NFL and Patriotism Myths and Rumors Debunked

As posted not long ago, an immense pet peeve of mine is when people spread rumors on the internet. Once they begin to go around, they spread like wildfire, and many begin to use it as cold, hard fact. The #TakeaKnee and #IStand debacle is tearing a deeper hole in our country, and the rumors being spread do not help. I’ve even been guilty of not researching something I posted on Facebook about this, so I’m going to clear up some of these rumors today.

A letter from NFL Owners Saying Their Players Must Stand


This letter has been attributed both to Clark Hunt, and also to Jerry Jones- owner of the Dallas Cowboys. This meme has been going around about Jerry Jones for nearly a year, and the Cowboys tried to show how wrong people were about it by kneeling before the National Anthem with Mr. Jones, and then standing- arms linked during.

Jerry Jones with his players before the National Anthem Photo credit:AP

Jerry Jones with his players before the National Anthem Photo credit:AP

According to Yahoo Sports, Jerry Jones has never forbidden his players to protest by taking a knee, but he HAS shared that the anthem is close to his heart.

Members of Congress Refuse to Stand for the Pledge


This picture was posted on one of my Facebook posts by a friend. It was stated that it was Congress, with some members protesting. This is actually the New York senate in a leadership crisis during 2009. More details can be found on Yes, it is true that these are Democrats who are refusing to stand while the room is being led in the Pledge of Allegiance. It is false that this is currently going on, or that this is happening in Congress.

There have been House lawmakers “taking a knee” on the floor.

NFL Players Required to Stand According to League Rules?

A copy/paste statement has spread through Facebook land saying,“The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the NFL League Rulebook. It states: ‘The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. ‘During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition… …It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.’”

News sources such as this one from KREM news have verified that there is no such rule in the NFL books.


NFL Players Have Not Been on the Field for the National Anthem Before 2009


This is one that I failed to check before posting. According to Snopes, this is a mixture of truth and fiction. The truth is that players were not required to be on the field until 2009 during primetime games. This was due to network timing issues. The anthem wasn’t televised during that time. On other games like Sunday, players lined the field during the anthem.

The NFL was given monies by the Department of Defense, but the time period doesn’t quite align with the years given, so it can’t be said that it had a direct relation to what was happening with the players lining up on the field, so I will retract using this meme as evidence of bad patriotism, although I do have an issue with taxpayer dollars going toward recruitment advertising at NFL football games.

I assume there are more memes floating around that contain falsehoods, so if you see more floating around, let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page.

#TakeAKnee and #IStand: What is Patriotism?

Colin Kaepernick started a movement when he took a knee during the National Anthem last year to protest the unjust treatment of black people by police. He isn’t playing for a team this year, but his example continues.

Friday night, Donald Trump caused a stir when he said that the NFL owners should fire any “son of a bitch” who took a knee of protest during the traditional National Anthem. He suggested that fans get up and walk out if players do that.

On Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans made big news as they did not take part in the national anthem, remaining in their locker rooms during the time. Many other NFL teams showed their solidarity on Sunday and Monday- whether by linking arms or kneeling. A couple of singers of the National Anthem also took a knee while singing. Meghan Linsey, a former contestant of The Voice, knelt at the end of the song she was singing with the absence of the Seahawk and Titan players.

It’s not just the NFL players. Stevie Wonder, Pharrell Williams, even X Files stars, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson have joined in support.


You may not stand (or in this case, kneel) with Kaepernick, but America needs to hear the message that is trying to be conveyed.  We have come far as a country, but there is still unjust things happening. There are still people of every race, creed, and sexual orientation who are denied the basic freedom of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as stated in the Declaration of Independence.

Now, I hear the people who are offended that people would disrespect our flag- and in turn, disrespect those who have given their lives. I hear people say,”If you don’t like our Country, leave!” I think some people would like a law that makes it mandatory for people to stand and honor the flag or the anthem. That isn’t patriotism. That kind of attitude goes against everything that our veterans have fought for. Many veterans in the wake of this controversy have said that they took an oath to serve our country so that we all could have freedom.

In the video below, our former president graciously explains why we should consider the perspective of the protesters, and those who are offended. “Part of what makes this country special is that we respect people’s rights to have a different opinion and to make different decisions about how they want to express their concerns. The test of our fidelity to our Constitution, to freedom of speech, to our Bill of Rights is not when it’s easy, but when it’s hard. We fight sometimes so people can do things we disagree with, but that’s what freedom means in this country…”

He goes on to say that he hopes that those who kneel in protest will listen to those who may be offended by their choice of protest because they lost a loved one in the military, and he also hopes that the offended side will listen to why people are protesting because of the loss of a loved one who they feel was unjustly shot.


John Pavlovitz said,”America as an ideal, (the one from the Anthem) is about speaking boldly and demanding justice and giving voice to the voiceless, because that’s the way you respect the freedom. That is how you show gratitude for the gift. That is how you honor those who died to give you that freedom.”