Patriotism

Opinion: MLB’s Opening Day: What the NFL could learn from Major League Baseball

On Major League Baseball’s opening day Thursday, hope springs eternal across the country. Even as Chicago Cubs fans shiver in their puffy blue jackets, New York Yankees fans rub their hands together in the Bronx, and millions of baseball fans search box scores at work, a unity among people from all backgrounds not only exists, it flourishes. So does patriotism. The “Star-Spangled Banner” actually debuted in the sports world thanks to baseball. In 1918 during Game 1 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs, Babe Ruth – a man who would become arguably the most iconic home run hitter – and his teammates first sang along to the national anthem. The Cubs followed suit, and the pageantry quickly spread to every team across the league. Appropriately, baseball earned the nickname “America’s Pastime.” Now, compare that to the modern-day National Football League, where the en vogue trend has been to kneel for our country’s most emblematic sign of solidarity. This movement, spearheaded by the now-unemployed Colin Kaepernick, is meant to protest police brutality against African-Americans. Supporters will tell you it has nothing to do with the flag … despite players using the American flag as a prop to give themselves the most publicity. When President Trump weighed in on the matter, which he repeatedly and rightfully did, at least 200 players knelt or sat during the anthem last Sept. 24. Many of those players – on the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars rosters – actually had the audacity to still stand for “God Save the Queen” prior to kick off in London. It was a blatant sign of disrespect, followed months later by an even more egregious act. The league rejected a print ad for this year’s Super Bowl program that read “#PleaseStand.” In response, a NFL spokesperson said the Super Bowl has “never been a place for advertising that could be considered by some as a political statement.” Hey, Commissioner Roger Goodell, how about you tell your own players that? You know how many baseball players have knelt during the national anthem? One. Bruce Maxwell, a catcher for the Oakland A’s, joined in the protest late last fall. It was short-lived and he failed to garner any participation from teammates. This is in part because most baseball players see the consequences of an ongoing problem in this current political climate: Debate isn’t just relegated to politics anymore. Athletes and coaches increasingly use America’s beloved pastimes, and their participation in them, as a method of division. But in reality, sports should exist as a way to bring Americans together. Just one regular baseball season provides 162 opportunities for refuge from tiresome rigors of everyday life or from the wounds of tragedy. At Yankee Stadium in Game 3 of the 2001 World Series, baseball helped Americans transcend the most horrific act of terrorism on U.S. soil – 9/11. Against security recommendations, then-President George W. Bush decided to make an appearance and throw out the first pitch. He strode onto the field waving one hand and holding a baseball in the other. Smiling ear to ear, the president took the mound and calmness instantly enveloped the stadium. As soon as the ball hit the catcher’s mitt, cheers and chants of “U-S-A” erupted. “The country, which was rallying at the time, had further caused a rally to see baseball being played, and I was just a part of that,” President Bush told ESPN. “I didn’t realize how symbolic it was, though, ‘til I made it to the mound.” Even before that game, baseball helped bring Americans back to normalcy after 9/11. The Mets and Braves played each other when games resumed that season after the tragedy, and for one beautiful, brief moment two bitter division rivals tipped their caps to the people of New York City and shared a feeling of resiliency. That same embodiment of hope propelled an already extremely talented Houston Astros roster to a World Series clinch over the Dodgers last year. Game 6 scored Fox its best ratings in almost a decade after the Dodgers staged a rallying comeback. Even though the larger market team didn’t win the Commissioner’s Trophy, it felt like the whole country shared a piece of joy with the Astros. As Houston learned from Hurricane Harvey, catastrophe can strike from Mother Nature too, and even though thousands of Houston residents lost most of their belongings and homes, a baseball team managed to rekindle their spirit. All of our spirits will once again reignite with pleasure as the 2018 baseball season kicks off. As you enjoy a hot dog, watch a flyover, and tip your cap to veterans, take a minute to appreciate the beauty of a sport that, unlike the NFL, contributes to and enhances the patriotic fabric of our country.

Agreed!  And, well said Britt!  Former ESPN reporter Britt McHenry is the author of that spot-on op/ed.  Excellent!!     🙂

‘In God We Trust’ sign gets loud support amid outsiders’ opposition

A controversy in a St. Louis suburb over the display of “In God We Trust” as a motto in the City Council chambers prompted hundreds of residents to rally in support of the sign on Wednesday after some residents and anti-religion groups complained. The debate began last month after a woman – who was not from the area – was escorted out of a Wentzville council meeting after she protesting the display and exceeding her speaking-time limit. “It’s offensive to a lot of people, I’m outspoken about it but there are a lot of people like me that are afraid to speak out publicly,” said Sally Hunt, of neighboring Maryland Heights, according to KMOV-TV. “It says ‘In God We Trust’ when it should say ‘in God some of us trust,” she added. The motto has been on display on the council dais since the building’s opening in November last year. It was reportedly paid for with private funds. The city was reportedly contacted by the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the Appignani Humanist Legal Center, which argued the sign should be removed. “Your heavy-handed, dismissive treatment of Ms. Hunt — calling her a liar and then having her embarrassingly removed from the meeting by force — vividly demonstrates Ms. Hunt’s point that your constituents have good reason to be afraid to challenge the Board’s foisting of religion onto the rest of the community,” read the letter sent to the city, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. But the controversy reached its peak Wednesday as hundreds of residents carrying signs reading “In God We Trust” gathered to inside Wentzville’s city hall to rally in favor of the display. “When I heard our national motto was under question or under attack, I wanted to come here. I’m only one person, but I can pray,” local resident Mary Lou Rogers told KMOV-TV. “If you read the history of our country, it was founded on Christian moral values,” Ginger Yoak, a longtime resident of the city, told the Post-Dispatch. “And this motto doesn’t specify one particular religion, it can apply to different religions. This is our motto that represents our country’s values and I want to keep it.” Most people at the gathering supported the display of the motto, but a dozen dissenting voices were heard, although met with loud boos. “Religion is something personal. It should be at home, the people who are representing the people of Wentzville need to represent all of them, not everybody is a Christian,” Angie Molleck said at the gathering. Mayor Nick Guccione said during the meeting that the sign became an issue only after he disclosed that the local Rotary Club and the local Kiwanis Club paid for the sign. He added that he consulted with legal experts about the sign and the board held a vote about the display, which was approved. “The overwhelming majority is in support of what we’ve done,” he said. “I don’t understand why it is offensive, but you can’t please everybody,” he said Wednesday. “I will not take it down. I will stand strong on it. I do believe it’s our national motto and it promotes patriotism.” Some people also criticized those opposing the display but not actually living in the area. “I’m just not interested in some outsider coming in and telling us we can’t have this motto,” said Wayne Stoehner. Hunt, who began the controversy after being escorted out of the hall last month at the mayor’s request, also attended Wednesday’s meeting to voice her opposition, saying some residents of the city do not support the sign and “value a separation of church and state.” “They understand government is not a church,” she said. “Government should not advance religion.” The audience booed Hunt’s remarks and counted down the final seconds of her allocated time limit. The mayor stands behind the sign — and there are no plans to scrap it.

Good!  “In God We Trust” is our national motto, and doesn’t endorse any particular religion or faith.  If Ms. Hunt has such a big problem with it, then she should stand by her convictions and get rid of ALL of her money, which has that motto printed on it.  Kudos to the mayor and good people of Wentzville, Missouri for standing up these anti-America bullies and speech Nazis.  Outstanding!!   🙂

Starnes: NFL rejects veterans group’s Super Bowl ad urging people to stand for the anthem

The National Football League has rejected a Super Bowl advertisement from American Veterans urging people to stand for the national anthem. The nation’s largest veterans service organization had been invited by the NFL to place an ad in the Super Bowl LII program. AMVET’s advertisement included a two-word message – “#PleaseStand.” “It’s a simple, polite request that represents the sentiment of our membership, particularly those whose missing or paralyzed limbs preclude standing,” wrote National Commander Marion Polk in a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. American Veterans accused the NFL of outright censorship by rejecting the advertisement. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy defended the league’s decision to ban the American Veterans’ advertisement noting that the game day program “is designed for fans to commemorate and celebrate the game, players, teams and the Super Bowl.” “It’s never been a place for advertising that could be considered by some as a political statement,” McCarthy told Army Times. So, the NFL believes that politely asking people to stand for the Star-Spangled Banner is akin to making a political statement? The NFL has been rocked by national anthem protests throughout the season — leading to a massive decline in television viewership and game day attendance. Still, the NFL and most team owners refused to order players to stand for the national anthem. Instead, the commissioner and many owners shamefully turned a blind eye as football players took a knee and disrespected not only the flag, but the brave men and women defending our freedom. Perhaps Goodell was concerned that a “political statement” in the game day program might take away from the “political statements” being made on the football field when players take a knee. “Freedom of speech works both ways. We respect the rights of those who choose to protest, as these rights are precisely what our members have fought – and in many cases died – for,” Polk wrote. “But imposing corporate censorship to deny that same right to those veterans who have secured it for us all is reprehensible and totally beyond the pale.” McCarthy told Army Times they gave American Veterans the option of changing their proposed advertisement to read, “Please Stand for our Veterans.” But the NFL said they never heard back from the group. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the NFL’s disdain for American patriotism is not just isolated to the gridiron. It’s apparently infested the front office. “Veterans are good for more than just military aircraft flyovers, photo opportunities during halftime, or props to sell camouflage-style NFL apparel; although, the NFL’s stance on not allowing the veterans’ unfiltered voice to be heard says otherwise,” Polk wrote to Goodell. I wholeheartedly concur and might I suggest that freedom-loving Americans stand up to the National Football League by turning off the Super Bowl.

Sounds like a good idea..  Thanks to veteran culture warrior Todd Starnes for calling it exactly right.

Veterans, not NFL, to be focus for many fans this Sunday

Veterans Day weekend seems to have inspired a new round of fan activism against the National Football League in response to player protests during the national anthem. A Facebook page called “Boycott the NFL,” boasting more than 227,000 followers, is asking football fans to skip watching Sunday’s games “in solidarity with veterans around the country,” the Washington Times reported. In New Jersey, a bar in Farmingdale called Woody’s Roadside Tavern plans to hold a fundraiser for veterans and their families, instead of showing NFL games on the bar’s 20 television screens, NJ.com reported. In Colorado, a decorated local veteran recently turned down an invitation from the Denver Broncos to be honored during Sunday night’s game against the New England Patriots, Fox 31 reported. And a conservative watchdog group called 2ndVote is asking fans to “stiff-arm the NFL,” according to the Washington Times. “We’re sending the National Football League, its corporate sponsors, and the television networks a message this Veterans Day weekend!” 2ndVote told the newspaper. “Americans are sick of the disrespectful National Anthem protests that the NFL has not only allowed to continue, but has institutionalized in pregame ceremonies.” The league and its players union announced Saturday there would be “no change” in league policy regarding the on-field protests, which began last season with a one-man effort by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who said he wanted to draw attention to police mistreatment of African-Americans across the U.S. The protests broadened across the league in September, after President Donald Trump told an Alabama crowd that any player protesting during the anthem should be removed from the field. The president and other critics argued that the playing of the national anthem was the wrong time for protests, regardless of the reason, because the song represents U.S. national unity and respect for those who serve in the military. Rob Johnson, a co-owner of the New Jersey bar, told NJ.com that their anti-NFL event was inspired by a regular customer who served in Vietnam and felt disrespected by NFL players taking a knee during the anthem. “While it’ll probably cost us some money, we thought it was more important to stand with our veterans,” Johnson told NJ.com. About 22,000 people have pledged on Facebook that they plan to turn off the television during Sunday’s games, the Washington Times reported.

We, of course, will not be watching any NFL games this weekend, and encourage those who are as equally disgusted with Roger Goodell, and the rest of the NFL leadership to boycott the NFL til it pulls its collective head out of its ass.

Starnes: Video: Tens of Thousands of Young Farmers Celebrate America

American patriotism is not exactly in vogue these days among Democrats, Hollywood starlets and the National Football League. It’s considered fashionable among the social justice crowd to take a knee during the national anthem, burn the American flag and dishonor our troops. But that’s hardly the prevailing opinion across the fruited plain – where tens of thousands of young teenagers are rising up and publicly declaring their love for America and their devotion to freedom. Last week, some 65,000 members of the Future Farmers of America Organization gathered in Indianapolis to celebrate our great nation. I received a video of the jaw-dropping celebration from Deb Zippel, one of our faithful readers in Minnesota. Her daughter is studying to be an agricultural education teacher and was in attendance at the gathering. Jaci Dietrick, an FFA member from Newcastle, Oklahoma, walked onto the stage and delivered a stirring rendition of “God Bless the USA.” “Ladies and gentlemen, we live in the greatest country in the world and that’s only because we have men and women fighting daily for that freedom,” she told the massive crowd. “Thank you for standing.” And that’s exactly what they did – tens of thousands of young people rose to their feet and began singing along with vocalist. And when she started crooning about those lakes in Minnesota and the in hills in Tennessee – well, the young patriots dutifully let out hoots and hollers. When the singer concluded the song, the entire audience erupted with boisterous chants of “USA USA”. You would be hard pressed to find any snowflakes laden with microaggressions in the FFA. “These kids are the ones that get it,” Miss Deb told me. “They are hard working. They don’t expect it to be handed to them.” Miss Deb said her daughter worked two jobs to pay her way through college – “including getting up at 4 a.m. to milk cows and working an organic farm and squishing potato bugs by hand.” It’s that kind of hard work and determination that makes America the most exceptional nation on the planet. Thanks to young farmers across the fruited plain for reminding us there’s a generation rising that is proud to be American!

Agreed!  To see the video of Jaci singing “God Bless the USA,” click on the text above.  We need to rub this in the faces of Roger Goodell and those self-righteous, entitlement-minded, millionaire NFL players who have been rubbing their liberal, anti-America politics in our faces.  Thanks to Todd Starnes for sharing this story with us.  We take our hats off to these kids with the FFA!  Outstanding!!    🙂

Gold Star Widow Releases Trump’s Call After Husband Was Killed In Afghanistan

Gold star widow Natasha De Alencar released the audio of a phone conversation she had with President Donald Trump in April about the death of her husband who was killed in Afghanistan. “I am so sorry to hear about the whole situation. What a horrible thing, except that he’s an unbelievable hero,” Trump told her in the call about her husband Army Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar, which The Washington Post released. “Thank you. I really, really appreciated it,” she said. “I really do, sir.” Trump also told the widow if she is ever in Washington D.C. that she is welcome in the Oval Office. “If you’re around Washington, you come over and see me in the Oval Office,” he said. “You just come over and see me because you are just the kind of family … this is what we want.” “Say hello to your children, and tell them your father he was a great hero that I respected,” Trump said. “Just tell them I said your father was a great hero.” The phone call was released after White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly pushed back against Florida Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson’s criticism that Trump told a Gold Star widow “he knew what he signed up for.”

A comment that was completely taken out of context.  It was meant as a tribute.  Scroll down two articles to read more, and then below that (three down) is the video of Gen Kelly schooling the press and explaining that comment.

‘Keep that sacred:’ Disgusted Kelly berates congresswoman, defends Trump in Green Beret’s death

Some Democrats and their liberal media allies are referring to the deaths of four U.S. Green Berets in Niger as “Trump’s Benghazi” and questioning the need for troops there, ignoring that it was President Barack Obama’s decision in 2013 to deploy more military forces to northwest Africa. The soldiers killed in an ambush by Islamist extremists on Oct. 4 were part of a U.S. contingent in Niger, where Mr. Obama initially deployed 100 soldiers in February 2013 to conduct drone surveillance and to help French troops train and advise local forces in the fight against terrorists groups such as Boko Haram and Islamic State in Greater Sahara. The partisan fallout over the deaths prompted White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, a retired Marine general whose son was killed in Afghanistan, to deliver a blistering rebuke of Democratic Rep. Frederica S. Wilson of Florida on Thursday, saying he was “stunned and heartbroken” that the “selfish” lawmaker went on TV to politicize Mr. Trump’s phone call of condolences to the widow of one of the slain soldiers. “It stuns me that a member of Congress listened in to that conversation,” Mr. Kelly told reporters. “I thought at least that was sacred.” Ms. Wilson said she and the family of Sgt. La David Johnson were horrified that Mr. Trump told the widow her dead husband “knew what he was getting into.” Mr. Kelly, struggling at times to control his fury at the White House press briefing podium, recounted the advice he gave to Mr. Trump when the president asked him how to make the difficult phone calls to families of the fallen. He told the story of how Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., now chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivered the news to Mr. Kelly in 2010 that his Marine son, Robert, had been killed when he stepped on a landmine on patrol in Afghanistan. He said Gen. Dunford told him at the time that his son “was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed.” “He knew what he was getting into by joining that 1 percent,” Mr. Kelly said, recalling his friend’s words about volunteering to serve. “He knew what the possibilities were. When he died, he was surrounded by the best men on this Earth — his friends.” Mr. Kelly explained, “That’s what the president tried to say to four families the other day.” “In his way, [Mr. Trump] tried to express that opinion, that [the fallen soldier] is a brave man, a fallen hero, who knew what he was getting into because he enlisted, and he was exactly where he wanted to be,” Mr. Kelly said. “That was the message that was transmitted.” The chief of staff said he was so angered by Ms. Wilson’s criticisms of the president on Wednesday that he visited Arlington National Cemetery, where his son and many of his other brothers in arms are buried. “When I listened to this woman and what she was saying, what she was doing on TV, the only thing I could do to collect my thoughts was to go to walk among the finest men and women on this Earth,” Mr. Kelly said. “I went over there for an hour and a half, walked among the stones, some of whom I put there, because they were doing what I told them to do when they were killed.” He issued a public plea on Thursday not to let an “empty barrel” such as Ms. Wilson erode the sanctity of a soldier making the ultimate sacrifice.

Agreed!!  Rep. Frederica S, Wilson (D-FL) is a nauseating, self-righteous, arrogant, worthless piece of garbage.  She is what is wrong with politics in this country.  Her and her silly hats, Botox, and the tons and tons of makeup on her face only add to the caricature that she is.  Someone needs to slap that disrespectful, grandstanding, lying blow-hard.  If you’ve not seen the video of Gen. Kelly talking to the press, then click on the text immediately below.  You really need to see this.