Any athlete planning to use their platform to protest the national anthem had better not play American Legion Baseball in Minnesota.
In a preemptive strike against Kaepernick copycats, the league instituted a rule that the anthem will receive “proper respect,” or players will find themselves shown out the door.
The rule states, “American Legion Baseball players in Minnesota will be required to show “proper respect” during the National Anthem, or they won’t be able to play. The Minnesota American Legion committee adopted a no-tolerance policy when it comes to players’ behavior during the anthem before games.”
What does “proper respect” mean? According to the Legion, a player will achieve proper respect by standing upright, facing the flag, with hat held over the heart.
Let us all pause for a moment to consider that we now live in a country that necessitates this kind of a rule.
Even though no anthem protest has ever taken place in the Legion, the fact remains that few, if any, anthem protests had ever taken place in the NFL before this year either. Legion spokesman Mike Perry described the rule’s aim as preventing “kneeling down, back to the flag, stuff like that.”
Does the rule inhibit freedom of speech and protest? Yes, it absolutely does. But of course, anyone wanting to protest that badly also has the freedom to take their protests to another baseball league that permits that kind of thing. The American Legion has the right to run their league the way they see fit, and this rule makes perfect sense coming from such an openly-patriotic group.
The real beauty of this great rule is that it demonstrates how a responsible group of adults behave when not corrupted by radical leftists. In other words, if the NFL didn’t live in a perpetual state of fear of the New York Times this rule might have come from the office of the NFL Commissioner instead of the office of the Minnesota American Legion.
No surprise that the office of the American Legion shows far more class and prestige than that of the NFL.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn