On Kneeling, Standing, and other controversial positions

A few years ago, I went on a nice vacation to various countries in Southeast Asia.  On that trip, I went to Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, and I ended up in Bangkok, Thailand.  It was an airfare deal where you could do a certain number of countries for a certain price and I had already gone to Japan and China on previous trips, so there was really no other country in that region that I wanted to visit.  I didn’t really want to go to Thailand, but it fit the deal, so I did it.

I hated almost every second I spent in Thailand.

I have nothing against Thai people or even Thai food although seriously can you have ONE fucking dish that doesn’t burn your asshole afterwards?!?  I also understand that Bangkok is the capital city and, as such, is a completely different experience from the beautiful beaches in the south.  I get it.

Do you remember The Hangover Part II?

Was there any scene AT ALL in that movie that was set in Bangkok that made you say, “Gee, that looks like a beautiful place to visit”?


The vast majority of the city looks like the picture above.  The major exception are the malls.  The malls in Bangkok are glorious and modern and awesome.  I spent entire days at the malls eating delicious (AND CHEAP) food and catching movies.

At the beginning of every movie, they would play a short film praising the virtues of the King and they would also play the Thai national anthem.  The custom was/is to stand during this.

Keeping in mind that I hated the country and couldn’t wait to get the fuck back home, what did I do?



Because it’s a sign of goddam respect!  So many fucking people and NFL players always talk about someone disrespecting them and you know what, motherfuckers?  You need to give respect to get respect!

I understand that many people are not happy about how things are or how minorities are treated in this country.  As a minority, I get it.  HOWEVAH, as a naturalized American citizen, it bothers the shit out of me that people born in this country that have never experienced what it is like to live in third world countries where things are REALLY bad decide to shit on their country’s symbols.

This country went through this already with the flag-burning debate.  Yes, it’s protected speech under the First Amendment, but that doesn’t mean you should do it.  When people do things like burning flags or kneeling during the national anthem, whatever message they want to get across gets lost because many people are greatly offended by those acts.

If NFL players really want to do something about the issues that an unemployed QB was protesting about, they should put their money where their mouth is and support political candidates that agree with their views and create companies that fight against the injustices in this country.

The only speech that matters and gets things done in this country is money.  It’s always been that way and it always will be.

Of course, Roger Goodell is as tone-deaf as always.  He is jumping on the latest bandwagon and is “supporting” the players’ right to free speech.  His ability to alienate the NFL’s fanbase is limitless.  Since when does he give a shit about players’ rights?  Fucking never!  All he is doing now is trying to gauge the public’s reaction and going with whatever seems more popular.  Right now, the protests have been well-received, but the backlash is coming and Goodell will do the quickest 180 you’ve ever seen.  Just watch.

My chosen team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, chose to stay in the locker room during the national anthem as they could not unanimously decide whether to do a protest or not.  Supposedly it was for the team to show unity.  In reality, it was a stupid decision.  All it did was show them to be cowards.  Except for one guy whose jersey is now the #1 selling jersey on the NFL website:

BTW, his parents were born in Spain.  What does that tell you?

UPDATE: The Steelers have issued a clarification on the players’ intention.  It was still a dumb decision and HOW THE FUCK DO YOU LOSE TO THE BEARS?!?

Getting on knees and marching in protests doesn’t do a goddam thing to change things.  Like we saw with Trump’s travel ban, the actions that really enabled change were done by the lawyers that went to airports to file lawsuits.  The millions marching didn’t do a fucking thing.  The donations to the ACLU did.

We are past the days where public displays of disagreement change policy.  The Republicans have gerrymandered enough districts so that they can safely ignore what millions on the coasts say.  The only things they pay attention to is lawsuits and money.

If you really feel that strongly about an issue, do what I suggested above and put your money where your mouth is.  Leave the kneeling to Jerry’s “friends”.



International Member of the Geelong Cats and recovering Steelers fan. Likes Butts. And Balls. And Boobs. Pretty much anything that starts with the letter B. Preferably together.

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Don T

Strong post, good logic, but I disagree. By birth in PR, I became a US citizen. By living here, a disenfranchised one. Voice is all we have, and is something even the destitute have in all the USA.
Voting and getting grievances to court seem like direct actions to effect change. And yet, the underlying part–the protests, activism and even, yes, “raising awareness”–is where change starts. Faulting people for not voting is a stand for privilege, in my opinion. One individual vote changes nothing–and the electoral conniving, trickery, and barriers (plus politicians’ own self-interest) should always be the start of the conversation about voting.
Equalling voting to civic duty is a lame fallacy, IMHO. True civic duty is working for communal wellbeing, regardless of who is in power–not going to a polling station on a certain day.
The money angle, while mostly right, is nonetheless hard to swallow. It should be hard to stomach, I think. Otherwise, equal protection under law is rendered as utter bullshit. It may be the world we live in, but it’s not an imperative to take it and lump it. That’s where protest comes in. It’s even legal for Christ sakes! And since 45 said STAND, I’ll sit.


Late to the party, but that never stopped me from participating.
I fully support the activity of protesting; I shudder to think what this country would be like if no one ever stood up against the status quo. But what we consider protesting today is nothing like what went down in MLK’s and Rosa Parks’ time. February 1960, four black men sat down at a whites-only lunch counter in a North Carolina Woolworths. They politely asked to be served but were ignored then told to leave. They didn’t. THAT was protesting, but the recent atttempts just don’t have the same punch for several reasons. The worst thing to happen to the art of protesting, in my opinion? My biggest nemesis, social media.
Don’t get me wrong, I love high tech. I had a hobby building high-end desktops, including some very powerful gaming machines, for friends doing it mostly just for fun. I use computers and smart phones constantly in my daily routine, but I’ve never tweeted, instagrammed, snap chatted or any of that nonsense. I’ve never even considered having a Facebook page, and never will. Social media has made us lazy. Have something to say? HASHTAG!!!! We make ourselves feel better by spending a few minutes at a keyboard (I know, I’m doing the same thing, but you guys are different *wink*) and pretend we’ve contributed in world events. It’s the same thing with so called “support” and “raising awareness”. Want to help fight breast cancer? Quit sprinkling little pink ribbons on your Facebook page and WRITE A FUCKING CHECK! I’m sure some woman suffering from stage 4 would appreciate it.
Kaep’s initial action was turned into a media spectacle and what was a basic protest soon became a massive ME TOO event, straying from the initial intention in the process. This was more about personal attention for the masses than anything else, which I doubt is what Mr. King had in mind all those years ago. And why the president had to get knee deep into this is beyond me, I wish I could say I’m surprised, but it didn’t help matters one damned bit.
In conclusion, the anthem issue will run it’s course and the herd will tire of it and find a new hashtag, led along by their chosen customized news media source. The outcome of anthem-gate will unfortunately be even deeper divisiveness and more problems, no resolutions. It’s been said that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, I hope we can someday prove that proverb wrong.

tl;dr? I despise all forms of racism to it’s very core, but how we as a species are handling it has only set us backwards. To actually improve the situation will require compromise and effort from all sides, but we’re all too stubborn and lazy to make that move. Remember what Einstein allegedly said about insanity?


The protests on Sunday and Monday were a bit of a farce and hypocritical. I’ll agree with you that money plays a role in making policy work. The rest of this is just wrong.

I find nationalism to be silly, so you saying they should respect an arbitrary and imaginary line that makes America to be ridiculous. Aside from this sounding like ultra right wing rhetoric about the players falling in line like a good servant, why should they? They’re real people who likely have been pulled over for DWB. Their parents and grandparents lived through Jim Crow and their ancestors slavery.

POC may not have it as bad as other countries, but it’s still pretty bad. Saying you’re better off than a minority in the fucking Sudan doesn’t exactly inspire confidence for people who can get gunned down for not turning their left hand signal on. And if they do survive it, they can drink their poisoned water. Black people make less now than they did in 2000. But at least it ain’t Syria!

As for protesting not working, that’s ridiculous. Protesting is an absolute must. The treatment of black protestors during the Freedom Summer protests embarassed the country and actually got government to implement change.

Your example about the travel ban is bunk because the people showed up before the lawyers did. Once it became a movement and when lawyers realized how illegal the ban was, the lawsuits came a flying. That ban isn’t lifted if nobody shows up.


Actually, Balls, I agreed with the Steelers decision. They showed their displeasure with Trump’s words but didn’t draw attention away from the Anthem by people looking at the Steelers while they are pretending to know the words to “The Star Spangled Banner”.

Also, Alejandro Villanueva doesn’t have anything to apologize for. He served in the Army and fought for that flag. That respect doesn’t go away because some overgrown Oompa-Loompa made people forget that people kneeled because corrupt cops were killing black people, not because they hated the flag.


“…and the rockest red hair! The bombs bursting dum daiiiirrrrr! Gave proof to the night, THAT OUR FLAG WAS STILL THERE!”


Low Commander of the Super Soldiers


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King Hippo



Ignoring the fact that NFL players have only been standing since they started grifting the federal government, it has accomplished exactly what it was meant to. One person kneeling silently has ultimately created a MASSIVE national discussion. Despite all its tangents and misconceptions, it’s exactly what you set out to do when you protest anything.



Also, the actual lyrics to the anthem are shit, written by an anti-abolitionist piece of shit, and gets progressively worse as it goes along. When he was US attorney, he repeatedly attempted to have abolitionists thrown in prison for libel and sedition. He campaigned against abolition until the day he died. I am frankly shocked we could judge any Black people for not giving a fuck about the song. Fuck him and his legacy.


:Doesn’t read Gragliff’s post:
::Confirms Francis Scott Key was white::

“Honestly, who hasn’t [copy and paste everything Gratliff wrote]? It’s a witch hunt!”

-President Donald Trump

King Hippo

The other part is the SELECTIVE outrage. When I used to go to ballgames, I would wince every time the national anthem got to “rockets red glare” because the stadium would shout “REDDDDDD” because school color. And then at “home of the brave” they would shout “WOLFPACK!!!!” over “brave.” Similar yells happen in many other stadiums/sports.

This made me fucking cringe and boil inside, despite not having served myself (my father was an Air Force vet, and was very luckily deployed to Cheyenne, WY instead of somewhere “in country” when my mother was pregnant with me). Same when I see people wearing flag bandanas or flag clothing (this is flag desecration).

But you know what? Free country. I can give the stinkeye if I want, and instruct my kids to face the flag, hand over heart.

Kneeling reverently is a hell of a lot less disruptive than any of the crap above. Shit, I’d be shocked if anything less than 80% of the most pissed off at the current “outrage” participate in the clear boorishness themselves, and never even think about it.

Physician, heal thyself.

Somebody working to make the country better is thinking about what the flag really means. In my view.


Changing the lyrics to “home of the xxxxx” is pretty common amongst many NHL teams ( including the Ice Cowboys). That’s fine, but taking a knee isn’t.


Stick to dick jokes!

Low Commander of the Super Soldiers

I disagree with you, Balls, on a few points. The main being that kneeling is a sign of disrespect to the country. Kneeling is what servicemen and women do to show their respect for their fallen comrades, and before Kaep took that knee, he sat. It wasn’t until he talked with Nate Boyer (retired Green Beret) who showed him how to protest with regard to those feelings. Comparing these actions to flag burning is very unfair.

Money is probably the most powerful method of free speech these days, but physical demonstrations of protests are still important. They may do little to influence political decisions, but most importantly, they show people that they are not alone with their feelings, and they get others talking about these issues, like we are doing right now. I have no issue with anyone using their platform to make a statement that is protected by their first amendment right. The beauty of it is that I can disagree with it, or ignore it or make my own protest by rejecting if I so choose.

I just wish we could talk more about the thing that is being protested instead of the merits of the method of protest, because I haven’t seen a single protest that everyone can agree is “respectful.” And isn’t that kind of the point of a protest in the first god damn place?

King Hippo

100% agreed


What gets me is all the people who are like, “It’s right here in the rulebook that they gotta stand!” And this bothers me for the same reason Paul Ryan walking in to a soup kitchen and starting to wash [already clean] dishes for a photo op bothers me.

Standing for anthem is in the rulebook as a result of negotiations between the NFL and the NFLPA. These are two private parties who have the right to manage their agreements as they see fit. Unless someone is being damaged by the either party not enforcing the contract, then you’ve got no place to bitch. I liken it to how players holdout during camp, lose the paycheck, then get that money back as part of the new contract negotiations (typically). But no one is screaming that recently resigned star player X is getting an extra $30K on his $14million deal.

I think I’ll be well off enough to avoid the shit but I think we’ll see civil unrest in my lifetime. Not like a civil war but I think there will be entire cities that will become the equivalent of the current ‘bad parts of town’.


“…as a naturalized American citizen”

So not a REAL American, is what you are saying.

(I’m just kidding.)


Only Jerry Jones would mug for the camera in a selfless moment of togetherness.


He, like every owner knew they had to have their photo-op, err, show support for the players because if they didn’t, they’d have a team with no players


I think you’re missing the entire point. The general protestations were down to just a handful prior to last weekend. Then the Tang colored bloviating bag of baboon shit in office threw the gasoline on the fire. This weekend’s protest was about standing by your teammates, speaking up for yourself and not letting anyone call you a son of a bitch for exercising your free speech rights.

God bless each and everyone of those players who decided to use their most visable platform to show their disagreement. There is still an amazing amount of racial inequality in this country and the chief jizz bag in charge chose to widen the gap further by using an incendiary speech to a bunch of his redneck chosen followers in Alabama of all fucking places.

One of my employee’s kids thinks that the Idiot in charge is the anti-Christ and told her “That explains the comb over.”



Well said. I think that no matter what your feeling are regarding protests during the anthem, it is absolutely chilling that the President of this country would use the platform that his office provides to try to stifle free speech.

King Hippo

And it was more than that really. It was done as part of an Alabama political campaign, 100% Grade A race baiting – pure and simple.

He fucked up by trying to tell NFL owners and management what to do, in addition to the players. Homey don’t play that. Everybody woke to the buffonery now, chuh chuh.


Agreed with the right to protest.

Disagreed that balls is missing the entire point.

Protests are fine. Raising awareness is fine. But the reason to raise awareness is so that folks become aware, and then use their “voice” (monetary support/votes) to try to change things, hopefully for the better.

Enrico Pallazzo

Lawyers are the real heroes. People forget that.


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And yet…the marches, public displays, etc., can and do change public opinion. Obviously, the Civil Rights Era is a different time from today, but without acts like Rosa Parks’ demonstration and MLK’s marches, how much longer would repealing Jim Crow laws have taken? For a more recent issue, look at gay marriage. Once people started demanding it publicly, the rest of America was forced to look at the issue and realize, eh, it ain’t so bad, and here we are.

I may not agree with your sentiments, but we can agree on one thing: You definitely got freaky in Thailand.


Could you imagine how much more rapidly the legalization movement would have progressed if stoners weren’t so damned lazy? And cocaine would probably already be legal if its effects didn’t wear off before anyone could get any kind of action or protest organized.


“What do we want?”
“When do we want it?”
“Want what?


“What do we want?”
“When do we want it?”