I reach-out to you and ask that you send your e-mails / complaints to the addresses I have presented below to reflect your concerns / disgust about this total Disrespect of America’s National Anthem, and the “ruse” that is being used under the guise of “free speech”. This is NOT Free Speech, when you compel / “force” the audience in the stands to observe, participate and or become part of a practice of IMPOSED SPEECH, without their Free choice to do so!! The NFL’s, passive, “DO Nothing” response to those disrespecting our Fallen Soldiers and War Veterans is a National Disgrace!
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Mr. Goodall, (NFL), and company,
History has varied the story, but the playing of the National Anthem at sports events began as an incentive to instill the American spirit to Depressed, low-attendance Baseball fans in an America, that had suffered the loss of over 100,000 American troops during World War – I. It also had a commercial value to the Team owners, as it also helped raise the spirit, unity, and eventually the attendance of the people to support both “Team-America” and the home-town baseball team. Even then, it took time before the “fans” realized that the playing of the Anthem at a game garnered due respect and somber reflection. *It wasn’t about the game, it was about considering America’s sacrifices and losses, of those who couldn’t attend….May they still rest in Peace with Honor!
OPEN LETTER TO THE NFL;
Remember and get to know who allows you to flourish, then and now, as we approach this upcoming Veterans Day,………..for you have done them a Great Disservice;
They were kids of an average age of 20 yr. old, but with minds filled with fear and wonderment. They came from all backgrounds, with different perspectives on where and why they were in a Foreign land. They were dropped-off, in a somewhere place, called Vietnam. A word / a name not really familiar to them, in an environment and culture even stranger then anything their young lives had experienced. They didn’t understand that they were destined to become invisible, as America’s Defenders, though their actions became indelible, for those with eyes-wide-open. They were writing a part of America’s history that some didn’t want to print, and many, then as now, refuse to read, or understand. In their young minds they felt duty-bound to protect and preserve the Freedoms and Rights they were taught were precious and distinct, but also shouldered a great deal of Responsibility. They didn’t (personally), know too many of their fellow Americans (back home), who’s Freedoms they felt they were defending. You see, that didn’t matter because they were Honored to defend those who had made some form of sacrifice for them. This is part of a Societies fundamental need to survive as a Family, and a Nation. It will always be an essential ingredient in one’s existence, until we truly travel where “No man has gone before”, into the realm of Peace.
Their training, their discipline, their determination, their dedication to the unified purpose has no equal to anything your so-called “Teams” experience.
In the early morning hours they would prepare their “Team”(s) to go out on patrol. Average daily temperatures would be around 105 degrees. Once everyone put on their Flak-jackets, Helmets, Back-packs filled with C-Rations, and additional supplies, you could be carrying (at least), 30-50lbs extra on your body. Some carried more. Their silence and their eyes spoke of thoughts that some may not come back this time, but those thoughts were never heard out-loud. Patrols that sometimes lasted for days / weeks, where you slept on foreign soil, next to snakes, insects, and creatures you never remember reading about in (high school), Science class. You would travel so far from “the company base”, that Helicopters would be deployed to bring you additional food, or sometimes bring you back to camp. The life-saving, always “Loved”, Helicopter, that decades later can bring you back to that time, and place, just by hearing the sound of the blades overhead.
Patrolling in the mountainous regions south of Saigon, where you thought you would never reach the top of a “hill” or ridge, because you were getting numb from the weight on your back, and the Heat of the day. Reaching for your Canteen of warm, bad-tasting water, was more of a necessity then a desire. Reminding yourself, that if the guy in front of me can do it,…..then so can I. *Each tour-of-Duty, put 100’s of miles on those young men’s’ bodies, and an uncounted toll on their minds. The air they breathed contained Billions of particles of Herbicides, later to be known as “Agent Orange”. Unbeknownst to many who believed they made it back home “safe”, they carried a poison, that was to remind them of all they wanted to forget. The enemy came Home with them.
Patrolling / marching in Monsoon rains, along the DMZ, that made you fight for every step you took. Rains that pounded you till you had to learn to become oblivious to their presence. You felt a need to show defiance to Mother Natures continuous “beatings”, as if she was telling you,……you shouldn’t be here!! Mud-caked uniforms, were your blanket at night, as you tried to dry your socks and boots so as to preserve your most precious tools, while on patrol, your feet.
Crossing rivers / streams who’s initial embrace was refreshing from the torture of a battling heat and humidity that appeared to fight each other for the right to bring you to your knees. Unfortunately the (cool water), embrace of the River /stream was short-lived as we had to (stop and), return their inhabitants (who joined us) as we crossed. Once the opportunity came for us to rest on dry land again, so began the tedious practice of returning those who hitched a ride from the River. The river’s residents known as Leaches found a way to cling on to each Soldier, as if they were lost relatives. Somehow / someway, they would get under your uniform, and immediately begin to embed themselves into your skin. Soldiers were compelled to stop, examine their bodies, and remove any / all Leaches before they became too comfortable and made your body their “new” home.
Such was some of the common everyday sacrifices made by a Team that knew and understood what Unity meant. They understood they may have to do this everyday, and every-time they left on another Patrol. They knew that we all couldn’t “get our way”, or do what we wanted, and that supporting each other regardless of our differences of opinion, is best in serving the “TEAM”. They found strength in their newly established unity, and it was making them Mature. Perhaps faster then they expected, but maturity embraced them nevertheless. They shared their water with a weakened member or shared their food with one in need. They shared precious cigarettes from the rations they carried, as comrades often do. They grew together. They may have not agreed or even liked those in-charge, but Respect and Obedience was essential, because what you do, or do not do affects everyone else. It’s part of being a good Team.
All this was understood and respected, and made them adhere to the power of becoming a “Team-Member”, so as to overcome these obstacles………..together,………and that was even before they ever confronted obstacles far greater and more deadly…………Such as the “Enemy” in combat, for the spectra of Death camped with us, marched with us,…….and followed our every move.
………..AND yet (NFL),your players are called Warriors and Champions. Your players (should they get thirsty or sweat), are handed water, and towels to dry that sweat off their “Gladiator” brows, by those employed just for that purpose. Your players only “work” one day a week, and for only part of the year. In luxury they only have to wait around for someone else to bring in their newly cleaned uniforms, from the past weeks event. Your salaries far exceed your work-load, and yet complaints about “your struggling lives”, is all people read about in embellished stories about your “conquest”.
Your Players, lacking true obedience and discipline, can decide “who is in charge”, and real-teamwork and mutual respect are in-effect only if everyone gets “their-way”. The Media follows you around, as if you are really making a difference in the world.
Your training may indeed have some compelling aspects to it, but would your training ready you for what has been mentioned (above), in real fields of “battle”, by America’s real Teams? Would you dare compare your training to that of a Guardian-of-Freedom, that protects your right to play-a-game?………..I suspect your training would Fail you in a “Real World” circumstance…….So I ask……Why do you Shame us????
………… Why do you allow your “employees” to take over, and Dis-respect America’s Best Teams, with protest performances that only demean the spirit and intent of playing the National Anthem at your games? These (so-called “protest”) are NOT actions of “Free” speech, that your employees impose on Americans. These are practices of deceit to the Public in attendance. Announcing and selling tickets for a sporting event , and once the (citizens in the stands), are asked to rise for the singing of the National Anthem, you have then created a “captive audience” environment. Your employees (with your Silent Consent), then allow these designed “Protest” of insult, and dishonor to be inflicted on the Audience!! …….An audience that is expecting a period of somber reflection during the playing / singing of the Anthem………..That is Not Free Speech!!
NFL, you need to educate yourself and your employees on what Free speech entails and what it does not allow. You cannot hold a specific event, for a specific purpose, invite the public, and then inflict them with something they had no-choice in attending!!……….Did you tell the Public beforehand, did you allow them the choice? Free speech is Not in-practice when you compel and deceive others to listen and /or observe what you have to protest!!
Captive audiences are Not willing participants in the practice of “Free Speech”, if you take away their choice. Thus your arrogant, and undisciplined “Protesters” were NOT practicing Free Speech.
The NFL, has Failed in Respecting and Honoring other “Teams” that have paved the way for you to Entertain others. Your Teams have Failed in the transference of Mutual Respect for other real American Teams, far better, and more disciplined then they.
…………I am shamed that the NFL, (allegedly) is a compilation of representative “Home-Teams”, that in Theory are supposed to represent America. Yet you have done Nothing to quell this Unconstitutional practice, alleged, to be “free speech” by your team members and their employees, because you have NOT educated yourselves on what is Free speech!
You have allowed the practice of Disrespecting and Dishonoring those who protected you before and those who protect you now, without consequence. Had we as Americans and Soldiers, decided to protest “at-will” without regard for the rest of our American Team, then we would have Failed as Citizens, and Americans representing our Country……….A Failure, by your “Teams”, seems to be embraced by your Silence!!
You have Shamed and Disgraced us All!!
Wasn’t it sufficient embarrassment for the NFL, when you took American Tax dollars to display “Paid-for-Patriotism” to War Veterans, at your games? Hollow exercises in (lets pretend we care about you) Patriotism, paid for with our Tax dollars, should have been enough shame for you to have shown better Respect and Discipline, and insist that your employees merely come to the game and do what they are paid to do??? Has it become so “Politically Correct” that you cannot ask employees to do their job anymore? Has the Greed of making so much money, blinded the NFL, to the unspoken Patriotic, Higher duty you should have towards America’s people? We did our job on your behalf, as your employees should have done, on behalf of those in attendance, and throughout the Country.
All Grievances should be heard, but Free Speech like all protected Rights, come with Responsibilities, and those people in the stands, as those watching at home, have rights also, and you should have respected those boundaries. You took away their Free Choice, and thus your employees “protest” was NOT free speech. but Imposed Speech to captive citizens.
You may have groups of Players that play this overly-embellished game, BUT you don’t have any Teams,…………Not really!!
You can’t compare to our American Teams, of the Army, Navy, Air Force, National Guard, and (of course), the Marines…………….Impossible!!
As a final note,………..The National Anthem, was played, not for your employees, or even for those in the stands………….It was played to remind us ALL of those “Empty-seats” in all Stadiums and all Arenas, where good Americans will never be present to attend, because of the sacrifice they made…………….What Sacrifice have you made????
What Shame you have brought to their Memory!!
Thomas Pastore, Vietnam Veteran / USMC, whose memory has served me by reviving some Archived remembrances of those I served with, lived with, and patrolled with. I submit them to you, in the hopes of bringing some reality where delusion now presides.
This is a difficult rebuttal to write because of the lingering brainwashing that still remains in my sub-conscious, but the facts gathered after ten years of relentless research are indisputable. The grifters that inhabit our media, education and government have done a remarkable job of implanting an indestructible love for our own destruction in our brains. The author above is a prime example of an ignorant hero. There was a time when I would have wiped his ass if needed, but today I feel a pity for him that’s hard to explain. It was my experience in the military that changed my direction and attitude about wars fought for profit, and after all these years there still lingers the doubt that the thrill of murdering someone falsely accused of debauchery is somehow acceptable. Vietnam was the perfect example of how good men can be turned into killers of innocent human beings. But so were the wars of all nations. The international Investment Bankers dead and alive are laughing their asses off. The following words are more powerful than chemicals in our brain: the star spangled banner, the pledge of allegiance, the Constitution, the declaration of Independence, Old Glory, have effectively altered our common sense. We now live in a time when debauchery is socially acceptable.