Why you’d have to stand for the anthem if your boss told you to

national anthemYou’ve got the perfect retort for your lib friends who say the NFL anthem nonsense is about the right to protest.

If I protest at work, my boss has every right to fire me. The NFL is a business. Why shouldn’t the owners have the right to fire players who refuse to stand for the anthem?

A couple of flaws in your logic there.

One, does your boss require you to stand for the national anthem before you start work? Maybe so, I don’t know. I kind of doubt it, but whatever. I’ll concede that if they did, you’d have to stand if they said to stand.

But that’s not the real issue here.

The NFL isn’t your employer, and the pro-football industry doesn’t work the same in terms of workplace rules and regulations as your job.

The players have a union – neat concept, unions, used to be big here, back before you let Republican politicians sell you on the so-called right to work.

Nice work on those guys’ part, selling legislation that gives all the power in the workplace to employers under the name right to work.

Right-to-work laws have gutted the ability of workers to bargain collectively. Which is why you get less in terms of benefits from your jobs as your parents and grandparents did, why you work longer hours, mandatory overtime, et cetera.

Because you vote for politicians who have flipped the system that your parents and grandparents had built against you.

Now if you get shorted on your paycheck, and have proof, you have to go to arbitration individually to get your money back, little old you, against the boss, who of course if you raise issue can fire you at will, because that’s a big part of right to work.

So, they can screw you out of your wages, make you work longer hours, define you as being part time to hold back your benefits, whatever the hell they want to do, including make you stand at attention for the national anthem, if they so choose.

Football players are smarter than you, a lot smarter. They have a union, the NFLPA, and they bargain collectively with the NFL to set rules for their workplace, establishing rules for salaries and bonuses, practice schedules in-season and in the off-season, even down to their responsibilities related to pregame ceremonies.

Which is why players don’t have to stand at attention before the national anthem, because the current collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA doesn’t spell out that they have to.

You could get similar protections for yourself, if you stopped voting yourself into indentured servitude, but that’s on you.

Column by Chris Graham


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