The NFL kicked off its season with controversy over how the American flag was used as part of pregame ceremonies.
During the playing of the national anthem before the game between the Buffalo Bills and the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium, a mammoth flag replica was unveiled on the field.
While that is a common sight before games, it is a violation of the U.S. flag code, which reads, “The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.”
More disturbing to some viewers, there was also a major change this time: Instead of the flag’s usual rectangular shape, this version had been cut to resemble the outline of the continental United States.
The National Anthem, by @Tinashe, @NFL’s first game of the season. pic.twitter.com/VMeKrl6YxB
— Roc Nation (@RocNation) September 9, 2022
After all the nfl/ flag history they roll out one that’s not up to flag code 🤦♂️
— South Spokana Santa (@Freg_S) September 9, 2022
.@NFL a league that booted out a player for kneeling during the anthem opens the season by violating the flag code, creating a continent-shaped American flag. Oh, and hey guys, there are two states that you ignored in that presentation.
— dooner (@doonerADG800) September 9, 2022
C'mon @nfl @RamsNFL Ignorance and disrespecting our flag (violating the US Flag Code) is NOT patriotic.
— SocraToMe (he,him) (@SocraToMe) September 9, 2022
The NFL should have someone on staff study the flag code of the US. Terrible display.
— Jeff Jones (@jljsrwa) September 9, 2022
OMG. @NFL is disrespecting troops by cutting up a US flag. Did NOT see that coming. pic.twitter.com/tKvutQgyC7
— Robert Reid (@reidontravel) September 9, 2022
If you are still upset with @Kaepernick7 for kneeling during th national anthem, but don't care that the @NFL desecrated an American flag for tonight's @BuffaloBills v @RamsNFL pregame; you're an idiot.
— Kevin McAuley (@thekevinmcauley) September 9, 2022
One fan said part of the lower 48 appeared to be lopped off.
Is this the greatest disrespect for the Lions ever. They leave the state of Michigan off the flag. Really, is this the league or the Rams and Stafford trolling us🤦♂️. Also, not sure by rule your allowed to alter the flag. pic.twitter.com/NNyvoSfxao
— Greg Kampe (@KampeOU) September 9, 2022
Before the game, the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II was marked with a moment of silence, according to NFL.com.
Once again, the league also embraced social justice messaging.
“During Thursday’s Kickoff game, players from both the Buffalo Bills and the Los Angeles Rams will wear helmets featuring ‘Choose Love’ as part of the league’s social justice helmet decal messaging this season, which will also include other phrases such as ‘End Racism,’ ‘Stop Hate’ and ‘Inspire Change’ among others,” the league said in a news release Wednesday.
According to USA Today, all Rams chose to wear the “Choose Love” decal, while Bills players had assorted decals.
The NFL said the “Choose Love” message was added this year in response to “an uptick in hate crimes and gun violence around the country.”
Focus on what matters: Love ❤️
Narrated by @SterlingKBrown. pic.twitter.com/yuOUYBXQSk
— NFL (@NFL) September 9, 2022
On the field, Buffalo defeated the Super Bowl champion Rams 31-10.
NFL is in the waning moments of its existence.
NBA is dead but doesn’t have the sense to roll into a grave in China.
Thank God I don’t watch any sports with such disrespect to the flag go freaking play in China if you hate America so bad.. sports not allowed in my home and for you players making 45million to throw a damn as ball .? But when off the field your kids ask you why ? Why you had America ,the flag daddy you should go to bed and really think yeah money sounds great but do you love your country more.and I read just this morning a NFL player serving time for beating his girlfriend left for dead wow big man he is .. NO TV CHANNEL OR CABLE CHANNEL SHOULD HAVE YOU ON AT ALL NO ONE RESPECTS YOU ANYMORE
Yet another reason no to watch or follow NFL
This kind of ignorance and crass disrespect of our country and our flag is exactly why I have not watched an NFL game since Knucklehead started this crap.
Yeah, still not watching this NFL. They are out forever in my household.