Football season kicked off last week, and the same people burning their Nike sneakers on Youtube are already protesting the sport. I suppose it's to be expected, given that NFL players are still kneeling during the "National Anthem" as a means of protesting police brutality.
And listen, I understand that some people are taking their actions personally. They're interpreting the players' protests as insults against cops and veterans everywhere, a middle finger to the entire country.
Personally, I don't believe that's what NFL players intend when they kneel. They're looking to rid the United States of injustice, and they're entitled to do that — just like you're entitled to dislike it. I'm not here to tell you who's right or wrong in this debate.
But here's the thing. While you can be on the Blue Lives Matter side of the debate, you can't take away anyone's constitutional right to peaceful protest — no matter how strong your beliefs.
The United States Constitution explicitly states within its First Amendment that Congress will "make no law abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
And if the Constitution can't be tweaked to prevent a problem as massive as daily shootings, I don't think we should be rewriting it for something as sensible as freedom of speech.
NFL players harm no one by kneeling during the "National Anthem." Sure, you might get a wedgie from having your panties in such a bunch, but that won't do any lasting damage. And let's be honest, shall we? This country has much bigger problems than a few grown men opting out of a for-show tradition.
Even actual veterans, people who have fought and watched their comrades die for this country, have spoken out about the NFL protests. They've defended the players' rights to kneel because that's exactly the freedom hey fought for in the first place.
And if veterans aren't complaining, I can't see why someone who spends their time burning perfectly good clothing attire should be.
So, go ahead. Protest the NFL. Starbucks is still serving coffee, and tickets for "Hamilton" are still too expensive to purchase (seriously, I'm the one who should be upset here, folks). I have a sneaking suspicion that most of the NFL players on the field this year will still be tossing that ball around next year, too.