It looks like the NFL’s #TakeAKnee movement has another questionable supporter.
The infamous Westboro Baptist Church has publicly announced their support for those who kneel during the national anthem. According to Pajamas Media, the pseudo-Christian cult sent a message to the NFL and Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, expressing their support for teams who choose to kneel while the national anthem is being performed.
— WBCVideo (@WBCVideo) September 26, 2017
Recently, the church posted on Twitter, “Westboro Baptist Church takes a seat for the entirety of the national anthem!”
While those who support the #TakeAKnee protests claim that their purpose is to speak out against disproportionate police brutality against black Americans, many have seen the expression as disrespectful to the United States. Westboro Baptist — which is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center — is known for their anti-American sentiments. Some might believe that this indicates some commonality between the two groups, while others speculate that the church is simply attempting to be inflammatory and adversarial.
The hateful and unbiblical ideology of Westboro Baptist Church has motivated its members to show their disdain for the United States in the most repugnant of ways. They are known for engaging in their own types of repulsive protests.
They have shown up at the funerals of fallen American soldiers holding picket signs that read “God Hates America,” “Thank God For 9/11,” and “God Hates Fags.” In one of their more egregious acts, they protested at the funeral of a 9-year-old girl who was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
For years, the organization has insulted the families of fallen soldiers by bringing their vile message to their funerals. Fortunately, groups of people stepped up to protect these families from their hateful words.
Since their protests are protected by the First Amendment, law enforcement was unable to stop members of the church from picketing the funerals. However, a group of bikers called the “Patriot Guard Riders” began showing up at funerals where they knew Westboro Baptist would be staging their protests. They would form a perimeter around the family so that they were not subject to hearing the group hurl invectives at their fallen relatives.
The NFL protests all but dominated the news cycle last week. After President Donald Trump called out players who kneel for the national anthem, a battle erupted in the culture.
People who support the protests feel that they are drawing attention to an important issue: police mistreatment of minorities. Those who oppose the protests — including individuals who agree with shining a spotlight on police misconduct — feel that kneeling for the national shows disrespect for the flag and for the people who fought to protect our nation.
The infamous Westboro Baptist Church has publicly announced their support for those who kneel during the national anthem. Has Kaepernick earned this?
While there are plenty of well-meaning people on both sides of this argument, it is disturbing that this debate has devolved into a senseless national shouting match. While football was a sport that enabled Americans to come together regardless if their political views, it has now been turned into yet another battlefield in the culture war.
Sports are supposed to serve as a means of escaping from the issues of the day. When people turn on the TV, they don’t want a political lecture from the left, or the right — they just want to enjoy the game. Unfortunately, those on the left who control the media have decided to inject politics into any area they can.
Hopefully, this latest feud will die down and we can get back to enjoying sports the way it was intended. There are already signs of this happening. Today, the Pittsburgh Steelers decided to stand for the flag. Other teams are following their example. Sure, there will still be players who kneel, but it is their constitutional right to do so — as it is the right of the NFL to implement rules regarding protests if they so choose. Let us hope we can get back to a sense of normalcy in sports.