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First Amendment

The NFL and the free market



An American flag flying at Chimney Rock, NC. Too bad the NFL no longer appreciates it. America is one election away from extinction. Which dreams will prevail: those of our forefathers or the savage dreams of socialism?

Hello this is Darrell Castle with today’s Castle Report.  Today is Friday, September 29, 2017, and on today’s Report I will be talking about the NFL and the National Anthem protests.  This has been a very busy week in news with many things happening that are worthy of note such as the re-election of Angela Merkel  in  Germany, with the German Conservative Party gaining enough support at about 13% to have seats in the German Parliament.

The NFL flap in perspective

In Alabama, Roy Moore finally won the Republican Primary for the U.S. Senate seat previously vacated by Jeff Sessions. Moore has been in the struggle many years but if he wins the special election to be held December 12, and it looks certain that he will,  a populist candidate opposed to both the mainstream of his own Party as well as the Democrat agenda will sit in the U.S. Senate.

In a small church outside of Nashville, Tennessee, a black racist who came to the United States from the Sudan at five years of age shot seven people, killing one so far.  The shooter had apparently been radicalized by anti-white rhetoric he had read or seen on social media and decided to do something about it, so he went to a little country church and shot a bunch of older white people.

A monumental obsession

My discussion today, however, is on a far more mundane subject than any of those.  Today I have to talk about football because the National Football League and its players have made it virtually impossible not to talk about it.  I doubt if there is anyone left in America who doesn’t know that NFL players have started refusing to stand for the National Anthem.  Most kneel but a few teams have stayed in the locker rooms while the Anthem is playing.  Last Sunday, at the annual game in London, the teams stood for God Save the Queen but not for the Star Spangled Banner.

The fact that I am even talking about this points to how sports, especially football, have become an obsession to Americans.  Every game that is played is now nationally televised, whether it’s the traditional Sunday games, Sunday night, Monday night, and now Thursday night.  Families plan their weeks and evenings around NFL Football.  It is, to put it mildly, very important to people, and more of an obsession than just entertainment.

Why watch sports at all?

I’ve been a sports fan my entire life as my family is painfully aware, and if I watch television at all, it is sports.  Even when there is no time to catch a full game, I will catch bits and pieces of games and follow the scores on my phone.  There are tens of millions of people out there in America who are far more obsessed than I am.  People physically attend each home game their team plays, and most have tailgating traditions with friends and family.  It would not be unusual today for a family of four to spend 500 dollars at an NFL game with tickets, concessions, and team souvenirs.

These people have had their world’s disturbed by the protests.  They watch football to escape from the cultural divide, not to have it forced into their living rooms.  Many argue that the players have a right to do what they are doing. Many others say no, they are employees and therefore their behavior is controlled, or should be, by their employers.

Stop watching!

Here’s a very simple solution to all the protests that are now spreading to college and even high school games.  Stop going, stop watching, stop buying merchandise, stop patronizing the League’s sponsors.  Whether you think they have a right to not stand for the anthem or not there is one thing of which I am certain—you have an absolute right to refuse to pay to watch them do it.  That’s where the free market comes in and controls sports, and anywhere else it’s allowed to.

If two teams showed up to play in an empty 70,000 seat, billion dollar arena, I’m certain it would get their attention. Ideally, when teams kneel for the anthem, 70,000 people would get up and walk out. But we don’t live in an ideal world. It doesn’t take 100 per cent participation to have an impact though; only 20% will drive most teams below their profit margins and cost the television networks hundreds of millions.

Breaking the addiction

That’s what I’ve done, that is, I’ve stopped watching.  It’s hard, it really is, because I’m addicted as I suspect many of you are but I’ve stopped watching.  More importantly, I’ve stopped caring,which is much harder but I’m working on it.  Once you lose a week of keeping up with what happened in each game, and what the record of each team is, and which team each team plays next week and who plays each night, etc., it gets easier.

Yes, I love football, but I love my country more.  I don’t see how anyone who has served in the military as I have, or who has had family members in the military could still watch.  Why would you want to pay to watch people denigrate the things that you believe in the most?  The NFL and the Networks have entered into Golden Goose killing territory. So let’s just let them do it without us.

The real NFL constituency

There are fringe left-wing causes trying to latch onto the protests, and that’s where the danger lies for the NFL.  If the League becomes just another left wing entertainment vehicle, they are done.  Most fans, I believe, come from the hard working Middle America types, so alienating them is a big mistake.

My hometown newspaper, the Memphis Commercial Appeal, on its front page headline yesterday said, “Kneeling reflects spirit of M.L.K, Jr.”  So obviously then, this is a black thing just as Colin Kaepernick said it was when he started it. The sad part of it all is that no real discussion is possible.  There can be no real examination of whether or not the assumptions of the protesters are valid or not.

To discuss these subjects must mean that you think there could be reasons and solutions other than the prevailing narrative presented endlessly on television, movies, and now the NFL.  The other day I saw a car going down the street in Memphis. On his back window the driver had written a message. He said that if you disagree with the NFL protests, you are a NAZI.  Who wants to be called a NAZI?  Who wants to be shunned, fired from your job, etc.?  So the subject cannot be discussed or examined, and only one view is possible.

It’s hurting now

It is now impossible to detach the world of sports from the prevailing ideology that bombards us constantly.  It has already hurt the NFL because ratings are down across the board.  ESPN, which controls much of sports, has gone all in supporting the protests.  Disney, which owns ESPN, is rumored to be trying to sell the network.  So when you settle into your easy chair to watch your Cowboys this weekend, just remember. They are not your Cowboys. They belong to Jerry Jones who owns the team and the billion dollar stadium they play in.  We can do this, I know we can, and it will get easier each week.

When the NFL apologizes as it inevitably will, and its spokesperson says we really didn’t mean it, we didn’t  mean to offend our fans, so please come back, when that happens I plan to say, maybe later, but not now, because you’ve revealed yourself for what you really are.

Finally folks, we are in a war for the survival of our culture. The NFL is on the wrong side in that war.  Let’s let the free market work and just stop caring. Then the NFL and the Networks learn just how irrelevant they really are.

Remember, the free market gives you what you deserve, not what you want.

At least that’s the way I see it,

Until next time folks,

This is Darrell Castle.

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Attorney at Law at | Website | + posts

Darrell Castle is an attorney in Memphis, Tennessee, a former USMC Combat Officer, 2008 Vice Presidential nominee, and 2016 Presidential nominee. Darrell gives his unique analysis of current national and international events from a historical and constitutional perspective. You can subscribe to Darrell's weekly podcast at

CATEGORY:First Amendment
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