Former head coach of the Chicago Bears, Mike Ditka, made it clear recently what he thought of NFL players kneeling down as our national anthem played. His language was plain:
“If you can’t respect our national anthem, then get the hell out of the country!“
This is a sentiment shared by many in this country. If somebody hates this great nation of ours so much that they cannot show it the tiniest bit of respect in the form of simply standing up during a song, why are they even here?
It seems that Ditka still has influence over the Bears as they have heard his words. They heard him loud and clear and they plan to honor him by sharing that same attitude with their players on the field.
Chicago Bears Vice Assistant General Manager of Operations, Joe Barron, released a statement to the press today that explained exactly the manner in which his team would handle the problem of kneeling athletes. To sum up – they will not be tolerated. The official statement follows:
“While we understand the reasons for which many are stating that they kneel, we find them to be disingenuous. If one wishes to protest issues that occur outside the stadium, then their protest should be confined to areas outside the stadium.
We in the Bears organization adamantly oppose disrespect for our flag, our anthem, our veterans, and our country. As such, any instances of players under our employ who belittle the above by taking a knee will be dealt with most severely.
Offending players will be evicted, not just from the game in which the incident occurs, but from the team and their home. The treachery of these players will indeed result in termination of employment. No kneeling will be allowed. No exceptions.
Quarterbacks who take a knee during play will be similarly dealt with. Their ability to do so has always been a ridiculous rule, suggesting that they are above the fray. They are not. They are soldiers on the field just like everyone else and have to be able to take the hits.
We trust our position is now clear. Believe me when I say it will be made crystal clear to our players in uniform.”
By creating this rule, the Chicago Bears are showing both loyalties to country and backbone. They are not giving in to the demands of these children who do nothing more than throw a ball around and get paid enormously well for the privilege. Let’s hope that other teams in the league similarly follow through.