Guest opinion: Concerned about protest blackout? It's time to get in the game | August 29, 2018 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

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Viewpoint - August 29, 2018

Guest opinion: Concerned about protest blackout? It's time to get in the game

by Henry Organ

The 2018 National Football League (NFL) season has begun. Of renewed interest is not the half-time shows, but a pregame event: players who kneel or do not during the playing of the national anthem.

And now of greater interest is, some television channels are opting not to show the field or play during the anthem, as they have in the past.

Some players choose to kneel or raise a fist during that time to seek a wider viewing audience for their concerns about racial and social injustices in this country; conversely, NFL owners want the players to stand at attention during the anthem.

Indeed, under the rubric of "freedom of the press," media can show what they want, but in so doing in this instance, is there not demonstrated a media preference in this controversy? Does the television station not covering the national anthem favor the NFL position? It appears so. Is this "blackout" not a suppression of players' freedom of speech? In fairness, would not the televising of the anthem be fair and balanced — and above all, patriotic?

To paraphrase and apply a once-popular question: "What do media have to lose?" The answer: corporate social responsibility, and erosion of their cherished freedom of the press.

The media should not be blitzed by the president of he United States, who, ironically, bashes the media daily.

Unfortunately, being benched are major issues of racial and social injustice that must be addressed.

Readers, especially 49er and Raider fans, are urged to get in the game, inform themselves of the players' concerns, and support their effort.

Retired Stanford Development Officer Henry Organ has lived in Menlo Park for more than 40 years. He was a member of the San Mateo County 2010 Charter Committee.

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