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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: September 25, 2017 02:50 PM
From: Senator Mike Regan
To: All Senate members
Subject: Resolution Condemning the National Football League for Anti-American Demonstrations
On Sunday afternoon, former Army Ranger and current Pittsburgh Steelers lineman Alejandro Villanueva disobeyed team orders when he emerged from the locker room for a pregame rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner.

The rest of his teammates, obviously unfamiliar with the Army Ranger motto of “No Man Left Behind”, remained in the locker room in irreverent protest. Across the National Football League, scores of players (enabled and encouraged by team owners, general managers, and coaches) refused to stand for the national anthem.

The intersectionality of sports and politics is not a new phenomenon. When Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947, it was a moment that transcended sports. Muhammad Ali’s conscientious objection to the Vietnam War resulted in a landmark Supreme Court decision. The “Miracle on Ice” at Lake Placid was so much more than a hockey game.

What we witnessed throughout the NFL this weekend was not an innocuous political demonstration. It was not a harmless exercise of First Amendment rights. It was a deliberate, orchestrated effort to disrespect the anthem and flag of the United States of America, and it cannot go unrebuked.

Despite America’s complicated history and its modern shortfalls, it remains the greatest nation that has ever existed on the face of this Earth. American citizens, especially millionaire professional athletes, live under a set of rules and assumptions that are the envy of the world.

Poisonous identity politics have politicized nearly every facet of American life, including our sacred national symbols. Political dissent has manifested itself in acts of radical protest. Things have simply gone too far.

In the near future, I will be introducing a resolution officially condemning the anti-American demonstrations we witnessed on the gridiron this weekend. If you support the United States of America, our national symbols, and the brave men and women who have fought to defend them, I would encourage you to attach your name in support of this resolution.

If you have any questions regarding this resolution, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (717)-787-8524.

Introduced as SR208