Don't be fooled by self-serving NFL commissioner, President Trump's agendas

Gary Tanguay
NBC Sports Boston

They have differing opinions, at the moment, but I think Roger Goodell and President Donald Trump are one and the same … self-serving. 

Goodell has come clean and admitted the NFL did not handle Colin Kaepernick's protest properly. The President has criticized the commissioner for insinuating that players need not stand for the national anthem.

Goodell is all about which way the wind blows, and the President is appeasing a base vital to him being elected to a second term. 

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I am not going to lunch with either one of these guys, even if they're buying.

The American flag for them is a pawn. To me it remains a symbol of freedom. 

Freedom of religion.

Freedom of political thought.

Freedom from discrimination and persecution based on race or gender. 

I cannot think of a better place for African American players to have the freedom to speak out against racial injustice than beneath our flag. Isn't it what it's there for? 

The same argument can be made for those who want to stand with their hand over their heart to honor those who have sacrificed to make this country great. What both factions need to realize is that the other's life experiences beneath this flag have caused them to utilize it differently.  

Different is OK. That's the America I live in. 

The suggestion has been made to eliminate the national anthem prior to athletic events. This is not the answer. It's a cop-out. 

This country was born from protesting the human injustices performed by the Crown of England. Don't laugh. I know what you're thinking. "Really, Tanguay? What is this: 'Schoolhouse Rock'?" 

Sure, let's go with that. 

The United States of America exists because the colonists were not properly represented before the body that governed them. Their voices were not heard. "Taxation without representation!" You know the drill.

There is no difference between Colin Kaepernick and Thomas Paine, who in 1775 wrote in the pamphlet Common Sense that the 13 colonies should seek independence from Great Britain. 

Kapernick and every other player who took a knee wanted their government to know they would no longer tolerate unfair treatment based on the color of their skin. The colonists and these players have a common bond; they both wanted to be treated fairly, like human beings.

Our country is in the worst shape of my lifetime and it scares the hell out me. Yes, this is worse than the anti-war protests of Vietnam. 

Games can bring us together, but if we allow the national anthem to divide us before they even start, we have no chance.  

Don't be fooled by self-serving NFL commissioner, President Trump's agendas originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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