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The NFL Takes a Knee

Warning, some mild cursing may follow.

The sentences that most consistently rouse me to to anger fit a particular form. If they were Mad Libs, they’d go, “As a <noun>, I find <noun> <adjective>.” For instance, “As a <turkey>, I find <Thanksgiving> <offensive>.” Just re-reading the previous sentence makes me want to go out and smack a turkey.

Here’s why it pisses me off: When a person says something like this, they’re claiming some special status to cover up a crappy argument. In my example, the turkey wants to make the argument that Thanksgiving sucks, but his argument is so weak that he has to rely on his turkeyhood to make it. The underlying message is, “You have to agree that Thanksgiving sucks, otherwise you’re anti-turkey.” In logic, this is the fallacy known as argumentum ad verecundiam , or the argument from authority. (You might want to verify me on that. I think that’s the correct term, but acknowledge there might be a better one.) The speaker is saying, “I am thus, therefore what I say must be true.”

So, when I say, “As a veteran, some people should shut the hell up,” I hope you’ll accept that I’m saying this in jest.

I actually have a much better argument to make.

Several New England Patriots players kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

I’m writing this the Monday after a whole bunch of NFL players “took a knee” rather than stand for the national anthem. Apparently, this is the most important thing ever. Bigger even than what kind of footwear Melania Trump wears when getting on a plane. This has been going on, on a smaller scale, for a while, ever since Colin Kapernik (I guy my lack of respect for is such that I’m not even going to spend the time to learn how his name is actually spelled) got his panties in a bunch and started doing this for whatever reason he fabricated to justify his existence. Then President Trump did some kind of tweet that I took no interest in, and now everyone’s doing it. Supposedly, this is a big freakin’ deal and they’re disrespecting the flag, and by extension, this is disrespecting me. Because, you know, I’m a vet.

The argument, spoken by countless TV, radio and podcast personalities, who I’ll note, aren’t veterans themselves, is bullshit. What they’re really trying to do is get guys like me to fight their battle for them.

Um, let me think about that…no. Just no. I had that job, over thirty years ago. I’m not doing it anymore. Fight your own battles.

Look, Morty! I just found a reality where it’s possible for Nick to care less!

So, let’s just get this out there. I literally could not care less. For me to care less, I’d have to move to an alternate reality where such a thing was possible.

You see, I have very little respect for the thoughts and opinions of able-bodied American men who never served. I save that for those who’ve earned it. Whether they be a bunch of millionaires who play a game I quit following years ago, or commentators on news shows I put on for background noise while I do something that’s actually important, the fly currently buzzing around my elbow is more deserving of my attention than the activities of a bunch of life-long civilians.

Free men don’t kneel.

In fact, the only thing that irritates me about this enough to write a post on it is that they’re kneeling. Seeing Americans kneel pisses me off. Kneeling is an act of obeisance far greater than standing with your hand over your heart. It’s an act of worship. Servants kneel before their masters. Lesser beings kneel before their kings. Fools kneel before a flag.

Americans should never kneel before anyone or anything. We’re free men. We don’t kneel before anything but God.

And that’s it. If my service means anything, other than being a teenager who needed a job, it’s this: men must not kneel. Show your contempt in some other way. Turn your back. Flip the bird. Whatever strikes your fancy.

But, for God’s sake, get off your damned knees.


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