Ever since the NFL season started, there’s been constant discussion about the decision of certain players not to stand during the national anthem and presentation of the flag before games. This talk reached a fever pitch last week after President Trump, during an Alabama rally, referred to the players who refuse to stand as “son[s] of bitch[es].” Detractors of the president and supporters of the players protesting the anthem are attempting to frame national discourse over the issue as a matter of the First Amendment. They, of course, are correct, but perhaps not in the way they might expect.
On May 21, 49 members of the United States Senate signed on to a letter urging National Football League (NFL) commissioner Roger Goodell to force the Washington Redskins to change their nickname. The letter attempted to circumvent Redskins majority owner Daniel Snyder, who has repeatedly affirmed he would “never” change the name. According to the Senators, “Redskins” is a racial slur for Native Americans. They argued the NFL should send the message that “racism and bigotry have no place in professional sports.” This, they say, is the message reflected in the NBA’s recent decision to ban Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling over the content of an illegally taped personal discussion with his girlfriend about racial association. All 49 Senators who signed on to the letter belong to the Democratic Party. Continue Reading