Tag Archives: football

NFL Advert Controversy… Story by Lydia Martin

NFL protests have been going on for years, and recently opened again with the issue of professional football players kneeling, sitting, or not even entering the field for the national anthem. Then, the NFL rejected an ad for the super bowl that said, “Please stand” as in referring to the anthem.

The American Veterans (AMVETS) submitted an ad asking for donations to the organization for individuals who have served in the U.S. military and also includes the message “Please Stand.” The NFL refused to put this ad on the super bowl. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell defended the decision Tuesday citing, in part, the league’s policy against ads that carry a political message.

Game day protests… Players have kneeled in the National Anthem to highlight racial inequality and solidarity. Photo by: Mark Rebilas
Game day protests… Players have kneeled in the National Anthem to highlight racial inequality and solidarity. Photo by: Mark Rebilas

However, some people are arguing that the saying “Please Stand” is not political. While this may be valid, President Trump has taken a vocal stance on Twitter against the protests, asking NFL owners to fire such players.

CBS stated that “Please Stand” refers to those NFL players who took a knee during the national anthem to protest social injustice.” But, the executive director of AMVETS, Joe Chenelly, defended their reasoning behind placing the ad, and said they only wanted to exercise their free speech just like the players who kneel during the national anthem, and they weren’t targeting the players specifically. If the NFL players can kneel as a form of free speech, then the AMVETS can us this ad as their free speech.

The NFL suggested other forms of the phrase such as “Please Honor Our Veterans” and “Please Stand for Our Veterans,” according to NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy. However, Marion Polk, the American Veterans national commander said ““We decided that we were not going to change our ad. We placed it as ‘Please Stand’ and under the First Amendment we have the right to do that.”

"Please Stand”…All players on Sunday’s game stood during the Anthem. Photo by: Hill news
“Please Stand”…All players on Sunday’s game stood during the anthem, a contrast to protests in games earlier in the year. Photo by: Hill news

This whole situation can be considered a violation of the first amendment, but at the same time, the NFL might say they have a right to show what they want. Later the NFL accepted an ad from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, with a message of “We Stand for Veterans.”

Interestingly enough, during the Super bowl this Sunday, during the National Anthem, no one protested. We don’t know why, but it is believed to be the doing of the NFL. Because of the protests this year the NFL has been getting less views, and if these players are seen standing and respecting the flag then ratings may go up. However it is still unknown why no one protested during this year’s super bowl. The protests may dying down, or it could be a temporary pause that will explode again in the years or months to come.

 

 

New Stadium in Town… Story by Vaughn Kinman

With as popular as the stadium was during the festival at Sandpoint, the new bleachers were competing with the musicians themselves for the attention of the people. When asked in a survey, around 58% people said it was a good idea, mainly because of the safety hazards that the old ones provided. “I thought it was time for something new, glad that ended up that way” one person added.

A New Vision... Barlow stadium as envisioned in 2015. Photo By: LPOSD
A New Vision… Barlow stadium as envisioned in 2015, before the renovation. Photo By: LPOSD

However, the new stands weren’t favored by some, around 25% of surveyed people answered no. Most of the surveyees said that it was because of the nostalgia that went hand and hand with the old bleachers.  They are planning on replacing the grass with something, whether it be real grass or AstroTurf is undecided. If they do plan on replacing the grass, then it is estimated that it will be done around 2018. It will also include a new gate system that covers the new entrance. The new way the entrance is designed will change the way the gates work.

However, voters may need to ask themselves if the city is moving beyond the original measure proposed to them to remodel the Memorial Field bleachers. The bleachers are being paid for by an extra 1% sales tax which is being charged at grocery stores and farmers’ market. This tax was approved in late 2015, and plans to run its course by 2020. It had been planned to generate another $2.7 million for the town in order to fund the project over the 5 years it should be in effect.

Under Construction... The new stadium was being built all through the past winter. Photo By: SHS Athletics
Under Construction… The new stadium was being built all through the past winter. Photo By: SHS Athletics

It’s also worth remembering that residents did vote for this tax overwhelmingly, at 73% approving.

Recently, the locker rooms underneath the stadium have been unveiled. This will likely be warmed received by Sandpoint High School teams who use the stadium, including the baseball, soccer, and football groups. It has also hosted graduations, ceremonies, and festivals that drive in tourism and as a result improve the economy. It’s also worth remembering that the program was initiated by failure to meet safety codes for the bleachers, and so was a necessity to keep the stadium running.

Trump Feuds with the NFL… Story by Isaac Solly

From the weekend of September 23th, Trump has reignited a debate on flag etiquette and free speech. It began at a rally in Alabama, where he was campaigning for incumbent senator Luther Strange in a runoff to fill the seat left vacant by Att. Gen. Jeff Sessions (a race which Strange lost). Though he made some controversial comments, the most memorable was where he referenced players who had kneeled during the anthem, calling them out with explicit language and urging coaches to fire them.

Alabama Rally… Trump reignited the debate in an Alabama rally, attacking kneeling players with explicit language. Photo By: CNN.
Alabama Rally… Trump reignited the debate in an Alabama rally, attacking kneeling players with explicit language. Photo By: CNN.

In response, many coaches and owners chose to either respond via Twitter or a public statement, though Trump had also tweeted out on his private account similar messages. There were also protests on the field—coaches and owners largely stayed with the players during the anthem as a sign of unity, and large portions of players kneeled or showed other signs of defiance.

This debate was sparked last year in September when Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the anthem to protest social inequality. His advocates praised the silent protest, while others argued that the flag should be respected. There is flag etiquette in the U.S., however, people frequently break it and it is not enforced.

Free speech has been an issue of late, with some organizations trying to shut down controversial speakers on both sides, including conflicts at Berkley. Trump’s remarks may be ironic because of this, as he has promoted the free speech rights of alt-right marches in Charlottesville and other towns, but asked for NFL heads to fire the dissenting players—a call which has been heftily rejected by the NFL commissioners.

Kneeling Teams… Some players of the New England Patriots protest Trump’s remarks and kneel during the anthem. Photo By: Jim Rogash
Kneeling Teams… Some players of the New England Patriots protest Trump’s remarks and kneel during the anthem. Photo By: Jim Rogash.

Though most of the ire has been drawn at the NFL, other sport agencies were in the news at a similar time. Just after the rally, Trump had withdrawn the customary invitation to visit the white house to the winning NBA team—in this case the Golden State Warriors. This was, according to Trumps tweet (Twitter was also the platform he used to withdraw the invitation), because Stephen Curry was having doubts about going. This referenced Curry’s vocal dislike of Trump, and afterwards NBA players such as LeBron James lined up in his support. Conversely, Nascar owners said they would not tolerate protests during the anthem, a policy much more in line with Trumps wishes.