The NFL has fined Odell Beckham, Jr. $12,154 for his pee-like-a-big-dog celebration.  Where is the ACLU (American Canine Liberties Union)?  The NFL refuses to allow its players their freedom of speech protected under the First Amendment to the US Constitution and I’m sick and tired of these blatant abuses of said freedom.  This is America, damn it!

Could be the NFL deemed OBJ’s actions to be offensive to some, and perhaps they are, but that’s no excuse for censuring that man’s freedom of speech and self-expression.  I showed my dog the video and asked him what he thought about it.  My dog isn’t big on words (really only knows one), and all he said was “rough”.  I think he meant it was a rough life being a dog, but I’m not really sure.  He soon lost interest in the conversation and started scratching at a flea or something.  I let him outside just in case OBJ had inspired him.  He was wagging his tail though, which usually means he’s in good humor, so I conclude he *was not offended* by OBJ’s antics.  Therefore, since my dog was not offended, I conclude *no other dog* has any right to be offended, either.

Just in case anybody missed it, the above was my poor attempt at satire.  The NFL has chosen to hide behind the First Amendment in refusing to require their players to stand for the national anthem or face discipline.  The First Amendment is a *restriction* on the power of the *government*.  It does not apply here, not to a private company.  Just as the NFL has the right to (and does, as illustrated in the example above) discipline its players for what it deems improper conduct even though that conduct would be defensible in a criminal court as protected free speech under our great Constitution.  Do not confuse *freedom of speech* with a *right to be published.*  The players *do not* have a constitutional right to force the NFL to provide them with a platform from which to espouse their political beliefs and ideologies.  The NFL’s decision to sit on the fence and hide behind the First Amendment is *purely* a *public relations* move, and nothing to do with *morality*.

In the NFL’s defense, they’re stuck in the middle of something they didn’t start.  They’re actually getting boycotted *from both sides* of the political spectrum.  There are those boycotting for Kaepernick not having a job and there are those boycotting because the players are disrespecting the country.  When you’re taking heat from both sides, at least you know you’re a centrist.  The NFL’s PR strategy was working, this was blowing over, there weren’t *that many* players involved, but then Trump entered the fray.  It’s gonna be hard for the NFL to sit on the fence with Trump shaking it.  But we’ll see what happens.  I very much doubt the NFL will change its stance.  It’ll just have to try to weather the storm best it can and work behind the scenes to try to tend this PR *disaster* they’re faced with.  My guess is there will be some sort of compromise that involves all players standing for the anthem.  There will be those who don’t like the compromise, but there will be those who don’t like it no matter what happens.  For me personally, I just want to *get back to football* and put all these protests to bed.  They are *ruining* my enjoyment of what has always been (at least for me) an entertaining product.


I could go on and give my take on these protests and the validity (or lack thereof) of the underlying social concerns, but I choose not to at this time in this place.  I try to keep this blog about *football* only, but since football players have decided to bring politics into football, well, there you have it, my little soiree into politics here.  Trust me, I have some strong views (and I think I could make a very strong case in support of my strong views), but this, much like the football field during the playing of the national anthem, really isn’t the proper forum for political discussions.  People follow this blog because they like football, and I intend to *stick to football* in future posts.  This is *probably* the only political post you’ll see from me, at least here on the Mean Mark blog.   Saints have a key game coming up with a chance to get back to .500.  I’m hoping they can come away with a big victory and not embarrass our country in the process.