve, the artists we deserve, and the athletes we deserve. Because ultimately, we the people get to decide who and what gets our attention, and who and what does not.”
He continues by laying out the issue at hand. “Right now,” Rowe says, “The NFL, the players who choose to kneel, the networks who choose to broadcast their protest, the advertisers who sponsor the games, and the President of the United States, are all eager for our attention. And they are all using football to get it. That’s all well and good, right up to the point where it isn’t. In my view, this controversy really isn’t about patriotism, social justice, racial inequality, or free speech. It’s not even about the flag or the national anthem. It’s really only about one thing – what we will tolerate, and what we won’t.”
Rowe did not spare President Donald Trump from criticism. “I was disappointed last night, to hear President Trump encourage owners to fire players who refuse to stand for the anthem,” he said. “Not because I dispute the owners right to do so, and not because I would grieve the dismissal of anyone who chooses to disrespect our flag. I was disappointed because the President’s comments presuppose that the owners are in charge of the game. They’re not. We are. We decide what to watch, and that decision – far more than any other consideration – will determine the what the owners choose to do. And that in turn will affect what the players choose to do.”
Continuing, Rowe wrote, “As the leader of the country, the President had an opportunity to remind us that The NFL, the networks who broadcast their games, and all of the players – standers and kneelers alike – work for us. He might have also used the occasion to remind us that he too, serves at our pleasure.”
Next to fall in Rowe’s crosshairs was NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL Player’s Association. “I felt a similar bemusement when the Commissioner issued his response, followed by the President of the Player’s Union. Their comments – along with the comments of many of the players themselves – were perfectly reasonable, perfectly understandable, and perfectly in keeping with their first amendment rights. But they were also perfectly arrogant. Because they too, presuppose that millions of fans will continue to watch them play a game – no matter what,” Rowe wrote.
“Perhaps they’re right,” Rowe posits. “Historically, football fans have shown a collective willingness to ignore and enable all sorts of dubious behavior. The players have agents and unions, the owners have money and power, and the fans are always caught in the middle. The resulting strikes and the constant uprooting of teams from broken-hearted towns proves beyond all question the overall lack of regard for fans in general.”
“But here’s the thing, Rob,” Rowe concludes. “The fans of professional football are not powerless – we’re just not yet offended enough to turn the channel. Should that ever change in a meaningful way – if for instance, a percentage of football fans relative to those players who chose to kneel during today’s games, chose to watch something else next Sunday – I can assure you … the matter would be resolved by Monday.”
Pretty safe to say Rowe nailed this thing on the head, and all the criticism he dished out is well deserved for folks on all sides of the issue.
While it’s great that President Trump supports our nation, our veterans, and our liberty in this cultural battle, calling people names only makes things worse and aggravates those involved in this sort of behavior.
On top of that, we don’t necessarily need to know the president’s take on every single issue or happening in society. He has way more important things to focus his time on, like North Korea, for example. If he didn’t feel like he needed to share his opinion on the matter with the masses because it’s what we expect from him, he probably wouldn’t say much.
Having said that, these players need to find some other way to protest for their causes and stop disrespecting the many veterans who have given life and limb to preserve our freedom. Enough is enough.