The Daily Caller, a completely normal website founded by very normal human being/bow tie aficionado Tucker Carlson, posted a very normal article this week posing the question "How do you think NFL players who kneel should be punished?"

The article's author, Annie Caputo, begins by explaining her ire over the fact that these black NFL players, protesting police brutality, would dare be so disrespectful during the anthem.

It's hard to believe that those who play what is arguably the most American sport in existence can willingly disrespect the symbol of our nation and service members in front of an audience of millions.

Yet, this despicable behavior has been on display multiple times over the course of the past few seasons with NFL players taking a knee and refusing to stand and honor the national anthem and the American flag.

Of course, to some people, police killing unarmed black people on the regular might be considered fairly disrespectful as well, but not to Annie!

Their reasoning behind the kneeling is the right to protest on the behalf of civil rights and injustice, but this motive is largely overshadowed by the prominent message their behavior sends, which is that they do not respect the United States nor those whose sacrifices are represented by the flag and the anthem.

Well, it's only "overshadowed" if you choose to ignore it.

I mean, you make millions of dollars to play a televised game. No one asked for your political views, nor did they tune in to watch a bunch of famous athletes blatantly spit on the legacies of those who have sacrificed everything just so that they could be playing football for a living.

Fun fact! No one asks for anyone's political views, ever. I did not ask for your political views, Annie, and yet here we are.

The fun thing about racial discrimination, of course, is that it really doesn't care if you make millions of dollars or not. You could be Danny Glover and still not get a cab in New York City. You could be Henry Louis Gates and get arrested for "breaking in" to your own home. Heck! It doesn't even care what political party you are aligned with, because you could be Republican Senator Tim Scott and still get pulled over by police every time you leave your house. Also, some people feel as though those who have a platform and power have an obligation to use that to stand up for those who do not.

But guess what? You could even be a veteran. Like retired Marine Kenneth Chamberlain, you could have your medical alert bracelet go off by accident, and then get shot by police in your own home. Like Air Force Veteran Anthony Hill, who was not only unarmed but also naked when he was shot and killed by police while having a PTSD-related episode.

Murder, kneeling -- it's hard to say, really, which is a worse time for those harmed. Clearly, we know where Caputo stands.

As this is such a great and terrible offense -- and one she does not think the NFL is punishing severely enough -- Caputo helpfully compiled a list of ways in which she would like to see these players punished.

She starts out with "termination of contract" and swiftly moves on to "docking their pay for one month."

If these men are being paid to be a member of a professional team and play football, why should they be paid if they are not acting as a member of the team?

Annie. Do you know what it is called when people work and do not get paid? There is a word for that.

Also, no one is being paid to stand for the national anthem. I mean, unless you want to pay a bunch of people to just do that. Maybe that would be a really great idea for a show on Fox. Just watching people stand there, while someone sings the National Anthem. I'm sure it would be very entertaining and satisfying for you, since it seems to be a thing you care about very deeply. More deeply, I guess, than veterans being gunned down in their houses by police.

She also suggests deportation as an option!

Since they clearly don't care enough about America to respect the flag, why should they even be here in the first place?

Where, exactly, does one deport American citizens to? Caputo does not seem to have the answer. Just general "deportation" because sure, that's a thing you can do legally. In America.

Another solution? Spanking.

If they want to throw tantrums like children, shouldn't they be disciplined like children, too?

I don't know where you have been working, Annie, but here in America, land that you love, it is, in fact, illegal for employers to assault their employees.

Her next idea? The stocks.

Since these "protestors" love to make a public spectacle of themselves, perhaps some time in the public stocks could teach them a lesson in loyalty to one's country.


So, Caputo's big ideas for these black NFL players who upset her are ... make them work for free, deprive them of American citizenship, beat them and put them in stocks or pillories if they upset her.

Again, Annie. There is a word for that. Interestingly enough, it is in fact outlawed now in the Constitution you surely love so much. It has its own amendment and everything.

Caputo also wanted to know how the commenters of The Daily Caller would like to punish those naughty NFL players. And boy, did they ever have some ideas.

One commenter, "billy boo," suggested murder:

is it too much to suggest they be shot? Yes? No? I'm very emotional about this whole issue. First Amendment Smirst Amendment, don't these thugs know it's a symbol of the FirstAmendment we're talking about here? Yes, I say shoot them.

Another commenter, Martin Weiss, was slightly less severe and suggested only dismemberment:

Cut their legs off at the knees so they can permanently kneel.

Still another commenter, PabloDali, was more on the nose.

How did they punish uppity slaves in Roots?

Clearly, there is some serious confusion over in Very Patriotic Daily Caller-land about the Thirteenth Amendment. One would think that a group of people so in love with America would have heard about this at some point in their lives, but I guess they were all out sick that day.


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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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