Stryper’s Michael Sweet on NFL Players Protesting National Anthem: ‘It’s a Game, It’s a Job, It’s Not a Political Platform’
Last year, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the center of controversy for kneeling down, refusing to take part in standing with his hand over heart during the National Anthem. Since his initial actions, which were done to protest the oppression of African Americans in America, a slew of other players have followed suit, even carrying over into the 2017-2018 football season. President Trump made polarizing comments about the on-the-field actions prior to this weekend's series of games, leading entire teams to perform protest demonstrations. Now, Stryper frontman Michael Sweet has thrown his hat into the ring.
These protest actions have been fiercely debated on social media and on network television and Stryper's frontman chimed in as well. The singer appeared frustrated that players are using their platform for political means, rather than taking the field to play a game, which is what they are paid to do. His post reads, in its entirety, as seen below.
Everyone talking about "freedoms" and "rights". Just a few of my thoughts on the matter (not that it matters):
Why is it okay for players to "take a knee" but it's not okay for anyone else you use their freedom of speech or "rights" to speak against players taking a knee? You see, just as they have the right to protest during our beloved National Anthem, they also have the right to deal with the fallout.
Many people will stop supporting not only those players, but those teams as well. Maybe owners and coaches should step back and reevaluate the fact that it's a game, it's a job. It's not a political platform. Play ball and do the job that you get paid millions and millions of dollars to do. Do what you want off the field but on the field just play ball.
Over and out.......
At a rally in Alabama on Friday (Sept. 22), President Trump exclaimed, "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a b--ch off the field right now, out — he's fired!'" The comments drew harsh criticism, even from the league's commissioner, Roger Goodell, who preached a message of unity in response.
On Sunday (Sept. 24), several teams were seen either locking arms, kneeling or sitting on a bench during the playing of the "Star Spangled Banner" while other teams (Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans) saw every player remain inside the locker room or entrance tunnel while the nation's anthem rang out. The lone exception from those three teams was Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva, who stood outside the tunnel with hand over heart on the field. The linesman served three tours in Afghanistan prior to becoming an NFL player.
One other notion of controversy is that Kaepernick remains without an NFL contract after being jettisoned from the 49ers following his benching last season for shaky play at the quarterback position. Many feel no team has picked him up because of the media firestorm it could potentially bring to the organization, but Kid Rock, a known critic of the athlete, dismissed this, chalking his free agent status up to his skills as an NFL player. “F–k ANYONE who takes a knee or sits during our National Anthem! Pretty sure if Russell Wilson or Tom Brady were doing it they would have no problem finding a job playing for any team they wanted in the NFL! So cut the bulls–t," he said in a statement released earlier this month.
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