Kneeling for national anthem dishonest, juvenile

No one being thrown in jail for speaking out

As often as possible I try to tune out celebrities such as actors and athletes who try to tell me who to vote for, how I should donate to charity etc. Most of the time I’m not convinced celebrities care all that much about the causes in question, but rather engage in such things to get their faces on TV (Bono, Bruce Springsteen etc.).

That’s what turned me from being an NHL fan around 1994, as my first year in college was closing. You might remember the NHL strike/lockout that year. I remember watching defenseman Chris Pronger in a news conference saying NHL players weren’t going to be exploited anymore, and were going to fight for what they deserved. Meanwhile he was standing there in a $1,000 Italian suit and then got into a Lamborghini or limo and drove away.

Anyhoo, this entire “NFL players kneeling for the national anthem” has a similar pedigree. The gist of it is mostly black NFL players feel the United States doesn’t treat minorities as well as it treats white people, and furthermore many people feel police departments in the U.S. treat minorities differently, even criminally, as part of some totalitarian state.

Some of their positions are difficult to argue. Take for example the death of 12 year old Tamir Rice, who was shot to death by two police officers in Cleveland, Ohio Nov. 22, 2014. Rice was in a park with what amounted to a toy gun, and a security camera records a police cruiser screeching to a halt and one of the officers blowing Rice away before the cruiser even stopped moving. The security footage proved no attempt was made to communicate with Rice before he was killed. They just pulled up and blew him away. You can watch the video clip yourself on YouTube (type “Tamir Rice” in the search box). In my opinion, the police officers should have communicated in some way, “Drop the gun or we’ll shoot” etc. with the kid before blowing him away. But that’s just my opinion.

It’s also my opinion that kneeling during the national anthem in an attempt to say “The entire country is racist” is garbage. The simple fact that NFL players can speak their minds about Trump, the American government, police departments etc. proves this claim is wrong.

Do you know what would happen to these NFL players if they tried a protest or criticism in a foreign country?

In Lebanon, for example, the law of the land states it’s illegal to print anything that “undermines the dignity of the president of the republic.” And if you do print it, it could be two years in jail and up to $66,000 in fines.

In Turkey, freedom of speech is non-existent when it comes to certain politicians. Insulting the head of state, even previous heads of state who are dead, can result in a prison sentence of from one to four years. From what I’m told, a prison sentence in Turkey is no laughing matter.

When it comes to insulting the leaders of Iran, the fundamentalist rulers don’t mess around: “Anyone who insults any of the leaders of the three branches of government, presidential deputies, ministers, any of the members of Parliament, or any ministry staff, or any other state employees, due to their duties, shall be punished by imprisonment of three to six months, flogging (74 lashes) or a fine.”

Indonesia is known for strict laws, and they’re currently debating a replacement for an old statute that handed out up to six years in prison for insulting the president. The new proposal calls for only five years in prison. Truly enlightened.

I think it’s juvenile, dishonest and irresponsible for anyone, including pro athletes, to claim the American government is a totalitarian state cracking down on free speech.

If any of that statement were true, we wouldn’t be watching NFL players kneeling at the beginning of a children’s game. All of those players would be in jail.

Stu Salkeld is the acting editor of The Stettler Independent and writes a regular column for the paper.

Just Posted

Stettler Parent Link works to strengthen families

Programs run the gamut from Super Dads, Super Kids to Bringing Baby Home

Hike for Hospice runs May 5th at West Stettler Park

Make sure to register before April 26th

Alberta’s 47 legislature newbies meet under the dome for orientation day

Most new members are with the United Conservatives, who won a majority government

Easter visit!

Easter Bunny makes a visit to Points West Living

OPINION: Jason Kenney won by portraying himself as the Guardian of Alberta

How did Kenney do it? He never considered himself an opposition leader and didn’t pretend to be one.

Canada privacy watchdog taking Facebook to court

If the court application is successful, it could lead to modest fines and an order for Facebook to revamp its privacy

Be wary of robot emotions; ‘simulated love is never love’

Research has shown that people have a tendency to project human traits onto robots

‘What if, what if, what if:’ inquiry hears details about Alberta Mountie’s death

David Wynn, 42, was gunned down by Shaun Rehn, 34, a career criminal wanted on warrants

Calgary woman killed in B.C. highway crash

Crash closed highway for hours

Assessment says Alberta woman facing animal abuse charges fit to stand trial

April Dawn Irving, 59, is charged with 13 counts of cruelty to animals

Canadian privacy watchdogs find major shortcomings in Facebook probe

The probe followed reports that Facebook had let an outside organization use an app to access users’ personal info

Provinces, Ottawa talk 50/50 split on abandoned bus-route service

B.C. has paid $2 million on a bus service for the northern part of the province

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Oil and gas company confirms death of one of its employees in Yoho avalanche

Dana Coffield died when he was skiing in the Rocky Mountains

Most Read