The national anthem and American flag have been at the center of heated discussion for the past several weeks thanks to the latest trend highly paid athletes using the traditionally solemn moment to honor and reflect on our nation to make controversial political statements instead.
Not surprisingly, quite a few patriotic red-blooded Americans find it highly distasteful that these athletes would exercise their freedom of speech and dissent in a manner that dishonors and disrespects the men and women who bled and died to secure and defend that freedom found virtually nowhere else on the planet.
Legendary Las Vegas showman and singer Wayne Newton can be counted among those not impressed by the athletes sitting or taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem, and he explained why during an appearance Monday on “Fox & Friends.”
“I think every American has the right to say and do whatever it is that freedom offers us,” Newton said. “However, during the national anthem, is not the time or the place to show that kind of thing.”
“I have no tolerance at all for it,” he added. “I support the right to say what they believe and how they believe it, but that’s the wrong place and time.”
Co-host Steve Doocy chimed in with an open question, saying, “And if they don’t like it …?”
Without a pause, Newton replied in a near growl, “Get the hell out.”
— FOX & Friends (@foxandfriends) September 12, 2016
As has been made perfectly clear, all of these athletes have the right to speak their mind and express their support for causes that may not be supported by all Americans. They are blessed and fortunate enough to live in a country that respects and defends that right, even to its own detriment sometimes.
But as Newton and many others have noted, there is a time and a place for everything, and just because somebody has the right to do something, that doesn’t necessarily make it the right thing to do.
Thankfully, most athletes understand that the national anthem is but a mere moment of time for one to reflect on how truly lucky they are to live in a country where they can be paid millions of dollars to play a game while simultaneously being able to speak their minds and say or do controversial things without fear of government reprisal.
If they don’t like that they can get out, though they likely will find that they won’t experience the same sort of deal anywhere else.