Hey NFL! I can’t imagine that you care-but you’re losing me.
Not so much because players are kneeling during the National Anthem. An argument can be made that the flag represents freedom of speech, and that soldiers have died in order to make that free speech available to everyone, including football players.
What’s pushing me out the door is the attitude and actions during the game; the recent “game” between the Steelers and Bengals serves as a perfect example, particularly one specific play.
Pittsburgh receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster absolutely creamed Cincinnati linebacker Vontaze Burfict with a vicious hit while Burfict was in a defenseless position. Although I’m not a fan of these sorts of hits, I get it….it’s part of the game, and Burfict has a reputation for dirty play himself so perhaps this was part of retribution.
Yet after delivering the hit, Smith-Schuster stood over Burfict while straddling him, and taunted him as if Smith-Schuster was a baaaaaaad man. That is exactly what is wrong with the NFL-what appears to be the absence of class and sportsmanship, which is “trickling-down” to college, high school, and even elementary school ranks.
Happens in basketball too; in a recent game a 7-foot hulk dunked on a 6 foot Barney Fife-looking guard. After the dunk the 7 footer stood over Barney glaring at the squirt. Not impressed. Hate it.
Being “Old School” cuts both ways. If you’re a fan of “old school” hits in the NFL (think Dick Butkus and Steve Atwater) how about being a fan of “old school” class and sportsmanship? If things are going to change, the assessment of penalties has to change. Smith-Schuster was penalized, but remained in the game. He should have been tossed; if not by the refs, than by his coach.
You’re having a tough year, NFL. Want to bring viewers back? How about worrying less about those who are kneeling, and more about those who are taunting?