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Remembering vets and never taking a knee

The Moron Brothers enjoyed their feature in the Spring issue of Jessamine Life so much that they felt the need to get back in the news again this month.

Nicholasville’s bluegrass heroes released a new song on the internet a few weeks back that has some talking going. It seems that like myself and countless others, Lardo and Burley are, shall we say, bemused at all of this kneeling during “The Star Spangled Banner” that got started on a grand scale at NFL games.

Hence the birth of their new single, “Never Take A Knee.”

In fact, the brothers Moron are not the only ones who have been protesting the kneeling. In a story published Sunday on deadline.com, columnist Bruce Haring wrote that  “Viewership for NFL football games is down 5 percent from last year. Nielsen reports the average NFL game attracts 14.8 viewers, down from 15.6 million at the same point in the season last year.”

There was a big social media push for Americans to boycott NFL games on Sunday as a penalty play on the league allowing its players to kneel and disrespect Armed Forces veterans on Veterans Day weekend.

As of now, the National Football League is holding strong to its policy that all players should stand for the playing of the national anthem. How long until sagging ratings and monetary dips start dictating a raised eyebrow? Who knows, but at the end of the day, money talks.

Myself, I have no interest in professional football and watch a total of zero NFL games each season, so ratings can go up down or sideways as far as I am concerned. All I know is, the players had better be glad that I am not the league’s commissioner. A few of those ‘kneelers’ would be looking for other work.

And I say ‘a few’ because if the first two would have been in some way reprimanded, we wouldn’t even be talking about this today. I’m of the firm belief that the true reason this is going on is because some players (or rather their managers) figured out that by kneeling, their name became national news above and beyond simply ‘player on team X’, enhancing their notoriety and celebrity factor – which they feel will in turn increase their bargaining power when it’s time for contract negotiations.

Again, money talks.

I am willing to bet that behind closed doors and away from microphones and cameras, most of those players have put far less thought into their anthem protest than everyone else has put into talking about it. And continue to talk about it…and analyze it … and take sides on it…and bicker about it … and ignore problems that are serious whilst talking about grown men who are paid to play a game.

We’re an interesting society, folks.

The bottom line is that I don’t care how well you play football, play a banjo, protest sports leagues or write newspaper editorials, if it weren’t for the veterans of the United States Armed Forces, there is a good chance you wouldn’t be doing any of them. At least not with the freedom with which to do them like we enjoy in this country today.

We owe those veterans our remembrance and respect.

I attended Veterans Day celebrations at Rosenwald Dunbar Elementary School, Wilmore Elementary School and Thomson-Hood Veterans Center last week. I didn’t see one person kneeling when the “Star Spangled Banner” was played. Good for you, and the values you are teaching, Jessamine County!

Nick Hon is the editor of The Jessamine Journal and Jessamine Life magazine and Jessamine Journal. He can be reached at nick.hon@jessaminejournal.com.