Pardon Your Take? Kneeling During the National Anthem

Welcome to the brand new “Pardon Your Take?” series here on The purpose of this ongoing series is to take the most controversial topics in sports and let two of our writers face off in a debate. No punches will be pulled and the takes of our writers will not be edited/censored. We aren’t shying away from any subject, no matter how controversial. After every article YOU, the reader will get to vote on our forums for who won the debate! You can also leave us suggestions as to which topics you would like to see debated in the future!

For our first debate, the subject is “Kneeling During the National Anthem”. A controversial topic that we are all very aware of. For today’s debate we have two of our most talented writers participating. It’s Lachard Binkley taking the “affirmative/in support of” and Larry Horn taking the “negative/against”.

Kneeling During the Anthem: A Discussion

Lachard: Players kneeling during the National Anthem, at sporting events of course, has been a hot topic for years now. There is no in-between when it comes to this discussion. I feel that the message has gotten lost in the media fog. The original purpose was to bring awareness to a social injustice that Colin Kaepernick and many others felt was being ignored. For years athlethes have talked about this in a normal forum but it never seems to get any traction. That is why Kaepernick and others kneel, it is to bring real attention to the problem. It was never about disrespecting the flag. Not one player has ever said that.

Larry: This was never about disrespecting the flag. This is about disrespecting the owners and their business. Kaepernick wanted to do his protest on the grandest stage and he picked the NFL. Unfortunately for him it is also his job. I think everyone here, after many years of this, understands what this has been about. I just dont think he understood the consequences.

Lachard: The NFL did not mandate that players stand during the anthem at the time it was happening. The NBA did, MLB did but not the NFL, so how is this disrespectful? He didn’t break any NFL rules, it wasn’t violent and didn’t affect the game whatsoever so there is no reason players shouldn’t be able to kneel.

Larry: You can definitely kneel. They even allowed them to well after the initial kneeling. What the owners did was within their rights also. Hurt the business, pay the consequences. Then Kaepernick wanted to know why he was getting blackballed.  The owners claim it was due to him not being good enough but really the blackballed effect was commencing.

Lachard: The problem is you can’t collude with other owners to keep him out of the league. This is why the owners had to settle with Kaepernick because they were illegally keeping him out of the league. It’s their right to make rules for their team but those were not in place from the beginning.

Larry: He opted out of his contract thinking he was better than he really was. His last two years were horrendous. Right after his Super Bowl, he became ordinary.  That’s great but because he got to a super bowl he is entitled to more money? Whether he knelt or not he opted out at a time where he shouldn’t have. He didn’t deserve more money and his performance suggests that.

Lachard: You can commit felonies, vehicular homicide and fail drug tests but the NFL and its owners draw the line at a peaceful protest? It wasn’t his fault that his original message was buried by the media and fans. These players are showing up to work, not causing issues on the field and fulfilling their contracts. If the owners didn’t want them to kneel they should have had rules in place, to begin with.  

How many times before games do you see the same people complaining now talking on their phone not taking their hats off and blatantly not paying attention with the National Anthem is being played? To me, critics are being hypocrites because “disrespect for the Anthem” has been happening long before Kaepernick. Colin Kaepernick kneeling for social justice is a lot more important than your Twitter feed during the National Anthem.

Larry: I think the big point is what the players getting paid to do on the teams time. It’s to play football, not to conduct a peaceful protest. What people have to know is this job is no different from any other job. You are able to conduct peaceful protests during work but it wont guarantee you a job after. That’s basically why he was outed. He knew he was a martyr, he even said it.

Follow Larry and Lachard on Twitter and head over to the forums to vote for the winner!

Tony Flowers
Die-hard DFS player, MMA junkie, lifelong Pro Wrestling fan and, most importantly, father to an amazing son.

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