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NFL Introduces Controversial New Policy for the Playing of the National Anthem

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After two years of controversy surrounding players defiantly kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem at NFL games, the league has finally made an official decision about the controversial form of protests. And it just might be the best thing that’s happened to those trying to make a statement–though they’ve yet to realize it.

Last season, ticket sales, viewership, and public enthusiasm for the NFL plummeted as players mimicked former 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s controversial method of protest against the national anthem–kneeling as it was played in the stadium before games.

Apparently, this season, the backlash has caught up with the football league and they’ve decided to put an end to the unpopular demonstration from players–but players are not happy.

The Washington Times has the story:

NFL owners stood up Wednesday to the kneelers, voting to ban on-field protests during the national anthem after two years of social justice activism, fan outrage and flagging viewership — but that doesn’t mean game over.

The NFL Players Association blasted the policy change, warning that it would challenge any aspect “inconsistent with the collective-bargaining agreement,” while the decision was decried by others as an infringement of the players’ free speech rights.

Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long accused the league of bowing to President Trump, who whipped up opposition last year to the take-a-knee protests, adding that the owners “don’t love America more than the players.”

“This is fear of a diminished bottom line,” Mr. Long said in a statement. “It’s also fear of a president turning his base against a corporation. This is not patriotism. Don’t get it confused.”

For NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and owners, however, the decision struck a balance between respecting the views of players who object to standing for “The Star-Spangled Banner” and those offended by athletes using the anthem ceremony to further a political agenda.

Trump stoked the fires of outrage at the league last year in a series of–in typical Trumpian style–tweets accusing the players and the NFL of being un-American. Following his comments, however, dozens of players joined in the demonstration, angering fans, some of whom took to social media to burn their NFL jerseys and other fan gear.

NFL leadership and TV executives alike are now clearly determined to rev up ratings, which had dropped following the revived kneeling protests, but it’s unclear yet if it will have an actual impact.

Dave Whitley of the Orlando Sentinel says that while the league’s decision is unpopular among the players who wanted to protest, they’re actually doing both fans and would-be kneelers alike a big favor:

“Most NFL players won’t realize it, but the owners did them a favor on Wednesday. It gets back to a simple rule of persuasion,” he explains. “Don’t start your argument by insulting half your audience.”

“Players can still make stands or take knees. They just won’t be allowed to do it in front of fans that paid to watch a football game, not a political protest,” he continues. “Some of those fans might be more sympathetic to the protesters’ concerns. Players might not realize it, but spitting on something people hold dear is no way to win them over.”

And this is the ultimate bottom line. It’s hard to say if this will actually work to boost fan interest and ratings for the league, but if these players had never chosen a method of protest in the first place that insulted the deeply-held values of so many fans, fans who would otherwise in no way be unsympathetic to their cause, they wouldn’t be in this position in the first place.

 

 

 

Opinion

Biden Bailed Out by Germany as 78,000 Pounds of Formula Arrives

The administration has been abysmal in addressing the crisis.

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Everywhere we look in America today, something is amiss.  This is not the well-oiled machine of yore, and in such an astounding way that the stagnation could only have come from the top.

And yes, the Biden administration’s reluctance to lead has been a rather apparent issue from the get-go.  (Heck, it didn’t even look like Biden even wanted to run for President, let alone be the President).

Even now, as an astonishing baby formula shortage affects our nation’s parents, it took help from Germany to get anything done.

A military plane carrying enough specialty infant formula for more than half a million baby bottles arrived Sunday in Indianapolis, the first of several flights expected from Europe aimed at relieving a shortage that has sent parents scrambling to find enough to feed their children.

President Joe Biden authorized the use of Air Force planes for the effort, dubbed “Operation Fly Formula,” because no commercial flights were available.

The formula weighed 78,000 pounds (35,380 kilograms), White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One as Biden flew from South Korea to Japan.

The administration tried to spin this into a “win”.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was in Indianapolis to greet the arrival of the first shipment.

The flights are intended to provide “some incremental relief in the coming days” as the government works on a more lasting response to the shortage, Brian Deese, director of the White House National Economic Council, said Sunday.

Deese told CNN’s “State of the Union” that Sunday’s flight brought 15% of the specialty medical grade formula needed in the U.S., and because of various actions by the government, people should see “more formula in stores starting as early as this week.”

There is still a good possibility that the American manufacturers who’ve fallen behind won’t be getting back up to speed for several weeks still, which means Germany may be called on for another drop sooner rather than later.

Everywhere we look in America today, something is amiss.  This is not the well-oiled machine of yore, and in such an astounding way that the stagnation could only have come from the top. And yes, the Biden administration’s reluctance to lead has been a rather apparent issue from the get-go.  (Heck, it didn’t even look like Biden even wanted to run for President, let alone be the President). Even now, as an astonishing baby formula shortage affects our nation’s parents, it took help from Germany to get anything done. A military plane carrying enough specialty infant formula for more than half a million baby bottles arrived Sunday in Indianapolis, the first of several flights expected from Europe aimed at relieving a shortage that has sent parents scrambling to find enough to feed their children. President Joe Biden authorized the use of Air Force planes for the effort, dubbed “Operation Fly Formula,” because no commercial flights were available. The formula weighed 78,000 pounds (35,380 kilograms), White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One as Biden flew from South Korea to Japan. The administration tried to spin this into a “win”. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was in Indianapolis to greet the arrival of the first shipment. The flights are intended to provide “some incremental relief in the coming days” as the government works on a more lasting response to the shortage, Brian Deese, director of the White House National Economic Council, said Sunday. Deese told CNN’s “State of the Union” that Sunday’s flight brought 15% of the specialty medical grade formula needed in the U.S., and because of various actions by the government, people should see “more formula in stores starting as early as this week.” There is still a good possibility that the American manufacturers who’ve fallen behind won’t be getting…

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Opinion

Trouble Coming as Global Food Shortage Looms Just Weeks Away

Now this is getting a little scary…

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine may look small on television, as it bellows away thousands of miles to our east, shown to us in soundbites and tidbits and tweets.  But for those living within that daily nightmare, the trouble is real and it is heavy.

Soon, however, the world at large will begin to feel the reverberations of this illegal and immoral invasion, as we begin to find ourselves hungrier and hungrier.

A food supply expert warns that the world faces a global crisis in just 10 weeks, echoing a warning from Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

“Russia has blocked almost all ports and all, so to speak, maritime opportunities to export food – our grain, barley, sunflower and more. A lot of things,” Zelenskyy said Saturday. “There will be a crisis in the world. The second crisis after the energy one, which was provoked by Russia.”

“Now it will create a food crisis if we do not unblock the routes for Ukraine, do not help the countries of Africa, Europe, Asia, which need these food products,” he added.

Just how bad could it get?

Zelenskyy said that if Ukraine does not regain control of the contested southern ports, the world will face a difficult situation: The country produces a substantial amount of the global food supply, including between 25% and 30% of the world’s grain supply along with Russia.

According to data from the Observatory of Economic Complexity, Ukraine also accounts for 9.29% of the world’s corn supply.

One expert had a chilling warning about the issue, labeling it as potentially “seismic”.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine may look small on television, as it bellows away thousands of miles to our east, shown to us in soundbites and tidbits and tweets.  But for those living within that daily nightmare, the trouble is real and it is heavy. Soon, however, the world at large will begin to feel the reverberations of this illegal and immoral invasion, as we begin to find ourselves hungrier and hungrier. A food supply expert warns that the world faces a global crisis in just 10 weeks, echoing a warning from Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. “Russia has blocked almost all ports and all, so to speak, maritime opportunities to export food – our grain, barley, sunflower and more. A lot of things,” Zelenskyy said Saturday. “There will be a crisis in the world. The second crisis after the energy one, which was provoked by Russia.” “Now it will create a food crisis if we do not unblock the routes for Ukraine, do not help the countries of Africa, Europe, Asia, which need these food products,” he added. Just how bad could it get? Zelenskyy said that if Ukraine does not regain control of the contested southern ports, the world will face a difficult situation: The country produces a substantial amount of the global food supply, including between 25% and 30% of the world’s grain supply along with Russia. According to data from the Observatory of Economic Complexity, Ukraine also accounts for 9.29% of the world’s corn supply. One expert had a chilling warning about the issue, labeling it as potentially “seismic”.

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