Last night, Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters sat during the National Anthem in an all-too-familiar display of ingratitude. First, let’s clear up the misconception that players can protest the Anthem because it’s protected by the First Amendment. The football pundits that have said that, aka Trey Wingo, don’t know what they’re talking about.

When they’re in uniform, their team has the undisputed right to dictate behavior. That’s because the team controls work product. From the time an employee punches in until that employee punches out, that employee’s employer can dictate to them what they shall do and how they must behave. But I digress.

Later in the article, it says “Peters’ protest comes days after Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett – who has also sat for the anthem – accused Las Vegas police of unfairly targeting him because of his race. Vegas police have pushed back on the accusation, saying officers chased down Bennett because he ran from an active shooting scene.”

NFL teams go out of their way to emphasize how they “give back” to their communities. It’s a little disingenuous for them to say they’re giving back while displaying such anti-patriotic behavior. It gives fans the opportunity to question whether NFL teams understand their fans.

When Commissioner Goodell first suspended Ray Rice for 2 games for physically assaulting his then-fiancĂ©, people were rightfully outraged. People, including me, accused Goodell of being out of touch. I suspect that NFL teams’ PR departments came up with the “giving back” spin to somewhat mitigate their players’ negative reputations. Peters is one of those players whose reputation requires, putting it charitably, mitigation.

One retired player whose reputation is solid is Burgess Owens. Check out what he said on Fox & Friends this morning:

That’s what an adult with integrity sounds like.

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