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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.

Trending: US Women’s Soccer Team Skips Representing U.S.A. at Opening Ceremony

The Washington Times has the story:

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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.

 

 

 

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Tests Show QAnon Shaman is ‘Mentally Ill’, According to His Own Lawyer

But is this all just a part of a broader legal strategy?

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From the moment that Jacob Chansley set foot on our television screens, we knew that we’d be talking about him for some time into the future. Chansley, known more commonly as the “QAnon Shaman”, was the iconic character who participated in the January 6th insurrection shirtless, with his face painted, and wearing a large fur headdress adorned with bison horns. Now, as Chansley faces charges in the storming of the Capitol, his lawyers are trying a rather tricky defense:  They’re claiming that the Shaman doesn’t possess full control over his faculties.  In an interview, defense lawyer Albert Watkins said that officials at the federal Bureau of Prisons, or BOP, have diagnosed his client Jacob Chansley with transient schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety. The BOP’s findings, which have not yet been made public, suggest Chansley’s mental condition deteriorated due to the stress of being held in solitary confinement at a jail in Alexandria, Virginia, Watkins said. “As he spent more time in solitary confinement … the decline in his acuity was noticeable, even to an untrained eye,” Watkins said in an interview on Thursday. But is this all just legal maneuvering? Watkins said authorities will need to determine how Chansley can get access to the treatment he needs to “actively participate in his own defense.” Pleading guilty to a charge negates the need for a trial, but defendants still have to be declared mentally competent to do so. Watkins said the BOP’s evaluation of his client did not declare Chansley to be mentally incompetent, and he does not expect Chansley to be ordered to undergo what is known as competency restoration treatment. Watkins turned heads early on in his role at attorney for the Shaman, after making derogatory remarks about his own client’s mental health, using phrases that are deemed unprintable…

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Opinion

Former White House Doc Says Biden’s Mental Health Will Force Him Out of Office

And he did not mince his words.

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As soon as Joe Biden found himself on the path to the presidency, the murmurs about his mental health began. Biden has always been a gaffe-machine, providing our nation with a ridiculous number of bizarre and unfortunate statements throughout the years.  But, in 2021, it appears that Biden’s issues are no longer funny or jovial, with many suggesting that his mental health is in a serious decline. This includes a former White House physician, who painted a terrifying picture of where all of this could be headed.  Representative Ronny Jackson (R-TX), formerly the White House physician, said Thursday on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” that he believes President Joe Biden will be forced to resign or be removed with the 25th Amendment. And Jackson didn’t pull any punches. “I’ve been saying that it’s only going to get worse, and guess what? We’re watching that happen right before our eyes right now. And I’m at the point right now where, you know, I went from, you know, telling people, we should be concerned about what might potentially be going on, to now saying, hey, what is happening right now?” Jackson added, “Where are the people in our academic medicine that were out there calling for President Trump to have a cognitive test? Where are these people? There’s something seriously going on with this man right now. And you know, I think that he’s either gonna, he’s either gonna resign, they’re going to convince him to resign from office at some point in the near future for medical issues, or they’re going to have to use the 25th Amendment to get rid of this man right now. There’s some serious stuff going on right now.” Jackson’s underestimation of political biases aside, he’s certainly not the only one wondering just how fit Biden’s mental…

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