NFL players should be grateful they don't live in China

As NFL players continue to protest by kneeling during the National Anthem, China offers them food for thought.

The communists in China  are considering making it illegal to "disrespect" their national anthem.  Violators could face up to three years in prison.

A draft amendment to the country's Criminal Law was submitted for deliberation at a session of the National People's Congress Standing Committee on Monday. Violators could face up to three years in prison, according to the draft.

China passed a new law in September mandating up to 15 days in police detention for those who mock the "March of the Volunteers," which is China's national anthem. The law also covers the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau, Reuters reported.

It is not clear when the amendment would be voted on or take effect.

The report comes at a time when there is debate about NFL players in the U.S. who take a knee during the national anthem before football games. Some see the protest as disrespecting the flag, while others say the players are using their first amendment right to protest.

President Trump called on the football players to be fired or banned.

In Hong Kong, it's the soccer fans protesting China's national anthem. The territory's football fans booed the anthem during a World Cup qualifier in 2015, which prompted FIFA to fine Hong Kong's football association. Hong Kong residents have growing concern over China's perceived encroachment on its autonomy, according to Reuters.

The players can claim they are not disrespecting the flag or the military from now until forever.  It doesn't matter.  Fifty million people think they are, which makes their protestations that they are not spitting on the flag meaningless.

More than that, they say their protest is for "equality."  Colin Kaepernick, the first player to take a knee during the anthem, said he was protesting because he didn't want to stand for a flag that represents oppression, racism, and cops who killed black people and got away with it.  The word "equality" did not appear in Kaepernick's statement on why he knelt for the anthem.  And yet the players insist on imitating a protest from someone who obviously disrespected the flag.

More than that, players should be asked what the military is fighting for when it fights under the flag.  Are they fighting for oppression and racism?  If that's what the players think the flag stands for, that's what they believe the military is fighting for. 

The players are oblivious to and take for granted the freedom to protest anything – including the flag and the military who fight under it.  It is a supreme irony that the protesting players complain about Donald Trump speaking his mind when they would be arrested and jailed in China for speaking theirs.

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