NFL Player Explains Why He “Stands” for the National Anthem

Cincinnati Bengals Tight End Tyler Eifert is speaking out, even though he knows it could cost him much to do so.

The anti-American protests, whereby some players refuse to respect our National Anthem and our flag, has continued into its 2nd season and thus far the NFL has refused to do anything about it. While the league has lost millions in potential revenue due to the protests, the fear has not yet risen high enough to press the NFL to react. Instead, Commissioner Goodell continues to offer trite sayings while placating his players and pretending that there is simply nothing the league can do about any of this. Goodell even cites the First Amendment when speaking of the player protests, ignoring the fact that if any employee at any company in America participated in a protest during work hours, that cost the company millions of dollars, they would immediately be fired by that organization.

Even worse, in many of the interviews he’s given Goodell sounds sympathetic to the ill-conceived protests, as if our nation really is as dark and twisted as Colin Kaepernick pretends it to be.

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Thankfully, there are many players who still respect the nation that has enriched them, and there are many players proud to stand for our anthem and our flag.

Sadly, there are some players who now feel the need to “explain” why they aren’t kneeling. Players like Tyler Eifert, who respects his colleagues, but feels that he should keep standing. In a recent article for Medium he laid out his reasons:

I know it would probably be best to stay out of it, but when you believe in something as much as I do it gets to a point where you want both sides to be heard.

I am not questioning anyone’s reasons or rights to protest, but instead the method. This entire protest about raising awareness for racial inequality has gotten lost in the media and turned into a debate about whether to sit or stand for the national anthem. I want to take this time to remind everyone why I stand.

I stand because I love my country.

I stand because I want to honor the people putting their lives on the line for me on a daily basis in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.

I stand because my cousin is a pilot in the United States Air Force, risking his life flying F-15s in active war zones. He takes pride in his job protecting Americans, a sacrifice that all members of every branch of the United States military willfully take…

I respect my fellow players right to kneel during the national anthem but I hope everyone now knows why I stand, and respects that as well.

How sad is it that players now have to explain why they aren’t kneeling and disrespecting our anthem?

We live in the greatest nation the world has ever seen. It’s the most just, the most merciful, the most fair, the most inclusive, the most prosperous, the most generous, and the most kind nation to ever grace the face of the Earth. Is America perfect? No, of course not. We have ugly spots, and terrifying wrinkles, but we see them and we’re working on them. For that alone the protesters should be praising the country that has given them all they have, instead they’re doing their best to destroy everything the rest of us have worked for.


Read Eifert’s entire essay at Medium.

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