The NFL’s treatment of the military over the past two years has been troubling.
The league compounded the problem of the anti-American protests by doing nothing as the unpatriotic displays carried on for two full seasons.
Now the NFL made another tone-deaf move that has pro-military football fans scratching their heads.
The NFL has undergone a disastrous and prolonged public relations nightmare, and a large part of it was the league’s own doing.
Commissioner Roger Goodell allowed the anti-American anthem protests to fester since Colin Kaepernick first took a knee in fall 2016.
Instead of nipping the problem in the bud, the flag and all the service men and women who protect it were bombarded with anti-American rhetoric.
The left-wing media endorsed the actions of the protesters and tried to turn Kaepernick into a civil rights folk hero.
The NFL recently amended league policy, which penalizes teams with players who protest; players can avoid fines by choosing to stay in the locker room during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner.
Though the league finally took a sterner stance, the damage had already been done. A left-wing tsunami from the press bashed the new policy and stupidly said it infringed on players’ rights.
In the shadow of this ongoing ugly ordeal, active-duty military personnel and veterans have been discounted and disrespected.
But retired NFL referee and football analyst Mike Pereira attempted to do something about that.
Last year Pereira launched an initiative called Battlefields To Ballfields, which endeavors to train military veterans on how to become referees.
Pereira said told USA Today, “I was thinking about the shortage in officiating and how we could get veterans to become officials.”
However, the NFL fumbled the ball on an issue regarding the military yet again.
Pereira was all set to appear on the NFL Network to raise awareness for the program, but his appearance was canceled at the last minute under dubious circumstances.
For those of you I told I was going to be on NFLN this morning, including you Veterans in Rochester, my appearance was cancelled because NFLN “was hesitant to talk about the rules of the game at this point.” Really? Thought I was going to talk about our Veteran’s Foundation.
That’s a terrible move by an organization that has recently done a poor job of honoring military service.
The network’s excuse makes very little sense.
First, Pereira made it explicitly clear he would be on the show to discuss his veterans foundation, not officiating.
Second, even if there were a mix-up, why schedule a segment with Pereira, then suddenly decide there’s no need to discuss rules? Plus, the NFL is in the middle of the off-season. There’s almost nothing of note to report.
It sounds implausible that the network couldn’t find a spot for Pereira to appear.
This move smells purely political. The league has ceded too much ground and has given the despicable anti-American protests credibility.
As a result, the league likely finds discussing matters of patriotism as too “political” and divisive.
If this is the case, and it seems more probable than some scheduling snafu in the least active part of the NFL calendar, it’s an unfortunate illustration of how much the hard-left protesters have perverted the sense of patriotism.
The players swear their protest is simply to raise awareness, yet during a regular season game in London, several NFL players knelt for the Star-Spangled Banner, then stood up for “God Save the Queen.”
If that isn’t a slap in the face to the American flag and the military, nothing qualifies.