Indiana state representative Milo Smith is self-proclaimed patriot. He’s also an avid Indianapolis Colts fan. Those two ideas run contrary to each other when Colts players kneel during the National Anthem as so many NFL players do nowadays. To remedy this personal conflict, Smith is trying to use his position to legislate patriotism into all Colts players.
Rep. Milo Smith, R-Columbus, said his bill would allow fans who feel disrespected by the kneeling to ask for a refund during the first quarter.
“To me when they take a knee during the national anthem, it’s not respecting the national anthem or our country,” Smith said. “Our government isn’t perfect, but it’s still the best country in the world and I think we need to be respectful of it.”
As someone who no longer watches NFL games and misses it quite a bit, I can appreciate where the Representative is coming from. He feels the need to do something and his position in government gives him the ability to do so. While his heart seems to be in the right place, his actions are wrong.
He’s a Republican, which makes the move even more disappointing. As with many in the GOP, Smith is forgetting the limited-government principles the GOP once stood for. Today, they often act like Democrats who want to insert more government into every aspect of our lives.
The best thing he or anyone else can do is to apply pressure to the team, the NFL, and the players. Where are the protests? Where are the boycotts? While it’s clear attendance and ratings have dropped this year, the NFL isn’t really feeling the heat. Perhaps more importantly is that the teams aren’t feeling the heat which means the players aren’t either.
I blame the NFL itself, but their lack of understanding in the beginning must be remedied by fans now, not the government. When government inserts itself into issues of business and commerce, it’s a risk. When it’s based upon opinions of right or wrong that are easily debatable, it’s doubly-wrong. This would take us in the wrong direction. Leave private enterprise alone and let consumers handle it.
The NFL is at a very precarious point in their history. The future of football rests on whether or not they can figure out what really troubles them. They can point to this circumstance or that action by others, but until they realize it’s the league itself that’s at fault, they’re going to be befuddled by it all.
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